A caramelized cabbage casserole to get you to spring – the new york times

Gentl and Hyers for The New York Times. Ingredients for homemade meatballs Food stylist: Hadas Smirnoff. How to make homemade meatballs easy Prop stylist: Rebecca Bartoshesky.

Karolina Petersson was nesting.

Best homemade meatballs for spaghetti Pregnant with her first child, she stood in the kitchen of her home on the North Fork of Long Island and stirred a pan of cabbage and butter. How long to bake homemade meatballs Her husband, Vincent Catalano, was upstairs painting the baby’s room. Homemade italian meatballs in oven Petersson had a bowl of ground meat on the counter beside her, some potatoes, a small glass of cream. Quick homemade meatballs It was her grandmother’s recipe she was making, she said, a kind of cabbage meatloaf that she remembered from childhood outside Gothenburg, in Sweden. Best way to cook homemade meatballs Kalpudding, it’s called. How to cook homemade meatballs in the oven You serve it with lingonberries. How to bake homemade meatballs I wanted to eat it right away.

These are hard days for cooking, as winter too slowly gives way to vernal rain and sunshine. Make homemade spaghetti meatballs Farmers’ markets are bare in many precincts, and for some a kind of fatigue has set in, an exhaustion with soups and stews, with root vegetables and pot roasts, with salads built of factory greens and flavorless tomatoes. How long to cook homemade meatballs in oven Soon there will be strawberries, asparagus, rhubarb, snow peas and watercress, the paschal lamb, the Easter ham. How do u make homemade meatballs But soon is not now. Best homemade spaghetti and meatballs recipe Early March can leave cooks adrift in home and restaurant kitchens alike, unsure of themselves, desirous of inspiration. Best homemade spaghetti and meatballs Photo

Gentl and Hyers for The New York Times. How long do you cook homemade meatballs in the oven Food stylist: Hadas Smirnoff. Homemade bread crumbs for meatballs Prop stylist: Rebecca Bartoshesky.

And here was mine. How long do you cook homemade meatballs I wasn’t staying for dinner. Spaghetti and meatballs homemade I had only dropped by for a brief, neighborly check-in before the birth, a what’s-up-Vin and see you soon. Homemade italian meatballs for spaghetti But the scent of the cabbage was ambrosial: sweet-bitter, approximating caramel on the razor’s edge of burned. Homemade italian meatballs and sauce I could imagine the vegetables stirred into and enrobing the meat, and I knew if I couldn’t find lingonberries, I could swap them out for cranberries and be happy with the result. Homemade meatballs cooked in sauce I cooked a kalpudding the next day. Simple homemade meatball recipe I cooked a lot of them after that: ground beef and pork mixed with bread crumbs and some of the caramelized cabbage, formed under a cloak of more cabbage and baked until the top went dark and almost dry at the edges, delicious crunch above the succulent meat. Simple homemade meatballs for spaghetti I served them with lingonberry preserves (thanks, Internet!), cut with vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, made velvet with butter, alongside boiled potatoes.

One day in the middle of all this cooking, I called Magnus Nilsson, the chef at Faviken, a restaurant on a large estate in northwestern Sweden that regularly appears on lists of the world’s best. The best homemade meatball recipe Nilsson is fanatical in his devotion to Nordic cuisine. How to make homemade meatballs for subs In 2015, he published “The Nordic Cookbook,” an invaluable guide to the region’s cooking, from the braised guillemot of the Faroe Islands to the taco quiche of suburban Stockholm. How to make homemade meatballs and gravy He has a recipe for kalpudding in the book. How to make homemade meatballs in crock pot It was as much casserole as meatloaf. How to make homemade meatballs and sauce Continue reading the main story

Kalpudding, he told me — “and I’m just theorizing here” — is just an easier-to-make version of the stuffed cabbage the Swedes call kaldolme, a dish Nilsson traces back to the 18th century, a Nordic version of the Turkish dolmas that Swedish soldiers tasted in the Ottoman Empire when they sought refuge there after an unsuccessful military campaign against the Russians. Easy homemade spaghetti and meatballs “It’s an infidel’s version, with pork,” he said. Homemade spaghetti and meatballs “But hard to make, with all that stuffing and rolling. Homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs recipe So kalpudding is what you’d make at home.” Photo

Gentl and Hyers for The New York Times. Recipe for homemade meatballs for spaghetti Food stylist: Hadas Smirnoff. How to make homemade spaghetti meatballs Prop stylist: Rebecca Bartoshesky.

Nilsson said he was once particular about the preparation of the dish. Homemade meatballs and sauce in crock pot When he set out to compile the cookbook, he said, “it was a big documentary project. Homemade pasta sauce and meatballs I was dead set on accuracy. Homemade pasta and meatballs There was no room for adaptation.” But making the recipes work for the regular home cook put the lie to that goal, he said, and so did the hundreds of regional differences in particular dishes prepared in different parts of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. Spaghetti and homemade meatballs recipe (What, you don’t have any goose blood around to make the svartsoppa?) Nilsson used as an example the binders that are used in kalpudding, to help the meat hold together. Homemade meatballs for spaghetti recipe “Historically, there are breadcrumbs in kalpuddings made in Stockholm,” he said. Homemade italian spaghetti and meatballs “That’s because there were bakeries there. Quick and easy homemade meatballs You don’t see that to the north, where there were no bakeries,” and crushed barley is used instead. Meatballs homemade recipe Some bind their kalpudding with rice, or shredded potatoes.

That’s good, I said, because Nilsson calls for the use of “golden syrup” to help caramelize his cabbage, and the rest of the world doesn’t easily have access to the Swedish version of that sugar-beet syrup, amber and salty-sweet, very different from our own (the Internet isn’t perfect). Homemade sauce for meatballs Nilsson laughed. Homemade meatballs with sauce “And we don’t use molasses,” he said.

But you can. Homemade meatball sauce recipe The result will be no less Nordic, Nilsson said. Homemade meatball sauce “Cabbage smells in a very special way when it almost burns,” he told me. Homemade italian meatball recipe “It gets savory, almost like a beef stock. Best homemade meatball recipe It tastes almost brown and umami yummy.” How you get it to that point, he added, is “what’s interesting, what happens when you cook a dish elsewhere, with what you have available to you. Easy homemade meatball recipe It always, always, makes sense.”

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A version of this article appears in print on March 5, 2017, on Page MM26 of the Sunday Magazine with the headline: The Swedish Season. Easy recipe for homemade meatballs Today’s Paper | Subscribe Continue reading the main story

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