Monday, April 7, 2014

Swedish Meatballs with Gravy

Who doesn't love Swedish Meatballs? They remind me of the 1970s, although, I wasn't alive then it just seems like something that was on every 1970s table. Yeah yeah, but now its 2014 and guess what, the little balls of heaven are STILL blessing our tables, especially thanks to IKEA. Sure, you could spend a small fortune for IKEA supper or you can just make it yourself and since I don't live near an IKEA, I made it myself, minus the lingonsylt which I can't make :(

Anyways....I made my gravy with non-fat greek yogurt and a little arrowroot and it came out DIVINE. You must try! If you can't find arrowroot, just use cornstarch.

1.5 lbs ground beef, chicken, pork (any mix you like. I used chicken and beef)
1/4 cup egg whites
1/4 cup matzo meal (or bread crumb)
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp all spice
Olive oil

Mix all together and shape into small balls. I usually make them slightly smaller than a golf ball, it lets me eat more! Heat enough oil to lightly cover a skillet and drop the balls in. DO NOT move them around or they will break apart! Fry the meatballs gently for a couple minutes on each side. Remove from pan when done and golden. Don't scrape or drain the pan unless there is a ton of fat.

1 15 oz can chicken or beef stock
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour (or can skip the roux all together)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 tbsp corn starch or arrow root

This is the tough part. Over medium heat melt the butter and then add the flour.
Whisk gently adding a little water at a time. Your roux should be smooth and creamy, not lumpy. Adding more water and whisking should smooth it out. Let the roux cook for a minute or so. Next, turn up the heat a little higher and add your stock while whisking vigorously, you want to get all the browned meat off the bottom of the pan. Add the vinegar.

Your gravy will be very fluid at this point, add enough arrow root or starch to thicken it. I like my gravy VERY thick so I add quite a bit. Whisk until smooth and re-add the meatballs. Simmer for about 5 minutes and then TURN OFF THE HEAT (This part is super important). Let the gravy cool for about 2 minutes BEFORE you add the greek yogurt or it will curdle and look yucky. Whisk the yogurt into the gravy, taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

I served my meatballs with German Spaetzle, but you can use any flat egg noodle you like. I also added peas to the bottom of my bowl because I needed a vegetable and I didn't feel like sauteeing cabbage tonight.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Chutney and Cheddar Chicken

If you are like me, you make the same chicken recipes day after day, week after week. Don't get me wrong, they are yummy recipes, but can't we just try something NEW for once? The answer is yes! We can!
My mother makes a lot of fruit glazed chicken breasts and I was actually craving that tonight. Of course, I didn't have any fruit jam, but I did have one jar of a special gem that I made a few months ago, English Christmas Chutney. This chutney is not jelly like at all, but is a mix of chopped, vinegary and savory, sweet and dried fruit. I will post my recipe as soon as I make it again.

Anyways, I remembered that I had one jar left, and while I love to eat it spooned atop a nice sharp cheddar, I figured I'd try it out atop chicken covered with cheddar. The results were awesome!

I marinated my thinly sliced chicken breasts in lemon juice and Trader Joes 21 Spice Salute, salt free seasoning. If you can't find it, use Mrs. Dash or your favorite herb blend. Sprinkle the juice and herb blend of chicken and let stand for an hour or two. I sliced the chicken thin as if I were making marsala or piccata.
If you can't find chutney, use a thick jam or preserve that has chopped fruit in it. Apricot, cherry or blueberry would be awesome in this.

1-2 large and thinly sliced chicken breasts
lemon juice (half lemon)
Herb seasoning
cheddar cheese
1 small jar of chutney
coconut oil
salt to taste

1. Heat a skillet and add some coconut oil. When pan is heated add chicken.
2. Brown chicken on both sides, add some water to the pan and let the chicken steam for about 3 minutes
3. Spread the chutney on each piece of chicken and top with cheddar. Add more water to the pan if needed. Cover and let steam for another 3 minutes.
4. At this point, chicken should be thoroughly cooked through. Serve and enjoy!