Swedish Meatballs- A Warm Meal for a Confused Spring Day

 

 

One day of 70 degree weather spoiled me.  It is now 35 degrees and spitting snow. 

I know spring is coming. I can’t be fooled!  While I wait I will just be thankful for a few more days of cool weather to cook up some of our favorite cold weather meals. Before long I won’t even want to turn on the oven.

With the continued cold weather there’s nothing to do but,  bake up some crusty homemade bread and a dish up bowls of steaming comfort food.

 

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Swedish Meatballs- A Country Girl's Ramblings-SycamoreLane Photography

 

Venison Swedish Meatballs

3 slices whole wheat bread, torn into small pieces

1/2  cup milk

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1/2 small onion, minced

2 lbs.  Venison or ground burger

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1  teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon sage

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 Tablespoon dried parsley

1/4 teaspoon fennel, crushed

2 large eggs

 

Mix bread and milk and let sit.  Mix together meat, seasonings, and eggs.  Sauté onion in 2 Tablespoons of butter until transparent. Squeeze excess milk out of the bread.  Add the onions and the bread to the meat mixture.  Mix well.  Shape into meatballs.  Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Brown meatballs on all sides.  Place the browned meatballs into a greased hot crock pot.

 

Gravy:

2 Tablespoons butter

1/3 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried parsley

3 cups chicken stock or broth

1/2 cup half-n-half

Melt butter in saucepan.  Wisk in flour until paste is formed. Add the chicken broth and stir until thickened.  Add the salt, parsley, and half-n-half.  Mix well.  Pour the gravy over the meatballs.

 

Cook on high in slow cooker for 2 hours or until meatballs are cooked through.

Stuffed Green Peppers

If your like me, this time of year makes you want to cook! I love that about autumn. The cool temperatures that make your cheeks pink, the gray skies that make you light candles, the fact that your spending a bit more time indoors than out.  All these things make me want to whip up big batches of bread, baked goods, and my favorite winter time meals.

Pure Comfort!

One of my favorite fall recipes is:

 

Stuffed Green Peppers

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4-5 large green peppers

1 lb of ground sausage, ground venison or ground beef (I use a combination of sausage and venison)

1/2 c  onion, chopped

1 15oz can diced tomatoes

1/2 c  long grain rice

1/2c  water (or enough to make 1 c liquid when combined with tomato juice)

1/2 t  salt

1/4 t  pepper

1 T  Worcestershire sauce

3/4 t  dried basil, crushed

3/4 c  shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack

 

Halve peppers lengthwise, remove stems and seeds.  Immerse peppers into boiling water for 3 minutes.  Remove, sprinkle insides with salt. Invert on paper towels to drain well.

In skillet cook meat and onion to brown. Remove any fat.  Stir in undrained tomatoes, uncooked rice, Worcestershire, basil, water, salt and pepper.  Bring to boil; reducing heat. Cover and simmer for 15-18 min. or till rice is tender. Stir in 1/2c of the cheese.  Fill peppers with meat mixture. Place in greased 9×13 pan with any remaining meat mixture.

Bake 375 for about 15 minutes or till heated through.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/4c cheese. Place back in oven till cheese is melted.

Serves 6

(altered from recipe in Better Homes in Gardens New Cook Book)

Herbed Pork Roast with Vegetables

3-3 1/2 lb pork roast

6 cloves of garlic sliced in half

fresh rosemary sprigs

salt

pepper

thyme

1 quart of chicken stock

Potatoes, quartered

Carrots

2 medium onions

Fresh mushrooms

 

Make small slits in pork slip garlic and rosemary into these slits.  Rub salt, pepper and thyme into roast.  Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.  Brown roast on all sides. Transfer to a roasting pan.  Place onion around and on top of meat.  Pour in broth and then add water until the pan is 2/3 full of liquid.

Cover and place in preheated 350 degree oven.  Cook for 1 3/4 hours. Add potatoes and carrots, cover and cook for 45 minutes.  Add mushrooms and cook another 15 minutes. Check internal temperature of pork it should be at least 170 degrees.  Remove from heat and let set 10 minutes before serving.

Almost from Scratch Spaghetti Sauce

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My children LOVE spaghetti.  I do too!  There’s something homey and comforting about a big steaming bowl of tomato sauce and noodles. For years I cheated and used the canned stuff, but I was always disappointed.  This past year I finally found a recipe that was close to my liking.  With a little tweaks here and there it has become a favorite.

 

Meatballs

1 pound venison or lean ground beef or a combination of  one of these mixed with some pork sausage.

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

1 T dried parsley

1 T grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 t ground black pepper

1/8 t garlic powder

Mix all ingredients well and form into meat balls.  Bake 375 degree oven about 20 minutes. *Or alternately…you may stick these in the fridge uncooked and add to crockpot or large sauce pan to cook in the sauce. Just make sure if putting them in crockpot you leave enough time for them to cook through!

 

Sauce

3/4 cup chopped onion

5 garlic cloves, minced

2 T olive oil

2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes OR 4 (15oz) cans diced tomatoes run through the blender. (I usually leave one can unblended to give a bit of chunkiness to the sauce)

2 t  salt

1 t  white sugar

1 bay leaf

1 (6oz) can tomato paste

3/4 t dried basil

1/2 t dried oregano

1/2 t black pepper

In a large sauce pan, saute onion and garlic in the olive oil.  Cook until translucent. Stir in tomatoes, salt, sugar, basil, oregano, black pepper, and bay leaf. Bring just to a slow boil stirring often.  At this point I transfer the sauce to a crockpot, but if you don’t want to do this just reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for 90 minutes.  Stir in tomato paste (if using slow cooker do this an hour or two before serving) and meat balls simmer 30 minutes more.

 

**Quite often I don’t want to mess with making meatballs so I just brown the meat, leave out the bread crumbs and egg, add all the seasonings and then put it into the sauce a couple of hours before I want to serve it.

Pork Cutlet Sandwiches

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Recently we had some pork cutlets that we needed to cook up.  I wasn’t sure what to do with them until…INSPIRATION…make some hearty sandwiches with pan fried cutlets.

Pork Cutlets

Season pork cutlets with garlic powder, fresh ground black pepper and season salt.  Pan fry with a little olive oil until done.

Mayo With A Kick

1/2 cup Mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons minced onion

1/4 teaspoon oregano

Mix together and set aside until ready to use

Focaccia Bread

1 cup, plus 3 Tablespoons for hot water

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons dried rosemary minced

Combine water and yeast.  Let yeast dissolve about 10 minutes.  Add oil. Stir in salt, garlic powder and rosemary.  Add flour one cup at a time.  Stir until ball forms, then knead in any remaining flour, about 3-4 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl and let rise, about 1 hour.  Punch dough down.  Shape into 8 inch circle.  Place on a greased cooking sheet.  Brush with oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Bake at 425* for 20- 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Sandwich Assembly:

On two slices of focaccia bread spread Mayo sauce.  Top one slice of bread with a pork cutlet, bacon, cheese (mozzarella or provolone), lettuce,avocado, and tomato.

For more great suppers visit Our Bluebell Country.

Venison Meatballs

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1 pound venison burger

1 pound ground sausage (I use Bob Evans)

2 cups fresh bread crumbs

2 Tablespoons of dried parsley

2 Tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

2 eggs beaten

Mix all ingredients well, then form into balls.  Fry in a single layer in pan over medium-high heat turning to brown all sides.  Cook until no longer pink. Or place in a greased baking dish in a single layer in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cooked thru. Drain.

These are wonderful in spaghetti or add a thick marinara sauce and serve them on hoagie buns.