Swedish Meatloaf

…or, New Kind of Neighborhood.

I finally moved to WordPress and cooked myself up a new blog. What do you think? I’m still fiddling with design details here and there (I just don’t have the same artistic eye since I quit dropping acid), but overall I think it’s coming along alright. It’ll probably never be perfect, and I might just get used to it before I really feel like it’s done to my exacting standards, but it’s better than a milquetoast built-in template. Or Blogger. A huge shout-out to my genius husband who coded this shit like a motherfucking wizard. Anyways, I’d love some feedback. And please, be brutal.

Another huge shout-out goes to my genius husband for coming up with this dinner idea. Full disclosure: I did actually start brainstorming what dish to make for my inaugural post, and wanted to make something comfort-y that would get a lot of traffic. People love comfort food – a glance at the top gawked/favorited/viewed posts on Tastespotting or Foodgawker reveals an orgy of gooey chocolate chip cookies, macaroni and cheese and other homey, familiar foods. And for some reason, 20-30% of my traffic still comes from people Googling some derivation of “swedish meatballs” (particularly, the gravy). So, yeah, I’m pandering a little. Hate on, haters – you know you wish you’d thought of this.

Meatballs and meatloaf are the same thing, just in different formats. The meatloaf/meatball part is a no-brainer: equal parts pork and beef, then minced onion, bread crumbs, an egg, seasonings (in this case nutmeg and sage), and something tart/sweet (in this case, a spoonful of lingonberry preserves), but I do have a gift for gravy, if I do say so myself. So as my gift to you, friends, I am giving up the goods and posting an actual recipe. That’s right. A recipe.

Nutmeg Gravy
To serve with Swedish meatballs or, as it were, meatloaf. Also great on biscuits.

2 tbsp butter
1/3 c flour
1 c cream (or milk)
1/2 c chicken stock
1/4 tsp fresh-grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
salt to taste
pinch paprika

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until the roux is golden and begins to smell wonderful. Turn off the heat, and whisking your ass off, add the cream bit by bit, then the stock bit by bit. I prefer to whisk it to choux paste in between splashes of cream until it’s eventually velvety and smooth, then whisk in the stock. If you can’t be bothered, go ahead and use my trick of dumping the whole lot into a tall glass measuring beaker and run an immersion blender through it to smooth out all the lumps completely in 10 seconds.

Return the heat to medium low and add the nutmeg, pepper,  salt and paprika and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the floury taste is gone. What does this mean? Hint: it should taste like gravy instead of library paste. Thin as needed with milk.

Serve with pan-roasted, herbed baby potatoes (or egg noodles) and lingonberry preserves.

So, here I am. Rock you like a hurricane.