Whyyyy do I find it so hard to resist the IKEA cafeteria? The last time we went, there were no clean tables, no forks left in the utensil bins, and the food hovered somewhere around room temp. As I sat at my sticky table eating my cold Indian butter chicken with a spoon, I silently fumed. The dry cracker-like piece of naan bread only added insult to injury.
I probably should’ve just gone with the Swedish Meatballs, I thought. But I’d still be eating them with a spoon.
Let’s face it, IKEA is never a quick in-and-out. Personally, I go so infrequently that when I’m there, I’m determined not to miss a thing. I might not actually be in the market for a new couch, but damned if I’m not going to take a slow walk through that section anyway. Also the store is designed so you couldn’t really avoid anything even if you wanted to.
The problem is that by the time I’ve made it through the whole maze, I’m starving, and the promising scent wafting though the store just calls to me. “Meeeeeeeeeat baaaaaaaalls” it says.
So yeah. After that trip, I was craving the Swedish Meatballs I didn’t have, and figured it was high time I learned how to make them myself. I’m happy to report that IKEA has nothing on these meatballs. The sauce is creamy without being too rich or heavy, and the meatballs themselves are perfectly juicy, with great flavor.
I made these in about an hour on a chilly weeknight a couple of weeks ago. I served them over egg noodles and it was a terrific, hearty meal that got more compliments from my husband than anything else I’ve made in a long time. Bonus: the kid liked them too!
Here’s a thought: next trip to IKEA, I think I will pack a lunch.