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Staple of Old-Fashioned Hearty Dutch Fare is Potatoes

July 23, 2008

By Pam Griffin, Destin Log, Fla.

Jul. 23–THE NETHERLANDS — famous for so many things, like dikes, canals, tulips, windmills, cheese and wooden shoes — and yes, even their foods. Dutch cuisine is hearty, simple and satisfying, and the main ingredient in old-fashioned Dutch cooking is potatoes. Two classic recipes are Hete Bliksem and Bitterballen.

Bitterballen

(Meatball Hors d’oeuvre)

4 Tbsp. butter 1/2 lb. ground beef or veal 1/4 cup finely diced carrot 1/2 cup finely chopped onion Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste A grating of fresh nutmeg 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice 2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley

5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 cup beef broth or milk

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water

Oil for deep frying

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet overmoderate heat and cook the meat, carrots and onions until the meat is browned and the carrots are tender. Drain the meat, then place in a mixing bowl.

Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, lemon juice and parsley and stir to combine. Set the meat mixture aside.

Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan W

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over moderate heat and stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook this for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the beef broth or milk. Continue heating, stirring constantly, until the sauce boils and becomes quite thick.

Combine

the sauce with the meat mixture, stirring to combine them thoroughly, and chill this mixture

for at least two hours in the refrigerator, until it has become solid.

When the mixture has solidified, roll it into balls about 1 inch in diameter, using your hands. Roll the balls in the bread crumbs, then in the egg Nepal NETHERLANDS D N ALRE HTE N S Pakistan and water mixture, then in the bread crumbs again. Fry a few at a time in a deep fryer with at least 2 inches oil at 375 until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes). Drain and serve immediately.

Hete Bliksem

(Hot Lightning)

1 1/2 lbs. potatoes 1 tsp. salt 3/4 lb. semi-sour apples 2 Tbsp. sugar 6 slices of bacon, finely chopped 2 large onions Pinch of salt and pepper 4 sausages Peel the potatoes and boil in salted water until done. Drain and puree. Peel the apples, quarter and remove the cores. Chop quarters into smaller pieces and place in pan with 3/4 cup water and the sugar. Cook for about 15 minutes until it becomes a rather coarse apple sauce.

Stir the apple sauce and all moisture remaining in the apple sauce pan into the potatoes. Keep warm.

Fry the bacon until it is crisp.

Clean the onion and cut into rings. Bake these rings in the bacon drippings until golden brown.

Remove from pan and cover with foil.

Fry the sausages in the bacon fat until done.

Stir the bacon/onion mixture into the potato/apple mixture adding salt and pepper to taste.

Place the sausages on top of the Hete Bliksem. Serves 4.

What’s Cookin’? will run every Wednesday in 2008. A different country’s foods will be featured each week. Next week: Pakistan.

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Copyright (c) 2008, Destin Log, Fla.

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