Saturday, April 4, 2015

Party Like a Mad Man With Betty Draper's Swedish Meatballs

I have been anxiously waiting for the new and final season of Mad Men; and it's here at last.  Tomorrow is the beginning of the end of, what has been for me, a trip back into my childhood.  The clothes, the hairdos, the furniture, the cocktails, the kitchens that were decked out in harvest gold and avocado green appliances.  Oh, and the food we grew up on in the 60's.

In celebration of all things Mad Men I'm gonna #PartyLikeAMadMan !!!!

Without a doubt these Swedish Meatballs would have made an appearance at the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Christmas Party.  They would have been eaten as an appetizer with cocktail toothpicks.

Betty Draper offered these to Don in Season 3 as a dinner option, although he elected to go with the chicken salad.  When I was a youngster in the 60's they were prepared for dinner and served over egg noodles.

 They are easy and as yummy as they were when I ate them as a child.

Moisten fresh white bread crumbs in a little milk

 Mix your ground beef, grated onions, egg, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a mixing bowl, then mix in your moistened bread crumbs.

Form into 1-inch balls

Brown in a little butter

Remove browned meatballs to a holding dish and begin your sauce by adding the flour to make a roux.  Add the beef bouillon and whisk until smooth.

Add the cream and mix thoroughly.

 Return the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every once in a while.

If you are going to serve the meatballs as an appetizer, transfer sauce and meatballs to a chafing dish and pierce each meatball with a cocktail toothpick.

If you are going to serve as a main course, cook egg noodles while meatballs are simmering in the sauce.  You can also serve this over rice.

If serving as a main course, I would suggest doubling the sauce recipe given below.  The sauce is good and you'll want a lot of it for your noodles or rice.

Swedish Meatballs
Adapted from The Boston Globe Cookbook for Brides, 1963
Yields 24 to 36 meatballs

1 cup soft bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup finely grated onion
1 egg, beaten
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 beef bouillon cube, dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water
1/2 cup light cream or half and half (I use cream)

Mise en place:
  • tear up bread crumbs in small bowl and add milk
  • grate onion
  • beat egg
  • measure out salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • place butter in large skillet
  • measure out flour
  • boil 1 cup water and dissolve bee bouillon cube
  • measure out cream
Place ground beef in medium mixing bowl.  Drain excess milk from bread crumbs and add bread crumbs to ground beef.  Add onion, egg, salt, pepper & nutmeg to the ground beef.  Mix up thoroughly with your hands.

Form into one-inch balls.  Melt butter in large skillet over medium low heat.  When butter stops foaming add meatballs and brown on all sides.  Remove meatballs to a holding dish.

Add flour to drippings in skillet and whisk until smooth.  Slowly add the beef bouillon and whisk until smooth.  Add cream and whisk until smooth.  Continue cooking for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Return meatballs to the sauce, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally until sauce is of desired consistency.  Serve warm or over noodles or rice.

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