So, I guess I’m part Norwegian.
It’s in there, somewhere.
As a child, I grew up near and often visited the quaint Norwegian town of Poulsbo. So, bits of Norske culture are scattered within my psyche.
One day at school, our teacher told us to bring in some foods from the country/culture that we hail from.
Not really knowing what that meant (being your typical European mutt) we settled on Norway as the winner of what I was mostly made of. I guess.
I went to the Norwegian bakery and (my mom) purchased a bunch of Rosettas and Fattigmann (Norwegian cookies) which looked very unappealing.
Every time I went there in the past, I would buy a big ass chocolate donut (called the Viking). Never any of the dusty European specialties. My classmates were sure to hate me for bringing those instead.
Who am I kidding. They already hated me.
Since I don’t care for or don’t have the equipment to make the more popular Norwegian dishes (Lutefisk & Lefse), a guick Google search brought me to Norwegian Meatballs.
What’s the difference between Norwegian and Swedish meatballs? Apparently, not a damn thing.
But they’re freaking delicious and since rutabagas and beets are big Norwegian veggies, I thought I would incorporate them in tonight’s meal as well.
For dessert, I picked something more complicated. Norway’s national cake, the Kvaefjork.
Here’s some more history if you care:
*Norwegian Meatballs with Roasted Rutabaga and Potato Mash
*Norwegian Beet Salad with Carrot, Apple, Hazelnuts, shredded Coconut and Lemon
As an appetizer, I thought we’d try some Norwegian cheese.
Gjetost is a brown goat’s cheese, made by boiling milk, cream and whey til the water evaporates.
The heat turns the milk sugar into caramel and this gives the “cheese” it’s characteristic flavor.
Caramel cheese. Hmm. It also looks like fudge. Some call it the peanut butter of cheese.
This is all making my stomach turn.
And so did the actual cheese, so after a single nibble, it’s now been banished to the back corner of my fridge until I have time to figure out what the hell to do with it.
All the websites I’ve read say that Gjetost is a acquired taste and I will most likely never acquire it.
NORWEGIAN BEET, CARROT AND APPLE SALAD:
I think the only thing Norwegian about this is it has Beets in it.
When I googled Norwegian dishes, this came up. So blame Google, not me.
FYI, it’s SOOO delicious! And as a bonus, actually healthy!
4 fresh beets, roasted
1 cup chopped hazelnuts (or any nut)
1/2 cup shredded dried coconut, sweetened
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Chopped parsley, for garnish.
Peel and trim beets, chop into quarters and drizzle with olive oil. Place in a tin foil pouch and seal. Bake in 400 degree oven for an hour. Let cool.
Chop your beets, carrot and apple into bite sized pieces and combine in bowl.
Add nuts, coconut, lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, combine til thoroughly tossed.
Garnish with parsley.
NORWEGIAN MEATBALLS WITH ROASTED RUTABAGA AND POTATO MASH:
•2 eggs, lightly beaten
•1 cup milk
•1 cup dry bread crumbs
•1/2 cup finely chopped onion
•2 teaspoons salt
•2 teaspoons sugar
•1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice
•1/4 teaspoon pepper
•2 pounds extra-lean ground beef (95% lean)
•1 pound ground pork
•2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
•3 tablespoons butter
•5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
•4 cups beef broth
•1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
•Dash cayenne pepper
•Dash white pepper
• In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, bread crumbs, onion and seasonings. Let stand until crumbs absorb milk. Add meat; stir until well blended. Shape into 1-in. meatballs.
• Place meatballs on a greased rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 400° until browned, about 18 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°; drain. Set aside.
• For gravy, in a large skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour and brown lightly. Slowly add broth; cook and stir until smooth and thickened. Blend in the cream, cayenne and white pepper. Gently stir in meatballs; heat through but do not boil.
For the Rutabaga and Potato Mash, I roasted both for an hour on 450, then mashed in pot with some hot milk and butter. I didn’t really follow a recipe, but click here for one. Please note, I added rosemary, which made all the difference.
Step 1 – First layer of base
5½ ounces butter
¾ cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
6 tablespoons milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
Whisk the sugar and butter until smooth and pale. Fold in the other ingredients. Mix well. Spread on a 14 x 17 inch baking pan lined with baking/greaseproof paper.
Step 2 – Second layer of base (meringue)
6 egg whites
1 cup sugar
Whisk sugar and egg whites together until stiff peaks form (meringue). Spread evenly over base made in step 1. Sprinkle 4 ounces sliced almonds on top of the meringue.
Bake the two layers together at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in lower part of the oven, for 25-30 minutes.
Step 3 – Filling
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup heavy cream
To make filling, whip the cream and make the vanilla pudding separately. Then mix the cream and vanilla pudding gently together, and refridgerate until cold and firm. Let the cake cool down after removing it from the oven. Cut it in half. Spread the filling on top of one half, and cover with the other. Garnish with fruit or berries.