Elegant, Economical Swedish Meatballs

An elegant way to stretch your meat budget in these austere times is to make Swedish or Scandinavian-style meatballs. Each household cook has his or her recipe, but the basics are ground meat such as beef, veal and/or pork mixed with bread crumbs or bits of bread (I use bits of brioche pulled out from my brioche hamburger buns, which have been reserved in a freezer-bag), an egg and some cream or milk.  Finely-minced onion is optional. Spices include nutmeg and/or allspice, salt and optional white pepper. Onion powder can take the place of minced onion, or that flavour may be omitted altogether. Meat mixtures are shaped into small balls and rolled in flour, then fried in butter. A pan-gravy is made while the finished meatballs rest in a warm oven until serving time. I prefer to use ground beef, brioche bits, sour cream, minced onions or onion-powder, nutmeg, salt and white or green ground pepper.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Serve Swedish meatballs with new potatoes and perhaps a little lingonberry or cranberry sauce on the side.
This Danish baking-dish has the traditional cream gravy at its bottom, topped with the meatballs (this type of meatball recipe is found in Swedish, Danish and Finnish cookbooks).
Very small new potatoes are usually just boiled in salted water, and not cut into pieces.
These Yukon Gold new potatoes have been cut and boiled, then sautéed in butter and smashed lightly.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

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Elegant, Economical Swedish Meatballs

An elegant way to stretch your meat budget in these austere times is to make Swedish or Scandinavian-style meatballs. Each household cook has his or her recipe, but the basics are ground meat such as beef, veal and/or pork mixed with bread crumbs or bits of bread (I use bits of brioche pulled out from my brioche hamburger buns, which have been reserved in a freezer-bag), an egg and some cream or milk.  Finely-minced onion is optional. Spices include nutmeg and/or allspice, salt and optional white pepper. Onion powder can take the place of minced onion, or that flavour may be omitted altogether. Meat mixtures are shaped into small balls and rolled in flour, then fried in butter. A pan-gravy is made while the finished meatballs rest in a warm oven until serving time. I prefer to use ground beef, brioche bits, sour cream, minced onions or onion-powder, nutmeg, salt and white or green ground pepper.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Serve Swedish meatballs with new potatoes and perhaps a little lingonberry or cranberry sauce on the side.
This Danish baking-dish has the traditional cream gravy at its bottom, topped with the meatballs (this type of meatball recipe is found in Swedish, Danish and Finnish cookbooks).
Very small new potatoes are usually just boiled in salted water, and not cut into pieces.
These Yukon Gold new potatoes have been cut and boiled, then sautéed in butter and smashed lightly.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Leipäjuusto: Make Your Own Finnish Cheese

Photo by Teemu Rajala, Finland
Leipäjuusto with Cloudberry Jam: Photo by Teemu Rajala, Finland

Click Image to Enlarge Recipe

My mother gave me a booklet in 1985, when it was published: Kitsi Finnish Foodways, a publication of Suomi College (now called Finlandia University) for FinnFest 1985. My copy of Kitsi is yellowed. My dear,  departed mother, who worked at Suomi College’s Finnish-American Heritage Center  for  more than twenty years, drew the illustrations on Kitsi’s cover. Leipäjuusto is an unusual creation that I really like with rye bread, when in Finland. Here is the recipe for making your own Finnish Squeaky Cheese.Update: I’ve just found my mother’s friend, Beatrice Ojakangas’ blog, where she hosts a richer recipe for leipäjuusto.

Here is a recipe for Finnish Apple Cake, by Beatrice Ojakangas, the Queen of Scandinavian Cooking

FINNISH APPLE SUGAR CAKE (Omenasokerikakku)
Makes 12 servings
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
dash salt
3/4 cup light cream or undiluted evaporated milk
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced about 1/2 inch
Cinnamon sugar: 2 tablespoons sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch cake pan.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together; add the eggs and beat until light. Stir the flour, baking powder and salt together and add to the cream mixture alternately with the cream. Mix until batter is smooth and spread into the prepared pan.
Insert the apple slices so that the outer edges of the apple slices are up. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and dry. Serve warm.
~~Copyright Beatrice Ojakangas, The Finnish Cookbook, 1964