Swedish Meatballs

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Over the past few months I’ve been working with Scan Meatballs on a number of different projects including hosting a food blogger’s event and taking over their twitter and facebook feeds in the run up to Sweden’s National Day and Midsummer’s Eve next week.  They’ve been a fantastic company to work with as they are keen to promote Swedish food and culture over here in the UK and to get away from some of the more traditional views of Scandi food.  As such they’ve given me free reign to create some recipes for them. 

Meatballs are perhaps a bit of a stereotype of Swedish cuisine and with good reason: a classic Meatball sarnie is a staple in every Swedish cafĂ©.  I always have one on one of the boats that take you out to the Stockholm archipelago, with a cup of coffee or a cold beer.  However, meatballs aren’t just limited to the stereotypes.  Families regularly have meatballs for dinner in all manner of guises and Swedish food mags contain countless variations with inspiration from all over the world.  And so with this in mind, I’ve created a Meatball Mushroom Stroganoff and a sticky sweet Teriyaki meatball served with rice in crunchy salad cups.

Classic Swedish Meatball Sandwich with Quick Pickled Cucumber  
Serves 2

You will need:
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp caster sugar
pinch white pepper
small handful dill, roughly chopped
1 x 230g pack Scan Meatballs
2 cooked beetroots (not in brine)
2 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tbsp mayo
2 wholegrain or rye bread rolls
To serve: salted butter, salad leaves, radishes, dill

Method:

1. Begin by making the quick pickle.  In a small bowl, combine the sliced cucumber with the white wine vinegar, sugar, white pepper, a little dill and a pinch of sea salt.  Set aside while you make the rest of the sandwich.

2. Cook the meatballs according to packet instructions, either in the oven or on the hob.

3. Dice the cooked beetroot and mix with the creme fraiche, mayonnaise and salt and white pepper.  Slice the bread rolls and spread with butter.  Top with lettuce, cucumber, beetroot salad and finally the meatballs.  Scatter a little extra dill on top, if you like, and serve immediately.  

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Meatball Mushroom Stroganoff  
Serves 4

You will need:
2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
2 onions, sliced
200g mushrooms, such as chestnut or shitake
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1 x 395g pack Scan Meatballs
200ml chicken stock
100g creme fraiche (about 4 generous tbsp)
1 tsp dijon mustard
small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
To serve:
Rice or pasta
Gherkins or capers, Pickled Red onions, optional

Method:

1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan and gently cook the onions over a low heat for about 10 minutes, until golden and soft.  Meanwhile, in a separate frying pan, heat the remaining oil and fry the mushrooms in batches.  Set aside.

2. Tip in the meatballs into the onion pan and fry for about 5-7 minutes, until golden.  Add the garlic, thyme and paprika cook for another couple of minutes. 

3. Add the stock and creme fraiche and simmer for about 10 minutes, until thickened. Sitr through the dijon mustard and add the mushrooms.  Season to taste before sprinkling with chopped parsley.  Serve with rice or pasta as well as some pickled red onions, gherkins or capers. 

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Teriyaki Meatball Salad Cups
Serves 4

You will need:
300g Jasmin or Basmati rice
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
small thumb fresh root ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil
1 pack Scan meatballs
4 Little gem lettuces, leaves picked
3 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp toastec sesame seeds
Small handful corriander, roughly chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Method:

1. Cook the rice according to packet instructions.  In a small bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar, grated ginger and garlic.  In a separate and even smaller bowl, mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp of water, stirring until milky and all lumps have disappeared.  Add to the teriyaki sauce and set aside. 

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the meatballs.  Fry for about 5-7 minutes, until just starting to go golden.  Add the sauce and heat through over a low heat until thick and really sticky – a couple of minutes.

3.  To serve, lay out the remaining ingredients on your table.  Let everyone help themselves to make the lettuce cups by topping each leaf with a spoonfull of rice, a couple of meatballs, spring onions, sesame seeds and coriander.  Squeeze over a little lime and dig right in.

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