Thursday, August 6, 2009

Swedish Meatballs

I spent my morning trying to decide what recipe I wanted to post today. I began going through a list in my head of my family's favorite meals and it occurred to me that I don't actually have written recipes for most of them. I cook the way I think most home cooks do, without measuring anything.


When you've made the same meal a hundred times before, there is no need to get out measuring spoons because you just know when you've added enough. Sense memory is perhaps a cook's most useful tool. My hand retains muscle memory of how many shakes of onion powder to add to my classic meatloaf, my eyes tell me when there is enough ground pepper in my sausage gravy and my nose never fails to detect when I've added just enough garlic to my creamy Alfredo sauce. Frankly I wouldn't want it any other way. It would only slow me down to measure out exactly 2 teaspoons of salt or 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, not to mention the extra work of cleaning those measuring spoons every night. The problem that exists with this phenomenon though is that I can never give someone a recipe for those dishes, I can't tell my husband how to make it when I'm sick and in bed, I can't leave a record for posterity of my world famous chili, and I can't of course post it here.


Now I have a project set in front of me. Each time I make one of these entrees from here on out, I will try to measure seasonings before I add them to the dish and record it. It's a worthwhile project to undertake if not an annoying one.-Andrea

Below I've listed my version of Swedish Meatballs. One of the few home-grown recipes that I actually have measurements for. Enjoy!

Swedish Meatballs


1 egg
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 lb Ground Beef

Blend ingredients together in a bowl. Form into small to medium balls. Brown in hot oil (oil should reach about 1/3 up the sides of meatball) until fully cooked. Drain oil, place meatballs on paper towels.


2 tablespoons butter/margarine
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup of sour cream
Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt butter in warm saute pan or skillet. Fold in flour to form a thick brown paste. Whisk in the beef broth until it just begins to thicken. Combine everything else, adding the sour cream last. Bring sauce up to a simmer on medium heat, stirring often. Add meatballs. Cover and continue simmering for at least 15 minutes. It makes a great meal when served with egg noodles, white rice or even mashed potatoes.


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