Lefse is a Norwegian flatbread made with potatoes, cream, and a whole lot of care. Prepared and eaten at holiday gatherings, the tender bread requires finesse, experience, and many hands on deck to make properly. But, much like making homemade tortillas, the time and effort is worth it. Amy Thielen's recipe in The New Midwestern Table is a clear, specific, and helpful guideline for those wanting to dip their toes into lefse cookery.
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It may not be as much of a showstopper as a crown roast of pork or an elegant roast goose, but when prepared properly, a pot roast will be far more tender, delicate, and memorable than any of these typical centerpieces. Even better, it can be made in advance and popped in the oven to heat through at whatever hour needed.
Making pounded cheese from Amy Thielen's new cookbook, The New Midwestern Table, was a jump into uncharted territory for me. Dropping blocks of gorgeous aged Cheddar into a food processor was an act of faith. But drizzled with sweet port syrup and chopped walnuts, the final dish is an entertainment-worthy appetizer for any and all cheesehounds.
Amy Thielen's recently released cookbook, The New Midwestern Table, has more than a few recipes involving cabbage. Most are simple, familiar preparations—steamed, simmered, and slawed. But one rendition caught my eye: A crisp, sautéed version flecked with poppy seeds and scented with ginger sounded light, fresh, and a flavorful contrast to a hearty hotdish or roast.