Cook’s Corner

This Swedish meatball recipe has pioneer roots


Sleuth’s Corner

Q. I am looking for a recipe for a hash made with apples, sweet potatoes and sausage. I cut it out and made it once and then couldn’t find the recipe again. It was really good.

Annie Q., Miami Lakes

Main dish

Swedish Meatballs

To turn this into an appetizer for parties, make 1/2-inch balls.

4 tablespoons butter, divided

1 onion, minced

1 pound each ground pork, beef and chicken or turkey (3 pounds total)

2 egg yolks, beaten

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Main Dish

Trattoria Il Migliore’s Mussels

The leftover sofrito can be refrigerated or frozen. Or you may substitute good-quality purchased sofrito.


2 cups diced red pepper

2 cups diced red onion

3 jalapeños, chopped

3 whole garlic cloves

1 shallot, chopped

1/4 cup white wine (preferably chardonnay)

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup cilantro

To complete dish:

2 pounds mussels (preferably Mediterranean or Prince Edward Island)

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 ounces dry-cured chorizo

2 tablespoons sliced garlic

2 tablespoons sliced shallots

1/2 jalapeño, diced

1/2 cup white wine (preferably chardonnay)

1/4 cup clam juice

10 threads saffron

1/4 cup roasted tomatoes

3 tablespoons butter

Combine all the sofrito ingredients in a large pot and cooking, uncovered, on low heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Puree. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

Scrub mussels thoroughly. In a large pot with a lid, place the olive oil, chorizo, garlic, shallots and jalapeños, and sauté over medium-high heat until garlic and shallots are caramelized. Stir in 6 tablespoons of the sofrito and sauté for 30 seconds.

Stir wine, clam juice, saffron and roasted tomatoes into pot, then add mussels and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and allow the mussels to steam for 3 to 5 minutes, until shells open. Remove lid, add butter, and allow liquid to reduce for 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with crusty bread for dipping. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 545 calories (47 percent from fat), 29 g fat (13 g saturated, 7.4 g monounsaturated), 138 mg cholesterol, 35 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 2.9 g fiber, 1225 mg sodium.

More information


2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken or beef stock

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup half-and-half

2 tablespoons lingonberry jam plus more for serving

Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and onion and cook, stirring, until onion is clear but not brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

With your hands, combine the ground meats with the egg yolks and milk. Remove the onions from the skillet with a slotted spoon and add to the meat mixture, mixing in along with the salt and pepper, allspice, nutmeg and coriander. Add the bread crumbs and mix one last time. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Melt the remaining butter in the skillet set over medium-high heat. In batches, so the meatballs are not crowded, carefully brown on all sides. Use the slotted spoon to remove to an oven-proof casserole.

When all the meatballs are browned, place in oven for 20 to 30 minutes while preparing sauce: Sprinkle the flour into the skillet you used to brown the meatballs. Let the flour brown briefly, stirring with a whisk or spatula to avoid sticking. Pour in the stock and scrape up browned bits from bottom of the pan. Add salt and pepper and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook until the liquid is thickened and reduced by about half. Stir in the half-and-half and jam. When incorporated, reduce heat to low. Add the meatballs. Cover and cook 15 minutes. Makes 10 servings (55 to 60 meatballs).

Per serving: 410 calories (58 percent from fat), 25.8g fat (11.4 g saturated, 10 g monounsaturated), 156 mg cholesterol, 30 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, .6 g fiber, 522 mg sodium.


Fruitcake Cookies

1/2 cup margarine or butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup candied fruit

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Beat margarine with brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss well. Beat into the creamed mixture. Chill at least 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Form dough into small balls. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet with 2 inches between each and flatten slightly. Bake 8 to 12 minutes, until browned as desired. Makes 3 dozen.

Per serving: 92 calories (35 percent from fat), 3.6 g fat (.7 g saturated, 1.3 g monounsaturated), .3 mg cholesterol, 1.2 g protein, 14.2 g carbohydrates, .5 g fiber, 68 mg sodium.

Q. You write about foods from many countries. We are from Minnesota, where the Scandinavians have holiday traditions like lutefisk and lefse plus Swedish meatballs. Would you know someone who can help us with recipes now that we live in Hollywood?


I hope to never taste lutefisk again (for the uninitiated, it is salt cod cured in lye). As to lefse, which I’d describe as looking like a tortilla but made with mashed potatoes, I’ve never been able to make a recipe work. But I’d be happy to pass along recipes from others.

I do have a recipe for Swedish meatballs that I am happy to share, from my mother-in-law’s recipe box. Her Swedish ancestors settled in St. Peter, Minn., more than 100 years ago. You can it serve as an appetizer or with mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles as a main dish.

A key ingredient is lingonberry jam, which adds both sweetness and tartness, but in 19th century Minnesota, wild choke cherry was used. If you can’t find lingonberry (available at IKEA), I have used anything from cranberry sauce to guava jelly with good results, though the gravy can turn a rosy shade instead of light tan.

Q. The mussels at Trattoria Il Migliore in Aventura are the best I’ve ever eaten, in a spicy sauce so good you’ll fight over the last piece of bread when you share. Can you get the recipe?

C. W.

The sauce that envelops these mussels is indeed a fiery treat, with a saffron-infused broth and kick of smoky chorizo. Don’t let the length of the recipe scare you — you can shortcut by substituting a good quality store-bought sofrito. I didn’t roast the tomatoes either — just substituted some good canned ones.

Fruitcake cookies

Marion D’Laurenti asked for a fruitcake cookie recipe lost from her files. “This recipe is both easy to make and good to eat,” said Deborah Goldfried of Hollywood. Thanks also to K. McMillan and to Brenda Estes, who suggested recipes that can be found via an online search for “English rocks.”


Martha Kent writes: “I’m responding to your column regarding paprika. Thought you and your readers should be aware of a terrific new spice shop in South Miami, Spice Galore. It is a delightful store. ”

The shop, at 6010 S. Dixie Hwy., carries six types of paprika and does mail-order as well from its website,

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