Ikea stroganoff

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All of us have our “go to” websites. For some it’s the thrill of the social buzz, for others, surfing provides an island of tranquility in an otherwise chaotic landscape. My wife’s purpose for visiting a website is primarily in the realm of inspiration, that visual stimulus that promotes ideas in some mysterious creative part of the brain. One of her favourites is a site called Ikea Hackers. This site epitomizes the expression that “necessity is the mother of invention” (personally I think that laziness is the father.) The site is oriented around one idea: that every Ikea product can be hacked, modified and suited to the needs of the purchaser. Ikea hackers therefore has become a database/forum where people can submit their hacks to share with the global network of Ikea lovers. As you explore the site you realize the brilliant creativity of some and the sheer bad taste of others (in my opinion.)

Usually I abhor and avoid pre-packaged foods, but with nothing in my cupboard I had to resort to the stash in my freezer. Ikea, like Apple computers, holds somewhat of a cult status in our household, therefore finding Ikea products in my freezer is not too much of a surprise. Every time we enter the big yellow store, I will almost inevitably find myself sitting in the restaurant eating a plateful of fries and a dozen or so meatballs floating in institutional gravy. One day, to my horror, my wife bought a bag of said meatballs to bring home so that we could now eat the experience from the very comfort of our Ikea dining table. So as I explored the deep reaches of my freezer, I came across a bag of “kottbullar” and instantly an idea for a rather unusual Ikea hack began to form in my mind. The result doesn’t look super appealing but after the pot was scraped clean, I was asked when I would cook this again. So without further delay, I give you Ikea Stroganoff.

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What you need:

  • 1 package of Kottbullar Ikea meatballs
  • 2 onions finely diced
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt (normally I would use sour-cream, but I can’t get it here in Greece)
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 125g butter
  • 1 whole dried cayenne pepper
  • 1 package of dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated
  • 500g pasta of your choice, cooked to package instructions
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How it’s done:

  • Follow the package instructions and cook the meatballs.
  • In a deep saucepan, melt the butter and gently fry the onions and the rehydrated mushrooms.
  • When the onions are translucent add the meatballs and the beef bouillon.
  • After a few minutes add 1 1/2 cups of the yogurt and the pepper.
  • Gently simmer over low heat until your pasta is ready.
  • When the pasta is done, remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the remaining yogurt and remove the whole pepper.
  • Combine the sauce with the pasta and serve with a liberal sprinkling of fresh ground pepper.
  • Tuck in and enjoy Ikea hacking at its tastiest.
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