My Motto

May the muffin rise to greet you, may your friends be always at your door, and until we meet again, warm a single-malt in the palm of your hand and make something homemade for someone you love.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Today's Forecast: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

"From a man who's eaten his fair share? I think it's all about the... Jesus, what's the secret to a good meatball? I have no idea. I like a lumpy ball, personally." 
~Daniel Holzman, The Meatball Shop
Today has been one of those days.  I was awakened by a flash followed by a clap of thunder.  Okay, we're having a storm.  Tic tic tic tic...sounds like sleet on the window; unusual, but not unheard of for November.  Then a phone call at 5:45 a.m.  School will be delayed for 90".  Huh? What?  I pull back the drape.  Snow all over the ground.  Really?  On November 8th?  I shake off the cranial cobwebs and go up and turn my daughter's alarm clock off.

Next, after showering, was the daily ritual where I hang my head upside-down to blow dry my hair.  Today, while I'm taming the coif, I feel claws on my neck, which scared the bejeebies out of me resulting in a blood curdling scream, a tossing of the hairdryer and a fall on my behind.  My parrot Nigel, who has a thing for the blow dryer, decided to fly off his perch and land on the back of my neck.  I was sure I had killed him in my panic, and from my vantage point on the floor I couldn't even find him.  He was happily sitting in the sink.

When I recovered my bearings, if not my dignity, I walked out and asked Scott "Did you see him fly in there?"   "Yes.  I was waiting for your reaction.  (pregnant pause)  It was beautiful. (sly smile)"  Thus began my day.
A couple of hours before the end of my day at work, the cook started making meatballs.  I had hamburger at home that I had been planning to turn into meatloaf, but after being immersed in the savory aroma of marvelous smelling meatballs for two hours, my mind was made up.  I had to make meatballs for dinner.  And I wasn't in the mood for red sauce, I wanted to really TASTE the meatballs, so Swedish it would be....on mashed potatoes.  Dinner couldn't come fast enough.

Since I was making them for dinner, and not hors d'œuvres, I shaped them bigger.  If you want to make them for use as appetizers, shape them bite size and when the recipe is completely cooked, transfer meatballs and gravy to a crockpot to keep them gently heated.  

They are such a great meal on a cold night.  We all LOVE them, but I hadn't made them in over a year.  Scott said "This meal is a sleeper...they are so good."  This is my own recipe.  By the way, don't substitute beef broth for the beef consommé.  The consommé has a distinctive taste that makes the gravy.  I could literally lick the plate like a dog (I'm pretty sure I did, actually.)

Swedish Meatballs

1 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground veal (optional)
1/2 cup minced onion (minced in food processor, if you have one)
1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 cups bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 (10 1/2 ounce) cans beef consommé
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, mix minced onion with 1/2 cup milk and bread crumbs.  In a large bowl, add ground meats, onion mixture, eggs and seasonings.  Mix with your hands until very well combined.  Shape into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.  bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from cookie sheet and place into a 13x9 inch baking dish.  Pour both cans of beef consommé over, cover with foil and bake for 1/2 hour.  In a small bowl, whisk flour into the heavy cream.  Remove baking dish from oven, remove foil, nudge meatballs over to the side and whisk cream mixture into beef broth.  Stir around meatballs until it is combined.  Bake 15 minutes more, or until bubbling hot.

Serve over mashed potatoes or wide egg noodles.
Serves 6 for dinner, or 12 for hors d'œuvres.


Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

Sounds really good...Swedish meatballs are delicious and I normally just get mine from Ikea. I am sure your homemade ones will taste much, much better.

That's a cute title for the post :)

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Hi Biren,
Thanks! I think I'm the only one I know who hasn't been to IKEA. But I've heard all about it from my friends.

Anna Johnston said...

Geezzzz !! I hate those days when you wake up with a start and crazy weird things happen all day. No wonder you wanted (desperatly needed methinks) a seriously good comfort food meal. Sweedish meatballs are the best.
Hope you had a nice little glass of something... we girls don't like that sort of an awakening to our days. No, no no ;)

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Hi Anna,
Yes....can you say "Coppola Claret?"

tracy said...

Margaret, I just loved this! You are an evocative writer ~ were you an English major in college? Such nice, flowing imagery:) Wish I could make your Swedish meatballs. Is there a way to saute them and get the same result? (probably not).

You should write a novel! (me too).

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Wow...thank you for the kind words. It means more to me than you know. No, I wasn't an English major, but I did peg the English part of the SAT's ;-), ha-ha.

In regards to the meatballs, you can most definitely saute them, they actually come out better, I'm just too lazy to!

One Food Guy said...

MMmmm köttbullar!! Delicious!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Why thank you, Food Guy. Nice of you to pop by.