Monday, August 29, 2011

Swedish Meatballs

Growing up in Chicago, my sweet neighbor, Sybil, used to make the most mouthwatering Swedish meatballs you can imagine. Sybil was a one of a kind lady~ she was a Rummy playing, cat loving, Jeopardy-enthusiast with a quick wit and a fabulous habit of doling out mini-Dove ice cream treats whenever I lost my house keys (or feigned their loss in the hopes that we could sit and watch afternoon television while chowing down on those ice cream snacks) and came knocking at her door. There is nothing more amazing than remembering someone who meant so much to you through a specific food memory. This version is based on Sybil's original Swedish meatball recipe. The most important parts have remained the same, sauteing the onion before adding it to the meat, using ground beef exclusively, and adding whole milk to the meatballs while I have made some additions by creating a simple and hearty sauce to blanket the meatballs and noodles. I hope you love this recipe half as much as I do. Preserve those food memories from your childhood by passing along favorite family recipes. One bite, and you'll be a kid again. 
 Serves: 4 (with leftovers!)
3/4 lbs. ground beef
2 slices of white or wheat bread, toasted
1 tbsp. butter
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup whole milk
1 tbsp. sour cream
3 tbsp. flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 can low sodium beef broth
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. nutmeg + a pinch
kosher salt and pepper
1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
3/4 package of egg noodles, cooked 

Saute onions in 1/2 tsp. butter and set aside. Place toast in a Cuisinart and pulse until breadcrumb consistency. Combine breadcrumbs, egg, and milk and allow to sit for five minutes. Add onions, salt, pepper, milk, egg yolk, nutmeg and allspice and combine with your hands. Form small (1 in.) balls and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes. In the same pan you used to saute the onions, heat remaining butter over medium-high heat and brown meatballs on all sides (about 4-6 minutes). Remove from pan onto a paper towel.
 Add flour to remaining butter and whisk over medium heat until a paste forms. Whisk in the cream, broth and sour cream until combined. Add salt and pepper and an additional pinch of nutmeg. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low, adding the meatballs. Cook for 45 minutes over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. 
 Toss with cooked egg noodles (you can add some of the cooking liquid from the egg noodles if your sauce becomes too thick). 
Serve hot. These leftovers are great too :)

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