On Thanksgiving night, my father reminisced fondly of a dish his Norwegian uncle used to make – klub (sounds like cloooob). He remembered Uncle Oscar and Aunt Alma inviting the family over for a big batch, probably around the holidays. As with all Norwegian food, I was scared to ask what it was, but the two helpings of stuffing and gravy gave me fortitude. Klub, my father informed me, is a boiled potato ball/dumpling that has a bit of ham in the center. Nordic humbau, if you will. The potato isn’t mashed or shredded, it is riced into tiny bits, to which a bit of Crisco or some other greasing agent is added. This mixture is wrapped around the ham bit and boiled slowly in a pot of water. Or that’s the gist of it any way.
I told my dad that I would make some klub for him. Maybe it was my current Scandinavian Christmas fixation that pushed me over the edge or the Princess cake in Martha Stewart’s December issue, but whatever it was, I agreed to give klub a whirl. Now, I must admit that this dish doesn’t sound good to me. It has several strikes against it in my book, but I’m game to give it a whirl, provided I can find a recipe.
Now, you’d think finding such a recipe would be easy in this age of the WWW but those that I have found, I haven’t liked the sound of. Some call for beef suet (no way) or pork hocks or salt pork (no thanks). I checked out a Scandinavian cookbook from the library, filled with just about every recipe known to Viking…except klub. Finally, I did find a recipe for Potet Klub that might fit the bill. It comes from the “Midwest’s Number 1 Roadside Cafe” so how can you argue with that? I’ll probably try it over the weekend and I’ll let you know how it goes.
If anyone has tried this (Auntie R I know you have), please feel free to share your thoughts on what makes good klub. I hope salt figures into your equation.