Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Taste of Sweden , Ya!

After all the food we have had so far these Olympic Games, I wanted to try something that is not normally a part of our repertoire. When I am looking for inspiration, I usually head to Epicurious, but this time I pulled out a cookbook that my sister-in-law got me for Christmas, The Best of International Food from the editors at Cook's Illustrated.

I looked through the pages, going past Greece, and Italy and checked out Sweden. I found two recipes that grabbed my attention that could be replicated without taking us astray on our diet. The first was the retro Swedish meatballs, and the second was a cucumber salad with sour cream. So Molly posted the flag of Sweden and I used these ideas as inspiration to make my own Dowd Olympic version. Both dishes were a great hit. How can you fail with meatballs?! And the cucumber salad was all consumed offering a light, creamy and slightly sweet counterpoint to the rich meatballs. In fact,the girls said that they liked this cucumber salad better than the one I usually make with vinegar and mayo as a dressing so we will definitely do this one again!

Another country down,another gold medal for Michael Phelps and another late night- another night at the Olympics at our house!

Swedish Inspired Meatballs
These make a great appetizer or a main dish!

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
3/4 cup grated onion
1 egg
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

For a quick and easy (and low-carb) sauce:
1/2 jar good quality prepared alfredo pasta sauce (I know, I know...)
2/3 cup light sour cream
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix meats, grated onion and egg and spices, mix well and form into small meatballs, placing them on a cookie sheet. Bake in oven about 15 minutes. Meanwhile mix alfredo sauce, sour cream, and nutmeg. Place cooked meatballs into a large skillet and brown outside until caramelized. Add sauce and stir until warm, being careful not to boil. If you want (and you are not on the South Beach Diet!) you could serve with noodles.

Swedish Cucumber Salad
This is a deliciously different cucumber dish, perfect for summer!

1 English cucumber sliced very thin (I did not peel mine. If you use a regular cucumber you may want to peel it)
1/2 tbsp salt
1 cup light sour cream
1 pkg Sweet and Low or Splenda
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 small onion, sliced thin
1/2 tsp dried dill

Slice the cucumbers into a colander and sprinkle with the salt. Let sit for about 20 minutes, using a Ziploc bag of ice on top to keep them crisp. After 20 minutes, rinse cucumbers, put in bowl and combine with other ingredients. Enjoy this Swedish treat!


kristen said...

i love how you are featuring a different country's food each night-it sounds like such a fun tradition i might like to start (me being a fellow olympic fanatic!). i'm actually thinking of setting up a closing ceremonies potluck party and having everyone who comes bring a different dish from a different country..wouldn't that be so fun! i already know that i'm going to be making my favorite fresh salsa recipe!

Tom Aarons said...

Love your international series. It's a really nice idea for the olympics!

Cynthia said...

Oh man, those meatballs look tasty.

Deborah Dowd said...

Kristen- I know Ally would love it.I started this tradition when my kids were really young. And I just saw on your profile that you are expecting again. Congratulations toy you and your expanding family!!

Deborah Dowd said...

Tom- I am a big believer in making ordinary events into something special and this is a great way to engage everyone in the family!

Cynthia- They really were,with no leftovers!

Glenna said...

Swedish meatballs really Swedish? Dang, ya learn something knew every day! I mean, I love them, I just didn't know it wasnt' some kind of American bastardization or something. BUT, having said that, coming from a Swedish/Norwegian family, I didn't know until I was in college that there was any other way to eat cucumbers besides with sour cream and dill. (Slight exageration). Looks GREAT!