I think traditions around the holidays are important. My family has many, elaborate ones and small simple ones, but each are important in their own way. One of my favorite traditions is on Christmas Eve, my family goes to church then meets up at a local pizza place for dinner before doing a huge gift exchange at our grandparent’s house. I have eaten pizza every Christmas Eve for my entire life, and I honestly doubt I’ll ever have anything else.
I have great holiday traditions in my family, but I love learning about unique traditions in every family. Comment below on your favorite holiday tradition that might be unique to your family!
One of the traditions in Bradley’s family is Norweigen in its roots. Potato Lefse – pronounced Leff-sa. Until the other day, I had never had lefse before. It reminds me of a tortilla made out of potatoes and how can that be bad?
Bradley informed me that traditionally you smear cinnamon sugar and butter all over the lefse then roll it up and eat it. While that sounded amazing I wanted something a bit more christmasy. I thought if I could make a green spread and a red spread how fun would that be?
Pesto was an obvious choice for green. I love pesto, and the intense flavor would go well with the plain lefse. I made a basic one: basil, parmesean cheese, olive oil and pepitas made a perfect accompaniment. For the red sauce, it took me awhile to figure it out. I wanted to do roasted red bell pepper so I blended it with white beans, roasted garlic and onion and a pinch of cayenne. It was quite a hit if I do say so myself. And of course I did make a cinnamon sugar butter, because well, who am I to mess with tradition?
I can see why this is a holiday tradition, they were simple enough but I got flour e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. It was kind of fun sending out puffs of white clouds every time I moved. The key to these lefse, it the thinner the better, and I learned that means a LOT of flour on your surface. Thankfully while I was taking a flour bath, Bradley was cooking the lefse. Just a couple minutes on each side in a dry pan, just like a tortilla, until there are a couple brown spots.
I shared these with my family so they would be taste testers, as a side for dinner alongside pork chops and gravy for dinner one night. It worked well. All the spreads were a hit for different reasons. My sister love the red pepper, my mom the cinnamon sugar, I personally loved the pesto and my grandfather ate them all and loved them all equally. Which one will be your favorite?
- 3 cups of cold mashed potatoes
- 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 red bell peppers
- ½ medium onion
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 2 cans (14 ounces each) white cannellini beans
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper
- 2 bunches fresh basil
- ½ cup grated parmesean cheese
- ¼ cup toasted pepitas
- ¼ - ½ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Mix all the lefse ingredients together and knead. You may need more or less flour than listed, but you are looking for a nice stiff dough. Preheat an electric skillet to 400 degrees or on the stove over medium- high heat. Do not grease the skillet.
- On a floured surface roll out the dough using flour to keep it from sticking. Roll very thin, about 1/8 inch, about the same as a tortilla or crepe. Cut out circles in any size you like. I used a cereal bowl about 5 inches across. Put the lefse into the skillet cooking a couple minutes on each side until light brown spots form.
- Let cool. Spread with spreads, roll up and enjoy!
- On a broiler pan covered with aluminum foil, place the whole peppers, garlic cloves and onion. Broil for 5-10 minutes turning the vegetables as they get brown on that side. If the garlic and onion brown on all sides before the peppers, remove. When the peppers are done, put them into a large glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool. Peel off the skins, remove the stem and seeds and chop into 1 or 2 inch pieces.
- In a food processor, combine the pepper pieces, garlic and onion with the rest of the ingredients. Puree until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor. Blend until combined. Drizzle in olive oil while processing until it reaches the consistency you like.
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.