Posted by: briellethefirst | February 5, 2016

Mashed Potatoes, Then Lefse


Plate of lefse, ready to roll

Plate of lefse, ready to roll

Sometimes I do traditional (for my family) cooking, sometimes I improvise and sometimes I do ‘I never done that before’ cooking. So, I saw an interesting article on Facebook and tried the recipe, since I’d never made lefse before. It wasn’t complicated and I loved working with the dough. The first night I had a simple dinner of lefse filled with sour cream and fried onions with lefse spread with butter and sprinkled with sour cream for desert. The boxed Cabernet Sauvignon was a delightful pairing.  I kept the leftovers on a plate covered with foil and had almost the same dinner the next night, adding a fresh egg to the dinner portions. I love my chickens.

So, here goes. You’ll need:

About a pound of Potatoes, 2 or 3 big ones should suffice.

1/4 c butter or margarine (OK, I’m sure if all you had lard or bacon fat that would work too)

1/4 c heavy cream (or half and half or probably even buttermilk will do)

1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Sugar

1 cup or so of Flour, more or less depending on the potatoes.

Boil potatoes

Peel, cut and boil potatoes

Peel the potatoes, cut them into pieces and boil them until tender, about 20 minutes. When you can easily poke them with a fork, they’re done.

mash potatoes

Mash or rice potatoes

Pull them out with a slotted spoon or other utensil, putting them in a bowl. The recipe says to put them in a potato ricer, but since I don’t have on and can’t afford to get one right now, I’ll make do with a simple masher. If you have a ricer or can afford to get one before the potatoes are done, by all means, use it. Running them through the ricer twice will make smoother mashed potatoes. I’m sure you could use leftover mashed potatoes as well. If you just want to make mashed potatoes, leave out the sugar and don’t make lefse…unless you have leftovers. If you make your mashed potatoes with onions, that’s fine.

Add butter

Add butter and mix as it melts

Add the butter to the warm mashed/riced potatoes, mixing it in as it melts. Yes, you may lick the masher when you’re done. Try to resist eating too much now.

Add cream or milk, salt and sugar

Add cream/milk, salt and sugar

Add the cream, salt and sugar, mixing well. yes, you may taste it. No you may not spoon a bunch in a bowl for a snack…or maybe that’s OK, but you’ll have less for lefse. At this point you can set it aside in the fridge for a couple of days until you want to add the flour and make lefse. Nice to know if you have plans but can’t make it all in one day. Planning ahead is good.

Add flour

Add flour

Add the flour. It will be a stiff, almost crumbly dough. If you need to knead it to get it to come together, do. My first attempt was just stiff, not crumbly, so I left it at that. It was still wonderful to work.

Stiff, kind of crumbly dough

Stiff, kind of crumbly dough

Divide into 8 or 12 pieces

Divide into 8 or 12 pieces

Divide the dough into 8-12 pieces, depending on how big your pan is. The recipe I followed said to roll the 8 pieces into 10-12 inch circles, but my pan was kind of a normal size so I made 12 6-8 inch rounds. They’re fairly easy to handle for beginners, too.

Roll each ball into a thin, roughly round circle

Roll each ball into a thin, roughly round circle

If you’re used to using a pastry cloth, then use that but I don’t have one so I just use flour dusted on the table to roll out my lefse.

Cook on first side, bubbles may form, while rolling your next round

Cook on first side, bubbles may form, while rolling your next round

Lightly grease your pan, preferably cast iron or enamel, and pre-heat while you roll out your first piece. If you keep the stove a bit under medium heat you can put the lefse round on to cook, then start to roll the next one, turn the lefse, finish rolling the next one, then pull the first one off and put the second one on to cook. Now you can start rolling the third one, and so on. You’ll get into a rhythm and it’ll go pretty fast.

Turn with a small spatula or flat stick and finish rolling the next one

Turn with a small spatula or flat stick and finish rolling the next one

The recipe said something about a special stick to turn it. I guess you can use a regular spatula but I happened to have a wooden tool my grandmother gave me, so I used that.

Keep them warm in the oven, about 170 degrees

Keep them warm in the oven, about 170 degrees

Heat the oven to warm, about 170 degrees, so you can keep the lefse warm on a plate while you cook the whole batch. It’s OK if you make holes in a lefse when you pick it up, these will usually be covered when you roll it up with filling. You can try sliding or flipping it onto the back of your hand to carry it to the pan, this may help reduce tearing.

Sliding onto your hand may reduce tears

Sliding onto your hand may reduce tears

Butter and jam

Butter and jam

Fill it with anything you like. PB&J, tuna/chicken/ham salad, fried onions, scrambled eggs, sour cream & brown sugar (really yum!), Nutella, whatever. Apparently you can also cut them into strips and deep fry them til golden then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. I’ll have to try that some time.

Onion and sour cream

Onion and sour cream

Butter and brown sugar

Butter and brown sugar

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