Homemade Swedish Meatballs With Creamy Parsnips

Another recipe I have never made before… Swedish meatballs! Super tasty and fairly easy to make. I saw some recipes that used cooked potato mixed into the meat, which I thought was interesting, so I tried it and thought it was a nice addition. The sauce is my favorite part, because you can smother everything with it… I’m a big fan of anything that involves a sauce like that. Originally I was going to make some mashed potatoes for the side, but decided parsnip mash would be a great alternative. The sweetness of the parsnips with the meatballs and sauce was perfect. I will definitely be making this again!

Ingredients: (serves 2)

Meatballs:
3/4 pound ground beef
1 small peeled potato (about 1/3 cup chopped worth)
1/2 shallot, minced
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 small egg, beaten
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon all-spice
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Sauce:
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups beef stock
1/3 cup half and half (which is what I had on hand, though heavy cream is good too)
Splash of sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh Parsley, for garnish
Fresh radishes, for garnish

Bring a little saucepan of water to a boil, and cook the potato until fork tender. I chopped mine into large chunks so it would cook faster. Let cool slightly then chop well into tiny pieces. In a heavy bottomed skillet, saute the garlic and shallot in some olive oil until softened, about 2 minutes.

Add the potato and sauteed garlic/onion to a large bowl with the ground beef, bread crumbs, cardamom, all-spice, salt, pepper, and egg. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients. Shape into 1 inch balls and place on a plate.

In a large skillet, add a tablespoon of butter and let melt over medium heat, swirling it around the pan. Add half of the meatballs and cook for about 7-10 minutes, or until cooked though. Keep in mind that they’ll continue to cook a little when you remove them from the pan. No one likes over-cooked meatballs! Remove and place on a plate, covering them with aluminum foil to keep them warm. Repeat with another tablespoon of butter into the pan with the rest of the meatballs.

While the second batch of meatballs is cooking, get started on your sauce. Using the same pan you cooked the garlic/shallots in, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, then slowly whisk in the beef broth to create a roux. Lastly, add the cream and sherry vinegar, then salt and pepper to taste. Let bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, about 8-10 minutes. At this point, you can either add the meatballs right to the sauce to coat them all, or you can plate and pour the sauce over top. Whichever you prefer!

I made myself some parsnip mash to eat with the meatballs, if you’d like to make this as well just peel and chop the parsnips (3 large is enough for 2 people) then boil them until fork tender. Add a splash of half and half, a pad of butter, salt and pepper, then mash until smooth. Alternatively, you can throw the parsnips/cream/butter/salt/pepper into the food processor to make them extra smooth!

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Kale & Leek Risotto

Risotto! It is so easy to make, and pretty much fail proof. It is one of my go-to meals when I have a lot of veggies on hand and want something fairly quick and easy to make after a long day at work. This week I used a mixture of kale, shallots, leeks, lemon, and Parmesan cheese – a little army of magical flavors. If you haven’t tried making risotto before, I recommend it!

Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 shallot, chopped
1 heaping cup sliced leeks
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup water
Juice of half a lemon (plus more at the end, if needed)
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
Pinch red pepper flakes
3 cups unsalted chicken stock (or broth)
1 cup de-stemmed chopped kale
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by bringing the chicken broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Keep on low.

In a heavy saucepan, cook the garlic and shallot in some olive oil for a minute, then add the leeks and cook together until everything is softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the rice and stir for another 1-2 minutes to toast the rice a little. Next add the 1/2 cup of water, lemon juice, lemon zest, and the red pepper flakes. Cook and mix until liquid is absorbed. Now, start adding the chicken stock… you’ll want to add 1/2 cup of the hot chicken stock at a time, cooking until liquid is completely absorbed before adding your next 1/2 cup of stock. Repeat this until all the stock us used. It will take about 15 minutes or so. You want to be stirring constantly to move the rice around and help it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The rice will be soft but will still have a little firmness to it when finished. When the rice is about done, toss in the kale and parsley, then salt and pepper to taste. At the very end, fold in the Parmesan cheese.

Risotto is a great side and goes with almost anything. I eat it as my main meal a lot too, and often top it with a poached egg.

Chicken Marbella

Holy Marbella… I didn’t even know Chicken Marbella existed until a few days ago, and it turns out it’s one of my favorite ways to eat chicken! The recipe is originally from The Silver Palate Cookbook from 1982. It’s cooked with capers, Spanish green olives, prunes, garlic, and fresh herbs. It’s packed with flavor and is the perfect mix of sweet and savory. It is also very easy to make! You just need to marinate it all together overnight, then plop it in the oven for about 50 mins the next day. I tweaked the originally recipe slightly by adding persimmons and fresh thyme, then omitting the white wine (because I didn’t have any on hand) and the dried oregano. I will definitely be making this recipe one million times in the future.

Ingredients: (serves 3)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
6 boneless chicken thighs
10 whole prunes, pitted
2 small persimmons, cut into wedges
About 10-12 whole Spanish olives
1/4 cup capers, and some of the juice
3 whole bay leaves
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, olive oil, red wine vinegar, prunes, olives, capers and caper brine, persimmons, bay leaves, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight, or longer is OK too, mine was marinating for a full day.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a shallow baking dish, arrange the chicken in a single layer then spoon the marinade evenly over the top. Sprinkle the top of the chicken pieces with the brown sugar. Place in oven for 50 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through) basting frequently with the pan juices. Remove from oven, then with a slotted spoon transfer the chicken and the toppings to a plate, and spoon over top some of the pan juices as well. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve immediately. Save the rest of the pan juices and serve on the side for people to add more, if desired. If you want to have a side, rice or polenta would be a nice option. I myself made some smashed fingerling potatoes then topped them with some Parmesan cheese, fresh thyme, and a drizzle of the pan juices from the chicken.

Quick Potato & Shallot Frittata With Goat Cheese

On weekends I like to try and take a little time to make myself a nice breakfast, seeing weekdays it’s a grab and go type thing for me normally. Last weekend I threw together a mini frittata, and it was DELICIOUS and so easy to make. It all happens on the stovetop, with just a minute or so under the broiler to finish it off.

Ingredients: (serves 1)
3 eggs, beaten
Small splash of milk
2-3 small fingerling potatoes, very thinly sliced (I used my mandolin)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 small shallot, thinly sliced
Handful of fresh arugula
Small handful shaved Parmesan cheese
Crumbled goat cheese
Small pinch red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Add some olive oil to your skillet and sauté the garlic, shallot, potatoes, red pepper flakes, and white pepper until the potatoes are cooked through. Add the arugula and cook until wilted. Top with half the Parmesan cheese, then pour in the eggs. Top the eggs with the rest of the Parmesan cheese as well as the goat cheese. Cook over medium low heat, swirling the pan and lifting around the edges with a rubber spatula to allow the eggs to run under and disperse evenly. When the eggs are almost set, put the skillet under the broiler for 1-1/2 minutes to finish cooking the top of the eggs. Careful not to over cook though! Eggs always tend to cook a little past when you turn the heat off anyway, so I tend to cook them until a little soft then by the time they hit my plate they’ve continued cooking all the way, without overcooking them.

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