Monday, September 12, 2011

Now we have to wait until summer 2012?? BOO HISS!

On Sunday night, I was invited to a "True Blood" finale party at my friend, Domenica's. This is the second year we've done this, and for the inaugural event, we all just brought assorted Cajun and Creole dishes or something thematically related to the show. (I brought red beans and rice, and Rice Krispie treat hearts with Bill and Eric's names written in, red food coloring. Tee hee.)

This year, we were assigned specific characters, and we were charged to bring a dish that represented that character in some way. For example, my friend, Janice, got Sookie, and she made Creole crab cakes, a pecan pie (Sookie ate a whole one in one episode), and Sookie's favorite green bean casserole that her grandma used to make for her. Domenica had Marnie the witch, so she made Salem (MA) Clam Chowder, but Marnie was embodied by the Spanish witch, Antonia, so she also made tapas--Shrimp Scampi.

Of course, I got my beloved vampire, Eric, who was a Viking nobleman in his human life, so I decided to make Swedish meatballs in the crockpot.  I was so pleased with myself that I sent a text message to my hostess the night before as I was preparing them, to brag about my culinary achievement, and it was then that I was informed--after knowing this girl for ELEVEN YEARS--that she is allergic to pork! So I had to make a second all-beef batch for our kind hostess. They were both good--the pork and beef 50-50 mix was more flavorful, but the all-beef meatballs held their shape better. So use whatever meat you prefer in whatever ratio suits your fancy. But whatever you do, make sure to serve them with a tangy and bloody-looking lingonberry jam (which, naturally, can be acquired at IKEA).

Oh, I almost forgot. As a dessert item, I made little blueberry parfaits with my homemade Scandinavian delicacy, skyr--layering yogurt then fruit, yogurt then fruit, yogurt and just three (largely decorative) berries on top. The guests seemed skeptical, but they all tried it, and then asked me to come over sometime and teach them how to make it! Tee hee.

Viking Meatballs for Eric Northman
(Yield: 43 meatballs)

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely minced
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork/sausage
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs (2 pieces of bread)
1/2 cup prepared mashed potatoes
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon salted herbs (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground celery
3/4 teaspoon each allspice, cardamom, and freshly-ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups beef stock
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Melt two tablespoons of butter and the olive oil in a skillet and saute the onions until tender and just starting to turn golden. Combine them with all other ingredients and work together with your hands until everything is blended (do NOT overwork the meat!). Using a cookie scoop, make meatballs, shaping them in your hands. Place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment, and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes until browned.

Meanwhile, melt the other four tablespoons of butter in the skillet and add the flour. Whisk as it cooks until the roux starts to color. Add the beef stock slowly, whisking the whole time. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, too. Add the browned meatballs to the crock pot, pour the gravy over and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

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