Welcome back to Detectives Around the World, a theme week brought to us by Jen of Jen's Book Thoughts. Be sure to check out the other reviews and essays and recipes that are being shared all week. And be sure to join in the scavenger hunt.
On Tuesday, I gave you an overview of Cork O'Connor and a short review of Purgatory Ridge by William Kent Krueger. Today I want to give you a feel for northern Minnesota. Cork O'Connor's town of Aurora is not far from the Boundary Waters, the tip of Lake Superior, and the Superior National Forest--all three of which play a part in Krueger's series.
The Upper Midwest was a destination for Scandinavian immigrants, and their foods and traditions have made a strong mark in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Although Cork O'Connor is not Norwegian, it is completely appropriate to share a Norwegian recipe to represent his region of the United States. (For some Ojibwe recipes in honor of his American Indian ancestry, try the food page of Native American online.)
To keep with the literary theme, the following recipe comes from Carrie Young, the author of two wonderful essay collections about the Norwegian immigration experience in the early 1900s. The recipe appeared in a 1983 article Young wrote for Gourmet magazine.
Kjottboller (Norwegian Meatballs)
- ½ pound lean ground beef
- ½ pound lean ground pork
- 1 large egg, beaten lightly
- 1 tablespoon light cream or half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2½ teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups water
In a heavy skillet just large enough to hold the meatballs in one layer, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter over moderate heat and add the meatballs. Cook over moderately low heat, turning them, for 20 to 30 minutes or until brown and crusty. Transfer, using a slotted spoon, to a bowl.
Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat remaining in the skillet (or add the remaining butter to make 3 tablespoons). Add the flour, and cook the roux over moderately low heat, stirring and scraping up the brown bits clinging to the skillet, for 2 minutes. Add the water in a stream, stirring constantly, bring the sauce to a boil, stirring, and simmer for 3 minutes.
Stir in the remaining salt and sugar, add the meatballs, and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the meatballs are heated through. Transfer all to a heated tureen and serve with lefser (potato pancakes).
Hope you enjoyed this look into Sheriff O'Connor's world. Come back on Saturday for another recipe.