Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What's Baking? February: Bake your own convenience food!

This month's theme was chosen by Stephanie from Brownies and Blondies. She challenged everyone to bake something they'd normally buy- example were pie crust or pie filling. I thought this was a great theme! And so I thought about what I'd make.

And I thought and thought. I don't buy a lot of baking things. I buy a lot of cooking convenience items, but not a lot of baking ones. So my husband got in on the brainstorming. He had some great ideas, but not things I'd use for baking.

Like cheese. Who makes cheese, really? Well, this girl!

And I used it on a pizza (and used the leftover whey in pizza dough). But I always make my pizza crust, I wanted something I'd never done before.

I fully intended to make puff pastry. This has been on my bucket list since I saw the Martha Bakes episode on puff pastry. It looks tedious and time consuming, but not really hard. Well, that never happened- it will, though! I promise, it will happen, and I will blog about it.

So I present to you:


This might seem like a total cop-out, but if we have swedish meatballs (which is rare), we usually buy the big bag from the freezer at Ikea and slowly work our way through them. But one night, something made me think about meatballs- we had 1lb of ground turkey in the freezer, not much else, and it was too late to start chili for dinner. So I went hunting for a meatball recipe, and let me tell you, these are amazing. I'll buy my meatballs from my own chest freezer from now on.

Spiced Apple Swedish Meatballs
adapted from A Spicy Perspective

I made half a recipe- I just had 1lb of ground turkey and no sausage of any kind.

For the meatballs:
1 small onion, chopped finely
1T butter
1lb ground turkey (or beef or lamb, etc)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup apple butter
2T sour cream or yogurt
1 egg
dash of salt
1/2t allspice
1/4t black pepper

For the sauce:
1/4 cup broth (chicken, beef, veggie, etc)
1/4 cup apple butter
1T honey
pinch of chipotle powder

note: I think I have more homemade items that could be convenience than I thought- the apple butter and chicken broth I used are homemade

Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a *rimmed* baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray.

For the meatballs: finely chop the onion and saute in butter over medium heat until the onion starts to brown. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Then put the onion and all the rest of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and work with your hands to combine everything. Form into small balls and place on the baking sheet- mine were about 1.5T each and I got 44 meatballs from this batch. The original recipe used twice the ingredients and made 45 meatballs so apparently those were quite large!

Bake for 15min at 400. Mean while, make the sauce.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk.

After 15min in the oven, take the meatballs off and spoon the sauce over each meatball.

Return to the oven and bake another 7-10 min.

And that's all! Enjoy!

I have to say, these are delicious. They smell delicious when you're making them, they smell delicious when they're baking (and normally I avoid smelling raw meat because I find the smell unpleasant). The combination of the apple butter, allspice and onion is amazing. I bought more ground turkey and also some ground lamb the other day so I can make these again tomorrow.

I served them with spaetzle and roasted brussels sprouts. I tossed the brussels sprouts in the same sauce as for the meatballs (plus 1T olive oil) and baked for 25min at 450F. We also enjoyed them with some Swedish schnapps we bought on our honeymoon, in the duty free shop in the Stockholm airport. And for dessert, we split a semla bun, for a very Swedish evening!

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