For my cousin James's birthday, we usually have a small get together of the Dexter Dinner crowd. The hallmark of this get together is James's annual game of "Stump the Cooks" where he challenges Auntie Miranda and I on his choice of meal. So far we have ALWAYS risen to the challenge, I'm proud to say!
This year he challenged me to a dinner menu of "European peasant food" and since our family is primarily Scandinavian, that's the direction I went. His challenge to Auntie was "cherry and vanilla checkerboard". Yup, nailed it on both! Today, I present Swedish Meatballs (not made with the cream of mushroom soup man of us grew up on) with cranberry sauce. Later this week I'll have recipes for Jannsson's Temptation, Cucumber Salad, and Auntie's Cherry and Vanilla Checkerboard Cake.
Swedish Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce
Recipe from "Scandinavian Cooking" by Beatrice Ojakangas
1 1/2 cups soft breadcrumbs
1 cup half and half
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1/2 lb lean ground pork
1/4 cup fresh choppoed parsley (or 1/8 cup dried parsley)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
In large bowl of an electric mixer, soak bread crumbs in half and half for 10 minutes.
In heavy bottomed skillet, melt 1 Tbsp butter and saute onion until translucent. Add onion into bread crumb mixture. Add beef, pork, egg, parsley, and spices (but not flour, butter, or broth) and mix on medium until mixture is well-combined and fluffy.
Dip up 1 oz meatballs using a spoon or 1 oz cookie dough dropper to form balls.
Melt another Tbsp of butter in same skillet used to saute onions over medium heat. Cook meatballs, turning until done. Drain on paper towels.
OR: place meatballs on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for approx 30 minutes or until cooked through.
Glenna's Swedish Meatball Sauce with Cranberries and Cardamom
Recipe By Glenna Anderson Muse
16 oz fresh cranberries
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp all cardamom
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups beef broth
1 cup half and half
In 2 quart sauce pan over medium heat, bring cranberries, 2 Tbsp water, brown sugar, and cardamom to boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until about half the berries split on their own. Take pan off heat and set aside.
In heavy bottomed skillet (can be same one used to cook onion and/or meatballs), melt butter and whisk in flour. Stir in beef broth a bit at a t ime, whisking constantly until smooth. Add half and half. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened. Stir in 1/2 cup cranberry sauce. Pour sauce over meatballs and serve with rest of cranberry sauce on side.
Cranberry sauce can be made ahead and served chilled if desired.
Makes about 48 meatballs with sauce (8 servings of meatballs, sauce, and cranberry sauce).
Nutrition Information per serving: Calories: 491; Protein: 33; Carbs: 41; Fat: 24; Fiber: 2