While we were driving into Memphis for a quick visit a few weeks ago, we passed an IKEA, and I told Mr. Handsome that we just had to go there for lunch. “Lunch at a furniture store?” he replied. “That’s like buying fresh fish from a sewage treatment pond. No one wants that.” He had clearly never had the IKEA experience.
Growing up, my brother and I loved IKEA. Whenever we were near one, we just had to stop in and order a plate of Swedish Meatballs. (We even went to an IKEA in Sweden, which was especially memorable.) We also enjoyed walking through the store and looking at all the fun gadgets….and trying to pronounce the Swedish names for everything. Some IKEA locations have cart escalators, which always added a fun twist.
Well, Mr. Handsome finally gave in to a quick stop at IKEA, and we had a blast. The Swedish meatballs with cream sauce and lingonberry jam were definitely the best part. Don’t they just look amazing (see photo above)?
For those who aren’t familiar with lingonberries, they are a Scandinavian wild berry. In the small grocery section at IKEA, there are dozens of lingonberry products for sale.
We ended up buying two items: a dishtowel for $0.79 (how can you pass that up?) and a package of frozen chicken meatballs.
The store also sells a pre-made package of cream sauce…
…But I decided to come up with my own recipe (see below). It was a hit! For those who don’t have an IKEA nearby, any type of fully-cooked meatballs (Swedish or regular) will do. You can also make your own meatballs. For those who are vegetarian, IKEA sells meatless meatballs.
1 Tablespoon butterServes 4
Place potatoes in a pot with a vegetable steamer (with water underneath). If you don’t have a steamer, just cook them how you normally cook your potatoes. Cook over medium heat until soft.
Add broth and half and half. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Whisk in remaining flour (1 Tablespoon) and remaining ingredients (Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper).
If meatballs are frozen, add them to a saucepan with 1 Tablespoon melted butter, and cook (stirring every 30 seconds) over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
Add meatballs to sauce, and cook, stirring constantly, until meatballs are covered in sauce.