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Minnesota Visitor, Issue #16--Lefse, Lutefisk and Lingonberries
December 18, 2012

Lefse - Lutefisk -
and Lingonberries

Lefse, lutefisk and lingonberries are all traditional foods for holiday celebrations among those of Scandinavian heritage.

If you have never tried these foods, you will find they are easy to make and can add some new flavors to a family gathering. Here is one recipe for each, and links to where you can explore more.

Traditional Potato Lefse Recipe: this is my Norwegian mother-in-law's recipe.

3 c. cooled, mashed potatoes
3 c. sifted flour
1 tsp. salt
1 T. sugar
2 T. shortening or butter
2 T. cream or half & half

Mix all ingredients together. Using one T. of dough at a time, roll thin on a floured board. Bake on both sides (turning once)on a pre-heated griddle until a few light brown spots form on each side. Cool on dish towels, keeping each piece separate from the others.

To serve: Spread with butter; sprinkle with sugar; roll up. Enjoy!

Lefse is best when baked on a special lefse grill, however we have had good success making it on a stovetop pancake griddle as well.

More Lefse Recipes

How to Cook Lutefisk

Lutefisk purchased in the U.S. has been rehydrated and must therefore be cooked carefully so that it does not become mushy. Properly prepared lutefisk should remain firm and look like what you see in the photo.

Lutefisk does not need any additional water for the cooking; simply place it in a pan, (do not use an aluminum pan as the lye in the fish will discolor the pan)salt it, seal the lid tightly, and let it steam-cook at very low heat for 20–25 minutes.

You can also make traditional Minnesota lutefisk recipes in your oven. Place the fish in an ovenproof dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 225 °C (435 °F) for 40–50 minutes.

Another option is to parboil the lutefisk. Wrap the lutefisk in cheesecloth and gently boil until tender. This usually takes a very short time, so watch the fish and remove it before it begins to fall apart.

Toppings vary from bacon or pork drippings, white sauce, mustard sauce, or melted butter which is our favorite, and most traditional, way to top the lutefisk.

Boiled and steamed potatoes, stewed whole, and green peas are a traditional "must" as vegetable accompaniments or side dishes. The one other "necessary" menu item is, of course, lefse.

More About Lutefisk and Lutefisk Recipes

Lingonberry Recipes

These tart red berries grow on low, evergreen shrubs throughout Scandinavia's forests and are smaller and juicier than their relative the cranberry. If you don't live where lingonberries grow, you can still enjoy lingonberry recipes because you can buy lingonberries online!

Lingonberry Crêpes

This lingonberry crepe recipe with a cream cheese filling is similar to one that was once served at IHOP® restaurants.

Ingredients for the crêpes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Pinch of salt
Directions for Crêpes:
  • Sift the flour into a medium bowl. Make a well in the center.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, and salt. Add to the flour and whip to a smooth batter. Refrigerate the batter for two hours.
  • Heat a nine-inch crêpe pan on medium high heat. Brush with butter.
  • Measure batter into the hot pan. Immediately tilt and rotate the pan so that the batter covers the bottom of the pan in a thin layer.
  • Cook until bubbles appear and the bottom of the crêpe is a nice even, golden brown.
  • Use a thin, sturdy spatula to turn the crêpe. Cook the second side only it is lightly browned.
  • Remove the crêpe to a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper and repeat with the rest of the batter.
Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients:
  • 12 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup walnut pieces, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
Blend all ingredients together with an electric mixer, until the mixture is smooth.

Assemble The Crêpes:
  • Fill each crêpe with a portion of the cream cheese filling then fold edges over the filling.
  • Spoon some of the lingonberry mixture over each crêpe.
  • Garnish with whipped cream.
You can use lingonberries in any recipe that calls for other berries like blueberries, blackberries or cranberries. Some of the most popular lingonberry recipes include lingonberry jam, lingonberry crêpes, lingonberry muffins and lingonberry torte.

More Lingonberry Recipes

Our best wishes to you and your family this holiday season.

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