Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Breaking Bread (or Eggs): Swedish Savory Pancake Recipe

2016-01-11 20.13.29

I like the expression “to break bread” which means to share your belongings with another person, because the literal act of breaking bread is more than simply sharing a meal together. When I was inundated with meeting requests I didn’t necessarily want to accept but should, I would have them over meals because I thought I was killing two birds with one stone (because I had to eat anyway). But I realized that it was also a way of bringing myself closer to the other person. After all, there aren’t many other things more primal (that’s acceptable professionally) than sharing a meal? It’s easier to focus on the commonalities than the differences when you share a meal (we are all people, we enjoy eating), and stable and healthy blood sugar sure helps discussions flowing smoothly.

When we spent some time with a Swedish couple we met recently, I remembered the joy of learning about each other and each others’ cultures by sharing food, when I attended an international school as a child and exchanged lunch items with friends from different countries. After my husband and I prepared a meal for all of us one night (okonomiyaki, a Japanese grilled cabbage pancake), they reciprocated the next evening with their version of a savory pancake, Fläskpannkaka (yup, kaka is Swedish for cake), an oven-baked savory pancake with cured pork. It’s almost like a savory version of the Dutch baby pancake, in that it is oven-baked and it inflates in the pan. Here is their recipe:

Swedish Cured Pork Pancake (Fläskpannkaka)

Ingredients:
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 3-4 dl (about 1.5 cups) of flour
  • 7-8 dl (about 3 cups of milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 100- 200 g (3.5 to 7 oz) salted pork (or bacon) cut into cubes of 3/4 in.
  1. Mix flour and salt.
  2. Mix eggs with half the milk and almost all the flour.
  3. Add rest of milk, and last of the flour while stirring to preferred thickness.
  4. Butter an oven-proof dish (e.g., ones you use for lasagna)
  5. Heat oven to 200-225˚C (about 400˚F).
  6. Pour pancake mix into the dish, adding the salted pork as is, or it can be pre-fried to add more crunch, if desired. For a more luxurious taste exchange half of the milk for heavy cream.
  7. Done when the center of dough is cooked through, about 30–45 min. depending on the size of the dish. Serve with lingonberry jam and raw salad such as shredded carrots.
This meal can be prepared without pork, which is then called ugnspannkaka (oven pancake) or tjockpannkaka (thick pancake).
We talked about the universality of the pancake, how each family had a special recipe and preferences. Through the breaking of this savory pancake, we felt like we’ve known them for a long time, and that we got to know an aspect of Sweden more deeply over a single meal than when we visited Stockholm for a few days.

 

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This entry was posted on January 13, 2016 by in Culture, Recipes, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .
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