Sunday, June 28, 2015

Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry Jam

Really tasty!  And not too difficult to make.  Next time, I will figure out how to get them to keep their round shape ---as mine flattened out.  
I found lingonberry jam made in Sweden in our international aisle.  It tastes a little like cranberry sauce.  

Swedish Meatballs
(adapted from Simply Swedish)

Serves 4

2 potatoes (floury variety) -- I used two baking potatoes
400 g mixed pork/beef mince - I used 1 lb. pork/beef ground beef mix
50 ml milk (about a 1/4 cup)
1/4 yellow onion
1/2 - 1 t. salt
3 pinches ground white pepper (I used black)
1 egg
2 T. butter

2 T. flour (I used gravy flour)
400 ml water  and 1 T. beef bouillon, concentrated (I used 1.5 cups chicken stock)
100 ml cream (I used 1/2 cup half and half)
1/2 t. dark soy sauce (I used Worcestershire sauce)
salt and pepper

Serve with:  lingonberry jam, boiled potatoes, boiled carrots

Peel the potatoes and boil them until completely soft.  Pour away the water and let the potatoes steam off and cool.  (I microwaved my potatoes in their jackets until soft -- about 8-9 minutes.  Then let them cool. Then peeled them. And pressed them through a food mill.)
Put the minced meat in a bowl, press the potatoes and mix in with the milk.  Peel and finely grate the onion and use this to season the meat mixture along with salt and pepper.  Crack in the egg and work to a smooth mixture.
Make meatballs equal in size so they cook through at the same time, then fry them in a pan with butter until golden brown. Put the meatballs in a dish and keep warm or lay directly on the table with the rest of the smorgasbord.
Sprinkle the flour in the frying pan while stirring to prevent it from clumping together.  Whisk in the bouillon and cream, allowing it all to simmer for 3-5 minutes so the flour has time to swell before adding the soy sauce.  Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the meatballs either as part of a smorgasbord or as a complete meal with sauce, potatoes and lingonberry jam.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Swedish Apple "Cake"

Swedish Apple "Cake"

Don't understand why this dessert is called a cake but it doesn't matter because it is delicious!

I'd call it more of a crumble or a crisp than a cake.

What made it special was the use of spelt flour and breadcrumbs instead of oats and all-purpose flour for the topping. And cardamon instead of cinnamon for the spice. And almonds for the nuts.

I used Margareta Schildt Landgren's cookbook, Simply Swedish, for the recipe and then adapted it, doing the best I could with the conversions.

Swedish Apple "Cake"
(adapted from Simply Swedish)

Serves 4 

4 firm crisp apples
4 T. butter plus extra for greasing the pan
grated rind from 1 lemon
3 T. superfine sugar
1/2 c. spelt flour (look in the organic aisle)
1/2 c. unseasoned bread crumbs
1/4 to 1/3 cup of almonds (either slivered or flaked)
pinch of salt
1/4 t. of cardamon, or more if you like

whipped cream for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9 inch ceramic baking dish or pie plate or cake pan.  Rinse then peel, core and slice the apples.  Arrange them in the greased baking dish, and pile them up in the middle, if needed.

Grate the lemon rind and sprinkle over the apples.  Sprinkle the sugar next. Sprinkle the cardamon evenly over the top.

Mix the spelt and the breadcrumbs together, add a pinch of salt, mix again, then sprinkle evenly over the apples.  Shave, or cut the butter into small pieces and dot the dish.  Sprinkle the almonds over the top.
Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or as long as 1 1/4 hours until the "cake" is bubbly and well browned on top.   It should be golden brown.

Let it cool slightly.  Then cut a nice wedge and scoop it out into a shallow bowl.  Add whipped cream.  And serve with a spoon.



Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June is .... Sweden

June is ...Sweden

Lycklig matlagning---

Off to a late start, but still hope to make some Swedish food during the month of June.

The calendar shows meatballs, lingonberry jam, semla (a sweet roll), lingon dricka (a cocktail), pickled herring, and janssons frestelse, a Swedish casserole.

On the table is a dala horse.


Monday, June 8, 2015

June Peonies

First Peonies of June

Can't believe it is June already.  One of my favorite things to do is pick peonies from our backyard. These are the first ones to bloom and then the more traditional paper-tissue pink and whites ones will follow.  Love having bouquets of them around the house and on the kitchen table.  

We had a very hectic month of May, including Tom injuring his right hand --- and he is right-handed.  So, he is out of commission and won't be cooking in the kitchen for a month or more.  But he can supervise.  

He instructed our niece, Chelsea, how to make his go-to recipe, Orecchiette with Italian Sausage and Broccolini  (click here to see recipe) soon after his accident.  She had been asking us for inexpensive, easy-to-make recipes since she would be cooking on her own when she moves to NYC.

Now she is gone and we are on our own again.  

I am kind of looking forward to a summer of being forced to not do too much, e.g., reading books, painting, and catching up on projects, while he recuperates.   

Tomorrow I will post what country the month of June is....