Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Midsommer

It's no secret that I have an inexplicable fascination with all things Swedish. Perhaps because we know several people from Sweden, perhaps it is because of my fair skin and dislike of hot weather. Regardless of the reason, today is the first day of summer, the longest day of the year, summer solstice, or midsommer (in Sweden) and I am feeling the need to celebrate.

We were invited over to celebrate midsommer with our Swedish friends a couple years ago and I must admit that I do like herring, new potatoes, and strawberries. And I would not say no to aquavit. So this particular holiday/tradition has stayed with me.

With Big J out of town there's really no reason for a big feast, so little j and I will be celebrating with Swedish meatballs, rice and asparagus and a special dessert (princess cake for little j, key lime tart for me).

(Note: You will notice some resemblance to my Italian meatball recipe. It's true, but there are some slight changes. And little j loved the meatballs!)

That Girl's Midsommer Swedish Meatballs

1 1/2 slices fresh white bread, crust removed
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground chuck
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups beef broth, heated
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Tear the bread into small pieces and place in a bowl. Add milk and then set aside.

Heat one tablespoon of butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute until soft. When done, place onions into a large bowl (set aside pan, but don't wash or clean out).

To bowl with onions add ground pork, ground chuck, egg, salt, allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly with fork or hands.

Prepare a sheet pan by spraying cooking spray or lightly oiling. Form one ounce meatballs by hand and place on sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

While meatballs are baking, heat remaining two tablespoons of butter in saute pan over medium heat until foam subsides. Whisk in flour and cook for one to two minutes. Whisk in time. Slowly whisk in beef broth. Bring to a simmer and cook to desired consistency. Whisk cream into gravy at a steady stream. Whisk in cider vinegar. Return to a slight simmer and turn heat to low. When meatballs are done add to gravy.

Serves 4-6

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