Dark-meat turkey replaces the Ikea pork and beef blend
Let’s start with the meatballs, made traditionally tender with a moistened bread-crumb mixture called a panade. Because we’re using pita from the Dinner in Minutes Pantry, it can go right into the pan with sautéed onion and a little broth. The meat for Ikea-type Swedish meatballs is a blend of ground pork and beef; dark-meat ground turkey stands in here instead, and we think that it makes this version even more tender.
Allspice seems to be the required element for classic Swedish meatballs, and we learned in testing that a little of it is all you need.
Egg yolk goes in, but not its egg white; save it to create a foamy cocktail or spiced nuts. Be sure to brown those meatballs on all sides, because what they leave behind in the skillet will inform the sauce, which comes next.
Stir flour into the melted butter and browned bits in the pan (called the fond), then broth, and you have formed a roux; the added fish sauce and mustard lend an instant and enhancing flavour boost.
Sour cream stirred in off the heat completes the creamy sauce, which you should taste and reseason so it’s just right.
Cut open one of the meatballs before you return them to the pan. If it seems a little undercooked, know that they will have a chance to finish in the sauce.
Serve with wide ribbons of zucchini and squash, or egg noodles.
And if you’re a regular at the Ikea cafeteria, top with a dollop of lingonberry jam.
Swedish Turkey Meatballs
Makes 4 servings
12 ounces frozen ground turkey, preferably dark meat 4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter
1 small onion
1⁄2 whole-wheat pita (6-inch) 11⁄2 cups plus 2 tbsp chicken broth, preferably no-salt-added 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice 1⁄4 tsp granulated garlic (a.k.a. garlic powder) 1⁄2 tsp kosher salt 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1⁄2 cup sour cream Handful fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
Place the ground turkey on a paper towel-lined plate (discard its packaging); microwave on DEFROST, as needed, until the block is no longer solid.
Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cut the onion into small dice and transfer to the skillet; cook for three to five minutes, until it becomes translucent.
Tear the pita into very small pieces, adding them to the skillet as you work.
Add the 2 tablespoons of broth and stir; cook for a minute or two, until the pieces have softened. Transfer the onion-pita mixture to a mixing bowl.
Add the defrosted ground turkey, allspice, garlic powder, salt, pepper and the egg yolk; use your clean hands to gently incorporate. Grease your palms with cooking-oil spray, then use your hands to shape the mixture into about 15 meatballs that are 1¼ inches in diameter.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the same skillet, over medium heat. Add half the meatballs and cook for about eight minutes, turning them as needed so they brown evenly. Transfer them to a plate. Add the remaining meatballs; cook and transfer to the same plate.
Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the skillet; as soon as it melts, stir in the flour to form a paste (roux). Pour in the 1½ cups of broth, the fish sauce and mustard, stirring constantly, to form a sauce. Increase the heat to medium-high, so the sauce thickens a bit. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream until well blended.
Taste, and add more salt and/ or pepper, as needed.
Return all the meatballs to the pan and place over medium-low heat; cover and cook so they have warmed and are cooked through.
Coarsely chop the parsley leaves. Scatter them over each portion of meatballs and sauce. Serve hot.
Based on 4 servings: 380 calories; 29 grams fat (14 g saturated fat); 165 milligrams cholesterol; 500 mg sodium; 12 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 3 g sugar; 18 g protein.
The meat for Ikea-type Swedish meatballs is a blend of ground pork and beef; dark-meat ground turkey stands in here instead, and we think that it makes this version even more tender.