Swedish Meatballs

This recipe is a perennial favorite. So much so, that I was surprised to discover last week when I went to find the recipe that I had never posted it online before. Similar to stroganoff, in that it features meat in a creamy gravy, this dish can be served with rice, noodles or mashed potatoes (or other mashed veggies like turnips, cauliflower, squash, etc.). What sets it apart is the allspice flavor, an excellent and uncommon complement to otherwise familiar ingredients. Traditionally it is also served with a side of lingonberries or lingonberry preserves, but whole berry cranberry sauce works as an easy substitution.


1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup light cream or half & half
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 egg, beaten
2 lbs. ground meat

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons almond flour (or regular flour)
2 cups beef stock
1 cup sour cream
fresh dill or parsley, for garnish (optional)

Hydrate your breadcrumbs in a medium-large bowl by mixing them in with the cream. Allow to hydrate for at least 30 minutes. Fluff with a fork to ensure even hydration. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan or skillet to saute the onions.

When the onions are softened and the breadcrumbs thoroughly hydrated, combine these two in the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Add the allspice, egg, salt and pepper. Add the meat and mix thoroughly.

Form into meatballs and either brown in a skillet or bake in the oven in a large, shallow casserole dish at 350 until browned (about 20 minutes).

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the almond flour, or regular flour. Stir until the flour is thoroughly coated. Add the beef stock and simmer, stirring to make sure the flour is well-combined. Add the sour cream. I like to use an immersion blender to make sure the cream gravy is nice and smooth. Simmer on low and stir often until sauce has thickened.

Add the browned meatballs to the sauce and heat through. Serve garnished with dill or parsley, if desired, and a side of lingonberry preserves or cranberry sauce.

Kofta and Tahini Cream

One of my favorite meals in Middle Eastern cuisine is kofta, that is, spiced meatballs. But achieving the right balance of herbs and spices, the right consistency and flavor making these at home has thus far eluded me. Today I give it another go!

My first attempts failed because I tried to go TOO low carb and reduce the breadcrumbs way too much. That was before I understood the true importance of a well-hydrated breadcrumb to making good meatballs. Since then, I’ve struggled with the spice mix. I like kofta that are cinnamon-forward in flavor, so I always make sure to include a larger portion of cinnamon. The problem is that I have such a vast spice cabinet that it is tempting to add so many more spices in this category… cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, mace, coriander seed, etc. etc. I think I have to hold back and simplify my kofta so that the flavors I like best are the ones most prominently featured.

Spiced Kofta and Tahini Cream

Spiced Kofta and Tahini Cream


1/3 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1 lb ground meat
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon allspice
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
1 spring onion, chopped or snipped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or fresh parsley or fresh mint, or all three

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the egg into the breadcrumbs with a fork. Let stand at least ten minutes to allow the egg to hydrate your breadcrumbs. Add the meat, garlic, spices, salt, pepper, onions and herbs. Let stand at least another ten minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Form the meat mixture into meatballs, patties, or log-shapes. Place in a shallow baking dish. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Serve with tahini cream (below) and/or hummus.

One of my favorite dressings for kofta is tahini cream:


4 tablespoons sesame tahini
4 tablespoons sour cream or yogurt
4 tablespoons cream or half & half

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, or with an immersion blender. Chill. Serve as a dressing for kofta meatballs, above.

Cranberry Meatballs

My adventures in ground meat cookery continue with a foray into appetizer meatballs. The versatility of meatball recipes keeps me intrigued; recipes can so easily be tweaked with different sizes, meats or flavors to fit the occasion.

Last evening, I hosted a small birthday soiree for Sabrina and decided to take a meatball recipe I had tried as a meal a few weeks before and turn it into an hors d’oeuvre simply by rolling smaller meatballs and keeping a ready supply of toothpicks. I also made it Sabrina-friendly by using ground turkey instead of beef.


Cranberry Meatballs2 lbs of ground meat (turkey, beef, pork, etc.)
1 large egg
3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/8 to 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup diced onions
1/8 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (16oz) can cranberry sauce
1 (12oz) bottle of chili sauce (think Heinz, not sriracha)
2 teaspoons brown sugar

Combine all ingredients up to and including the garlic. They can simply be mixed with a spoon, or you can run them through a food processor for a finer texture of meat.

Roll smaller balls for appetizer or larger for a meal. Arrange on a non-stick baking sheet and bake at 375 for at least 20 minutes (longer for larger balls).

Meanwhile, combine the cranberry and chili sauces with the brown sugar in a large saucepan. You can add a bit of water and/or use an immersion blender or electric beaters to smooth out the sauce. Heat the sauce and add the meatballs after baking. Once heated through, they are ready to serve. Supply toothpicks for your appetizer meatballs or serve over rice for a meal.

Links to other items on the menu: hummus, seafood deviled eggs, mango curry deviled eggs and Swiss fondue.