What to do when you can't decide which of your husband's favorite dishes to make for Valentine's Day dinner? Make both! He worked only a short day yesterday so pulling it off sort of a Bridge Jones fiasco in that the meal came down to TWO meats, mashed potatoes...and brownies! But he said it was the perfect Valentine's meal and that's all that really counts, right? Right!
The two entrees were Swedish Meatballs with Mushroom sauce (recipe here) that is an adaptation from a Swedish Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce recipe that I made for my cousin James' birthday a couple of years ago. The cranberry sauce is to die for, with its traditional Scandinavian spices, but since I had fresh mushrooms but no cranberries...you got it, mushrooms won the day. I also made Gene's own Country-style Boneless Ribs, another of his faves, and served both over mashed potatoes which is a little piece of comfort food heaven.
Swedish Meatballs with Mushroom Sauce
Meatball Recipe by Beatrice Ojakangas
Sauce Recipe by Glenna Anderson Muse
Makes approximately 30 1.5 oz meatballs w/sauce
1 1/2 cups soft breadcrumbs (or 1 cup commercial breadcrumbs)
1/2 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
8 oz Fresh Mushrooms, diced
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp all cardamom
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups beef broth
1 cup half and half
1) In large bowl of an electric mixer, soak bread crumbs in half and half for 10 minutes.
2) In large heavy bottomed skillet, melt 1 Tbsp butter and sauté onion until translucent. Add onion into bread crumb mixture in mixer. Add beef, pork, egg, parsley, and spices (but not sauce ingredients: flour, butter, or broth) to mixer bowl and mix on medium until mixture is well-combined and fluffy.
3) Form meatballs by rolling in hands, approximately 1.5 oz size.
4) Melt another Tbsp of butter in large skillet (can be same skillet used to sauté 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.
5) In heavy bottomed skillet (can be same one used to cook onion and/or meatballs with fat wiped out), melt butter and sauté mushrooms until soft. Whisk in flour. Stir in beef broth a bit at a time, whisking constantly until smooth. Add half and half. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened.
6) Place meatballs back into pan with sauce and stir/turn to coat with sauce. Turn heat to very low and simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
Nutrition per 5 meatballs plus sauce: Calories: 475; Protein: 35; Carbs: 32; Fat: 32: Fiber: 2.