The Foods of Sweden

The famous Sweden smörgåsbord is known throughout the world. It is a grand array of wonderful colors and delicious flavors. The smörgåsbord allows guests to visit the richly laid table many times and it is known that you do not hurry through a smörgåsbord. The first trip to the smörgåsbord always consists of herring, prepared in a variety of ways. There are various other courses which consist of cheeses, a variety of fish, potatoes, vegetables, salads, meatballs, eggs and don’t forget the desserts.

Consider making the Swedish smörgåsbord a theme for one of your Christmas get-togethers. To offer some vegetarian alternatives we have included a recipe for Swedish meatballs without any meat. Most local grocery stores now offer a good variety of many vegetarian style cheeses and cold meat substitutes if you prefer not to eat meat. When we had our family Swedish smörgåsbord we had a wonderful time learning about the Swedish culture and tasting the many wonderful flavors from this rich country.

Kottbullar (Swedish Meat(less) Balls)

3 – 4 medium size potatoes
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 cup ground almonds (a coffee grinder works well for grinding nuts)
4 Tbsp ground flax seed
salt & pepper
1 medium size onion, chopped
4 – 5 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil

Put potatoes in medium saucepan, cover with water, add vegetable cube, and boil until potatoes are soft. Drain water from potatoes (saving the water to make gravy), mash and let cool. While potatoes are cooling:
1. Heat oil in small frying pan, add onions and cook until they just start to brown.
2. Put flax seed in small bowl and add ¼ cup of hot water, let stand for about 10 minutes for flax seed to absorb the water.

When the potatoes have cooled add the soaked flax seed and water, ground almonds, salt, pepper, and cooked onions. Mix together and roll into small balls. Heat olive oil in large fry pan; add the balls and brown nicely on all sides. Transfer the balls into a shallow cooking dish, and cook for approximately ¾ hour at 350 F. While the meat(less) balls are cooking, make a vegetarian gravy. Pour over the balls and continue cooking for an additional 20 mins.