Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Finnish Meatballs

from Helena

Meatballs are a classic Scandinavian dish that has variations from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.  It is made with a meat of choice, a filler, and sometimes a sauce.  The differences in recipes are based on family preference as well as what ingredients were at hand in each area.  There are many possibilities, but this is the basic meatball recipe that I got from a Finnish Grandmother and you can play with it how you will.  

Basic Meatball

1 lb ground beef 
1 Egg
1/2 cup milk, cream or water
1/4 cup oats (or flour, bread crumbs etc...)
1 medium Onion, minced
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

There are other recipes that use nutmeg, mustard, thyme, allspice, white pepper.  Feel free to experiment.

Saute onion in olive oil.  Blend all ingredients together.  Form meat into little balls (because that is what they are... balls of meat...) They can vary in size, but these should be about the size of a golf ball.  Then you have two options:

Option 1.  Heat a skillet with a little olive oil.  Fill the skillet with meatballs and fry for about 5 minutes, then turn them over.  Keep them on until they are cooked through (about 5 more minutes).  Once browned, let them cool and drain a bit and keep them warm until served.  This way is less healthy, but tastes better.    

Option 2.  Use an ungreased baking dish, plop all meatballs inside (make sure they have a little breathing room so they don't get stuck together into one conglomerate mutant meatball)  

Serves 4... unless you have a eating machine like Ben, and then it only serves two.  Whatever.

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