Monday, October 26, 2009

Cucumber Salad and Swedish Meatballs the Easy Way

One of my favorite quick and easy no fuss meals when I have about zero time to cook but don't want to just grab some take-out is to make Swedish Meatballs. I have made homemade versions, albeit Americanized attempts that never quite matched the luscious versions I tasted in Europe. Eventually I will find that perfect match of meatball and sauce that screams "I am really Swedish!" but for now, I have to satisfy my cravings with something that is at least really yummy to eat, if not homemade. Ikea, if you are lucky enough to live near one, not only sells home furnishings, but has a small section of imported Swedish foods, to include all the fixings for a nice meatball meal: packets of cream sauce seasoning, jars of lingonberry jam, and even bags of meatballs in the freezer case.

The meatballs can be baked in the oven in about 15-20 minutes (or microwaved if you must, but I like them better baked), during which time I whisk together the cream sauce seasoning with some half & half instead of the directed cream, and toss together a simple Swedish style cucumber salad. I serve a nice spoonful of the jam on the side, to eat along with the meatballs. I suppose you could use whole berry cranberry sauce if you needed to, but cranberry is much more tart and the berries are bigger. If you can get your hands on some real lingonberry jam, it is really worth it. You can use the extra jam to serve with Swedish style pancakes (similar to crepes).

Swedish Style Cucumber Salad

(serves 4-6)

1 English cucumber, sliced thinly
finely diced red onion, optional, to taste
sour cream, to taste
apple cider vinegar, a splash to taste
a pinch or two of sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
a pinch of dill

I am sorry to be so vague here but I really don't measure this at all. I slice the cucumber and toss it in a small bowl with a bit of onion (which makes it look pretty but can definitely be left out if you are a purist or just hate onion). I add a bit of salt and pepper, a pinch of sugar and some dill, a splash of vinegar and then a few spoonfuls of sour cream and stir. I go very, very light on the sour cream as a little really can go a long way. After everything has a very light coating of dressing, I throw the bowl into the fridge to chill while I finish preparing the meatballs and the cream sauce.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yum Heather! I've never been to Ikea, but I sure would like to go. Your cucumber salad looks just wonderful too!