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Sandwich, cabbage salad, meatballs .. all with Norwegian cheese.

Sandwich, cabbage salad, meatballs . . all with Norwegian cheese

From the dairies of Norway come three cheeses, each with special properties well suited to these dishes.

Most familiar is jarlsberg, with its pale golden color and shiny holes. Similar to Swiss (emmenthal) cheese but milder in flavor, jarlsberg doesn't flow away when melted, yet tastes velvet smooth; it's particularly good for the grilled sandwich.

Widely available but less well known-- and with a limited but devoted following --is gjetost (say yeah-toast), a firm brown cheese. You'll find it in 1/2-pound bricks or cut to order at the supermarket. With reason, Norwegians call it "brown cheese"; they start most days with paper-thin slices on buttered bread.

Gjetost is made of goat's milk, cow's milk, and whey, boiled until the mixture looks like caramel and tastes distinctively sweet. When melted and blended with sour cream to coat these meatballs, the cheese makes a complex-tasting sauce, delicious on the meat and baked potatoes that can accompany this entree.

Look for the third, nokkelost, in your supermarket's specialty cheese section or in cheese shops. Its color and texture resemble jack cheese, but it's smoother and studded with a seasoning mix of allspice, cloves, and cumin. (A similar, less complex Scandinavian cheese is kuminost.)

This spicing makes nokkelost good for salads; here it's coated with crumbs, baked until crusty outside, creamy inside, then served with hot red cabbage.

Grilled Jarlsberg Cheese Sandwich

1 large onion, thinly sliced

About 2 tablespoons butter or margarine

4 slices firm white bread

4 to 6 ounces jarlsberg (or Swiss) cheese, thinly sliced

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan on medium heat, stir often 1 tablespoon of the butter and onion until onion is very soft and golden, about 30 minutes.

Spread 1 side of bread slices with remaining butter. Mound onion equally on unbuttered side of 2 slices; top with cheese. Set bread, buttered side up, on cheese.

Place sandwiches in frying pan and cook, covered, on medium-low heat until cheese is soft and bread is browned, about 12 minutes total; turn sandwiches once. Remove from pan, cut in half diagonally, and serve hot. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 472 cal.; 21 g protein; 32 g carbo.; 29 g fat; 85 mg chol.; 509 mg sodium.

Norwegian Meatballs with Gjetost Sauce

1 pound ground lean pork or lean beef (or 1/2 of each)

1 large egg

3/4 cup regular-strength chicken broth

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup half-and-half (light cream) or milk

1/2 cup shredded gjetost cheese

1/3 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Salt and pepper

Fresh dill sprigs

Mix pork, egg, 1/2 cup of the broth, and flour. Shape into 1-inch balls and place slightly apart in an ungreased 10- by 15-inch pan. Bake in a 450| oven until well browned, about 15 minutes. Loosen meatballs from pan with a spatula; keep them warm in pan.

In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan on medium heat, bring remaining broth and the half-and-half to steaming; do not boil. Add gjetost and stir until melted. Turn heat to low and stir in sour cream and chopped dill. Add meatballs and drippings; stir to mix. Add salt and pepper to taste, then pour into a bowl. Garnish with dill sprigs.

Makes 4 main-dish servings.

Per serving: 355 cal.; 27 g protein; 14 g carbo.; 21 g fat; 158 mg chol.; 215 mg sodium.

Red Cabbage Salad with Baked Nokkelost

1 medium-size crisp red apple such as Winesap or Red Delicious

1 small head (about 1 lb.) red cabbage

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil or salad oil

1 medium-size onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise

Walnuts, nokkelost, and toast (directions follow)

Salt and pepper

Core apple, cut into 6 wedges, then thinly slice wedges crosswise; put in a small bowl and cover with water.

Rinse cabbage and remove 4 large perfect leaves; finely shred head of cabbage.

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan on medium-high heat, combine garlic, vinegar, and oil; when hot, add onion. Mix well. Add cabbage; cook and stir until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain apple and add with the walnuts to cabbage.

Put a cabbage leaf on each plate and mound salad into it; with spatula, top with cheese. Serve with toast and salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

Per serving: 628 cal.; 21 g protein; 41 g carbo.; 45 g fat; 106 mg chol.; 489 mg sodium.

Walnuts, nokkelost, and toast. Pour 3/4 cup walnuts into an 8- or 9-inch round or square baking pan. Bake in a 350| oven until nuts are lightly toasted, about 10 minutes; remove nuts and set aside.

Trim crusts from 5 slices dark rye bread; cut each into 4 triangles. Brush pieces lightly with olive oil (use about 2 teaspoons total); place in 10- by 15-inch pan.

Cut 6 ounces nokkelost (or kuminost or jack cheese) into 4 pieces, each 1/2 inch thick. In a small bowl, beat 1 large egg to blend; put 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs in another small bowl. Mix cheese with egg. Lift out 1 piece at a time and coat with crumbs. Then, 1 piece at a time, recoat with egg, then crumbs. Place cheese pieces well apart in pan used for nuts.

Bake bread triangles and cheese in a 500| oven until they are slightly darker brown, about 5 minutes.

Photo: Brown gjetost, spiced nokkelost, and hole-filled jarlsberg are Norwegian cheeses with distinctive flavors, cooking behavior

Photo: Crumb-coated baked nokkelost tops hot cabbage salad; serve with dark rye triangles
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:May 1, 1988
Words:950
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