Rock Island County, Illinois Genealogy Trails

 Swedish Recipes and other Traditions

A Recipe for Boiled Lutfisk
Kokt Lutfisk

1 lb. frozen soaked lutfisk
1 tsp. salt

Skin and cut up thawed lutfisk. Place pieces close together in cheese-cloth and sprinkle with salt. Place in steamer. Bring very slowly to boiling point and simmer 10-12 minutes. Drain, and after cooling a bit, carefully remove any bones that can be felt. Set aside.

Make a white sauce of:
3 T flour
2 tsp. dry mustard
3 T butter
2 1/2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter. Add flour, mustard and seasonings. Stir until blended. add milk gradually while stirring. Cook slowly until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Add lutefisk to white sauce and serve in chafing dish to keep hot. Serve with small boiled potatoes that are seasoned with butter and parsley. Peas may also be added to potatoes if desired.

(Note: the white sauce may have to be adjusted - thickened or thinned - to get the consistency of a thick sauce after adding the fish.

Recipe from A Christmas Eve Smorgasbord by Joy Erickson.

Salted Herring
"Inlagd sill"

4 to 6 fillets of salt herring
1½ dl(3/4 cup) sugar
1 dl (½ cup) Swedish spirit vinegar
2 dl (about 1 cup) water
5 tsp. allspice
1 bay leaf
1 to 2 red onions
sliced dill sprigs
Soak the herring in cold water for 10 to 12 hours, or follow the directions on the package. Drain them. Mix the sugar, vinegar and water in a separate bowl. Add the allspice, bay leaf and onion. Pour the dressing over the herring and refrigerate for 2 hours. Cut the herring in 1 cm- thick slices, cover with dressing and garnish with red onion rings and dill sprigs.

Variation: Instead of allspice, add 1 teaspoon whole cloves and 5 crushed white peppercorns to the dressing. Bring to a boil, let cool and pour over the herring reserving about ½ dl. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Slice the herring and place in serving dish. Add the remaining dressing and garnish with red onion rings, cloves and dill.

Cabbage Rolls

1 small head white cabbage, water, salt
1 dl (½ cup) water
½ dl (1/4 cup) white rice
3 dl (1½ cups) milk
350 g (about 12 oz) ground beef
salt, white pepper, thyme
margarine or butter
1 dl (½ cup) light cream
Cut out the core and put the cabbage in salted boiling water. Cook covered, until the leaves are slightly soft and easy to remove from the core. Peel off the leaves one by one and drain on a rack or towel. Trim the coarse centre vein of each leaf. To make the filling, bring the water to a boil. Add the rice and cook covered, until the water is almost absorbed. Stir in the milk and cook till the mixture resembles a thin porridge. Let cool. Mix with the meat and spices, add more milk if necessary. Put a large tablespoonful of filling on each cabbage leaf. Fold the leaf around the filling and secure the roll with a toothpick. Heat a skillet with a little margarine or butter. Brown a few rolls at a time, over moderate heat. Transfer to a casserole. When all the cabbage rolls are browned add a little beef bouillon or water to the casserole, cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Add the cream and cook for another 15 minutes. Serve with boiled potatoes and lingonberry preserve.


1 dl (½ cup) fine dry bread crumbs
1 dl (½ cup) light cream
1 dl (½ cup) water
200 g (7 oz.) ground beef
200 g (7 oz.) ground lean pork
1½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground allspice
2 tbl grated yellow onion
(and/or 2 crushed garlic cloves)
1 egg, beaten
3 tbl margarine or butter
Mix the bread crumbs, cream and water; set aside for 5 minutes. Work together the beef, pork, salt, allspice and onion. Gradually add the bread crumbs, then the egg. Blend well and fry a sample to test the seasoning. Shape into balls. Make large meatballs to be served for dinner or small meatballs for the smörgåsbord. Heat part of the margarine or butter in a skillet. Add 10 to 15 meatballs. Fry over moderate heat until the meatballs are beautifully brown and cooked through. Transfer to a serving dish and keep hot while frying the remaining meatballs. Serve with boiled potatoes, lingonberry preserve and a tossed salad.

Ginger Snaps

Makes about 50 cookies
3 dl (1½ cups) syrup
4 dl (1 & 3/4 cups) sugar
1½ tablespoons ginger
1½ tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon cloves
350 g (12 oz.) margarine or butter
3 dl (1½ cups) whipped cream
about 2½ litre or 1½ kg (3lb. 5 oz.) flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
Stir the syrup with sugar, spices and margarine until well mixed. Whip the cream till frothy and stir into the batter, a little at a time. Dissolve the baking soda in a little water and add together with part of the flour. Cover the dough which should be quite firm, let stand until the following day. Knead the dough, adding the remaining flour. Roll out a small part and bake a test cookie in a 175 to 200 C oven. If the cookie spreads, add a little more flour to the dough. Roll out the dough and cut with cookie cutters into hearts, stars, pigs etc. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet after baking. The cookies may be decorated with white frosting made of sifted powdered sugar stirred with egg white and a few drops vinegar or lemon juice to a thick smooth paste.

The Swedish Lucia celebration is an annual festival of medieval origin, observed on the 13th of December. On this day, the darkness is brightened by Saint Lucia, a creature of goodness and light who opens the door to the Christmas season.

Swedish Christmas Dinner Menu
Drinks: Malörts brännvin (40 % spirit flavoured with wormwort bitter)
Absolute Vodka citron (lemon gin as a substitute)
Glögg (similar to Gluhwein)
Mineral Waters

Food: Many kinds of pickled fish (Inlagd sill)
Cured salmon with mustard sauce
And/or cold smoked salmon, and/or warm smoked eel
Leverpaste(all spice flavoured) "Leverpastej"

Christmas meat balls (meat balls spiced with all spice)

Jul skinka (Christmas ham. Sugar-salted ham cooked or baked, coated with mustard paste, dusted with bread crumbs and browned under the grill), served with julsenap (Swedish mustard blended with honey)

Julkorv (cooked thick pork sausages, all spice flavour, of course, cut into thick slices)
Prinskorv("prince sausages" small pork sausages)

Presssylta (All spice flavour geléed cubes of veal and pork)

Sill sallad

Cabbage prepared in four different styles:
Långkål, Grönkål, Rödkål, Brunkål
(Long cabbage, green cabbage, red cabbage, brown cabbage)

Vörtbröd (Brown malt bread with raisins)
Ginger biscuits in various shapes
Rice pudding with fruit sauce as a dessert


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