It was the ligonberries that finally convinced me.  Simon had been bugging me for a while for us to make swedish meatballs.  I kept resisting.  The thought of big balls of tasteless meat dripping cream sounded like the exact opposite of a tasty dish.  Then we found real ligonberries at Deninger’s and I figured there would be at least one part of dinner I would like.

Of course the dinner actually turned out pretty awesome.  The meatballs were perfectly spiced.  The sauce was rich and flavorful with only a touch of cream and the accompanying cucumber salad was crisp and refreshing on the side.  I am now officially sold on meatballs.

As a base we used an Alton Brown recipe. In the comments, plenty of people said the sauce needed some more spices or something.  We added some mushrooms and thyme to pick it up a bit.  We served it with lightly buttered egg noodles and we were both in heaven!

The cucumber salad was super easy and involved thinly slicing the cucumber and letting sit in some salt to draw out the moisture.  Then you rinse it and toss it with 2 tbsp of white vinegar and 1 tbsp. of sugar dissolved in 1 tbsp. of boiling water.  You add some dill, salt and pepper and some shallots or green onions.  You let the whole mix crisp up in the fridge and you have a positively perfect cucumber.  I can imagine it being excellent in a sandwich too.

For the meatballs we followed Alton’s recipe with a few changes.  We used a mix of beef and ground turkey just because we had it.  I didn’t have allspice so I put in a bit more nutmeg as well as cinnamon and cardamon.  After we finished browning the meatballs, we sauteed some mushrooms in the pan before adding the stock.  We also put in some fresh thyme.  The meatballs can also easily be frozen, so go ahead and make a big bunch!