Monday, December 23, 2013


Happy holidays! We're in Minneapolis for Christmas, where Norwegians eat creamy potatoes three meals a day and freeze their bums off and everyone has a lovely time. Today's installment of creamy potatoes is lefse, a crepe-like pancake that's rolled out with a special textured rolling pin. The recipe is Grandma's, and, as befits a Grandma recipe, is more specific about the texture than about the amounts of each ingredient. You'll figure it out :)

3-4 lb floury potatoes (eg russet)
1 t salt
~1/2 c cream
~3/4 stick butter
~2 3/4 c flour

Peel, boil, and mash the potatoes. Beat in the salt, cream, and butter until it's smooth, thick, and malleable, like good frosting (adding cream and butter as needed). Let cool for a couple hours on a 0F Minnesota porch. Measure how much mashed potatoes you have (we had 5 1/2 cups), and stir in half that volume of flour until it's mostly incorporated. Let it sit for a few minutes to finish hydrating, and knead gently to form a smooth workable ball that's neither dry nor sticky. Divide into 2" balls (we got 23 balls).

Preheat a large dry griddle to 450F and prepare a work surface (preferably a pastry cloth) with plenty of flour. Roll each ball into a 9-10" circle with a floured lefse rolling pin. Carefully slide the wooden lefse turner under the center axis of the lefse, lift it up, and transfer it to the griddle (pictured above). Cook on each side until freckled with light brown spots (pictured below), smacking it with the lefse turner if it bubbles up (that part is just for fun, just ask Lester).

Store cooked lefse between sheets of wax paper between towels. To eat, spread with butter, sprinkle with sugar, squeeze on a little lemon if you're feeling adventurous, roll it up, and enjoy.