Swedish Turkey Meatballs with Spaetzle

Life has been very busy since the holiday season ended. Of course I’m feeding my family and making daily dinners. I just haven’t had the opportunity to blog the recipes I have been developing. The recipes are on many Post-its in my Recipe Journal. I need to light a fire under my fingertips and get typing.

Over the holidays, my friend and professional photographer, Lana was visiting and she gave me some great DSLR lessons. Since I take all my blog and Instagram pictures in ‘real time’ as I’m cooking my family’s dinner and the end plate is my dinner plate. She helped me with my camera settings, i.e. ISO, f-stop etc. and lighting for my night shoots in my kitchen and at my permanent staging table. What a wonderful difference from the iPhone pictures I was using previously on the blog. The pictures are visually more appealing and more professional. Check out Lana’s Facebook Viva Image Group – Photography and Videography Service

Tonight’s dinner, as with most of the 5 o’clock rush dinners, came to fruition at about 5pm ;) with what was available in the fridge and freezer. Swedish Meatballs smothered in gravy and served on a spaetzle is very comforting for a late January dinner. And it is very simple to whip up.

If you are a regular reader of the 5 o’clock rush, you will know that I stock pile a LOT of ingredients ahead and save leftover components in the freezer. The kids are disappointed when is no room for ice cream!

The caramelized onions were made ahead from previous recipe. Caramelizing onions are very time-consuming so when I make them I usually double up.

If you have leftover kale from your kale chips or salad, remove stems from cleaned kale and place in a Ziploc freezer bag and it can be chopped to add to soups or sauces

And the balsamic mushroom enhancers are also in the freezer from a previous adventure Flavour Enhancers for Future Recipes ** but with reduced balsamic vinegar for added flavour.

Check out my Instagram @the5oclockrush to see my daily dinners photos.

Swedish Turkey Meatballs with Spaetzle

Makes about 40 Mini Meatballs Serves 4-6
Swedish Turkey Meatballs with Spaetzle

My Dinner Plate Swedish Turkey Meatballs with Spaetzle

Mise En Place

Mise En Place

Mise En Place

  • 1-500g pkge. Bechtle™ spaetzle or egg noodles

Meatballs

  • 1 lb. extra lean ground turkey
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup cooked caramelized onions *
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic mushroom enhancer **
  • ¼ cup frozen kale or spinach, chopped ***
  • 1 tsp. rosemary, stem removed and finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper

Gravy

Mise En Place

Mise En Place

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup cooked caramelized onions
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 3 tbsp. butter or canola oil
  • 3 cups chicken stock, homemade or terra packed
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic mushroom enhancer
  • 1 tsp. coarse grain Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • green onions, sliced
  • finely chopped rosemary

Garnish

  • fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • olive oil or melted butter
  • sour cream

Place a large pot of heavily salted water on the stove to boil.

In a large bowl, combine extra lean ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, balsamic mushroom enhancer, kale, and cooked onion; season with salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon or your ‘gloved’ hands, stir until well combined. Using a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop, fill scoop with mixture and form about 40 meatballs.

Meatball Mixture

Meatball Mixture

Using enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Add meatballs, in batches, and cook until all sides are browned, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

To make the gravy, melt butter in the same cast iron skillet. Add the finely minced garlic and caramelized onions. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Add in the grainy mustard and balsamic mushroom enhancers. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Stir in meatballs, rosemary, sliced green onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through and thickened, about 8-10 minutes.

Cook spaetzle according to package instructions.

Drain noodles, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

Serve immediately, garnished with sour cream, if desired.

Swedish Turkey Meatballs with Spaetzle

My Dinner Tonight Swedish Turkey Meatballs with Spaetzle

Swedish Turkey Meatballs with Spaetzle

My actual Dinner Plate of Swedish Turkey Meatballs with Spaetzle (6:45pm)

* To make a quick version of caramelize onions:

Caramelizing onions is a long slow process to develop the sweet, rich flavours which can take up to 90 minutes to prepare. This is a ‘cheater’ version.

Chop a large onion into a medium to fine dice.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become soft and rich brown colour, about 10-15 minutes. Add a little sugar to speed up the process.

Dinner Tonight-Swedish Meatballs

Dinner Tonight-Swedish Meatballs iPhone photo (6:45pm)

Loaded 'Baked' Potato Pizza

Loaded ‘Baked’ Potato Pizza

If you are regular viewer of the 5 o’clock rush especially on Instagram, you will notice that I like to include a starch with my daily dinners. This could be rice, pasta, bread and especially potatoes.

So when I had this awesome opportunity to create a unique potato recipe using The Little Potato Company ® I was more than thrilled.

LPC Logo

The Little Potato Company Potatoes

The Little Potato Company Potatoes

The great features about these potatoes are:

  • Proprietary potatoes – grown to full maturity
  • Available year-round and always in stock
  • Even cooking time
  • High quality – grown with care and hand-sorted
  • Fresh – straight from the farm
  • Quick – pre-washed, no peeling, no waste or extra prep
  • Nutritious – fat, gluten, and cholesterol free
  • Thin skinned – excellent source of potassium
  • Easy to prepare – roast, microwave, oven, BBQ
  • Great plate appeal

I received two of The Little Potato Company ® varieties:

Something Blue ™ has a unique, beautiful contrast of colours – yellow flesh with purple streaks, and bright blue/purple skin. Something Blue delivers a well-balanced, slightly exotic flavour that has great colour retention, and is excellent for roasting or barbecuing.

The Little Potato Company Potatoes

The Little Potato Company Potatoes

Blushing Belle ™ is extremely versatile, and adapts well to a variety of cooking methods. Named after its blushing red skin and buttery yellow flesh, Blushing Belle delivers a soft, light texture with mild, delicate flavor. Excellent roasted or mashed.

The Little Potato Company ® potatoes are also available in a MICROWAVE READY varieties.

Providing freshly steamed, perfectly seasoned potatoes in just minutes, Microwave Ready kits are all about making wholesome and delicious that much easier. Simply microwave in the conveniently included steam tray, toss with the precisely pre-mixed seasoning and voila – full-on flavour the whole family will love. The only hard part will be deciding which flavour to try first!

My ‘chef’ thinking cap came up with this recipe for Loaded ‘Baked’ Potato Pizza.

Some of the components of a Loaded Baked Potato that I enjoy are bacon, chives, broccoli and loads of cheese or cheese sauce put on another favourite of mine…..PIZZA! And then add sour cream for dipping.

I decided to make a homemade crust for this recipe. The pizza crust recipe is from The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Ree Drummond who is an adventurous and creative food blogger. Ree’s recipe below is better made ahead at least 24 hours in advance. But it is super easy and very user-friendly.

There is always the option to use a store-bought pizza crust or even Naan bread.

My Favorite Pizza from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Makes 2 Crusts

Mise En Place

  • 1 teaspoon Active Dry Or Instant Yeast
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water.
In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low-speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined.

Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you need it.

*** It’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.

Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Mise En Place

Mise En Place

Mise En Place

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup extra old Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Herb cheese
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. Red Hot sauce

In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; whisk in flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, salt, pepper, and Red Hot until cheese is melted.

There is a new cheese sauce available on your grocery store shelves, which can be used in a pinch.

Loaded ‘Baked’ Potato Pizza

Loaded "Baked" Potato Pizza with Sour Cream

Loaded “Baked” Potato Pizza with Sour Cream

Loaded Baked Potato Pizza

Loaded ‘Baked’ Potato Pizza

Mise En Place

Toppings Mise En Place

Toppings Mise En Place
Bacon, Green Onions, Chives and Broccoli

  • Pizza Dough recipe above, halved
  • 1 cup favourite pizza or tomato sauce
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese sauce, recipe above
  • 2 cups mozzarella, grated
  • 6 The Little Potato Company ® Blushing Belles potatoes™, cooked and sliced
  • 6 The Little Potato Company ® Something Blues potatoes™, cooked and sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, blanched
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and cut into pieces
  • 4 green onions, cleaned and sliced on the bias
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chives
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

NOTE: I cooked The Little Potato Company ® Blushing Belles potatoes™ and The Little Potato Company ® Something Blues potatoes ™ for 9 minutes as I wanted to ensure that the potatoes remain the ‘circle’ shape. ;)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Drizzle olive oil on a large baking sheet using HALF the pizza dough, and lightly coat the dough with a little olive oil and lightly flour both sides. Pull and stretch on the dough, working it into a thin rectangle shape. No rolling necessary; the dough will be very thin, which is what you are looking for. The dough is very forgiving, if a hole or tear develops in the crust just pinch to seal.

Pizza Crust

Pizza Crust

Once you achieve the desire size and rectangle shape lightly drizzle some olive oil over the crust using your fingers to spread it all over the dough.

Coat the pizza dough with the pizza or tomato based sauce and cheddar cheese sauce leaving a ½ inch border for a crust.

Pizza Crust with Sauce and Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Pizza Crust with Sauce and Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Sprinkle with mozzarella.

Add The Little Potato Company ® Blushing Belles potatoes™ slices and The Little Potato Company ® Something Blues potatoes™ slices alternately as you would pepperoni.

Add the remaining toppings of bacon, broccoli, and green onions.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Remove from pan. Sprinkle with fresh chopped chives.

Slice with a pizza cutter. Serve with sour cream for dipping.

TIP: Use your kitchen shears to cut the cooked bacon and to finely cut the fresh chives.

The Loaded ‘Baked’ Potato Pizza was a hit with the family especially with the sour cream for dipping.

All of the toppings including The Little Potato Company ® potatoes could be the leftovers from a previous dinner. The other crust was made into a traditional pepperoni and cheese pizza.

Loaded "Baked" Potato Pizza

Loaded “Baked” Potato Pizza

Loaded 'Baked' Potato Pizza

Loaded ‘Baked’ Potato Pizza

All views are my own. I was contacted by @LittlePotatoCompany to write my honest review about their products. The 5 o’clock rush was not paid to write this post.

My Best Gravy for Thanksgiving Dinner

A Happy Thanksgiving to my American followers.

I hope that you are having an amazing day, watched the Macy’s Day parade and ready for football with family and friends while your feast is roasting and simmering away on the stove.

This is the last post for My Best Gravy for Thanksgiving Dinner will be the best compliment to all the past recipes I have posted for your Thanksgiving feast.

Check them all out here by clicking links below:

My Best Stuffing for Thanksgiving Dinner

My Best Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner

and the most popular My Best Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving Dinner

My Best Gravy for Thanksgiving Dinner

Serves 6-8
Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Mise En Place

Turkey Stock

Turkey Necks and Vegetables for Stock

Turkey Necks and Vegetables for Stock

  • Neck from your turkey
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2-3 stalks celery
  • parsley stems
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4-6 cups cold water

Combine neck bone, onion, garlic cloves, carrots, parsley stems, bay leaves and celery stalks and 4-6 cups cold water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat; skim off impurities then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 1 hour. Pass mixture through a fine sieve. Reserve stock for making gravy.

Remove the turkey from the oven, and place on a cutting board with rimmed cookie sheet underneath to catch any juices. Cover with aluminum foil and allow resting for at least 30 minutes up to an hour.

Remove the roasted vegetables from the bottom of the pan.

* A trick that I use for a flavourful and thick gravy is to use roasted vegetables. I pass them through a fine meshed strainer or you could place in a blender with a little of your stock. This puree will be added to the gravy after the roux is formed.

Or if you choose not to use; discard the vegetables.

Making the Gravy

Mise En Place

  • Turkey drippings from your roasting pan
  • pureed vegetables from your roasting pan *
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups starchy potato water from making your mashed potatoes **
  • 1 cup white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • freshly chopped sage

Place roasting pan on stove across two burners.

Bring pan juices to a simmer over medium-high. Cook, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon until smooth and the liquid starts to thicken.

Using these drippings make roux in the roasting pan with equal amounts of flour to fats in the pan.

Cook, stirring, until blended, about 1 minute.

Add passed or pureed roasted vegetables now if using.

Time to switch to a whisk and gradually add in hot turkey stock, and the reserved starchy potato water ** Just like reserving 1-2 cups of salty pasta cooking water for pasta dishes, I think that there is a little flavour and starchiness in potato water, if you don’t have just leave out.

Add white wine if using, or beer, cider or bourbon are good alternatives.

Whisking continuously.

It is about 4 ounces of roux to a quart of liquid

Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until gravy thickens and no longer tastes floury, about 5 minutes.

I always pass gravy through a fine sieve to confirm that there are no huge lumps of flour or vegetables that were missed; season with salt and pepper. Add finely chopped sage and keep warm.

If adding rustic or woody stem herbs such as thyme or rosemary; add at the beginning. If adding delicate herbs such as parsley or sage at the end.

I think that if you follow that above steps of My Best Gravy for Thanksgiving Dinner you will be pleased with the results.

Tip: A coffee thermos makes a great vessel for keeping gravy warm.

Solutions for the typical problems when making gravy.

Lumpy Gravy

Strain it again through a fine-mesh strainer. Or use an electric appliance such as blender, or with a stick blender, until smooth.

Bland Gravy

A little more salt. If that doesn’t work, add Worcestershire sauce.

Gravy that is Too Thick

Whisk in boxed chicken broth until you’ve reached the right consistency, then taste and re-season the gravy again as needed.

Gravy that is Too Thin

Make a cornstarch slurry which equal parts cornstarch and COLD water. (1 tbsp. of cornstarch to 1 tbsp. of cold water to start) Whisk in a little the slurry and bring to a simmer. I have also used Robin Hood Easy Blend flour to thicken my gravy.

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Best Thanksgiving Turkey 2014

My Best Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner

American Thanksgiving is in 4 days!

If you haven’t Thaw your turkey! Start thawing it in the refrigerator on a rimmed cookie sheet ASAP.

FYI A completely frozen turkey needs 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey (weight). A thawed turkey sitting around for an extra day or two in the refrigerator is much better than having to deal with a frozen turkey on Thanksgiving day.

Here is checklist of your Turkey roasting equipment inventory you will need before Thanksgiving:

  • A roasting pan and a V-shaped roasting rack

I purchase 2 disposable roasting aluminum pans; doubled up for strength (because who wants to wash more dishes or those huge roasting pans)

If you don’t have a roasting rack, chopped extra mirepoix or you can make your own by simply scrunching up a long piece of aluminum foil into a figure 8.

  • A working meat thermometer I invested in The iGrill
  • A baster or brush, preferably silicone
  • Butcher’s string (cotton based food-grade approved) or Architec Stretch Hot Cooking Bands 2
  • Cheesecloth, double thickness and size of the turkey’s breast
  • Cooking Spray
  • A carving set or electric knife, my husband’s new friend
  • And a working oven ;)

This is the third post in My Best Thanksgiving Recipes, Tips and Tricks.

Check out My Best Stuffing for Thanksgiving Dinner and My Best Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving Dinner 

The Best Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner

Preheat Oven 450F Serves 6-8
Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Mise En Place

PC Young Turkey -frozen

PC Young Turkey-frozen

  • 1 16-18 lb. whole turkey, defrosted and at room temperature
  • My Best Stuffing for Thanksgiving Dinner prepared and at room temperature
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, cleaned and chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 box reduced sodium chicken or turkey stock

Calculating your turkey’s cooking time. With my method of roasting a turkey, cooking time averages 20 minutes per pound for a stuffed turkey.

How to calculate cooking time: i.e. 16 lb. turkey X 20 min. per lb. = 320 min. divide by 60 min. in an hour = approx. 5 hours

After you do the math, add some additional prep time 15 min. and that the turkey should rest at least 30 minutes before carving. The total turkey time has worked out for the above example 5 hours & 45 min.

So, if you want to have dinner at 6pm, aim to have the turkey out of the oven at 5pm and work backwards from there. This is the time the turkey needs to go in the oven.

Preparing the Turkey

Preheat your oven 450 F and take the turkey out of the fridge; let the turkey sit out at room temperature while the oven is heating up. Remember to remove extra oven racks and adjust the rack you are using so that turkey has plenty of space to roast.

Place your turkey on a large cookie surface and unwrap your turkey.

Reach into the cavity and take out the neck (it looks like a long curved piece of bone with some meat attached.) Place the neck in a medium size pot with the reserved vegetables from preparing the stuffing. (i.e. parsley stems, celery stalks and carrots) fill pot with cold water and simmer.

Remove any plastic “thingy” holding the legs together. Discard.

Check inside of the neck cavity look for a little bag with the giblets (the heart, liver, etc.) sometimes you find this inside the main cavity. I just throw it away. Others will use the contents for giblet gravy.

Wash your turkey inside out in the sink with cold water. And dry it completely, both inside and out with paper towels.

Using a liberal amount of kosher salt and some black pepper sprinkle your washed and dried turkey inside and out.

Bend under the wing tips and now it is time to stuff the turkey with My Best Stuffing for Thanksgiving Dinner.

Trussing, or tying up the turkey into a more compact package, makes sure that the breast and thighs cook to the right temperature. The white meat won’t overcook while the dark meat is still cooking. Truss using butcher’s twine or just tie the legs or use the silicone elastic bands.

Mise En Place for Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner

Mise En Place for Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner

Spray the disposable roasting pan and v-shaped roasting rack liberally with cooking spray. And place your stuffed turkey on the rack and into the prepared roasting pan with 2 peeled garlic cloves, 1 onion quartered, 2 stalks of celery chopped, 2-3 peeled and chopped carrots to flavour the drippings.

One of my tricks is that I think make for juicy breast meat, is to start the turkey breast up and roast for about 20 minutes in 450 F until slightly golden in colour. Then flip the turkey to breast side down for another 20 minutes.

Remove the turkey from the oven; flip the turkey back to breast side up. Prepare the 1 cup of melted butter, 1 cup white wine and ½ cup of stock in a glass-measuring cup. Dip the cheesecloth in the liquid, saturate and place on turkey’s breast.

The second trick is the cheesecloth protects the breast from getting too brown and dried out.

Add ½ cup of chicken or turkey stock to the roasting pan.

Turn the oven down to 325 F. Place the cheesecloth-covered turkey back in the oven.

Roast and baste.

Baste the turkey including the cheesecloth with the wine, stock and butter mixture. And with some of the delicious juices that are gathering at the bottom of the roasting pan. The cheesecloth will get brown, no worries.

Continue to baste.

Start checking the temperature 30-45 minutes before your calculated time just to be sure since every oven is different. Cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165F.  The temperature of the breast should be around 155F.

Remove turkey from the oven and place on carving board and/or clean-rimmed cookie sheet. Baste the turkey with drippings to help moisten the cheesecloth before trying to remove it from the skin of the turkey. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and rest at least for 30 minutes even up to an hour. Resting any meat such as a turkey or even a roast beef that has been cooking for a long time redistribute the juices themselves back into the meat. Don’t worry; this large piece of meat will not get cold.

While the turkey is resting, is the perfect opportunity to prepare the gravy using the pan drippings, reserved starchy potato water and simmering stock.

My Best Turkey Gravy for Thanksgiving Dinner. Stay Tuned!

Carve the turkey by removing the legs and breasts off the bird. Once the breast meat is cut off the bones, cut into slices. Cut the thigh meat off of the bones.

Thanksgiving Turkey 2014

Thanksgiving Turkey 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Youtube Spotlight: Gaming with Jezdamayel and TeasersBooks,

chefkim1968:

I’m so proud of my daughter’s Vlog about her love of reading and her current book reviews. Thanks for the positive review of her YouTube channel. Please check out and share her channel.

Originally posted on Let's review stuff:

cooltext1640614622

TeasersBooks

Screenshot (98)

Teasers Books is a fairly recent booktube channel and I only just discovered it. Jordan’s first video was only 2 months ago however she is very comfortable in front of the camera. A lot of booktube channels are very similar but I really like TeasersBooks due to the effective editing and speed. Jordan seems to enjoy making videos and it comes through on camera. Jordan so far has been uploading approximately once every 2 weeks. Normally I won’t recommend a Channel unless it has been operating for quite a while however I think that TeasersBooks still has quite a while to go and will continue uploading.

Check her out here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TeasersBooks/feed

Gaming With Jezdamayel

Screenshot (99)

Gaming with Jezdamayel is one of my personal favorite gaming channels. When listening to Jezdamayel videos you are able to see how talented a lets player she is. There are very few “ahh i don’t know what…

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