Lapper

Lapper, or sveler, is the Norwegian version of American pancakes. Well, other than the fact that you’d get a strange look over here if you tried eating them for breakfast.
They’re squarely in the domain of sweet food – hence they are meant to be eaten for afternoon tea/coffee. Maybe if a class or an organization has a bake sale, they will be featured.
We eat them with butter, or jam, or jam and sour cream, or in rare circumstances – with Danish chocolate spread.lappermedsjokoladelapper

Norwegian cooking: Komler

20130929-120016.jpgSo, potato balls. How about them? Every district in Norway seem to have their own variation of these, including the name.  And there are different condiments and drinks according to where you are in the country. Even to the point where someone wrote and published a book about it.

My Dad’s cousins in Chicago (their parents emigrated from Norway before WWII before they were born) and their families eat it for May 17 celebrations. Their version has been bastardised by the American palate- and they have taken to adding cornflakes to it for additional texture.

My grandmother started making these for us when I was younger. It took me a bit of time to warm up to them, but my youngest sister would eat four for dinner, four for breakfast the next day and four for lunch, until there were no more.

Since my grandmother is in the nursing home, we dug out her recipe for making it.

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Norwegian cooking: Gomme

20130929-120056.jpgA lot of the time, traditional Norwegian food does not look particularly appetizing. In many cases, it looks bland and boring.

And other times, it sort of looks like a brain exploded. Which is why, if you’re throwing a Halloween bash or a gory themed party, this dish is perfect for the visual aspect.

Gomme/Gome is one of those dishes that have small variations where in Norway you might be.

We tried replicating my grandmother’s version, and since she is from the South-Western part of Norway – we used this recipe as a base.

Gomme is a sweet dish that is meant to be used as dessert, as spread on flatbread/bread or just to be eaten as candied snack.

It’s really about having the time to do it. There is not a lot of active work, except for stirring the pot every now and then, but you have to be present and ensure that it doesn’t burn.

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Norwegian cooking: Russedessert

RussedessertIn my quest to explore the traditional Norwegian cuisine, the time had come to do Russedessert. Essentially, it is cordial mixed with water and semolina (and possibly also sugar) on the stovetop until it has congealed and then once it has cooled, it is whisked into a creamy pudding.

The recipe was in my grandmother’s cookbook, but as I wasn’t interested in feeding a family of a hundred… (Slight exaggeration, but the economic cookbook from late 1920, early 1930 is all about feeding many people, cheaply.) I went elsewhere. This recipe in Norwegian states that it is for four people.

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Norwegian cooking: Caramel pudding

I have a memory of watching my grandmother making caramel pudding in our kitchen at home. It might have been either my confirmation or my sister’s christening – since she was making it at our place and not her own. But it would also frequently be among the staples for dessert at Sunday dinner at her place.

Karamellpudding

For some reason, I’ve always imagined this to be super hard to make. It looks more impressive than it really is, as it is not that hard to make, I would say.
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Scandinavian cooking: Wales kringle

WaleskringleOddly enough named Waleskringle – I have no idea where the name comes from. If I were to hazard a guess, as it is an old Danish dessert, I would guess that it might have been named when Princess Alexandra of Denmark married the Prince of Wales, although one dictionary say that it is an old Welsh dessert… Can anyone shed some light?

This is actually a family recipe. My grandmother dictated it to my Dad when he went off to uni, so he’d be able to make it himself. Whenever we would stop at my paternal great aunt’s house, we would also get it – and it would get scarfed down like we were wild animals in training.

It is basically a profiterole dough, but instead of making profiteroles, you make three rectangular stripes of dough.

My grandmother’s recipe did not include the frozen puffed pastry underneath – I’ve seen other recipes with it, so I thought I would try. Include, exclude – it makes very little difference to the end result.

Other recipes include filling it with custard or jam – we’ve never had that, so I didn’t try doing it this time around.

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Mickey Mouse-shaped Oat Waffles

Norwegian-style waffles are softer than the Belgian ones. There are about as many different recipes as there are households, I’d think. They’re usually heart-shaped, but I couldn’t resist using my sister’s Mickey Mouse waffle-iron.

These ones came about when I was cleaning up my diet by doing  low-GI for a while after Christmas, but still wanted a treat to serve guests. I’ve used the basic recipe from Norwegian site Det Søte Liv, but tried to adapt a bit to the fact that I was avoiding regular white sugar. Continue reading “Mickey Mouse-shaped Oat Waffles”

Norwegian Christmas Baking: Kakemenn

Quite literally translated as Cookie Men, these are essentially white sugar cookies, with a small change. Instead of baking powder or baking soda, the leavener is horn salt, or ammonium bicarbonate, which gives it a slight “kick” in flavor, and makes the kitchen smell a bit odd while they’re baking in the oven.

It’s one of the easy Norwegian Christmas cookies, that is the most common to use with children. I suspect because it is fun to use the cookie cutters of different sizes and shapes, and to paint with food coloring before the cookies go into the oven to be baked, but that’s just the part that I haven’t outgrown… 🙂

We like to find different shapes of cookie cutters, and paint to make things interesting. Men, women and hearts are the most traditional shapes.

They also last for quite some time – some years we have Kakemenn until March. (If some are frozen, we have occasionally eaten them in August, which just feels plain wrong.)

The recipe below is from Tine.

The dough should be made the night before, so it has time to rest.

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Mutton in cabbage

 Mutton in cabbage, or Fårikål, in Norwegian, is one of the recipes that Norwegians view as traditional and Norwegian.

It usually is made in the fall, and actually has a whole day dedicated to it. September 29. There are also groups dedicated to it, and friends will get together for dinner parties.

It is about the simplest recipe to make, which everyone was eager to tell me as I was planning on making it, though it takes a while on the stove.

The recipe below is translated and adapted slightly from Matprat – but all the recipes I’ve seen of this are similar in construction.

It is traditionally served with potatoes.

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Norwegian Christmas Cooking: Sirupsnipper

Or as a translation to English might be: Syrup Diamonds. Basically because they’re meant to be shaped like men’s cuff (hence the name in Norwegian) but actually look like the diamonds you find on playing cards. Well, they’re meant to. Mine just looks, er…, odd. But they taste good, and that is the most important thing, right?

These are also the kind of Christmas cookies that have been a staple in my home – chiefly because my grandmother has been making them. My mother, who makes almost every Christmas cookie under the sun, have yet to attempt them.  For that reason, but also because the recipe said they were complicated to get right, I’ve been stalling over whether or not to make them. It did take some extra care, but I am glad I did, because I got lots of positive feedback on the taste. Including from my Dad, who, I swear, is the world’s pickiest Christmas cookie eater.

It takes about two days to make, so that is something to take into plan.

This recipe has been adapted from 7×7 Slag by Tove Diesen.

Ingredients

2 dl light syrup.

1  1/4 dl sugar

1 dl heavy cream

225 g butter

1 egg, whisked

The zest of 1/2 lemon

1/2  tsp  powdered cloves

1/2 tsp powdered ginger

1/2 tsp black pepper

ca. 500 g all purpose flour

1/2 tsp Ammonium bicarbonate/crushed hartshorn

For decoration

Scalded almonds. (White almonds)

Day 1

1) Bring syrup, sugar and the cream to boil in a saucepan

2) Pour the hot caramel mixture over the butter, so that it melts it.

3) Whisk until the mixture is cold and airy.

4) Add the whisked egg, the spices and the flour with hartshorn.

5) Let the dough stand in cold temperature (We used the fridge) until the next day.

Day 2.

1) Take only as much of the dough as you can comfortably roll out at the time. The warmer the dough is, the harder it is to work with, so use small portions. Leave the rest in the cold temperature-space.

2) Put the oven on, at 200 degrees celcius.

3) Roll the dough out fairly thin (how thin you roll should depend on whether you want soft cookies or crisp. Roll thin for crisp, and a bit thicker for soft.)

4) Cut out diamond (as in cards) -shaped cookies from the dough by using a cutting wheel. Or simply a cookie cutter.

5) Add the diamond shaped cookies to baking trays.

6) Paint the cookies with a bit of egg white, and add half an almond to the middle.

7) Bake for anything between 6-10 minutes, depending on oven. Ours were done after 6 minutes. The cookies should be golden brown, but not have black edges.

8) After the cookies come out of the oven, make sure they stay flat until they turn cold. Otherwise they will get a funny shape.

I had a bit of trouble getting the “proper” diamond, or cuff shape, of the cookies, so a few of them ended up as triangles, or squares.

Norwegian Cooking: Serina Cookies

The finished product
The finished product

When I was younger, I thought that these cookies were just a tradition in our family. See, my great grandmother was called Serina, and I obviously thought that was the reason for why we were making them. At any rate, they are a delicious butter cookie that you just keep eating and eating… and uh… soon there is nothing left. This recipe has been doubled from the original recipe, from Meierienes Prøvekjøkken.
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Norwegian cooking: Sitronfromasj

Or, lemon mousse in English, of which there seems to be oodles of recipes on the internet.

I think the first time I really made this dessert, was back in home ec. in seventh grade. I remember it, because the other dish my group had to prepare, boiled fish of some sort, ended up being inedible, and so it was really pure luck that the lemon mousse turned out splendidly.

This time around, many things seemed to go wrong, and it did not turn out perfectly in consistency – the mousse refused to set properly. But as it tasted absolutely delicious, and tart, I’m still sharing 🙂

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Norwegian cooking: Pearl Porridge

Growing up, I always loved going to my grandmother’s to eat. Not just the Sunday steak, where dinner was followed by dessert, which in turn was followed by coffee and cakes, but also for some of the more everyday meals. One of those meals was sago porridge, or pearl porridge as we used to call it.

According to Wikipedia, an ever reliable source, I know, the sago is “a starch extracted from the pith of sago palm stems, Metroxylon sagu.” It is a small, round grain, looking like a pearl, that apparently can be substituted for tapioca pearls.

This weekend, my sister and I decided to see if the porridge was as tasty as what we could remember from what we were younger, or if we just were idolizing the memories.
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