Wednesdays Unplugged – Nordic Meatballs with quick-pickled sweet cucumbers


"Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There's no time for anything else." ~ Nanea Hoffman


 NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It's my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian 'Quote Cup' passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, and sometimes some photos of family fun. I love trying new recipes…and love getting recipes you would like to share!

We served our family night dinner at church with Families Moving Forward this week. Two grandkids were there having fun being silly with the kids there while the other grandkid was busy with a baseball game… so nice to have warm, sunny weather this week.


I made this week's recipe a couple weeks ago, some more Nordic recipes from Magnus Nilsson, who will be in the Twin Cities the beginning of June. I am looking forward to his photography exhibit at the American Swedish Institute. The consistency of these meatballs remind me of my recipe for Norwegian meatballs but without the spices and with a secret ingredient… a riced potato! I was amazed at how flavorful they were. I didn't grow up with pickles so would never think to serve meatballs with sweet pickled cucumbers, but found the combination of meatballs, cucumbers and lingonberry jam was simple and delicious.


  • Nordic meatballs1 medium baking potato (8 oz) peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 12 ounces ground beef
  • 12 ounces ground pork
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Serve with Quick-Pickled Sweet Cucumbers (recipe below), mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam

Cook the potato in salted boiling water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain well, then pass through a ricer into a bowl. Let cool.

Meanwhile, preheat the overn to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk the egg with the milk and cream. Stir in the breadcrumbs and let stand for 5 minutes to soften. Add the beef, pork, onion, salt, pepper and riced potato nad mix just until combined. Shape the mixture into 18 meatballs.

In a large ovenproof non-stick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add half of the meatballs and cook over moderate heat, turning, until golden all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe out the skillet. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and meatballs.

Return all the meatballs to the skillet and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve with the Quick-Pickled Sweet Cucumber, mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 unpeeled medium cucumbers, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar with 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vinegar. Transfer the brine to a heatproof bowl and let cool to room temperature.

In a colander set over a bowl, toss the sliced cucumbers with the salt. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Press down on the cucumbers to release any excess liquid, then transfer the cucumbers to the brine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email - Minneapolis Realtor Who Cooks



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I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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