11 December, 2009

Meatball Mania

Lihapullat - Meatballs


Finnish (not Swedish) meatballs, Merguez Meatballs, Lentil and Freekeh soup.

Meatball Mania, get into it! Meatballs are a quick and easy addition to the holiday buffet table or as my Finnish friends like to call it, the bread and butter table, Voileipäpöytä. Let's get grinding.

I wrote about Finnish Meatballs last year. This time I have updated the recipe with sautéed onions and Wasa bread.

Portioning Meatballs

Finnish Meatballs with Pulverized Swedish Crispbread

900g/2lb Chicken ground
14g salt
5g black pepper
2g allspice
1g mace

40g (about 4) Wasa light rye crispbreads
30g onion miced, sautéed in a little butter.
5g Milk powder

120 ml/ 1/2c cold water

Grind spices and add to ground chicken. Grind Wasa and add to mixture. Stir in onion milk powder and cold water.

Portioning Meatballs

Form 20g (3/4 oz) portions on lined sheet bake in 400F oven for 10 minutes. I did it in two batches.

Yield: about 50 meatballs. Serve with brown sauce or make Cranberry Sauce (recipe in here)

Freekeh in the grinder

Freekeh in Beta.

Smoked grains? sign me up. I first learned about Freekeh a few weeks ago when Noëlle Lothamer featured it on her blog simmer down! On first my taste I think it really has the smokiness of bacon. The Oxford Companion to Food reports that it's made by gathering green wheat and roasting them in the fields over an open fire. Then the kernels are shucked and packaged either whole or cracked.


Now I have only gotten one bag of this stuff, but I found a lot of stones in mine. It's like sorting beans. I lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and pick through a little at a time then rinse. Noëlle reported that she didn't have much stone trouble, so I'll have to get some more bags to compare. In the meantime I think the flavor is worth it.

My first test for freekeh is lamb meatballs.

Lamb shoulder chops

I got lamb shoulder and I had some chicken leftover and I ended up with a pretty good meatball.

Lamb and Chicken Meatball (beta recipe)

2.5 lbs 1130g Ground meat about half lamb half chicken
90 g Freekeh, sorted, not rinsed.
18g salt
2g coriander
1g cumin
1g black pepper

30g garlic minced

120ml Cold water

ground freekeh

Process freekeh in spice grinder, then then run the powder though a sieve. Grind salt and spice together. Stir Freekeh and spices into ground meat, then mix garlic and stir in water.

Form 20g (3/4 oz) portions on lined sheet bake in 400F oven for 10 minutes. I did it in three batches.

Yield: about 60 meatballs. Serve with plain yogurt and harissa.

What's really great about meatballs is that they can be made way ahead of time and then frozen. In my own version of what the pros call IQF, I place the meatballs on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze. Then bag em up.

It's Buffet magic.

In the meantime here's a quick (and supercheap)weeknight meal. Lentil and freekeh soup. This turned out really good:

Dice and sauté medium onion and one carrot in butter. add 4oz small lentils already sorted and rinsed. Add 1 oz of Freekeh already sorted and rinsed. Add 4 cups of chicken stock, 1/2 tsp of salt, two cloves of garlic smashed and peeled, cracked pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer until tender, about 30 mins. Serves 2-4.

Bonne Femme asked me to spend a little less time cooking. I dunno, I promised not to hide in the kitchen, and enjoy the Holidays. You do the same.




noëlle {simmer down!} said...

Thanks for the shout-out! This is so bizarre... I just had the idea the other day to try creating a meatball out of lamb, freekeh, parsley & garlic. I should have known you would use your freekeh in a ground meat concoction of some sort! :)

Sorry to hear about the stones, I had the exact same brand and no problems, but I guess it never hurts to check.

Rondell said...

Saucy Mac! Why come u send me that debbil worship Christmas card. I blame it all on dat wife you got! I told yo mama to find u a good, respectful Christian woman but insted u ending up with that Iowa-bread woman who now got u n2 all that pagan stuff. Lawd, now I'ma have to pray extra hard 4 u tomorrow.

Andrew said...

Love the meatball love. I have to confess I never got into meatballs, and I blame my mother. She makes the most amazing spaghetti and meatballs (so tender, so flavorful), that I don't even bother

Rondell said...

Update yo blog! Ya need 2 pick up the pace, picante!