Serves 8

Though not a diet food. Swedish meatballs are a delicious addition to a holiday buffet or meal. They are traditionally served with buttered egg noodles but I also like them with barely sautéed shredded cabbage. Try also adding some capers to the sauce. Using crème fraîche prevents the sauce from curdling which happens when traditional sour cream is used.

3 slices day old whole wheat bread
1/2 cup half and half
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, preferably white
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/4 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup beef broth
Dill sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350º F. Cut crusts from bread and pulse in a food processor to form coarse crumbs. Place in a small bowl, add half and half and let sit about 10 minutes until absorbed.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook onions until they are soft and just beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Transfer onions to a large bowl and add the meats, brown sugar, salt, spices and egg and mix until nearly combined. Add the moistened bread and mix until well combined.

Form the meatballs into 1-1/2 tablespoon sized balls. Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter and the olive oil and cook in batches until balls are nicely browned, about 5 minutes. The meat balls will not be cooked thru. Transfer to a baking dish in a single layer as they are browned. You may need to add a little more butter and oil to the skillet.

Pour the beef broth into the baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes until the meatballs are fully cooked and tender. Drain off excess fat and pour the sauce over the meat balls. Serve warm.

Dill Sauce
Makes a generous 3 cups

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2-1/2 cups chicken or beef stock
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup crème fraîche
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons or so dry dill
2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper, preferably white

Melt the butter in a deep saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until combined and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes or so to get rid of the raw flour taste.

Whisk in the stock making sure that there are no lumps and the sauce begins to thicken. Whisk in remaining ingredients, seasoning to your taste. Simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors. Can be made ahead and gently reheated.

(Print entire set of MEATBALLLLLLLS’ recipes!)