Several nights ago, I was feeling like a simple hearty, comfort-y dinner, so I followed through on a plan of mine to make a dairy free version of an old favorite, Swedish meatballs, over egg noodles (with peas as well). And let me tell you, it really did the trick – Therese and I both loved it.
What was this plan of which I speak? Well, on one of my recent lunch visits to my mom, we were talking food, and she got our her ancient Betty Crocker cookbook, which was the source for pretty much all the recipes she cooked for our family growing up. One of the things she pulled out of the cookbook was this piece of paper, about 3 by 5 inches, with the following recipe for Swedish meatballs on it.
I assumed it was a Betty Crocker recipe (and since it is virtually identical to the one on the Betty Crocker website, that seems like a solid assumption). The thing you have to know is that my dad, while not a wizard in the kitchen, did make some mean Swedish meatballs, such that whenever there was a potluck at our church, they would always ask him to make them. I would bet you anything that this is the recipe that he followed.
I on the other hand have never made Swedish meatballs! So when I saw this I had to capture it and give it a try. And while I know that this is usually a finger food/snack food, I thought that if I made lots of gravy, it would go nicely over egg noodles (I used half a pound of Whole Foods brand). To make it even a little more dinner-y, I also threw 2 cups of frozen peas into the meatball/gravy while it was cooking.
I do have to say that I feel there are some crucial instructions missing from this recipe. I guess if you are a knowledgeable cook, you will have the common sense to make these adjustments automatically. But let me just point out a couple things which I think make the whole process go smoothly.
First, I rolled out all my meatballs before turning the heat on under my skillet. I made mine about double the size the recipe suggests, and it yielded 37 meatballs. Since 10 fit into my pan comfortably, that means I had to brown them in four batches. Luckily, they brown pretty quickly, just about a minute to each side – still, when you put it all together, making the meatballs and browning them takes about a half hour. By the way, if you’re wondering what I used for milk, it is Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original (make sure you use unsweetened, and never never use vanilla almond milk in a savory application (yuck)).
After mixing my flour, paprika, etc. into the fat, I took my pan off the burner and let it cool a bit before adding my boiling water. Hot grease and water can be a dangerous combination, so I wanted to make sure nothing went amiss. Sure enough, when I first poured the water in, it sizzled violently before settling down to a simmer. Then I added my Tofutti Sour Supreme, whisked it all together, and returned it to the heat. I let it bubble and thicken for a minute before adding the meatballs back in and the frozen peas. Then I put the lid on, turned it down and let it cook for about 15 minutes.
Once again, a very satisfying comfort food dinner. And a great way to remember my dad. Thanks for the recipe, Mom!