Better Than Swedish Meatballs

Another great comfort food for game day and those cold winter nights!  Everybody loves meat balls!  suomenlippuSwedish meatballs are famous possibly because of IKEA . Better than Swedish meatballs are Finnish meatballs. I make them in quantity, serve them or make ahead and freeze until the big event!  Deeeelicious!
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INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 cup cream or milk
1 pound lean ground meat
1/2 pound ground pork
1 onion, minced
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons butter for frying
1 tablespoons minced parsley
1 cup milk and 2 tablespoons flour (optional for sauce)
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INSTRUCTIONS
1.  Soak the bread crumbs in cream.
2.  Mix together the ground beef, ground pork, minced onions and soaked bread crumbs.
3.  Mix together the beaten eggs, salt, allspice and minced parsley.  Add to the meat mixture and combine well but do not overwork.
4. With about 1 teaspoon of the mixture, form meatballs avoiding “packing” the meat, which makes for tough meatballs.  Melt butter in a frying pan and put in the meatballs a few at a time.  Shake the pan to swirl the meatballs, cooking them on all sides.IMG_1451
5. After all the meatballs are fried return them to the pan and cook another 25 minutes or alternatively place in a 300F oven for 25 minutes.

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jing_yangIt’s all in the  SAUCE!
WHITE SAUCE: You can add a few tablespoons of flour to the drippings in the frying pan, cook and then add a cup of milk to make a white sauce to serve with the Finnish meatballs*.
BROWN SAUCE: is served with Swedish meatballs.
*The single addition of the ground allspice is what really elevates the Finnish meatballs.

These Finnish Meatballs Are Rough Looking Because They Are Soft And Tender As Any Tenderloin Steak!

These Finnish Meatballs Are Rough Looking Because They Are Soft And Tender As Any Tenderloin Steak!

HAT2SERVING SUGGESTIONS ( TIPS ): As a main course, Scandinavian MEATBALLS are classically served with lingonberry preserves, cucumber salad and dilled or mashed potatoes.  For a crowd of people, you can serve these savory meatballs as a snack or an appetizer. You simply leave the meatballs in a slow cooker for hours and let people help themselves. Place shish kabob fine wood skewers in a glass next to the meatballs. Let people help themselves.  Include assorted raw vegetables as finger food; sticks of raw celery, carrots, bell peppers (not ghost peppers), cucumbers and green beans (slightly blanched).  If you make the meatballs ahead of time, they are just as tasty reheated on game day!  These meatballs are high in protein and will keep you going for hours.
VARIATION: Mix chopped spinach into your meatball mixture before constructing  the meatballs. Once I tried it for fun and I got future requests. It’s actually quite good!

YOUR FOODIE TIP
Do you have garlic smell on your fingers when you have finished handling garlic while cooking? Or, onion odour on your fingers after chopping onions?
You can either:
1) Scrub your fingers
2) Purchase a stainless steel bar and wash your fingers gently with this bar.
3) Rub your fingers along the back of your stainless steel knife.

Pick no 3.  Rub your fingers along the back length of the knife! Grasping the knife with all 5 fingers ~ see diagram . You’ve got a knife in your hand anyway. You will save on the cost and having to store the stainless steel bar or won’t be scrubbing your skin until it’s red. Your fingers will be immediately wonderfully odourless! It only take a second.

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Chili Recipe ~a winner

Winning Chili Recipe to Remove the Fall Chill!
Another great fall dish is chili.  We had a taste testing dinner and this was absolutely the winner!  (I have one book just devoted to chili.) This is such a versatile dish that takes well to freezing as well as serving to a crowd. chili_football  The guests can serve themselves. A great dish for those fall sports parties.  Those TRUE CHILI aficionados claim there should only be meat and no beans in chili.  What the beans do is to maintain you blood sugar at a steady even level with no spikes and you have energy for hours. A fantastic meal for diabetics.
FAST FOOD: When you have to stop at a fast food place in lieu of starving, chili is a fabulous choice.  Better than salads since these will come with dressings filled with sugar and preservatives.  I will also freeze dishes like chili in individual oven proof dishes.  When  I come home from a busy day, I immediately take one out the the freezer, defrost and bake.  Serve with a salad with your homemade dressing and it’s a tasty, satisfying and healthy meal.  This recipe seems like there are a lot of ingredients but you will find almost all of them already in your pantry and the flavour is worth it!  Perfect for game day!

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INGREDIENTS
img_chili1/2 cup dried black beans, rinsed, soaked overnight and drained
1/2 cup  dried red kidney beans, rinsed, soaked overnight and drained
1/4 cup olive oil
2 onions, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
4  cloves garlic, minced
6  jalapeno chilies, stemmed and seeded
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 lb. cubed beef chuck or blade steak, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2  tablespoons chili powder
1  tablespoon cumin seed (ground)
1  stick cinnamon 3 inches long
2  28 oz cans diced or crushed tomatoes
1  12 oz  can stout beer
2  tablespoons tomato paste
1  tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup finely chopped sweet onion for garnish (optional)
1 cup strong cheddar cheese for garnish (optional)
1 diced avocado pear for garnish (optional)
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt for garnish (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
1.  Put the beans into separate pots and cover with 3″ of salted water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low.  Cook covered, stirring occasionally until beans are tender about 60 minutes.
2.  Heat a heavy bottomed 6 quart pot over medium heat. Add  a few tablespoons of the olive oil and the diced onions 4-5 minutes until translucent.  Add garlic, green pepper, celery, and chilies.  Cook for another 4-5 minutes, adding more olive oil if required.
3.  Add meats and cook until brown.
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4.  Add chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, cocoa and tomato paste.  Cook for a few minutes and then add tomatoes and beer.
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Add beans (drained).
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5. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 1 or 2 hours.
6. Ladle into bowls and let people help themselves to the garnishes.IMG_1436

Serves 8 to 10 adults