When I was a kid, one of my absolute favorite things about visiting our summer cottage in Sweden was the prospect of Swedish meatballs. Not just any Swedish meatballs, but a specific brand. We would always stop on the way to the house to get provisions at the local grocery store chain, and I remember running down the aisles to find the meatballs. My mother would cook them on a frying pan until they were quite dark, but not really burned. She would use lots of butter (where we use olive oil), and we would all sit and munch on meatballs and mashed potatoes while the house warmed up. Good times!
So, it was with great surprise I found one day these very same meatballs were being sold in the local Ikea in San Diego. What are the odds! Celebrating my Swedish childhood, I decided to create a Swamerican (Swedish-American) sandwich. I still prefer the meatballs without condiments – just by themselves, but as sandwiches come, this wasn’t half bad at all !
Living in San Diego means being influenced by Mexican cooking. Each street corner seems to sport a Mexican fast-food joint. Our cooking regularly employs cilantro and salsa, bothView Post of which can be tasty new ingredients to familiar meals. In this sandwich, we use both, and with the French bread, this becomes an international affair. Danish meatballs (frikadeller), Italian mozzarella, cilantro and salsa, made by a Dane and a Jamaican living in the US. It is a small world these days.
Somewhere out there, people are making meatballs with no meat, which seems oddly disturbing to me. At least call them something else :-). This sandwich, however, has genuine meaty meatballs (danish Frikadeller), plus no less than two cheeses, and a bit of the brilliantly hot Chinese black bean chili sauce which we have found really useful for sandwiches when used modestly.
It was Tuesday, and I want to write it was raining cats and dogs, but I live in San Diego so the weather was really very nice, just like the last 6 months or so. In any case, I got a crazy craving for Danish meatballs, and on my way home from work I had to stop to get some ground beef and pork. Danish Meatballs are called “Frikadeller” (singular form is frikadelle), and they can be made from many types and blends of meats, but this is a classic.
The sandwich itself is a ciabatta roll with ducks fat and roasted garlic smear. Two meatballs are heated and cut in half, and topped with stone ground mustard. A bit of sea-salt is sprinkled on, and it’s decorated with blueberries and a pickle. Fantastic sandwich. The blueberries jumped out of my pantry at me, and I thought I would give it a go.
This is another of those recipes that we have to add to this otherwise exclusive sandwich blog. These Danish meatballs are great for sandwiches, and will be used in some of our other posts. They also happen to be the national food of Denmark, and is consumed by everyone by bulk. They are great with mashed potatoes (Which in turn is great on mashed potato sandwiches), or as a side to a salad. Total cooking time is about 50 minutes, some of which is spent waiting for the meat to cool down before frying. Simple.Easy.Good.
While this recipe is ingrained as part of the danish culture, we notices that some american blogs have also gotten a hold of it, most noticeably the excellent simply recipes which we love to read. It’s nice to see these easy and excellent frikadeller spreading out in the world.