Friday, December 5, 2008

In Celebration of My Dutch Heritage

As I already stated in my last post, today is Sinterklaas Day!  My dad and his family are from Holland, so I was taught to appreciate my Dutch heritage.  Every year we celebrate Sinterklaas Day...Swarte Piet (his helper) comes to our door the night of the 5th and throws candy and other goodies in our door (but we never see them), we put our wooden shoes out, fill them with carrots and snacks for Sinterklaas' horse, and Sinterklaas comes and fills our shoes with delicious Dutch goodies (my favorites being a little orange, stroopwafels and a chocolate letter in the shape of our first, I know!), leaving us with yummy treats the next morning.  I've always thought it was so have a little mini Christmas before Christmas. :)  So in commemoration, I thought I'd share a few recipes of my favorite dishes from Holland.

My Oma and Opa (grandparents) used to make these little appetizers for us pretty much every Christmas and New Years.  Oma would make the dough and Opa would fry them.  This isn't their recipe, but it still looks pretty tasty.
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 lb. spiced Gouda cheese, cut into strips (optional)
  • 1/2 egg
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup oil for frying
Place ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring to crumble, until evenly browned. Set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for about 2 minutes. Gradually stir in milk, and then chicken broth to make a smooth thick sauce. Add the cooked ground beef, and season with paprika, chili powder, curry powder, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and parsley. Stir to blend well. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool to room temperature. When the meat mixture is cooled and slightly firm, shape into cylinders 3 to 4 inches long, and 1 1/2 inches wide. If you wish, press a strip of the spiced Gouda cheese into the center, making sure it is completely surrounded. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Place bread crumbs on a plate or tray. Coat croquettes with flour, then dip in the beaten egg mixture, and then roll the croquettes in the crumbs to coat. Repeat the coating process if a thicker breading is desired. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, fry croquettes until golden brown on all sides. If you have a deep-fryer, they can be deep-fried instead. Remove to paper towels to drain, and serve hot.

  • 7-8 potatoes
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. smoked Keilbasa sausage, cut into 1/2” thick coin shaped slices
  • lots of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • (you can also add cooked spinach, cabbage, and/or carrots)
Peel and quarter potatoes. Put potatoes in a dutch oven or large covered sauce pan. Add enough water to just cover potatoes. If adding cabbage, put in pan on top of potatoes and water. If adding spinach, add about 3 minutes before potatoes are done. While potatoes are cooking, in a medium skillet, heat butter and sauté onions and sliced sausage until heated through and golden brown. When potatoes are cooked through, drain water and put back in pot. Add butter, salt, and pepper. Beat on low with an electric mixer till the mixture is well blended. Hand mix sausage and onions in or serve on top of potatoes. Can be served with or without gravy (really with all the butter, you don't really need it!).

This is like the Dutch version of donuts. I believe these are traditionally eaten for, around, and between Christmas and New Years.  My Oma (grandma) makes these with raisins or chopped apples, but I like them plain with a little powdered sugar sprinkled on top.  To be honest, I don't ever make them from scratch, I make it from a box.

  • 1 (0.6 ounce) cake compressed fresh yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup raisins (I omit this)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped (I omit this)
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Break up the compressed yeast, and stir into the warm milk. Let stand for a few minutes to dissolve. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir the yeast mixture and egg into the flour and mix into a smooth batter. Stir in the currants, raisins and apple. Cover the bowl, and leave the batter in a warm place to rise until double in size. This will take about 1 hour. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer, or heavy deep pan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Use 2 metal spoons to shape scoops of dough into balls, and drop them carefully into the hot oil. Fry the balls until golden brown, about 8 minutes. The doughnuts should be soft and not greasy. If the oil is not hot enough, the outside will be tough and the insides greasy. Drain finished doughnuts on paper towels and dust with confectioners' sugar. Serve them piled on a dish with more confectioners' sugar dusted over them. Eat them hot if possible.

Nasi Goreng
This is actually an Indonesian dish, but the Dutch occupied the Netherland-Indies (now Indonesia) for like 250 years, adapting a lot of Indonesian cuisine...this being one of them.  I prefer buying the frozen packaged Nasi Goreng at Trader Joes, so this is for those of you without good ol' Trader Joe (by the way, Trader Joes sells mini stroopwafels year round and around Christmas time, they sell the big ones, too).

  • 5 large onions
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 pkg bean sprouts (about 1 lb)
  • 2/3 bunch leek
  • parsely
  • meat (pieces of pork or ham)
  • ketchup or soy sauce
  • white rice
Cook rice. Cook onions till they are “yellowish,” add meat (cook for about 20 minutes on low heat). Add cabbage, cover and heat on low for another 15 minutes. Add leek and bean sprouts, cook for another 10-15 minutes on low heat. Add noodles, then ketchup or soy sauce, parsely, salt, pepper, and if you wish, add more spices to taste.

Julie R.

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