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More Swedish dinners: "Kroppkakor"

More Swedish dinners: "Kroppkakor"
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  • More Swedish dinners: "Kroppkakor"

    Post #1 - March 29th, 2007, 7:42 am
    Post #1 - March 29th, 2007, 7:42 am Post #1 - March 29th, 2007, 7:42 am
    "Body cakes"? Well, that's the translation of “kroppskakor”. I have absolutely no idea as to why they have this name... Your guess is as good as mine.

    But, behind this somewhat sinister name lies a simple, humble dish. Potato dumplings. Yet another uncharismatic dish I've decided to document.

    Kroppkakor have many regional variation throughout Sweden. The variables lie in the amounts of raw vs. cooked potatoes used in the dumpling, onions or no onions in the filling (heck, some areas of Sweden apparently skip the pork, too and fill these with fillings made from eels or even pelagic birds! Sorry, my market was out of these two ingredients...), and if it is seasoned with allspice or black peppar. I've loosely used a recipe based on kroppkakor from one of Sweden's baltic islands: Öland.

    The ingredients (left to right, top to bottom):

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    About 1 pound of small, boiled potatoes, 1/2 pound salt pork, about 20 allspice berries (or about 1 tsp ground allspice), nearly 2 pounds of uncooked potatoes, one onion (I used 2 small...) and about 2/3 cup flour.

    Start by finely grating the uncooked potatoes and squeezing them through a cloth to remove as much moisture as possible:

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    Mash or rice the boiled potatoes and place in a mixing bowl:

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    and add the grated, fresh potatoes, about a tsp salt as well as the flour. Mix to form a sticky dough. Roll the doll into a log (using wet hands) and cut into 12 equal pieces.

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    Next you’ll need to finely chop the salt pork and the onion(s). Sprinkle with the allspice, and saute until lightly browned.

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    Carefully add about one tablespoon of the filling to each disc of dough and pinch to seal shut.

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    The dough, due to its consistency, actually seals very easily. Use wet hands to avoid a huge mess! You’ll end up with 12 dumplings (save any leftover filling to serve along side the dumplings if you wish).

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    Meanwhile, bring a rather large amount of salted water to a boil. I used about 7 quarts and had 1 ½ teaspoons salt per quart of water. Carefully add your dumplings to the rapidly boiling water.

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    Let the water come to a simmer and reduce the heat to keep everything at a steady simmer. You’ll want to let these simmer for about 20 minutes. They’ll float to the surface as the get done.

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    Serve with peas, melted browned butter and lingonberry jam.

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    Actually, in Sweden, kroppkakor are served with a lingonberry product known as “rårörda lingon” (literally, raw-mixed lingonberries). These are simply fresh lingonberries that have been mixed with sugar. This preserves the berries but the end result has more of the sourness and bitterness that fresh lingonberries have than cooked preserves. Perhaps something similar could be done with cranberries?
  • Post #2 - March 29th, 2007, 9:14 am
    Post #2 - March 29th, 2007, 9:14 am Post #2 - March 29th, 2007, 9:14 am
    Another amazing post - thanks so much. One question - could good ol' Wisconsin cranberries be substituted for the lingonberries?
  • Post #3 - March 29th, 2007, 9:20 am
    Post #3 - March 29th, 2007, 9:20 am Post #3 - March 29th, 2007, 9:20 am
    Thank you so much, nr706!

    Yeah, I was kind of guessing at the cranberry substitution in my post. The flavors are really very similar with lingonberries (in their raw state) having perhaps a little more bitterness and/or sourness.

    Perhaps a cup or so of cranberries can be chopped and mixed with, say, 1/3 cup of sugar? Mix well and let it stand for an hour or so to see if the sugar starts drawing out the cranberries juices. Maybe a touch of lemon (or lime) test would add any sourness needed.

    Care to give it a try and report back? Maybe next time you have an extra 1/2 bag of cranberries sitting around...
  • Post #4 - March 29th, 2007, 10:03 am
    Post #4 - March 29th, 2007, 10:03 am Post #4 - March 29th, 2007, 10:03 am
    HI,

    I bought lingonberries in the Soviet Union, though I didn't know they were lingonberries at the time. I intuitively substituted them for cranberries, though they are juicy compared to cranberries. When cranberries are cooked, they soften and cool to a gelatinous state. The lingonberries I cooked like cranberries were always much more fluid.

    In Soviet Union, they used preservation techniques like you described: 1 part crushed fruit to 1 (or is it 2? I'm fuzzy on this at the moment) part(s) sugar, then store it in the refrigerator. It was often eaten with tea in winter.

    I agree with your idea to approximate the taste of the lingonberries by chopping cranberries and mixing them with sugar. There are fresh cranberry relishes that are made as described, though usually an orange is thrown in for a counterpoint.

    Again thanks for another cool peak in your life in Sweden.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #5 - March 29th, 2007, 10:58 am
    Post #5 - March 29th, 2007, 10:58 am Post #5 - March 29th, 2007, 10:58 am
    Swedish Cha xiu bao!
  • Post #6 - March 29th, 2007, 12:01 pm
    Post #6 - March 29th, 2007, 12:01 pm Post #6 - March 29th, 2007, 12:01 pm
    nr706 wrote:Another amazing post - thanks so much. One question - could good ol' Wisconsin cranberries be substituted for the lingonberries?


    If you are looking for ligonberries in the Chicago, they are readily available at your local IKEA store.
  • Post #7 - March 29th, 2007, 12:33 pm
    Post #7 - March 29th, 2007, 12:33 pm Post #7 - March 29th, 2007, 12:33 pm
    Bridgestone,

    Many thanks for the fine post. Similar potato dumplings are also made in the lands across the Baltic and I think it would be fair to say that the Lithuanians are especially adept at taking starchy vehicles, especially potato material of sundry sorts, and stuffing them with various forms of pork. From my Prussian (and, of late, Lithuanian) perspective, it was most interesting to see the Swedish take on the concept you illustrate so nicely.

    Regarding the availablity of lingonberries, jlawrence is right that they are to be gotten along with lots of other things Swedish at Ikea, but a nearer alternative for those in the city is Wikstrom's in Andersonville:*

    http://www.wikstromsgourmet.com/aboutus.html

    Antonius

    * Alas, the linked pages for different products at Wikstrom's don't seem to be working, at least for me.
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #8 - March 30th, 2007, 4:54 pm
    Post #8 - March 30th, 2007, 4:54 pm Post #8 - March 30th, 2007, 4:54 pm
    Treasure Island carries jarred lingonberries, too.
  • Post #9 - February 9th, 2009, 1:17 am
    Post #9 - February 9th, 2009, 1:17 am Post #9 - February 9th, 2009, 1:17 am
    kare_raisu wrote:Swedish Cha xiu bao!

    another varation (Lithuanian) - Cepelinai - 'zeppelin' dumplings
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon

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