My love of Lodge cast iron led me to browsing through their products one day, and I saw a seriously funky looking skillet. Thankfully, the modern world has Google, and I quickly decided I absolutely had to have one of these pans, after all not only is it unusual and therefore appealing, it’s also a treat invented by Vikings. (Vikings! Vikings are cool). Naturally, I had to get a cookbook to go with it.
Ebelskivers: Danish-Style Filled Pancakes and Other Sweet and Savory Treats by Kevin Crafts tells about the folklore of the Vikings and how they were said to place their battle-damaged shields over the fire to make little round pancakes in the dents, and gives a wide variety of recipes. There are sweet versions like the iced gingerbread, maple-nut, coconut, cherry-almond, banana-rum, and strawberry shortcake varieties (plus oh so many more). Savory recipes include popovers, potato and green onion, spinach and feta, tomato-stuffed polenta cakes, smoked salmon and dill, and two-cheese puffs with marinara. For your own creativity, there are a few basic batters and separate recipes for fillings or dips (oh the sticky toffee looks good, so does the bourbon whipped cream).
This is one of those cookbooks that is light on the information and heavy on the recipes. Normally I like there to be more about history and traditions, but lighter on the recipes. I tend to like to know the basics and history, relying on my own tendencies to adapt and change recipes to suit my needs (especially with healthy substitutions). In this case, I make an exception. There is some history, there are some tips, but the main value of the cookbook is the wide variety of options and flavor combinations suggested. I’ve only listed a very small amount of the possibilities he gives, the photos and recipes seriously spark my culinary imagination and I find it a great little cookbook to browse through when I feel stuck in a breakfast or snack rut. Sure, I still come up with my own ingredient substitutions, and I tend to use my sourdough recipe with whole wheat and adapt from there, but my culinary creativity goes much further when I browse this great little book.