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Marcus Knows Best: Helga’s Meatballs and Gravy with Carrot Apple Mashed Potatoes

I am a big fan of Swedish meatballs. I have been making them for several years with different variations, most commonly one recipe that my grandmother had passed on to me years ago and one from chef Marcus Samuelsson that he uses at his restaurant, Red Rooster, in Harlem here in New York. I like both recipes but the one from chef Samuelsson seems much more authentic to me so that is the one I have used, still use, and is basically the same as the one in this recipe, but this recipe also has the addition of carrot-apple mashed potatoes to go with the meatballs to make it more of a meal and less of an appetizer. This is the way you will find it on the menu at Red Rooster and the flavor is fantastic. I did tweak the recipe just a bit from the original. I decided to bake my meatballs instead of grilling them, as is called for in the original recipe to get more of a char on the meatballs. It just seemed easier to bake them, though doing them in a skillet would work pretty well too. Other than that, I followed the recipe, right down to the lingonberry preserves. This particular version is from the Serious Eats website.

Helga’s Meatballs and Gravy with Carrot-Apple Mashed Potatoes

For the Meatballs:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 pound ground chuck or sirloin

1/2 pound ground veal

1/2 pound ground pork

2 tablespoons honey

1 large egg

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

For the Gravy:

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup lingonberry preserves

2 tablespoons pickle juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

For the Carrot-Apple Mashed Potatoes:

3 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon horseradish, preferably freshly grated

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the meatballs, heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the red onion and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the onions from the heat and allow them to cool.

Combine the bread crumbs and the heavy cream in a large bowl, stirring the mixture with a fork until all of the bread crumbs are moistened. Add the sautéed onions, ground beef, ground veal, ground pork, honey, egg, and salt and pepper to the bread crumbs and mix the ingredients well. Wet your hands to keep the meatballs from sticking and shape the mixture into meatballs the size of golf balls, placing them on a plate lightly moistened with some water. You should end up with about 24 to 30 meatballs.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet with a rack inserted, place the meatballs on the rack and bake them in the oven until they are golden brown all over and cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes.

To make the gravy, bring the chicken broth, heavy cream, lingonberry preserves and pickle juice to a simmer in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the gravy, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the gravy thickens slightly and the meatballs are heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep the meatballs and gravy warm.

To make the carrot-apple mashed potatoes, place the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with salted cold water by at least one inch and cook the potatoes until they are tender, about 20 minutes. Put the carrots and apples in a separate saucepan covered with salted cold water by at least one inch and cook until the carrots and apples are tender, about 15 minutes.

While the potatoes, apples and carrots cook, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion, garlic, shallots, balsamic vinegar and honey. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until the onions and shallots are tender, about 10 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and the apples and carrots and return all of them to one of the cooking pots. Mash the mixture coarsely with a fork or a potato masher. Stir in the buttermilk, horseradish and onion mixture. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the carrot-apple mashed potatoes onto dinner plates and top them with the meatballs and gravy.

The meatballs have fantastic flavor and the gravy makes them even better. If you can get the lingonberry preserves it makes a big difference in the overall taste, adding that hint of flavor that makes them distinctly Swedish meatballs. I really liked the apple-carrot mashed potatoes as well as it was a great mix of flavors with the apple and carrot along with the onions, horseradish and garlic. I actually made the meatballs a little bit smaller so we had a bunch leftover that I could freeze and use for appetizers for the holidays coming up. It is definitely a recipe worth giving a try.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Appetizers, Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Gravy, Pork, Potatoes

 

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Another Game Day (or Anytime) Snack – Marcus Samuelsson’s Swedish Meatballs

Just before Christmas I was walking through Home Goods through the aisle where they have spices, sauces and jellies of all kinds and I saw a jar of lingonberry preserves. It’s not something you see at all around this area at any time and I did pick it up and put it in my cart but then upon second thought I put it back .I kept thinking I was never going to use this very often and didn’t really want to spend the extra money on it. Upon hindsight I should have made the purchase when we decided we wanted to make Swedish meatballs on Christmas Eve as an appetizer and I wanted to make them as authentic as possible. I found this recipe from Marcus Samuelsson of Food Network and Red Rooster fame and since he was from Sweden I figured he knew what he was talking about. I ended up having to make a substitution for the lingonberry preserves (more on that later), but the recipe still turned out really well.

Marcus Samuelsson’s Swedish Meatballs

For the meatballs:

1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1/3 pound ground chuck or sirloin

1/2 pound ground veal

1/2 pound ground pork

2 tablespoons honey

1 egg

3 tablespoons butter

For the sauce:

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup lingonberry preserves

2 tablespoons pickle juice

To garnish:

Lingonberry preserves

Quick pickled cucumbers

Combine the bread crumbs and the heavy cream in a small bowl, stirring with a fork until all the crumbs are moistened. Set the bowl aside.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the red onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened. Remove the skillet from the heat.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, ground veal, ground pork, the sautéed red onion, the honey and the egg and mix everything well with your hands. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the bread crumb and cream mixture to the beef mixture and mix together well. Using wet hands to keep the mixture from sticking to your fingers and hands, shape the mixture into meatballs the size of a golf ball, placing them on a plate lightly moistened with water. When you are done rolling you should have about 24 meatballs in total.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, in batches if necessary, and cook, turning frequently, for about 7 minutes until they are browned on all sides and cooked through. transfer the meatballs to a plate and drain off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet.

Return the skillet to the heat, whisk in the chicken stock, heavy cream, lingonberry preserves and the pickle juice and bring it to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the meatballs to the sauce, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about five minutes until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are heated through.

Okay, a few things about this recipe. I was kicking myself over the lingonberry preserves and did some research online as to what I could use for a substitute. The best recommendation I saw was to try using cranberry preserves, which I was able to get, and I think they added a really nice flavor to the dish. I purchased a package of meatloaf mix that had the ground beef, pork and veal in it already to make the meatballs and everything else I had on hand so we were good to go. Marcus Samuelsson explains in his description of the recipe that comes from his grandmother that the meatballs that she always made were not the perfectly round and shaped meatballs you find in most places but were kind of lumpy and misshapen. This made me feel better because that is just how mine looked. I think because the mixture is moist and sticky it is hard to shape them perfectly but the taste is sure there. I will definitely be making these again. Unfortunately, I was so busy trying to put it together on Christmas Eve that I never got a picture of them, but I will try to get them next time. Trust me, they are good. I think these would be great as a meal with mashed potatoes or rice.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for some more recipes. It has been so cold here lately we have been making a lot of soups, so I have some other soup recipes to share with everyone. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2014 in Appetizers, Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Sauce, Snacks

 

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Some Super Sunday Snack Food

The Super Bowl is coming this weekend (in case anyone wasn’t aware) and whether you’re rooting for the Giants, the Patriots, Madonna or the TV commercials, you want to have some great snack food to eat while watching. When we’re home for the day, we like to just make snack foods for dinner that day. It’s fun to get to eat a little bit of a bunch of different things. If you have some guests over, you can even put out a bigger spread. Lots of people buy 3-foot heroes, wings or pizza and are happy with that, but I like to make my own things and some things that guests may enjoy. Some things we have already made for past meal plans that can be good items to use, like pizza, guacamole, turkey meatballs, some buffet-style dishes like shrimp scampi or pepper steak, or even mini versions of the hamburgers for sliders. I am going to post a couple of recipes of things I plan to make, Buffalo Wings, Swedish Meatballs and one of Sean’s favorites,  Bacon & Cheese Pinwheels. I’ll also give you some links to other sites that have some great ideas for game time, party time, or any time snacks.

Just about everyone likes to have Buffalo wings and there are lots of different recipes you can follow. One thing I like about good wings is that they are both crispy and spicy. I have made wings baked in the oven before, and they are good, but there is something about deep-frying that adds great crispness to the wings. For this recipe, I am deep-frying. I have a deep fryer at home, so it makes it a little easier for me as far as bringing up temperature and avoiding splattering oil, both concerns when you are doing it on the stove in a Dutch oven. Use a candy thermometer to determine the temperature of the oil and make sure you use a deep pot to avoid bubbling oil. And yes, I buy whole wings and cut them myself; I hate the idea of paying more for wings that are already cut when I could just as easily do it myself with a cleaver or some poultry shears.

Buffalo Wings

3 pounds whole chicken wings

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

1/2 cup hot sauce (I like to use Frank’s Louisiana Hot Sauce, or Ken’s Wing Sauce, but use whatever taste and heat you like)

2 tablespoons Tabasco (optional, if you want some extra heat)

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 to 2 quarts vegetable oil (for frying)

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

4 ribs celery, cut into thin sticks

2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin sticks Blue Cheese or Ranch dressing (store-bought is fine, our house prefers ranch. You could always use the Ranch recipe I posted

Cut the wings apart at the joints and discard the wing tips. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the hot sauce, Tabasco (if using), brown sugar, and  vinegar. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil in a large Dutch oven, with a candy thermometer attached to the side, over high heat until it measures 360 degrees.

Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch, cayenne, pepper and salt together in a large bowl. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then toss evenly with the cornstarch mixture. Add half the wings to the hot oil and fry until golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with several layers of paper towels and keep warm in the oven while repeating with the remaining wings.

Toss the fried wings and sauce together in a large bowl until thoroughly coated. Serve with the celery, carrots and dressing of choice on the side.

The fried, unsauced wings can be kept warm in the oven for up to 1 1/2 hours. Toss them with the sauce before serving.

For the Swedish meatballs, I am using a recipe that was given to Michelle at her wedding shower by my grandmother. She knew I really liked it and passed it on to her. It’s not a tough recipe, but there’s some work involved in this one. Trust me, it’s really worth it. The meatballs taste great.

Swedish Meatballs

20 gingersnaps

1/2 cup milk

1 egg, slightly beaten

2 pounds beef, pork and veal mixture

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1/4 cup flour

1-2 cups beef broth

Crush the gingersnaps in a food processor or with a rolling pin. Mix the milk, egg, meat mixture, onion, salt, celery salt, pepper and allspice until blended thoroughly. Form the mixture into small “cocktail” size meatballs. In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt the butter until starting to brown. Add the meatballs and cook thoroughly until browned on all size, about 5-7 minutes (you’ll have to do this in batches). Remove meatballs from the pan and stir in flour, whisking constantly until well blended and brown, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually whisk in the beef broth, scraping up any browned bits and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs back into the pan with the gravy and simmer until heated through and thickened, about 5 minutes.

The last item I am making is Sean’s favorite, Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels. This is a Pillsbury recipe that is very easy to make. You can go to their website and get this and other recipes, but I will also provide the recipe right here.

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
tablespoons ranch dressing
1/4 cup cooked real bacon pieces or 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/2 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (4 medium, optional. I usually leave them out; Sean doesn’t like them)
Heat oven to 350°F. Unroll dough and separate into 2 long rectangles; press each into 12×4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Spread dressing over each rectangle to edges. Sprinkle each with bacon, cheese and onions. Starting with 1 short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices; place cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.
There are so many other things you can make for football parties, or any party. Here are a few links to places that you can find some recipes:
Epicurious – They have some great part recipes as well as some recommendations on beer and cocktails for your party.
Food Network – Always a good source for recipes anyway, but they have a section just on big game day recipes.
Bon Appetit – Another good source for recipes all the time, but they have a section for the game with their take on wings, chili, and more.
Williams-Sonoma – another great site, with lots of game day celebration recipes.
Hopefully this gives you lots of good ideas for game day. Do you have any game day snacks that you love to cook? Let me know! Post a comment on it and share with all of us. Tomorrow is back to cooking. it’s the end of the week and we are making Fish and Chips for dinner. I’ll also be letting you know about next week’s meal plan. I will let you know that we let Sean pick the whole week next week and he is going to help cook it, so you’ll be interested to see what he chose. Until then, enjoy your day!

 

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Appetizers, Beef, Cooking, Poultry

 

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Jennifer Probst

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