Sunday, April 23, 2017


Well, Earth Day was yesterday, and I missed the March for Science. It was cold and blustery here in Indianapolis, and I subconsciously (or consciously?) turned my alarm off instead of hitting snooze and woke up after it started. Oh, well. I was there in spirit. But today is the day I get to make up for it: I’m making Norwegian food today.

I rolled my meatballs in this. I feel like a genius.
My bread for today is potato lefse. It most likely got its start from trying to figure out what to do with the leftover mashed potatoes. And I forgot until this morning at around 1am that I was supposed to make the mashed potatoes a day before and refrigerate it at least overnight. So… I woke up and made them this morning. Since I normally make my bread first, I put this off until last in order to let my potatoes sit as long as possible. To make the mashed potatoes, I boiled four potatoes until they were soft, then I drained it and cut in 4 Tbsp of butter until it melted, followed by a ½ tsp of salt and a ¼ c of heavy whipping cream. I mixed everything until it was completely smooth. When it was finished sitting in my fridge, I set up a space on my table with my pastry mat. I mixed my mashed potatoes with a cup of flour and kneaded to incorporate it all. I had my doubts since it was pretty crumbly at first. After I got it to somehow come together, I formed it into a log and cut it into 12 pieces, rolling each into a ball. I took one of these balls, rolled it in flour then flattened it out a little with my palm. Then I took my floured rolling pin and rolled it out as thin as I could without it breaking. Using a spatula, I carefully transferred it to my hot skillet. It really only needs 1-2 minutes on each side before I flipped it. There should be some brown speckles in it, and when it finally started looking like it was done, I took it off and moved it to a plate. This was the absolute best. I loved the flavor of this. It still definitely had a mashed potato flavor to it, but in convenient flatbread form. However, mine was very susceptible to falling apart. I’m definitely doing this again, though. 

My butter sauce congealed a little by the time I took this photo, but the whole thing was wonderful!
There are two main dishes today, all thanks to a super finicky son of mine. So, bring on the meat! The first one I made is Salmon with Lemon Butter Sauce. I bought four salmon fillets with the skin still on them. I rinsed the fillets in cold water and patted them dry with a paper towel. Then I seasoned them with some salt and pepper before placing them in my skillet with some olive oil. After about 4-5 minutes on one side, I flipped it to the other side. When it was done, I transferred it to a separate plate.  To make the sauce, I mixed together some minced garlic, a ¼ c of lemon juice, 1 tsp of salt, ½ tsp pepper in my blender and mixed until it’s smooth. Then I added in a stick of butter that I cut into smaller pieces and blended again. I poured this mixture into a saucepan and added in the capers, parsley, and lemon zest and heated this together. When it was time to serve it, I drizzled the sauce on top of the salmon. Of all the dishes I had my doubts about, it was this one, but it turned out to be fantastic! Even my son thought it was really good. (Haha, proved him wrong!) The sauce and the salmon just went together like a cats and boxes. I would definitely make this again. 

The perfect comfort food. I'll definitely be making this again.
The other main dish I made was Norwegian Meatballs. I was curious how this would be different from Swedish meatballs, but from what I’ve gathered, the Swedish counterpart has a few more ingredients involved. In one of my larger bowls, I mixed together some milk and some cornstarch. Then I added in my ground beef, onion, salt, pepper, egg, and nutmeg, and I mixed until everything was well blended. At this point, I covered it and put it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Once it was chilled, I formed 1-inch balls and browned the meatballs in a skillet with hot oil. When each meatball was done, I removed them from the skillet and put them on a different plate and set it off to the side. I used some lean beef, so there wasn’t much drippings left, so I added in a little extra oil in the skillet. In a separate bowl, I mixed together the beef broth and some cornstarch until it was blended before pouring it into the skillet. I brought this to a boil and let it cook until it thickened (about 2-3 minutes maybe?), then I added my meatballs back into the sauce. I covered it and let it cook for about 5-8 minutes. Just before I removed it from the heat, I added in a little bit of sour cream to the mix and stirred so that it was all mixed well. This dish was wonderful–the perfect comfort food. We all agreed this would’ve been much better on some wide egg noodles.

Tasty for the entire year!
Finally, to go with all of this, I made Norwegian Christmas Cabbage. In the bottom of my pot, I laid a couple of slices of bacon. Then I layered it with some shredded cabbage (I bought a package of angel hair cole slaw mix, which is nothing but shredded cabbage). On top of the cabbage, I sprinkled a little bit of flour, some caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. I went on layering like this until I used up my bacon and cabbage, adding in enough water to almost reach the top of the cabbage-bacon level. Putting the pot over a medium heat, I let it cook for about 45 minutes before taking it off the heat. After letting it cool for a bit, I drained a lot of the water off of it and mixed in a little vinegar and sugar and stirred. This was actually pretty good, and I’m glad I opted for a bag of shredded cabbage instead of doing it myself. I thought it was good with the shredded cabbage as opposed to larger sections of the leaves. And it certainly saved time. The recipe suggested using white wine vinegar but I didn’t realize I was out so I opted to use apple cider vinegar instead. I think next time I’ll use the white wine vinegar like I was supposed to.

10/10 stars!! Clearly the winner for today!
It’s been a while since I’ve made a meal where every dish came out well. I’ve learned quite a bit since I started this about four years ago, but there are still things I mess up. And sometimes the recipes I choose aren’t the best written ones. (And sometimes it’s just that I don’t read the directions carefully.) But I have to say that when I’m tired, frustrated, and my feet hurt, my husband will come in and give his second opinion, and sometimes even do part of the work for me. And 99 times out of 100, he’ll get the dishes afterwards, even when I trash the kitchen. (Oh, he’ll chide me of course.) This would be way harder to do if it weren’t for him. And for that, here’s my thanks: I keep him well fed.

Next up: North Korea

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