Sunday, February 26, 2012

Easy Swedish Meatballs

Seriously, It doesn't get much simpler. Most of the ingredients are canned. This came from an adorable book first published in 1957.  I got the publishing date from a listing on ETSY since the title page is missing from our copy. The first page in our book is "Meet Our Home Testers" which is a page of sketches of the kids with quotes like, "We learned what things mean, like baste and fold and sift."  I am not ashamed to admit, this book is educational. Anyway, I was drawn to it because I love all things vintage, but I this recipe was brought to my attention by my Uncle Greg. He said Sissy made this for them (him and his brothers) when they were kids.

I was a little skeptical at first. I mean, the ingredients include condensed chicken with rice soup. It just seemed strange to me, but I've eaten corned beef hash from a can before, so I cannot be too judgmental.  Oh and just wait until I highlight a fried SPAM sandwich. Yes, thank you, Sissy,  for that nugget of culinary wisdom. But I digress.  Let us continue with tasty meatballs circa 1957.

Ingredient List
Swedish Meatballs:
1 TB Butter
1 chopped green pepper
1 minced onion
1 10.5 oz can cond. chicken/rice soup
1 10.5 oz can cond. tomato soup
1 14 oz can water or beef broth

2 slices soft bread
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 egg
1 tsp salt (I used 2)
1 lb ground beef (I used 1.25 for 24 balls)

Swedish Meatballs..."A wonderful way to dress up ground beef"  That's right from the book in case you didn't know. I thought I would tell you that part before we begin. Melt butter in a frying pan. I used a 12 inch with taller sides and a lid. Add pepper and onion and cook until tender. Stir in the soups and broth and bring to a boil, then turn heat down to simmer. While the sauce cooks, make meat balls. Put the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Shape into balls about the size of a ping pong ball. Drop the balls carefully into the simmering sauce and cook on low/med heat for about an hour, stirring every ten minutes to keep from sticking.

It's as easy as that. I told you this was a kid's cookbook. If you can pick up a copy of it on ebay or Etsy, you should. It's a really well written book with illustrations and definitions. I plan to use some of the recipes with my ten year old.  I don't know which kid recipe tester is pictured above, but I'm guessing it's Ricky. He said, "We always said what we thought, even if it wasn't complimentary." WOW!  I know where he didn't eat! Anyway, I'm glad he was honest about the meatballs.

The sauce was creamy and flavorful. This would be a great make ahead meal because they ARE good reheated, and I'm sure you could work out the timing in a slow cooker as well. I'm thinking you could probably also change up and season the sauce with some basil and oregano and add some diced tomatoes and serve on spaghetti noodles for an Italian twist.  Oh, and they were good with the Angel Biscuits. 

Your next recipe: Buttermilk Cake (and Mocha Chocolate Frosting if you are so inclined)


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