A few days after Thanksgiving, when we were still enjoying hefty sandwiches made of turkey leftover from our feast, my husband shoved what looked like a turkey wrap under my nose and said, “Taste this.”
I was about to take a bite when he continued, ” I wrapped up some turkey and that cranberry cream cheese stuff you made in a piece of lefse.”
My mouth immediately shut tight. “Oh, that’s okay. I really don’t care for a taste.”
I prefer lefse warm, rolled up with butter and sugar.
He insisted his creation was fantastic. I gave in and took a bite. He was right. I liked it enough to take a second bite.
If you are not of Scandinavian descent and don’t have any friends who are, you may not know about lefse. With Hungarian and German blood running through my veins, I didn’t know what it was, either, until I started hanging out with the guy who became my husband. His mother made lefse. And now he bakes the soft, thin rounds on a hot griddle. They resemble a flour tortilla. See some photos of made-in-Minnesota Lena’s Lefse.
Lefse is made of potatoes, so why wouldn’t it be great rolled up around some turkey?
But it was the cranberry cream cheese spread that made the wrap, well…not too bad. Everyone knows what cranberries are.
I had made the mixture to serve with crackers as a snack to keep us satisfied on Thanksgiving Day until the turkey was ready to eat. Never imagined it would ever get spread on lefse, of all things.
To make the cranberry cream cheese, I cooked a bag of whole, fresh ruby red cranberries with a few cinnamon sticks added to the pot. As soon as the cranberries were soft, I strained off the syrup. The remaining cranberry solids in the strainer got blended together with some ginger and hot pepper sauce. Once the cranberry mixture had cooled, I blended it together with a chunk of cream cheese. It’s great spread on crackers.
And, it’s darn good smeared on a wrap (made of lefse or a tortilla), smoothed over slices of bread for a sandwich or slathered onto a toasted bagel.
Norwegian-Style Lefse Wrap
Prepare 1 (12-ounce) bag of cranberries according to directions on package. Add a few cinnamon sticks to the pot.
When the cranberries are soft, remove pot from heat and immediately pour the mixture into a fine-mesh strainer placed over a glass bowl. Save the strained syrup for another use or discard. Transfer the cranberry solids to a mixing bowl.
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon grated fresh gingerroot
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- a bit of prepared horseradish is optional, for an extra kick of flavor
Blend well and allow to cool.
Mix cooled cranberry mixture with 1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese that has come to room temperature.
Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.
For each wrap:
Spread a piece of lefse (or tortilla) with cranberry-cream cheese mixture.
Lay rinsed leaf lettuce over the cranberry cream cheese. Arrange thinly sliced roast turkey or deli-style turkey over the lettuce. Add cheese if you like. Carefully roll up.