Swedish Meatballs (KÖTTBULLAR)

New Year’s Eve is approaching and Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar) are perfect for bite-sized appetizers. Make ‘em, freeze ‘em, bake ‘em and serve them in a chafing dish, crock pot, or fondue pot – whatever you have on hand that will keep these babies warm.   I made these on Monday and froze them to be used on Christmas Day – then all I had to do was bake them that afternoon and make the sauce.   I like to use a combo of both ground beef and pork when I make the meatballs – and I know some people even add veal for a more rounded flavor.

Use whatever bread you have on hand and make fresh breadcrumbs in a food processor – you will notice the difference, but use the Pulse button so you don’t end up with sawdust.  I was in Stockholm last year (see here) and had the most amazing Swedish Meatballs – they were large, very large, as this was an entrée and not an appetizer and tasted absolutely amazing!

As they say in Stockholm:

Gott Nytt Ar!!

(Happy New Year)

 

Swedish Meatballs

  • Servings: 72
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Meatballs:

3/4 pound ground beef

3/4 pound ground pork

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (sourdough if you have it)

2/3 cup milk

1 whole egg

1 clove garlic

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

6 oz cream cheese – cut into small cubes

1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped finely

Olive Oil

Sauce:

1/2 cup half-and-half

3  Tbl unsalted butter

3 Tbl flour

3 Tbl Marsala wine (optional)

1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 cup low sodium beef broth

Pinch salt

Dash of Tabasco Sauce

Dash of celery salt

Dash of onion powder

1/2 cup sour cream

Preparation:

  1. Pour the fresh breadcrumbs in the milk and let them soak for about 5 minutes till they start to swell.  Place ground beef, pork, breadcrumbs/milk mixture, egg, parsley, salt, pepper, minced garlic, and cream cheese into a bowl.  Using clean hands mush it altogether till well blended.
  2. Form small meatballs and place on waxed paper on a cookie sheet and put in the refrigerator for at least one hour, preferably four hours – this will help the meatballs to keep their shape.
  3. Heat olive oil in pan and add some of the meatballs – don’t crowd the meatballs or they won’t brown well.  Remove to paper towel once they are nice and brown.   Spray PAM onto a cookie sheet and line up the meatballs –  cook them for about 15 minutes on 375 till cooked through.  You can also leave them in the frying pan and cook them stove-top but I find they tend to burn on one side and don’t fully cook through.
  4. Using same frying pan, keep the drippings and add flour to make a roux.
  5. Whisk into the roux, the half-and-half, beef stock, Marsala wine, Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco, celery salt, onion powder, and salt until smooth.  Cook and stir over low heat until the sauce thickens – takes about 10 minutes.  If you have bits of hamburger in your gravy, pour it through a sieve.  Take the gravy off the burner and let cool for a minute or two before adding the sour cream.  Stir in the meatballs, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes till the meatballs are heated through.
  6. Place the meatballs with sauce in your serving dish and sprinkle fresh parsley on top and serve.

Traditionally you would serve this with Lingonberry Sauce – if you can’t find in your local grocery store you can always find it at Amazon – 0r substitute Raspberry Preserve in its place

 

Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs


Prosciutto and Melon Squares

Layers of salty prosciutto with cold and crispy melon topped with whipped cream cheese – makes this canape delightful.  The slices of prosciutto should be paper thin, so I have it cut at the deli as opposed to buying it sliced and packaged with the other cold cuts.  Although prosciutto can be expensive (around $24 per pound), you are buying 12 very thin slices, which nets out to about $4 or $5 – this is actually cheaper than the packaged stuff as you are not paying for the marketing and packaging costs – definitely have it sliced at the deli while you wait – worth every penny.

Prosciutto and Melon Squares

  • Servings: 24
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

3 oz cream cheese, whipped

6 slices of wheat bread

12 thin slices of prosciutto (Prosciutto di Parma if available)

Chive stalks

Butter, room temperature

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Preparation:

Lay out wheat bread on a cutting board and lightly spread butter on each slice.

Top each slice with two thin slices of prosciutto, overlapping the slices and gently press them down onto the bread slices.  Place a small dollop of cream cheese on top and a small slice of melon. Cut the chive stalks on the diagonal and place along side the melon.

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Cut each slice into four squares and place on platter – add fresh dill fronds to decorate the platter.

 

 


Onion and Parmesan Toasts

Onion and Parmesan Toasts

Onion and Parmesan Toasts

Roasted onions and parmesan cheese are a great flavor combo.  For this canape I use Parmesan/Reggiano grated cheese.  If you need a quick canape at the last-minute this one fills the bill – only five ingredients to make the base and then any toppers you want to add.  In this case I chose bacon and salmon roe, but you could also do slices of cocktail onion, green or black olive slices, slivers of green apple for a tart twist, or any number of toppers, depending upon your imagination and what you have in your pantry.

Onion and Parmesan Toasts

  • Servings: 36
  • Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 cup Parmesan/Reggiano cheese

9 slices of whole wheat bread, toasted

2 Tbl fresh parsley, chopped

 

Preparation:

Using a non-stick pan, add a small amount of butter and sauté the chopped onion until lightly browned.

In a small bowl add mayonnaise, onion, cheese, and parsley and mix well.

MAYO, PARSLEY, ONION, AND CHEESE - THAT'S IT!

MAYO, PARSLEY, ONION, AND CHEESE – THAT’S IT!

Lay out the bread slices on a cookie sheet and toast one side.  Remove from oven and turn over and cut each slice into 4 rectangles.  Spread the mixture on each rectangle and place on the cookie sheet.  Lightly sprinkle each wedge with paprika and put in 425 degree oven for 5 or 6 minutes.

TOASTS ON COOKIE SHEET AND READY FOR THE OVEN.

TOASTS ON COOKIE SHEET AND READY FOR THE OVEN.

When hot and bubbly, remove and add to platter, adding your chosen toppers.

READY FOR ACTION!

READY FOR ACTION!


My Top 10 Favorite Classic Holiday Movies

 

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Love Actually with Hugh Grant

I was recently reading a blog post from someone who detested the movie, Love Actually – I mean they were really offended by it and thought it silly, useless, and just plain irritating.  I on the other hand, love this movie, and find it charming as it gets me into the Christmas spirit when I watch it.  This made me think of my Go-To list of movies I need to watch between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, that remind me of how important family is and all the magic you can experience when you celebrate the holidays together. Here is a list of my Top 10 Must See Movies every holiday season – you may recognize a couple and hopefully some are your favorites too! Read More


How Simple Is This? Quick Holiday Canape

A few ingredients can go a long way, when they are packed with flavor.  Keep these items on hand and you will have a spot-on tasty treat to give your drop-in guests, or when you have limited time in prepping for your holiday party fare. This canape has a sweet savory flavor highlighting the sweetness of the cranberry with the sharpness of the gherkin.  A pleasant surprise when you take that first bite. Quick, easy, flavorful – how simple is this? Read More


Shrimp and Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

 

This is my second most favorite tea sandwich, after the traditional Cucumber and Cream Cheese.  I use bay shrimp and not prawns as the flavor is far more delicate.   These would be great to add to any Holiday Tea, Ladies Lunch, or even to be used at the cocktail hour.  When not making tea sandwiches I put this filling on crusty sour dough french bread – Yum! Read More


Assorted Tea Sandwiches

High Tea for the Holidays

 

If you have never hosted a high tea before, now is the time to jump in with both feet and host one for your friends to help celebrate the upcoming holidays.  I try to have a holiday luncheon for my girl friends each year, where we reminisce about all the good times and memories we are grateful for.  It also gives us the opportunity to spend a minute or two on throwing away any of the negative vibes, and ensure they don’t roll over into the new year.  My luncheon menu varies from year to year and Read More


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Green Apple and Cucumber Salad – Whole 30 Compliant

This recipe is an adaptation of Geoffrey Zakarian’s Smashed Cucumber and Green Apple Salad.Geoffrey is a co-host on The Kitchen on Food Network on Saturday mornings, as well as being an Iron Chef.   Recently he prepared a pesto-rubbed baked salmon along with his Smashed Cucumber and Green Apple Salad.  The salad looked really good and appeared to be Whole30 Compliant, so I made a batch of it the same day.  I ended up taking this salad as a side dish for lunch several times the following week and some days I added cut up chicken and made it an entrée portion instead. Frankly, I was surprised  Read More


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Homemade Turkey Soup

There must be hundreds of turkey soup recipes floating out there to help use up your leftovers from Thanksgiving. This is the first time I ever made by own turkey stock, as I usually just use a carton of chicken broth.  I was amazed at how prominent the turkey flavor was by making it from scratch.  It has to cook for about 4 hours, so it takes time, but the prep work itself, Read More


Goat cheese stuffed mushrooms

Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

One holiday down, and two to go before 2014 comes to an end – the year has certainly gone by very quickly!  Lots of holiday parties in the next month, so canapes and appetizers will be at the top of my list of things to prepare. These stuffed mushrooms are quite easy to make and have a slight piquant tangy flavor to them as evidenced  from the combo of goat cheese and balsamic vinegar reduction.  I served them on Thanksgiving and got two thumbs up from my 5-year-old great-niece Lily – that makes this appetizer a winner as far as I am concerned! Read More