Swedish Meatballs: When Pickles Attack

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Ever since I got my new Droid X a month ago, I have been searching for ways to use it that would never have been an option with my old “dumb phone”.   So when I decided to cook Swedish meatballs for dinner one night, I naturally grabbed a random recipe app and decided to give it test drive. I searched through the archives of “Favorite Recipes” and finally found a meatball that did not include any veal (for priciness, not ethical reasons). Assured that technology had saved my life, I zoomed off to gather my ingredients.

It had been awhile since I had cooked anything more complex than a steak or a burger and after weeks of deliberation I had settled on Swedish meatballs. In addition to their obvious association with Ikea (always part of my furniture shopping) and certain Swedish chefs, I have always loved these meaty Scandinavian treats.

Prep for the meatballs started with what I can only really characterize as a uncerimonious mushing of the seasoning and the required 2 pounds of ground beef. The recipe suggested that instead of wasting your time with a mixer or a spoon you should use just use your hands and dig in. This did seem like it was easier and I definitely felt a bit of childish glee with my hands buried under a layer of ground cow.

The glee soon vanished however as I began the serious task of rolling the ingredients into a somewhat spherical shape which seemed simple enough. This quickly changed as soon as I had them in the pan and they started crumbling  when I tried to flip them.  This may be partly due to my insistence on using a recipe that called for no veal or ground pork, as well as my total lack of experience frying meatballs.  Regardless, I soldiered through and eventually had about 12-15 somewhat meatball shaped pieces of meat once I was done.

This is the point where the recipe really took a turn for the worse and I really think I should have seen it coming.  The sauce called for a can of mushroom soup and a can of cream of celery, which although not the greatest ingredients for the sauce it seemed to be ok.  Here the recipe took a very sudden swerve in the direction of the terrible. It called for one pickle finely minced to be mixed into the sauce. First off, although I have rather limited experience with the Swedes and their meatballs, I have never once had them with pickles. I’m willing to let  this go because I’ve seen a ton of recipes online (including Alton Brown’s) that include this vinegary ingredient. The real problem lies the fact that “one pickle” does not really specify how much pickle you need to add. I chose to go with 3 spears which was way way too much. One bite brought such a rush of picklitude that it was as if you had upended the pickle jar and were drinking the brine straight with a cream of celery chaser.

Sadly, the egg noodles, the meatballs, everything was so overpowered by pickle that we couldn’t handle more than a few bites and eventually gave up and went to Chubby’s. I definitely think I learned that I need to be very cautious when cooking off of android apps. This will probably not be the last time I do so, but next time I will not be choosing any recipes that include pickles as an ingredient.

-T

Easy Swedish Meatballs (Courtesy of the Favorite Recipes App)

Ingredients:
3 tb milk
1 lg egg
1 dash parsley
2 lb hamburger
2 cn cream of mushroom soup
1 cn cream of celery
1 c seasoned bread crumbs
1 (8-12 servings) box minute rice
1 pickle; finely diced
1 dash seasoned meat tenderizer

Directions:
Put the hamburger in a large bowl and mash together all ingredients except for cans of soup and pickle.

Ssing your hands will work the best.

Next roll meatballs into equal size inch-thick balls.

Drop into a skillet and set on medium heat.

Allow to cook evenly through about fifteen minutes turning them over every five minutes.

Be careful as all the ingredients make the meatballs break apart very easily.

Next prepare minute rice as instructed as the meatballs are cooking.

In a large saucepan stir together the three cans of soup and diced pickle.

Set on medium heat until bubbles form at the top. add fully cooked meatballs to sauce.

Serve meatballs over pile of cooked rice

From: Kayla Stevens

#favoriterecipes

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