I painted our stairway yesterday and today in our house. It was a dark olive green color done by the previous owners and we had been meaning to get around to painting it since it was way to dark for the stairs, but never did. Since we will be putting our house on the market soon, I knew there was no getting out of it so I dove in. Well, more like I dipped my toe in and whined the whole time. Painting is fun for like 10 minutes when you are redoing a room or just moved into a new house and can’t wait to freshen it up and make it your own. When you are painting or repainting a house you hopefully won’t be living in much longer, it’s no picnic. And painting a two-story stairway is just no fun at all. As I was covering that dull green with a bright cream, I was thinking about our former house. It was our first house and was special. I had a binder full of magazine pictures of decorating, remodeling and paint color ideas started long before we even closed on the house. I loved choosing the paint colors and painting each room and seeing how it all flowed together. I still remember most of the paint color names on all the walls, trim, and ceilings of the house. Edelweiss on the dining room ceiling, Water Chestnut on dining room and upstairs trim, Dust Bunny in upstairs hall, Wool Coat in the upstairs bath. Oh, how I still love that color. I decided to paint our foyer a deep warm red color. It was called Tile Red by Valspar. I was pregnant and determined to paint the foyer and achieve the look I was after. I was going over white walls and it took almost six gallons of paint and five coats on each wall. I remember sending my husband back to Lowes for just a gallon more of paint a few times and it seemed that it would never be complete. I remember having a paint brush duct taped to the top of an extension pole to get the corner of the wall to the ceiling just so. It looked beautiful at Christmas time with lit garland coming down the huge oak staircase with built ins underneath. When we went to sell that house, I knew a more neutral foyer color would have probably gone over better, but I was not repainting that stairway. No way! I wonder if it’s still red to this day. I may have to drive by and take a peek next time I am down that way. So as I’m painting our stairway, I laughed at my choice for red for the foyer of the old house. What was I thinking? I like a nice accent wall, or a bold color where it is easily changed out, but a foyer with a two-story staircase is not the place for such a bold color. It’s funny how now I prefer much more neutral colors with pops of accent colors on walls, or in decor pieces. So, I can’t help but already think about paint colors for the next home that I haven’t even found yet! Definitely going to have to get some Wool Coat on a couple of walls in there! Are you wondering what this all has to do with Stroganoff with meatballs yet? Well, as I was painting today, I also thought about what I was going to fix for dinner. I wanted to use my frozen meatballs that I had made last month in some sort of different way than with traditional marinara sauce and pasta. So I started thinking about Swedish Meatballs and if I could combine that type of flavor with a Beef Stroganoff flavor. I set the meatballs out to defrost this afternoon and knew I would figure out the details of the recipe as I made it. I had time to think about it, as I was still working on that darn second coat of paint.
Around 5:30 tonight, I finished up the paint, cleaned up and got busy with dinner. My oldest comes in the kitchen over dramatic saying she’s starving. I tell her it will be around 45 min and she will survive. It’s funny how they actually think they will starve to death. She had caramel dip and apple slices just 2 hours ago as a snack so I know she’s fine. Helping my husband with the leaves outside didn’t take that much effort, so I stay strong. I give her a job to do to help her stop complaining. That usually works. She took a few of the pictures of the recipe process for me and helped with the garlic bread that I served along with our Stroganoff and Meatballs. If you have been following this blog and maybe made a few dishes, you may recall my Holy Spaghetti and Meatballs post. Well, this is another way to use up those homemade meatballs that you stockpile in your freezer. If you don’t want to make your own, you could certainly use store-bought meatballs. Nothing wrong with that at all. Sometimes, you just don’t have the time or want to fuss with making meatballs. Although this meal was done in a hurry and just made up as I went along, it turned out really well. It has a nice rich flavor with a silky sauce that coats the noodles and compliments the flavorful meatballs perfectly. I knew I had to write this one up before I forgot how I made it so that I can duplicate it again and again!
Stroganoff with Meatballs
20 meatballs – cooked. Either fresh cooked, or thawed if frozen, but they don’t have to be hot since they will warm up in the sauce. I cut my 20 thawed meatballs in half. See below for my meatball recipe.
1 lb pasta. Any will work. I used dry medium Amish style noodles. My second choice would be a fettuccini noodle.
1/2 medium sized onion – diced fine
1 garlic clove – minced
4 TBS Butter
4 TBS All Purpose Flour
4 teas beef soup base or 4 beef bullion cubes mixed in 4 C boiling water
1/2 C fresh or canned sliced mushrooms – chopped. I used fresh mushrooms that had been frozen.
1/2 C Sour Cream
1/8 C heavy cream. I used 2 cubes of frozen heavy cream.
1 teas rosemary chopped. I chopped some off a frozen sprig I had in my freezer.
1/2 teas Kosher or Sea Salt plus 1/2 teas or so more for the pasta water
1/2 teas black pepper
a half a pinch of nutmeg. Remember that Nutmeg has a pretty intense flavor. I used a tiny bit of fresh grated.
1/2 C of pasta water
Directions for sauce:
Melt butter in a large, heavy pot and add diced onion. Saute over medium heat until onion is soft.
Add in garlic and stir over medium heat for just a minute.
Add in flour and stir with the melted butter, onions, and garlic to create a thick rue.
Continue to cook your rue for a few minutes until it becomes a nice golden color.
Add in the beef soup base or bullion cube and water mixture.
Stir over medium heat and the sauce will thicken up until it coats the back of a spoon.
Add in the Sour Cream and heavy cream.
Add in the mushrooms, rosemary, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Keep the sauce on medium heat making sure the sour cream is all mixed thoroughly and heavy cream is incorporated (making sure cubes are melted if using frozen cream cubes).
Carefully add the meatballs to the sauce and make sure they are submerged so they warm up.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1/2 teas of salt to the boiling water and add your pasta.
Boil pasta per package directions. I boiled the Amish style noodles for around 12 minutes, added around 1/2 C of pasta water to my Stroganoff sauce and then I strained the pasta and added the pasta to the Stroganoff sauce with meatballs.
Carefully mix the noodles in to make sure they are covered with sauce and mingling with the meatballs. I let it cook on low for a few more minutes while I finished up the bread.
My Homemade Meatballs
2 lbs lean ground beef. I usually use 80/20
1 lb ground sausage. I use regular flavor
2- 2 1/2 C breadcrumbs. I use about a half a loaf of Jimmy John’s day old bread and pulse it in food processor.
1/3 C dried parsley
1/2 C grated parmesan or romano cheese. I use 1/4 C of each.
4 large eggs slightly beaten
1 TBS salt
1 TBS pepper
Directions for meatballs:
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
Roll up those sleeves and wash those hands – you’re going to need them.
Line 2 large baking sheets with foil or parchment paper
Prepare Breadcrumbs in food processor and set aside.
Grate cheese, measure out parsley and salt and pepper and set aside
Slightly beat eggs in small bowl and set aside
In a large bowl, combine ground beef and sausage. Gently work until combined.
Add in breadcrumbs, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper and mix until combined, but do not over work.
Form into golf ball size balls (a little over 1 1/2 inch diameter)
Place evenly spaced on baking sheet and bake at 350 Degrees for 20 minutes.
Once the meatballs are cooked, remove from oven, but keep the meatballs on the baking sheets.
This will make around 55-60 golf ball sized meatballs. Take half of them and set aside until your sauce is ready. Keep the other remaining half of the meatballs on the baking sheet and place in deep freezer for an hour or so and then transfer to a large freezer bag and return to the freezer. When you are ready to use the frozen meatballs, just take them straight from the freezer and put them in hot sauce until heated through. Or let them defrost a bit if you need to cut them in half. You can also heat in crock pot but I would try to avoid heating in oven since this may cause them to over cook and dry out.
Stroganoff with Meatballs results and Handy Kitchen Helpers
And there you have it. A lovely little dish that utilizes those delicious homemade frozen meatballs and is very easy to throw together. Here’s a few ways, I was able to speed up my prep time for this dish. You’ve probably noticed, I freeze a lot of things. I freeze heavy cream in ice cube trays and then store in the freezer in freezer bags for easy use in sauces and soups. I also freeze fresh herbs like rosemary. I just wrap the whole sprig up in Press and Seal. I take what I need and add the whole sprig to the sauce for flavor and remove it out before serving, or I chop up the frozen sprig and add the chopped rosemary to whatever I’m cooking. I also usually have diced onion frozen in Press and Seal and in freezer bags and ready to be thrown into anything I’m making. For this dish, I used up some fresh sliced mushrooms that I had frozen. I just chopped them up straight out of the freezer and threw them into the sauce. These little time savers really allow me to make some yummy meals that have lots of ingredients fairly quickly. I said earlier that I made some garlic bread to go along with this dish. It was just a loaf of day old Jimmy John’s bread that I sliced in half and my daughter melted some butter and spooned it on, then we added garlic powder, and some Italian seasoning to it. Baked it in the oven at 425 degrees for around 3-5 minutes, slice it up, and it’s ready to compliment any dish. Click HERE for more ways you can utilize Jimmy John’s Bread.