Who’s ready for more VIKING FOOD?!
We’ve played around with Norse style cuisine before with smoked salmon inspired by How to Train Your Dragon and Odin-themed holiday cookies based on The Dresden Files. Today we’re bringing it again to your tabletop just in time to embark on a heroic saga led by none other than my good friend, Little Red Dot!
That’s right. You might remember last time I played Witch Girls Adventures on Dot’s Twitch channel. Well, we’re back with most of the original cast and are already halfway through HEIM, our North Sea Epilogues campaign.
Check out the trailer below!
Since Germanic tradition demands feasting during revelries, I thought I’d make some traditional lefse that our party of heroines might enjoy with Spring’s arrival. But while you’re here, let me whet your appetite for story and song by telling you a little bit about The North Sea Epilogues.
Click here to skip the recipe for Taste of Heim Lefse.
The North Sea Epilogues
The North Sea Epilogues, by Renegade Game Studios, is a tabletop RPG based on the North Seas Saga of board games. Taking up roles like Clan Champion, Carpenter, Healer, or even Seer, players are the heroes of their own Viking-style Saga. That said since every person’s story is unique, NSE’s rules-lite system allows for practically limitless character customization and epic storytelling.
Gamemasters in North Sea Epilogues take on the role of Storyteller, collaborating with the players on each cinematic scene. They set the difficulty for challenges, but only the players roll dice. In the ultimate act of collaboration, every player contributes to the clan and the world’s creation through answering questions posed throughout the process.
As a bit of a history and literature nut, I love that North Sea Epilogues embraces so thoroughly the Norse and Anglo-Saxon oral tradition. Allowing characters to tell their own stories reminds one of epic poetry and boasting contests ringing through ancient mead halls.
A Taste of Heim
When coming up with a recipe for our campaign, I was a little stuck. I know, there’s an abundance of Nordic dishes and historical adaptations to discover. However, I wanted to make something appropriate for our particular epic tale. That was when Kikka, who plays Eydis — our game’s Seer, suggested lefse.
With her having been raised on the food and culture of her Viking ancestors, I’m glad I trusted her judgment! I learned that Lefse is a thin, mashed potato-based pancake that can be rolled and stuffed with all sorts of fillings. While you could just use leftover or storebought mashed potatoes to make them, it’s just so much better when you make your own.
The key to perfect mashed potatoes is two pieces of equipment that will make your life so much easier, a colander and a potato ricer. Rinsing your cut russets will remove the excess starch that turns potatoes gluey. The ricer will smooth your spuds into a creamy consistency, free of lumps and perfect for flatbread.
Since our characters need to traverse the wilderness before sailing the seas, it made sense to me that they would forage along the way. That’s why I included a blend of fresh herbs to brighten the bread and our mushroom filling.
The crazy thing I discovered in the process, though? Dill and cilantro, both often used in Scandanavian cooking, can be a bit excessive on their own to the average American palate. When combined in equal parts, their flavors balance into a perfect, clean and fresh, herbal note.
Admittedly, your first few lefse will frustrate you. Once you get the hang of the motions, though, it will feel like your arms and legs are performing poetry. Put on an episode of HEIM, wear an apron, and wield your weapons of culinary construction like the valkyrie you are.
And make sure into the next episode of HEIM on Little Red Dot’s channel!
We have an all-star cast including:
- Shauna (Flying Sciurus) as Disa the Carpenter
- Kellie the Opera Geek as Gudrun the Skald
- Aras Sivad as Frigg the Tracker
- Kikka VO as Eydis the Seer
- And yours truly as Dagny the Berserker (or Squirrel-serker…you’ll see.)
Sing for your Supper!
If you plan to cook the recipes off the site, keep scrolling. However, while access to recipes on the blog will always be free, I now have printable PDF recipe cards and thematic cook-along Spotify playlists as rewards for those who choose to support the blog.
The printable recipe cards and playlist for Taste of Heim Lefse will be available as a $2 donor reward on my Ko-Fi page until Monday, March 2rd, 2019, at 8 pm EST.
You can instead join my Patreon community at the “Sing for your Supper” level ($1/month) for access to the playlists or the “It’s All in the Cards” level ($5/month) or higher for access to ALL of my blog recipe cards and playlists. Patrons of all reward tiers will even receive a welcome gift of my Lord of the Rings recipe cards and playlists from January 2019 to get you started.
Lefse and Lingonberries
Taste of Heim Lefse
Equipment: Stovetop, pot, potato ricer, strainer, cast iron skillet, rolling pin, bench scraper, spatula, tortilla warmer or bowl with a lid, and a mixing bowl.
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/3 cup chopped dill
- 1/3 cup chopped rosemary and thyme leaves (mixed)
- 1.5 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3/8 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz. button mushrooms, diced
- 1/2 cup lingonberry or cranberry jam
- 3 oz. smoked salmon
- kosher salt
- Toss the fresh herbs together in a dish and set aside.
- Rinse the diced potatoes in the strainer under cold water before transferring them to your pot. Fill the pot with cold water just to cover the vegetables then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the temperature to medium and cook for 10 minutes while preparing your other ingredients.
- Drain the pot and transfer the potatoes to your mixing bowl. Return the pot to the stove and melt 1/4 cup of butter into the heavy cream over low heat. Process the potatoes into the cream using the ricer then scrape the whole mix back into the mixing bowl. Stir in half of the garlic and herbs and a few pinches of kosher salt until smooth.
- Mix the flour into the potatoes, 1/4 cup at a time until it forms a uniform dough. Divide the dough into 16 portions and roll them into balls. Lightly roll each ball in flour to coat.
- Heat the skillet over medium-low heat. It is hot enough when a bead of water sizzles on the surface.
- Dust your work surface with flour and place one of the dough balls over it. Press with the heel of your hand and turn over, press again. Do this until it is as wide as your palm.
- Roll the dough out to an 8-inch diameter by rolling with the pin and lightly rotating the lefse with each pass. Carefully slide the bench scraper under one side and the spatula under the other to lift it off your surface. Lower the lefse into the pan and draw away the scraper and spatula. Let cook for a minute while rolling out another lefse.
- Flip the lefse in the pan and cook another 45 seconds before transferring to a tortilla warmer or bowl lined with paper towels. Cover with the lid to keep warm. Repeat steps 6 through 8 with the remaining dough.
- Clean the skillet and then return to the stovetop over a medium flame. When hot, add the mushrooms to the dry skillet and stir-cook about 3 minutes until the steam slows. Add a pinch of kosher salt, a tablespoon of butter, and the remaining garlic. Saute for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the apple cider vinegar, the leftover butter, half of the remaining herbs, and another pinch of salt. Cook until the butter melts then remove from heat.
- Shred the smoked salmon and set aside. Assemble the lefse pockets by spreading a 1/2 tablespoon each of jam and salmon on the pancake, topping with a tablespoon of mushrooms, and a pinch of herbs, and folding over crepe style. Serve.