Swedish Turkey Meatballs

I never used to think much of meatballs, except perhaps my mom’s porcupine meatballs, which are awfully tasty with mashed potatoes or broken up for warm sandwiches. But in the past year or so, I’ve developed a real affection for meatballs of all sorts, from Sardinian meatballs to oven-roasted pork and ricotta meatballs to lamb kefthedes to chicken meatballs with avgolemono. You might even say that for me, 2007 was the year of the meatball. I’ve still got quite a few meatball recipes to try out, and this was one of them: Swedish turkey meatballs. No lingonberry jam, thanks to some unfavorable memories of Ikea, but they were delicious nonetheless.

Swedish Turkey Meatballs

4 slices firm white sandwich bread (I used part of a stale loaf of pugliese)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large egg
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 T olive oil
1/2 pound egg noodles
2 T butter, softened
2 T AP flour
2 C beef broth
3 T medium-dry Sherry
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T sour cream

With a food processor, grind the bread into fine crumbs and transfer to a bowl. Finely chop enough onion to measure 1/2 C and add to bread crumbs. In a small bowl whisk together egg, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and pepper and add to bread crumb mixture. Add turkey and mix mixture with your hands until just combined (do not overmix). Form turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch balls; meatballs may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a 12-inch non-stick skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown meatballs in 2 batches, turning them occasionally, about 4 minutes for each batch. With a slotted spoon transfer meatballs as browned to a shallow baking pan and reserve any drippings in skillet. Bake meatballs, tightly covered with foil, in middle of oven until just cooked through, about 25 minutes.

While meatballs are baking, boil salted water in a large pot for the noodles. Finely chop enough onion to measure 1/2 cup. In a small bowl, thoroughly mix together the flour and butter to form a paste. To reserved drippings in skillet, add onion and saute until translucent; add sherry and simmer mixture, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until most of liquid is evaporated. Add beef broth and bring to a boil. Whisk flour-butter mixture into broth mixture. Boil, whisking, for 1 minute and remove skillet from heat. Whisk in Worcestershire sauce and sour cream, and keep warm, covered, over low heat (do not let boil).

Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling water until al dente. Drain noodles well in a colander and transfer to a large serving dish. Gently toss noodles with sauce and meatballs. Serve with sour cream, lingonberry preserves, or cranberry sauce on top of each serving.

Source: Adapted from Epicurious

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