Maybe you remember at the top of the year, our Winter Wishes Jar, and how we set ourselves a fun challenge to explore and cook a different food culture/cuisine each month during 2018?? Last month many plates on our table were filled with Asian-inspired food. This month we went local-- food from Norway! Dishes typically served up here most every day. I realize in all the years I've been blogging and sharing food, I don't think I've done a complete post on the food culture here. Time to fix that! Here is a small sampling of typically Norwegian meals, and ones we enjoy often!
Above is Rømmegrøt, also spelled rømmegraut, depending on your location/dialect. This is a porridge made of sour cream, milk, whole wheat flour, butter and salt. Often served with a drizzle of butter and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. It is a thick, sweet-flavored dish that is often served with cured/dried meats and crisp, thin flatbread--flatbrød. In times past, this was considered a delicacy and made for special occasions or holidays. It is a traditional dish that can vary a bit from region to region. We actually made our porridge with a mix of barley flour and wheat flour, the barley flouring giving it a slightly nutty taste. There are many types of porridge recipes here in Norway. Porridge is not my favorite thing to eat, but I'm getting more used to it living here. ;) This is such rich food, I can only manage a small bowl! If you would like to try making rømmegrøt, here is a recipe in English from Sons of Norway.
Here we have Kjøttkaker i brun saus. Basically these are like meatballs or meatcakes--Meatballs in Brown Sauce. Sort of like the famed Swedish Meatballs. They can be made with ground/minced beef, pork, lamb or wild game meat, usually shaped into rounds and fried in a pan or can be baked in the oven. Usually they are served with a brown sauce, and plainly cooked potatoes and tyttebærsyltetøy--a kind of jelly made from tyttebær, a small red berry that is similar in taste to cranberries. We like kjøttkaker with mashed rutabaga/swede and braised red cabbage. Here is a nice recipe for Kjøttkaker i brun saus in English!
mmm...Ørret med Sandefjordsmør! Trout with Sandefjord Butter Sauce... a delicious classic sauce in Norwegian cuisine that is rich with cream and butter, spiked with lemon and parsley. It is a wonderful sauce that pairs well with most seafood. I'm not very good at making sauces, as you can see... My sauce reduced too much and it was hard saving it. It should be a bit thinner, more velvety. This almost turned out like a white sauce... LOL! BUT it is sooo good!! The sauce dressed over fish, is how we like it, along with potatoes and a simple cucumber salad. This makes a lovely summer meal! If you'd like to try making this sauce, here is a recipe for Sandefjordsmør in English!
Raspeballer, also called klubb, komle, kumle, kumpe, potetball, etc. depending on the region. It is a potato dumpling made of potato, flour, salt and water, and often times filled with pieces of salted pork. These are served in various ways and with different side dishes, again, depending on region. We like these with a bratwurst-style sausage along with rutabaga mash/swede and Brussels sprouts and a little of the tyttebærsyltetøy. This make a hearty winter main meal! Variations of this dish are popular in Scandinavia, as well as Eastern Europe, in Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, etc. It is a bit of work making these dumplings, but they are good! Here is a recipe for Raspeballer/Norsk Potetball in English. And here's a twist on tradition, a lovely recipe for the potato dumplings served with spring green vegetables.
This is lefse--a soft flatbread. There are many types of lefse, again, different regions making their own variations. This is potetlefse--lefse made with potatoes. It has a neutral, flavor making it ideal for filling with savory things like cheese, meat, fish or even leftovers from yesterday's dinner. We like lefse as a bread substitute, and often eat it for lunch with cheese and ham or other rolled up in it. There are sweet types of lefse, usually thicker too, which are spread with butter, cinnamon and sugar. Sweet lefse is VERY good paired with a hot cup of tea or coffee as a mid-morning/coffee break treat. Lefse is a bit labor-intensive to make... but I hope to learn baking it one day!
And to finish off with something sweet... eplekake... Apple Cake! This is a VERY popular and well-loved Scandinavian sweet treat! Cake, sweet rolls, pastries and such are often served in Scandinavia not usually as dessert, but as it's own sort of meal with coffee or tea. Here we sometimes call it kaffestund--coffee time... or kaffekos--coffee cozy. Kaffe is coffee. And you've heard/read about fika in Sweden, which is the same thing, to have coffee and a treat, usually while visiting family, friends, etc. (A kaffekos, or fika, is sometimes compared to English afternoon tea, but my own experiences with taking coffee here has, it has not very often included savories to eat, usually just sweets.) It's all very hyggelig! You know about hygge, yes?! ;) Anyway, Apple Cake is one of the most simple cakes to bake, and delicious too. It is a great treat to celebrate new apples in season in the autumn. This recipe for a Norwegian Eplekake, is similar to my own.
Now we're considering what cuisine to cook during March...
So what's been cooking in your kitchen?!
P.S. For fun, here is a link from Pinterest of Norwegian food, treats and other random things...