Merry Christmas on this festive Christmas Eve! May your blessings be many, your gifts all that you desire and your family close by. Since I married into a family that is half-Norwegian and half-Finnish, my world instantly became enriched by food I’d heard mention of but never tasted. One such holiday staple is: LEFSA (which, quite simply is a potato tortilla).
This simple but flavor-packed treat can be eaten with butter or, as my hubby prefers: LOTS of butter then sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar. We’ve also tried them with a savoury filling such as scrambled eggs.
My mother-in-law, Mae Salonen, taught me how to make these, but I’ll go on record saying, “She was a better woman/homemaker than me.” I make these every year, but I’m no martyr–I would never attempt this task alone. I enlist the help of my husband.
And this year, we started passing along the tradition by teaching our daughter-in-law, Ruth. The recipe is simple, but the process is…a process. Watch the video and you’ll get an idea. But don’t let our process scare you away from trying this out for yourself. They’re yummy. Really yummy.
Deb Salonen’s Lefsa
Recipe Type: Norwegian
This is a simple but labor intensive recipe that has been a family favorite for many generations. Key: boil and mash potatoes the day before so they are cold. Be patient and give yourself time to find your pace.
- 3 C mashed potatoes
- 3 T butter
- 2 T oil
- 1 t sugar
- 1 t salt
- 3 T milk
- 1 C flour
- Boil and mash potatoes the day before and refrigerate so they are completely cold before you start working the dough. In a separate pan, melt butter, then add oil, sugar, salt and milk. Do not boil. Stir into mashed potatoes the gradually work the flour into the mixture. You want your dough pliable but not sticky. Keep another cup of flour on hand for sprinkling on your rolling board and rolling pin.
- Shape dough into balls about the size of a gold ball. Place in the center of your floured cutting board/work top, evenly press into a tortilla shape, slightly thinner if possible. Don’t overwork your dough.
- Fry lefsa on a hot, dry griddle (no oil used). Heat should be medium-low, but the pan should stay hot. Watch to avoid burning. Flip and cook on other side.
- Cool on paper towel.
- Serve with butter, sugar, cinnamon, or your choice of savoury fillings such as scrambled eggs, salami, cheese, pesto.
Now, here’s our video. The best part about making lefsa is everyone wants to get in on the action. We had friends drive up from the valley to watch–and sample. Our daughter-in-law joined the mix to learn the process. She has a deft hand–she’s a natural. So, obviously, even a beginner can master this process. And I strongly urge you to make this a tag-team cooking adventure. 🙂