Dark-meat turkey re­places the Ikea pork and beef blend

The Hamilton Spectator - - Go Arts & Life - BON­NIE S. BENWICK Adapted from a recipe at Lit­

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.

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