Category Archives: Breakfast

Leave Us Some Lefse – North Dakota

North Dakota, the Roughrider State, celebrates its Northern European influences, especially anything Norwegian. A third of its residents are of Norwegian descent, the highest percentage of any state in the country. Immigration from Norway began around 1870 and these Henriks and Heddas brought the two Ls — lutefisk and lefse.

Lefse

We’ll leave lutefisk for another day, but lefse is nothing more than a potato crepe. Or maybe it’s a potato tortilla? Either way, they are thin and speckled brown from the skillet and are delicious served warm with a bit of cream cheese and jelly or simpler still, with butter and sugar.

Lefse take a bit of effort, but don’t all good things? Start by peeling and cutting up the potatoes and boiling them until they are quite soft, almost falling apart when pierced by a fork. Let the potatoes cool and then put them through a potato ricer. Lumps are fine for mashed potatoes but the consistency here needs to be finer, no lumps allowed. Add the butter, milk and salt and pepper to taste and then refrigerate until the potatoes are cold. You can do this step the day before if you’d like.

When you are ready to make the lefse, add two cups of the potatoes with one cup of the flour. You’ll probably have some potatoes leftover, a bonus as you can eat them for lunch the next day. The mixture will gradually come together and you’ll have a dough that looks like this. Lefse

Divide this dough ball into 16 equal portions.

Lefse dough balls

Now the real fun begins: Rolling the lefse out. Add a cup of flour to a clean mixing bowl. Drop one dough ball into the flour, dusting the dough. Take it out and then gently roll it out with a rolling pin onto a well-floured surface. This might take a few tries until you get the amount of flour needed and how much pressure to apply with the rolling pin. Don’t get frustrated, if the dough is too sticky or holes form while rolling, just form the dough back into a ball, and try again after adding a bit more flour. You’ll want to roll these babies out as thin as possible, 1/8 of an inch or less so that the dough is almost translucent when held up to the light. Gently lift lefse off of surface with a spatula or pastry scraper. 

Lefse

Place onto a heated skillet and cook two to three minutes on each side until golden brown spots appear.

Lefse

Serve them warm, spread with your favorite topping.

Channel your inner Viking and visit the Norsk Hostfest in Minot ND, September 30-October 4, 2014.

Lefse

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. baking potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup milk or cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cups flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Jam with cream cheese, or butter with granulated sugar, for serving

Instructions

Peel and cut potatoes into uniform pieces. Place into a large pot of cold water, with potatoes completely covered. Bring potatoes to a gentle boil until they are soft, about ten minutes. Drain and let cool. Press potatoes through a potato ricer. Add butter, milk and salt and pepper. Mix until ingredients are completely absorbed, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Refrigerate mixture until cold.

When ready to make the lefse, mix two cups of the potatoes with one cup of flour. The mixture will be grainy at first but will slowly become a ball of dough as you mix. Turn onto a well-floured surface and knead a few times. Divide dough into 16 equal portions. Roll each portion into a little dough ball. Cover dough balls with a clean tea towel and keep covered as you work.

Heat a non-stick pan or a cast iron skillet to medium heat. Add a cup of flour to a clean mixing bowl. Drop one dough ball into the flour, dusting the dough. Remove, then roll out gently with a rolling pin onto a well-floured surface (if dough is too sticky or holes form while rolling, form back into a ball, and add more flour). Roll as thin as possible, 1/8 of an inch or less so that the dough is almost translucent when held up to the light. Gently lift lefse off of surface with a spatula and place onto skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown spots appear. Transfer onto a plate and cover with a clean tea towel. Repeat with remaining dough balls, rolling out one lesfe as one cooks. If lefse start to stick to pan while cooking, brush the pan with a small amount of vegetable oil.

To serve, spread with your topping of choice and then roll up. Lefse will keep for one week in the fridge or three weeks frozen.

 

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Huckleberry Hounds – Montana

Northwest Montana is home to the edible purple orb known as the huckleberry. A close cousin to the blueberry, this delectable fruit grows best between elevations of 3,500 and 7,000 feet, in forests with about 50 percent tree cover. Wild huckleberries are so treasured in the state that in 2007, Montana passed legislation that made it a misdemeanor to label a product “huckleberry” if it contains any other fruit.

Huckleberry Tea Cake

The huckleberry has never been successfully grown commercially so if you want a taste of these sweet jewels, you’ll have to get thee out to Montana and get to picking. The North Fork and Big Mountain Continue reading Huckleberry Hounds – Montana

Kookoo For Kuchen – South Dakota

South Dakota’s official state dessert is kuchen. Sprichst du auch Deutsch? If you do speak German, you know that “kuchen” means cake. Germans make up the largest ancestry group in the state and they brought their formidable Teutonic culinary skill with them from the old country. You can find literally dozens of variations of this

Peach and Blueberry Kuchen - South Dakota

recipe. Some use yeast for the crust, but we’ve gone with more of a pastry crust. Folks also like to disagree about which fruit is best for kuchen — plum, apple, strawberry, cherry and rhubarb are all good bets. We went with peach as they are in season right now, and added a bit of blueberry preserves for color contrast. We finished our kuchen off with a cream filling topped with streusel. Have a slice for dessert (or even breakfast!) with a cup of coffee or tea.

Continue reading Kookoo For Kuchen – South Dakota

Gift of Finest Wheat – Kansas

Kansas produces more wheat than any other state, about 20 percent of the nation’s total production. Fun fact – all the wheat grown in Kansas in one year would fit on a train that stretches from western Kansas clear to the Atlantic Ocean, according to the Kansas Wheat Commission. The Sunflower State actually produces enough wheat to bake 36 billion loaves of bread, enough to feed everyone in the world for about two weeks. Holy moly, that’s a lot of ovens!

Cinnamon rolls

 

Wheat is of course used for all sorts of products (think beer, cereal and pasta) but is most commonly turned into flour. Here’s our favorite cinnamon roll recipe, deliciously decadent with a cream cheese frosting. Oh yes, your home will smell heavenly while they bake. These take a little bit of effort but they are so much better than those rolls in a tube. You can also make the dough the night before, let them rise in the fridge overnight, and then bake them in the morning.

Continue reading Gift of Finest Wheat – Kansas