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Chufi

Dutch Cooking (2005-2006)

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The online store is Holland's Best, and what I used was the Verstegen Kroketten Kruiden.  It came in a little bag, so I couldn't see the ingredients.  They have tons of cool stuff there, but the service was a bit eccentric.

Your pea soup looks fabulous!  That's a lot more meat that we put in pea soup here, and it looks so good, and so eGullet-y with all that pork!

that site is amazing.. like a dutch supermarket on the internet...

OK so this is interesting. Kroketten are not the same as saucijzenbroodjes.. Kroketten are croquettes, I am planning to make some (or it's little sister, bitterballen) this weekend. I see the Krokettenspicemix on the Hollands' best website, but when I go to the Dutch site of the Verstegen company, this product is not listed.

I'll look for it in my supermarket though to see if they have it and if I can see the ingredients listed.

I never use ready made spice mixes, except for speculaas (spicy cookies) and I am just amazed at the variety of spicemixes that is out there!

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For those who are interested in sort of an in depth discussion of why the dutch, though travellers and certainly spice traders (Dutch East & West India Company), often eat rather bland food, there are some interesting writings on the subject. The culture (at least in the North) has been very Calvinist.  A culture of "merchants and ministers" Calvinism is deeply rooted in the dutch psyche. Thus, flagrant use of money, and things sensual (including spices, etc.) were historically frowned upon. A great treatise on this is found in Simon Schama's "Embarassment of Riches" (A history of the dutch republic in its golden age).  He goes into the whole influence of religion in Holland and its influence on art, food, etc.  This is why much more interesting and (dare I say) "quality" food can be found in the South versus the North. (The southern park of Holland is predominantly Catholic and the northern part is Protestant).

Anyway, everybody, PROOST, and let's share some more recipes! I'll share some too when I get home this weekend to my cookbooks.

wow! thanks for that fascinating info..

Milagai

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Klary, all of this is amazing - I am really enjoying this thread. Especially the pea soup - it looks so comforting. I think I'm going to have to try that one very soon.

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I am planning to make some (or it's little sister, bitterballen) this weekend.

Wonderful news. I'll be looking forward to the bittenballen recipe.

And your soup looks delicious!

edited to add...I just noticed the celeriac in your photo.

I love celeriac in any form but have not experimented with it in soup yet.

I'll bet it really adds to the flavour.

I generally don't like split pea soup but this one looks so intriguing I'm going to try it.


Edited by Chef Metcalf (log)

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Holland's Best has changed their website since I last ordered, but at that time it did say that the kroketten kruiden could be used for saucijzenbroodjes, and so I did. Oops? They were yummy, in any case, and there were a couple of NL-born folks at the party who loved them.

I wanted to comment on that celeriac too, because we never see it with the leaves still on. Can you use them as an aromatic in soup?

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I wanted to comment on that celeriac too, because we never see it with the leaves still on.  Can you use them as an aromatic in soup?

yes, and it's much used that way. You can also buy the leaves in bunches (without the root), like parsley. I'll be making vegetable soup later in the week, with celery leaves as one of the main flavorings.


Edited by Chufi (log)

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i only know a lot of dutch or frisian food  from(ok go ahead and laugh all) romance novels from betty neels who died earlier this year.  she was a nurse married to a "dutchman" (don't know if he was dutch or frisian) and all of her books included food like crazy whether in england or the netherlands - pankoken, dutch babies, erwentoensoep, etc.(please pardon the mispellings).

suzi, this one's for you.. I never read one of Betty Neels' novels but I can just imagine the heroin in one of her novels munching on these cookies while waiting for her dashing beau..

The recipe is also here in Recipe Gullet

Friese Dumkes, which translates as "frisian little thumbs".. you'll see why later :smile: or.: Aniseed hazelnut cookies

ingredients:

gallery_21505_1968_10462.jpg

100 grams of ground hazelnuts

150 grams butter, softened

125 grams soft brown sugar (I used extra dark but light brown is fine)

2 eggs

250 grams flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon aniseed

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 150 / C 300 F

mix the butter and sugar. Add eggs and the sifted flour. Mix very well for a couple of minutes. Add the spices, salt and hazelnuts.

Flour your board or worksurface and roll out the dough to 1 cm. thickness. Now cut into 2 x 4 cm strips.

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[ now might be the time to confess I'm sort of geometrically challenged. Please just imagine all these cookies are exactly 2 x 4 cm :smile: ]

Put the strips on a baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes until done. They should not brown very much.

Take them out of the oven and with your thumb, press an indentation into each cookie. Then let cool on a rack.

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*Ouch*

Ok I don't know how these Frisian women did that, but cookies just out of the oven are HOT and it hurts to put you thumb on them! I guess you could use a teaspoon to do that or just forget about it - they will taste delicious anyway!

To me, these cookies are perfect for fall. They have the warm and mellow spicyness from the aniseed, not the much more assertive spices that you get with the december-pastries. Lovely, buttery, sweet & spicy goodness. You really should try these.

gallery_21505_1968_65787.jpg


Edited by Chufi (log)

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I would love a great recipe for kroketten...the package spice mix worries me a bit; I'd prefer fresh vegetables and herbs. I love kroketten as well as bitterbalen. They serve great bitterbalen at both Cafe Luxembourg and the Hoppe bar next door in Amsterdam. I must say, Cafe Lux also has some great erwtensoep!


Edited by DutchMuse (log)

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I've put the recipe for the split pea soup (Erwtensoup) in Recipe Gullet click

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Hans & Frans, this one is for you! :smile:

Bitterballen

First, let me clear one thing up.. bitterballen are not bitter.

These are small, round, deep-fried meat croquettes, called bitterballen because they used to be the accompaniment to a herbal liquer called bittertje

These days, a plate of bitterballen, liversausage, cheese and mustard is still called a bittergarnituur, (garnishes for your bitter), no matter what you drink it with.

Kroketten are sausage-shaped and a favorite sandwichfilling, bitterballen are made from exactly the same mix only smaller and round. I can tell you that on a fridayafternoon, after work, nothing is nicer than going to a bar, ordering a large cold beer and half a dozen of bitterballen with mustard, and start the weekend!

Kroketten and bitterballen both fall into the fastfood category these days and I don't know anyone who makes them from scratch. You can buy highquality ones frozen, and fry them at home, or just eat them out - which is what most people do.

But for who-ever wants to try to make these themselves, here's what I did today..

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Ingredients for the ragout :

(this recipe will yield about 4 croquettes or 12 bitterballen.)

200 grams of cooked meat. I used a mix of beef and veal because that's what I had. You can chop it up very fine or leave a bit more texture if you prefer.

200 ml. good flavoured stock

30 grams butter

30 grams flour

1 eggyolk (keep the white)

a pinch of mace

pinch of grated nutmeg

parsley or celery

salt and pepper

a little bit of lemon juice.

Make a white sauce from the flour, butter and stock. Flavour with mace and nutmeg and cook for a couple of minutes until you have a smooth and shiny sauce.

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To this add the meat, parsley or celery, lemon juice, and eggyolk. Season very generously with salt and pepper. Keep tasting. The deepfried endresult will be blander than what you taste right now, se you should overseason somewhat.

Spread this on a plate or in a shallow dish and put in the fridge for a couple of hours until really firm. I know, this does not look very appetizing..

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When you are ready to deepfry, heat your oil (I used sunfloweroil) in a pan. I used a fairly small pan because I did not want to fry too many at once (you don't want to stir them about too much or they might crack), and I was only frying up half a dozen. This way you also need less oil. The deep-fried balls will keep warm in a low oven fro a while as you fry the rest.

For the breading you need:

the reserved eggwhite and 1 egg, beaten together

a plate with flour

a plate with breadcrumbs (about 300 grams)

Now comes the messy part. (thanks Dennis for taking the picture)

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Take tablespoons of the meat mix and form a round ball. Dip very lightly in flour. Dip in egg. Make sure it's very well coated. Coat with breadcrumbs. Dip in egg again, and coat with crumbs again. So for each ball it's flour - egg - crumbs - egg- crumbs.

they should look like this:

gallery_21505_1968_45026.jpg

Deepfry. I don't have a thermometer for this so I can't give an exact temperature... The oil should not be too hot ofcourse or the crumbs will burn before the inside is hot.

These were fried for about 4 minutes each. Serve with mustard, and a cold beer.. very good! gallery_21505_1968_44776.jpg

Final verdict: they were very good but we both thought they were blander than what we are used to from commercially made bitterballen and kroketten. It could be I underseasoned them, it could also be that some extra flavorings (I'm thinking maybe a bit of shallot or onion in the sauce, or some thyme ) would have added that extra flavor. But we also thought it was great to taste such a pure version of this classic, where the flavor of the meat really comes through, instead of just salt and artificial flavourings. And probably the commercially made ones are extra salty to keep the people in bars ordering beers..


Edited by Chufi (log)

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Yummmm, lekker! (Tasty!) One caution: be sure the bitterbalen have cooled a bit before you sink your teeth into them. I've burned my roof of my mouth more times than I want to count from a hot bitterbalen. They can be HOT when newly served.

Oh, and yes, good enough with beer, but I like them with een borreltje (a jenever).

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Klary, thank you so much for creating this beautiful thread. I have really enjoyed learning about this cuisine that I realized I know so little about.

For years I didn't appreciate a lot of the food I grew up with (a veritable melange of things from the American South to Argentina and France) but I have slowly developped a new perspective on it.

Part of my new appreciation comes from my own expanding tastes and willingness to be open to new things. I guess you have to go away to come back home again.

Those cookies look wonderful, I love baking with ground nuts.

I do hope you'll do some traditional Dutch vegetable dishes as well.

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I made the braised beef tonight along with some boiled potatoes and sweet and sour cabbage. Oh, my, was it ever satisfying and delicious. Thank you, Chufi!

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Made the dumkes, thank you! And thereby justified sending DH to buy aniseed from a Tokyo supermarket a while back...whew! This recipe works beautifully with nice dark Japanese sugar.

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I can't believe people all over the planet are cooking Dutch food!

Thanks everybody. Your responses really mean a lot to me :smile:

Today on the menu: Dutch vegetable soup with meatballs.

Now I won't claim that the Dutch invented vegetable soup! But still I think that this kind of soup, with it's meatballs and the predominant flavouring of celery leaves, is uniquely Dutch. Please correct me if I'm wrong :smile:

Yesterday I made some stock from a nice piece of beef shin, some sliced carrots, onions, leeks, and celery.

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This is after it simmered for about 3 hours. I used the meat from the beef shin, and some of the stock, to make yesterday's bitterballen. I felt I was being a very good Dutch housewife, using my stock for multiple dishes..

For the vegetablesoup, I used about 750 ml. of stock.

Today, I chopped up some fresh vegetables. On this plate are: cauliflower, carrots, leeks, celery and greenbeans. I forgot to weigh the total amount of vegetables. I think it was about 200 grams, but ofcourse you could add more or less to taste.

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Other ingredients: meatballs.

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This is 200 grams of ground veal, seasoned with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg, a teaspoon of tomatopuree, and a tablespoon of cream. Mix very well and roll into small, marblesized balls.

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On the plate together with parsley (on the left) and celery leaves (on the right) and vermicelli very thin noodles sold especially for soup. In many Dutch kitchens this would be the only kind of noodle you would find..

There's really no substitute for the celery leaves. In Holland you can buy bunches of it, like you would buy a bunch of parsley. Can you do that elsewhere? The leaves attached to stalks of celery taste a bit similar but not exactly the same. If you can find a celeriac root with the leaves attached, that's the right thing.

To me, the scent of celery leaves cooking in stock is the scent of traditional Dutch cooking. Note: I added about 4 times as much celery leaves to the final soup than pictured here.

Heat the stock. Cook the vegetables in it for about 15 minutes. Add the broken up vermicelli, chopped up parsley and celery leaves, and the meatballs and cook 10 minutes more. The vegetables should be well done - al dente is a concept not known in traditional Dutch cuisine. Season with salt and pepper.

Finished:

gallery_21505_1968_15514.jpg


Edited by Chufi (log)

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Chufi,

Thanks again for starting this thread and posting all the wonderful pictures to go with your delicious-sounding recipes.

To answer a question that you asked: I've never seen bunches of celery leaves for sale in the U.S. In fact, right now it's hard for me to even find bunches of celery with many leaves left on them! For some reason, the stores around here tend to de-leaf their celery, and sell them denuded, which is a shame because I love to include celery leaves in my soups. (During farmer's market season, I can easily get celery with some leaves. But farmer's market season doesn't usually scream "SOUP!!!" the way now does.)

MelissaH

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To answer a question that you asked: I've never seen bunches of celery leaves for sale in the U.S.

interesting. What about parsley root? Is that available in the US? you don't see that in the markets over here very often nowadays, but it used to be a key ingredient in Dutch cooking - soups, stews etc.

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To answer a question that you asked: I've never seen bunches of celery leaves for sale in the U.S.

interesting. What about parsley root? Is that available in the US? you don't see that in the markets over here very often nowadays, but it used to be a key ingredient in Dutch cooking - soups, stews etc.

Occasionally, and depending on which supermarket I shop at, I'll see bunches of parsley with their roots still attached. Ditto on cilantro root.

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I can't believe people all over the planet are cooking Dutch food!

Thanks everybody. Your responses really mean a lot to me  :smile:

Thanks to this thread, we made pannenkoeken for the first time on Sunday morning. In place of bacon, we fried up thin slices of ham, and also did the apple version. Yum on both accounts.

A quick question for Chufi: Should the texture/thickness be akin to a thick crepe?

I'd like to try the simmered beef recipe next.

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Next up: a drink.

Well, it’s not really a drink because you eat it with a spoon. :biggrin: But Boerenmeisjes, Apricot brandy, used to be served as an aperitif, in small crystal glasses with a tiny silver spoon. A couple of months before a birthday or holiday was coming up, and many guests were expected, my grandmother would make jars of this 'drink' (called boerenmeisjes, 'girls from the farm') and it’s counterpart, made with raisins instead of apricots (bonuspoint for who can guess the name of that one!). It's very much a ladies' drink – the men probably preferred jenever!

It's a Dutch classic and you can still buy jars of this stuff (readymade) at liquerstores.

Instead of eating it as a pre-dinnerdrink :shock: I prefer to have it for dessert.. it’s spectacular served with icecream or alongside a slice of cake, with plenty of whipped cream.. or in layered, trifle-style desserts.

First, let’s talk about the booze..

This is made with brandewijn, Dutch brandy.

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The word brandy was actually derived from the Dutch word brandewijn, which means ‘burnt wine’ – wine boiled to distill it. In the 16th century Dutch traders introduced this drink to the countries of Northern Europe after they encountered it in the Mediterranean. The Dutch however, soon started making their own 'brandy' without wine but using malt instead. That’s still what Dutch brandy is made of, contrary to wellknown brandies such as Cognac, Calvados, Grappa etc.

Dutch brandy has a very neutral taste which makes it ideal for preserving. This has 34 % alcohol .

here’s what you do:

soak 250 grams of dried apricots in 300 ml. water. It depends on how dry the apricots are how long you have to soak them. Overnight is ok, but I only soaked mine (which were nice and soft to begin with) for about 8 hours.

After that, cut them into strips and put them in a pan with the soaking water, 200 grams of sugar and a strip of lemonpeel. Heat over very low heat and leave like that for about 10 minutes. It should not boil!

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After that, remove the lemonstrip. Add about 500 ml. of brandewijn and put the mixture in preserving jars. Leave for 6-8 weeks. If you make it now, it will be ready just in time for Christmas!

gallery_21505_1968_5510.jpg

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Thanks to this thread, we made pannenkoeken for the first time on Sunday morning. In place of bacon, we fried up thin slices of ham, and also did the apple version. Yum on both accounts.

A quick question for Chufi: Should the texture/thickness be akin to a thick crepe?

glad you liked them :smile:

yes, they should be like a thin crepe. There are restaurants in Holland that serve nothing but pancakes ('pancakefarms') and if you order a pancake there, it will be much larger and thicker.. think the size of a large pizza, and as thick as your thumb.. they can be very heavy especially if you have one with bacon and syrup..!

For homecooking I prefer the small ones.. Much lighter and you can have more than 1!

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glad you liked them  :smile:

yes, they should be like a thin crepe. There are restaurants in Holland that serve nothing but pancakes ('pancakefarms') and if you order a pancake there, it will be much larger and thicker.. think the size of a large pizza, and as thick as your thumb.. they can be very heavy especially if you have one with bacon and syrup..!

For homecooking I prefer the small ones.. Much lighter and you can have more than 1!

Thanks Chufi! I am really enjoying this thread and learning about Dutch cooking. Keep up the great work!

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This thread is a treasure! I've never seen either parsley or cilantro with roots, nor have I ever seen celery leaves for sale. In fact, it's only recently that celery root is relatively easy to find.

That boerenmeisjes looks delicious, and summery. Do you know a really good recipe to make your own advocaat? I had some in Amsterdam a shocking number of years ago, and after that at home again I tried some in a bottle, I think Bols, which was really not at all like what I'd had there. I'd love to be able to make that for the holidays!

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Do you know a really good recipe to make your own advocaat?  I had some in Amsterdam a shocking number of years ago, and after that at home again I tried some in a bottle, I think Bols, which was really not at all like what I'd had there.  I'd love to be able to make that for the holidays!

advocaat is on the menu for this weekend's dinner party. I'm still thinking about a good dessert to use it in. But I'll definitely be making it this weekend.

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