You’ll want to get on your cozy socks and grab a warm cuppa to peruse Marte Marie Forsberg’s The Cottage Kitchen: Cozy Cooking in the English Countryside. Her home put me in mind of that charming cottage in The Holiday, which would make a delightful movie accompaniment.
A huge thanks to Marte Marie Forsberg for letting me share the recipes to make this scrumptious dinner with you!
My review of the book with my pics and thoughts on the dishes I tried is below the recipes for this lovely dinner.
Marie’s Meatballs with Parsnip and Cardamom Puree
Makes 30 small meatballs
2 tablespoons salted butter, cubed, room temperature, plus more for greasing, frying, and buttering
500g/1 pound ground pork
500g/1 pound ground beef
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
65g/ 2/3 cup rolled oats
4 medium eggs
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt
¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Parsnip and Cardamom Puree (recipe follows), for serving
Cranberry Sauce (recipe follows), for serving
Brown Gravy (recipe follows), for serving
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F with a rack set in the middle. Butter a large 35 x 45 centimeter / 14 x 18 inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon or your hands, combine the pork, beef, onion, oats, eggs, cubed butter, cardamom, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Place a small bowl filled with water next to you to dip your fingers in when shaping the meatballs. Dip your fingers in water, scoop out a little meatball mixture, and shape it into a ball about the size of a plum, 5 centimeters / 2 inches in diameter.
In a large skillet set over medium heat, melt 1 teaspoon of butter. Working in batches, add several meatballs to the pan and cook until browned and crispy on all sides, 6 to 7 minutes, turning regularly. Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining meatballs.
Bake until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Take one out to test that the center is not pink before removing them from the oven. Serve warm with the parsnip puree, cranberry sauce, and brown gravy.
Parsnip and Cardamom Puree
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 kg / 2.2 pounds parsnips, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
500ml / 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons double cream / heavy cream
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the parsnips, garlic, and cardamom and cook til tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the water, bring to a boil, and boil for 20 to 25 minutes, until the parsnips are completely soft, checking regularly and adding more water if needed so the mixture doesn’t dry out. Season with salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender (or working in batches with a regular blender), puree until smooth. Stir in 1 tablespoon of cream, adding more if the puree is too thick.
500 g / 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
250 g / 2 cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon salted butter
450ml / scant 2 cups water
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until it reaches a thin, sauce-like consistency, 12 to 15 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.
The sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days. Serve at room temperature.
Serves 4 to 6
400ml / 1 2/3 cup beef stock
200ml / ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
3 tablespoons salted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pan drippings from Marie’s Meatballs (optional)
1 tablespoon Norwegian brown goat’s cheese, grated (optional)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the stock with the milk and warm for 5 to 7 minutes. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
In the same saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. While stirring constantly, add the flour and cook, stirring, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and pour in the milk mixture in a thin stream, stirring vigorously to avoid lumps. Cook, stirring constantly, until you have a thick sauce, 5 to 8 minutes. If you have any drippings from making the meatballs, stir them in at this point, along with the goat cheese, if using. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat and cook until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve warm.
My review of the book…
The Cottage Kitchen: Cozy Cooking in the English Countryside
by Marte Marie Forsberg
The author grew up in Norway, and moved to the English countryside after she finished at University. The book reflects both in wonderful Norwegian British fusion. Her photography is exquisite, full of charm and bold contrasts of rustic and posh, with an eye for very dramatic lighting. The food is delicious and interesting.
1-2) Marie’s Meatballs – p 113, Brown Gravy – p 41, Parsnip and Cardamom Puree – p 114, and Cranberry Sauce – p 115. This dinner was divine. I usually make roast potatoes with Scandinavian meatballs and gravy, and adore the parsnip and cardamom puree. The house smelled amazing! In the gravy, she lists just a tablespoon of brown goat’s cheese. It’s optional, and everything will be wonderful if you skip it. I happened to have some in the fridge, so I thought I’d add a pic in case anyone’s unfamiliar and is cheese-curious.
3) Orange and Clove Roast Chicken with Pears and Butternut Squash – p 213. Really yummy and the taste is so different. I love it when that much produce is packed in a recipe. On this one, I found that mine took a considerable amount of time longer than the recipe mentioned. I’ll probably move half the fruits and vegetables to a second pan next time to increase surface area, and try to decrease the time. That said, as long as you go with an internal temperature on the chicken to determine doneness instead of the time, you’ll have a lovely dinner.
4) Baked Mont D’Or with Honeycomb and Garlic – p 83. I couldn’t get my hands on a Mont D’Or, so I had to go with another soft, flavorful cheese. I love the addition of honeycomb, garlic, and rosemary.
5) Truffled Yorkshire Pudding – p 28, with Onion Gravy – p 29. Yum! It’s kind of like a savory Dutch baby.
6) Ruby-Red Rhubarb Soup – p 120. My daughter smiled, “This tastes like Christmas.” It’s filled with vanilla bean and cinnamon.
7) Tomato Tarte Tatin with Burrata – This one’s amazing. I love the contrasts of honeyed tomato with olives and a buttery puff pastry. If you can’t get your hands on Burrata at your store, it’s like mozzarella’s creamier cousin. The burrata’s awesome, but you could sub in really fresh mozzarella if you had to.
Some others I have flagged to try: Fig and Pecan No Knead Bread – p 24 * Waldorf Salad – p 27 * Tarragon Butter Baked Scallops – p 33 * Chorizo Macaroni and Cheese – p 36 * Truffled Vegetable Toad in the Hole * Kale and Almond Soup – p 87 * Roast Potatoes – p 107 * Fennel and Potato Soup – p 116 * Caramel Popcorn – p 130 * Artichokes with My Mother’s Creamy Lemon Butter Sauce – p 144 * Summer Panzanella – p 163
*I received a review copy to explore and share my thoughts on.