Everyone loves meatballs. Yesterday morning, on her way out the door, Bonne Femme asked if I had anything for her to make for dinner.
"Well I have half a chicken how about some meatballs?"
I came up with this recipe for a party last Christmas, but they are good anytime of the year.
Finnish Meatballs - Lihapullat
620g (1lb 5oz) Chicken. That's half a chicken, bones removed skin on.
8 g (1 t) Kosher salt
2 g black pepper
1 g allspice
Pinch of mace or nutmeg
Pinch of caraway seed
2 g mustard seed
5 g dried milk
90 g Onion diced
30 g of bread whole wheat or rye or whatever is laying around, torn up
Dice the chicken. Process salt and spices as needed in spice mill. Mix together all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for an hour. Run the mixture through meat grinder using the small plate (I use the meat grinder attachment for the Kitchen Aid). If you don't have a grinder, you can do it by hand, read about making sausage without a grinder here. Knead the mixture in the bowl, by hand, until it comes together about one minute.
Preheat the oven to 400F. A portion scoop (that's a #40 pictured above) makes quick work of forming 1 oz meatballs, they are like ice cream scoppers of varying sizes that you can find at restaurant supply stores. Anyway, put em on a cookie sheet, using parchment paper makes things easier, but do whatever you want. Bake them for about 10 minutes.
Let them cool on a rack. I made about 24 1oz meatballs. Once you get the hang of it play around with the seasonings. The dry milk helps retain moisture and the mustard works as an emusifier; together these ingredients make the texture light and juicy.
I decided to have a Finnish themed Christmas Party, a Pikkujoulu, after traveling to the Lapland last summer. I asked my Suomen sister-in-law for a recipe. she said "What do you mean? Just make meatballs."
I said "Ok...What's the difference between Swedish and Finnish meatballs?"
"The Finns don't eat Swedish meatballs."