Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar) with Gravy

When my brother-in-law, Russell, was in town he visited his friend Jim in Palm Springs, CA, who made these meatballs from his Swedish family in Rockford, Illinois. Russell and I went to Olson’s Delicatessen in LA, which is like walking into a time capsule.



Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar) with Gravy

from my friend Jim in Palm Springs, CA, from his Swedish family in Rockford, Illinois. Olson’s Delicatessen in LA had ready-made meatballs as well as the meat mixture ready to shape into balls, both frozen.

1 lb ground beef
¼ lb ground veal [I couldn’t find this anywhere]
¼ lb ground pork [I used twice as much in place of the veal]
2 cup bread crumbs [panko worked fine]
½ cup milk
1 onion, minced
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 tsp allspice (or nutmeg)
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp dry mustard
3 eggs, beaten
¼ cup butter

fat left in skillet
¼ tsp garlic (powdered) or 1 clove fresh, minced
5 Tbs butter
[2 Tbs flour—my addition]
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp beef concentrate [I used half of a little Knorr’s tub]
2 cup beef stock
1 tsp aromatic bitters
1 cup sour cream

Grind meats together twice.  Soak bread crumbs in milk. Add meat and mix well. Sauté onion in 2 Tbs butter. Mix rest of the ingredients, except the ¼ cup butter, with onions; put all together with meat. Mix well and form into 48 small balls. Brown the balls in the remaining ¼ cup butter. Remove from skillet and set aside (keep the fat in the skillet).

Add garlic and 1 Tbs of the butter to the fat left from browning the meatballs. Blend in the rest of the butter and the flour, cook for a minute over medium heat while stirring and then add the other ingredients except the sour cream. Stir until thickened. Pour the sauce into a casserole and let cool for a few minutes. Stir in the sour cream. Add meatballs. Cover and heat in a moderate oven, turning the meatballs in the gravy occasionally.


Crispy Baked Pork Chops with Parmesan


This is one of the recipes I found in my stack of magazines over the weekend. It’s a Paula Deen (trying to eat healthy) recipe – baked, not fried… PS – I didn’t have any flat leaf parsley…


Crispy Baked Pork Chops with Parmesan

Serves 4

1/4 cup flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp cayenne
Kosher salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tsp olive oil
4 (each 1-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top.

On a plate, combine the flour, garlic powder, celery seed, cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the egg, egg white, and mustard. On a second plate, combine the panko, parsley, Parmesan, and oil.

Coat the pork chops in the flour, then in the egg mixture (letting any excess drip off) and finally in the panko mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere. Place on the rack.

Roast the pork chops until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Rustic White Bean Soup With a Ham Hock

I made 5 hams over the holidays for various parties that I catered. Cleverly, I froze all the ham hocks. Yesterday, I pulled one out a made this white bean soup, throwing it all the the crockpot. The ham hock I used was particularly meaty, so I did not add additional ham. Also, I served it with grated Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.


Rustic White Bean Soup With a Ham Hock

Serves 8 – 10

1 meaty ham hock
3 cups water
3 cups chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced fennel, optional
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp fresh parsley
1 tsp Creole seasoning or seasoned salt blend
pinch thyme
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup frozen chopped spinach or mustard greens
2 cans (15 oz each) Great Northern or Navy beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (14.5 oz each) tomatoes, diced
1 cup diced ham, optional
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine ham bone, water, and chicken broth in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, fennel, pepper, parsley, Creole seasoning and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add the corn, spinach or mustard greens, beans, and tomatoes. Remove ham bone and cut meat from the bone and dice. Skim fat off the top of the soup and add the ham, along with the extra ham, if using. Taste and add salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer for about 30 minutes longer.

Pork & Vegetable Lumpia

In the past 2 weeks, I have received a case of citrus fruit, South African chutney sauce and a large bag of Lumpia from my friend Chris! What did I do to deserve all this bounty?!

Lumpia is a traditional Filipino dish. It is the Filipino version of egg rolls. It can be served as a side dish or as an appetizer.


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Dipping Sauce:

Apricot Jam, Soy Sauce & Sriracha

1/2 cup apricot jam (or peach)
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 tsp Sriracha sauce (or to taste)

Mix all ingredients well.

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Pork & Vegetable Lumpia 

Serves 15

1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 lb ground pork
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup minced carrots
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp soy sauce
30 lumpia wrappers or spring roll wrappers
2 cups vegetable oil for frying

Place a wok or large skillet over high heat, and pour in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Cook pork, stirring frequently, until no pink is showing. Remove pork from pan and set aside. Drain grease from pan, leaving a thin coating. Cook garlic and onion in the same pan for 2 minutes. Stir in the cooked pork, carrots, green onions, and cabbage. Season with pepper, salt, garlic powder, and soy sauce. Remove from heat, and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Place three heaping tablespoons of the filling diagonally near one corner of each wrapper, leaving a 1 1/2 inch space at both ends. Fold the side along the length of the filling over the filling, tuck in both ends, and roll neatly. Keep the roll tight as you assemble. Moisten the other side of the wrapper with water to seal the edge. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap to retain moisture.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat, add oil to 1/2 inch depth, and heat for 5 minutes. Slide 3 or 4 lumpia into the oil. Fry the rolls for 1 to 2 minutes, until all sides are golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.

Baked Pork Tenderloins

baked pork

My brother-in-law, Russell, is in town. I love it when he’s here because we spend a lot of time in the kitchen together. He made us this amazing pork, which is really moist and easy to make. We had the leftovers the next night – cutting up the meat and serving over buttered egg noodles.

Baked Pork Tenderloins

Serves 8-10

2 Tbs oil
2 Tbs butter
2 whole pork tenderloins (1 lb each)
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1 med. onion, sliced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 Tbs dry white wine
2 Tbs flour
1 cup chicken or beef stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a heavy skillet heat oil and melt butter. When hot, add meat and brown on all sides. Remove from pan; then add celery, carrots, onions, and mushrooms.

Sauté until slightly limp. Add wine; cook 5 minutes, then sprinkle on flour. Cook 2-3 minutes; add stock. Cook to thicken; season with salt and pepper.

Place meat in baking dish; pour vegetable mixture over top. Cover and bake in preheated 325 degree oven about 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Sprinkle with parsley.

Mustard Glazed Ham with Cider Gravy

Balsamic & Maple Glazed HamThis year for Christmas dinner, I am going to make a ham. It’s the easiest meat to cook since in essence you are just heating it up! I will serve it with Corn Bread & Sausage Stuffing, which is not stuffed into anything.

Mustard Glazed Ham with Cider Gravy

Serves 8

1 ham
1 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs wholegrain mustard
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups cider
3 onions, cut into wedges
5 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into wedges
1 lb carrots, peeled and chopped
3 Tbs flour
2 cups chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 375°. Score the ham fat, mix the sugar and mustard together and rub into the score marks. Place in a large, deep roasting tin with the cloves and cinnamon stick, then pour the cider into the tin around the ham. Cover with foil and roast according to instructions.

An hour before the end of cooking time, add the onions, apples and carrots to the tin. Re-cover with the foil and cook for 30 minutes, removing the foil for the final 30 minutes. Remove the ham and veg from the tin, cover with foil and let rest.

For the gravy, place the tin of pan juices on the stove over a high heat and whisk in the flour. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove the cinnamon stick and cloves. Slice the ham and serve with the veg, gravy and boiled new potatoes.

Tuscan Style Slow Roasted Pork

The Flavors of Tuscany….

Okay, this is your lucky day.   I’ve waited three and a half years to post this recipe.  This is, without a doubt, the best pork roast recipe ever.  You can buy sandwiches on the streets off carts in Italy with this pork, which I’ve had in Viterbo, north of Rome.

It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and six hours to cook.  I usually just throw it in a crockpot and forget about it.  The key is using a fatty cut of pork, like shoulder or butt.  Your welcome in advance!

Tuscan Style Slow Roasted Pork

Cooking time: 6 hr

2 Tbs finely chopped fresh sage
2 Tbs fresh rosemary
6 garlic cloves
1 shallot
1 Tbs fennel seeds
1½ Tbs coarse salt
1 Tbs cracked black pepper
1 Tbs dry white wine
1 Tbs olive oil
1 (6-1b) boneless pork shoulder Boston roast (not tied)

Preheat oven to 275°F.

Blend together sage, rosemary, garlic, shallot, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper in a food processor until a thick paste forms. With motor running, add wine and oil and blend until combined well.

Trim the outer fat from the pork, then slather the herb paste all over the pork.

Put pork in a roasting pan and roast in middle of oven 6 hours. Or cook in a crock pot on low for approx. 6 hours. It will fall apart as you transfer it to a serving plate.

Tip – You can make herb paste 1 day ahead and chill, covered.

Curry Glazed Pork Chops

This week I have a lot of events to cater.  It always happens all at once – feast or famine, as the saying goes.  Sometimes I have to buy random ingredients that I don’t normally use.  In this case, it’s red curry paste.  I only need a few tablespoons, so I found this recipe so that I can use more of it.

Curry Glazed Chops

Serves 4

3 garlic cloves
¼ cup honey
2 Tbs red curry paste
2 Tbs soy sauce
3 to 4 Tbs olive oil
4 pork chops
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Mince the garlic and place in medium bowl. Stir in honey, curry paste, tamari and 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Season each pork chop with salt and pepper.

Heat a tablespoon of the oil to shimmering in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned but not quite cooked through (they will be a little springy when gently pressed with a finger). Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil.

Add the garlic curry paste mixture to the empty skillet. Bring it to a boil and cook for 1 or 2 minutes to form a glaze. Return the pork chops to the skillet, turning them to coat evenly. Once they are glazed and heated through, divide among individual plates, spooning any glaze over the meat.

Sage Crusted Pork Chops

To Brine or Not to Brine, that is the question

Brining is a process similar to marinating in which meat is soaked in brine before cooking.

Brining makes cooked meat moister by hydrating the cells of its muscle tissue before cooking, via the process of osmosis, and by allowing the cells to hold on to the water while they are cooked.



Sage Crusted Pork Chops

Serves 4

¼ Kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
4 bone-in, thick-cut pork chops (6 to 8 oz each)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs olive oil, plus more for brushing
Freshly ground pepper
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped

Dissolve 1/4 cup salt and the sugar in 3 cups warm water in a large bowl. Soak the chops in the brine, about 5 minutes.

Remove the chops from the brine and pat dry. Sprinkle with the sage, garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the pork, turning once, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Cheese and Ham Muffins

Here is a great lunch box treat for back to school! you can leave out the chives if your kids won’t anything green!

Cheese and Ham Muffins

Serves 6

1¼ cups unbleached flour
¾ cup fine yellow cornmeal
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup mlik
2 large eggs
1/3 cup corn oil
1 cup finely diced ham
½ cup sharp cheddar, shredded
¼ cup finely chopped chives or scallion greens

Heat the oven to 375°. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line the wells with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and oil, then pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until blended. Fold in the ham, cheese, and chives or scallions.

Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake the muffins until their tops are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Let them cool in the pan on a wire rack for 3 minutes, then turn them out onto the rack and let them cool completely.

Pack 2 per lunchbox.

The muffins can be frozen in a plastic freezer bag up to three months.