Category Archives: Dutch recipes

Dutch recipes

Uitsmijter – Uniquely Dutch

It is Friday lunchtime, nearly weekend! I fancy something filling to eat so I decide to have an Uitsmijter. It is a Dutch dish similar to the German Strammer Max, but transformed with Dutch ingredients. There are many variations (see below) but traditionally it involves:  Dutch brood (bread), kaas (cheese), ham (ham), and spiegelei (fried egg). It’s not only filling but damn tasty too 🙂

Uitsmijter - from www.zelfmaakrecepten.nl

Uitsmijter – from http://www.zelfmaakrecepten.nl

The Uitsmijter. The name makes you take note, the Dutch word evokes images of strength, courage and forceful endings. According to the Dutch Table blog the word “uitsmijten” itself means to “forcefully throw out” so “uitsmijter” means “out-thrower”, i.e. somebody who throws something or somebody else out, and does indeed also refer to a bouncer at a nightclub. However, in the food world, it’s the name of a scrumptious open-faced sandwich with meat (although optional), cheese and fried eggs. It’s not a little snack or for those on a diet or with small appetites. The Uitsmijter addresses your hunger, your craving. It’s good…

In the south of Holland, where I was born, Uitsmijters would be served as the last “one for the road before we get thrown out” meal after a night of partying. Hence its name. Another theory says that, because the dish is made so quickly (all you have to do is fry the egg and make the sandwich), it is basically thrown out of the kitchen or the pan. It can be served quickly!

An Uitsmijter is often eaten for breakfast, brunch or lunch in Holland. Being a full meal, the sandwich is eaten with a knife and fork. Because you can decide what bread, what cheese, what meat etc. to use and how you like your eggs fried (most restaurants give this option too) it really is a win-win dish.

Usually ham is the meat used (I like a good smoked ham), but Uitsmijters can also be served with roast beef, bacon, salami, turkey, chicken, bacon or  just with cheese and perhaps a tomato. Other things which you can add are pickles, pesto, mustard, mushrooms, bacon bits sprinkled on top…

The eggs are usually served sunny-side up, with the eggs still runny. If you order an Uitsmijter for breakfast in Holland it is served as it comes. As a lunch item, it usually comes accompanied with a small salad and frieten (chips) on the side or some greens to spruce it up in a more fancy restaurant.

Uitsmijter Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread (toasted if desired)
  • Butter (GOOD quality REAL butter)
  • 2 slices of smoked ham (or whatever you fancy)
  • 4 slices of cheese (decent cheese such as Gouda, Edam, Cheddar, Emmental and so on. No processed cheese please)
  • 1 sliced tomato
  • 2 eggs

Method:

Plate up two slices of bread (or toast) and butter them. Put the slices of ham on the bread, then the tomato, then the cheese. Add butter to a frying pan or skillet and fry the eggs. Some fry their ham (or bacon) too – entirely your choice. When the eggs are done to your liking slide them on top of the cheese on the sandwich, add some salt and pepper and dig in!

Let me know how you like yours!

Uitsmijter - from www.zelfmaakrecepten.nl

Uitsmijter – from http://www.zelfmaakrecepten.nl

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Filed under Cheese, Dutch recipes, Holland life, Sandwiches, Snacks, Translation titbits

My Country – Holland AKA The Netherlands and BRESKENS

I actually think Holland is one of the coolest countries in the world, yeah I may be biased, I was born there. I am a full-blood 100% Nederlander, only I’m not in spirit but that’s another story.

This post is all about Holland and my Mums village. Why? Because I’m here and I’m inspired. It is the country where I was born, where I learnt my culture and how to live in the first years of my life (to put it simply). I’m here in the beginnings of the summer and it’s lovely in the small fishing village where my mother lives, Breskens.

Breskens is a small fishing village in the deep south west of Holland only accessible by undersea tunnel or boat from mainland Holland, unless you want to drive through Belgium…..confusing? HA, yes it is. Trust me to come from a place like this. Inaccessible – says it all really 😉

Joking aside this part of the world is extremely beautiful, if you like your land flat, as in it’s so damn flat half of it is below sea-level. Yet this gives way to the most stunning landscapes, during winter and summer, spring and autumn alike. Villages with stunning churches are dotted generously amongst the farms, acres and acres of farm land, yielding everything from potatoes, onions, leeks, cabbage, lettuce to orchards of apples and pears and more.

It's flat but magical

It’s flat but magical

Tulips take my breath away

Tulips take my breath away

These villages celebrate their history in yearly festivals (ok it’s a drinking thing but there is a reason, like a harvest timing etc.). My village, Breskens has a yearly “Fish festival” because we are situated on the coast near the North Sea. It’s a raucerous event for most local adults but the kids and tourists always have a great time too. There is a huge funfair (where you will end up stinking of candyfloss and beer even if you have had neither), lots of street markets (with vendors from all over the world, mostly selling crap from all over the world that you don’t need but buy anyway), a local boot sale in all the residential streets (more gossip than sales 😉 and then the ultimate – I’ll give  you  2 Heinekens for that old vase – deal? Deal!), famous Dutch singers turn up in this tiny village to sing their famous tunes in the Market Square, there is free fish everywhere, there are free boat trips, swimming competitions but most of all there is happiness and lots and lots of beer…..

Some images from Breskens (don’t worry you foodies, recipes are following soon!):

Breskens Lighthouse

Breskens Lighthouse

Breskens beach in the winter time

Breskens beach in the winter time

Breskens beach in the summer time

Breskens beach in the summer time (I will get a better pic soon!)

It’s not tropical, it has no surf, it’s a quiet tourist town but hey it has a hell of a beach and some of the best seafood in the world (even in winter). I will miss it when I go home just like I am missing my home in Sri Lanka now. 🙂

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Filed under Dutch recipes, Holland life, Just stuff

Euro 2012 Football food – Bitterballen

All football fans the world over will know that Euro 2012 kicked off yesterday (this football tournament is second only to the World Cup in the football world) and you may or may not know this but I am Dutch. Yes, from Holland, country of canals, tulips, windmills, cheese and FOOTBALL. And there is absolutely nothing else in the world that makes me more patriotic than watching the Dutch football team compete in the Euro or World Cup’s.

During these games I usually laugh (often hysterically), swear (a lot), cry (usually when we lose, a Dutch player gets injured or sometimes because a particular shot or pass was just sooo beautiful) and drink a lot of beer. Often I will dress up in orange and attempt to paint the Dutch flag on my face. I have also been known to hide behind the sofa or simply walk out of the room because I couldn’t bear to watch anymore.

So tonight is Holland’s first game in Euro 2012 against Denmark. I am nervous. Not just because Denmark are quite a strong team but also because some members of the Holland team were subjected to racial abuse during a training session in Krakow, Poland and I fear some of the players may have lost some of their morale. Still they are professionals so fingers crossed they take it in their stride and play their hearts out tonight.

HUP Holland HUP!

HUP Holland HUP!

A typical Dutch snack is bitterballen, which are golf ball size meat croquettes popular in bars and pubs across Holland. The name bitterbal, literally “bitter ball”, does not indicate that its taste is bitter, unlike the fabulous bitter gourd I posted about earlier. They were originally meant to be served with a “bittertje” (a small glass of Dutch Jenever (like the famous Bols), similar to but not quite the same as Gin).

They can be quite time-consuming to make (3 hours to stew the meat then letting the meat mixture chill overnight in the fridge etc etc.) but I will give you a simpler and quicker version today.

Dutch Bitterballen

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 250g (half a pound) minced (ground) beef or veal – veal is preferable but use beef if you’re funny about eating veal. Sorry there are no real vegetarian alternatives for this dish.
  • 1 or 2 small carrots, very finely diced
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 celery sticks, very finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg (this is the key ingredient here to get that bitterbal taste!)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon (or lime) juice
  • 2 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp. flour
  • 11/2 cup beef stock (1 cup for the roux but have a little extra beef stock available to fry the meat mixture)
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • Oil for deep frying

Method:

  1. Heat two tablespoons of the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and fry the meat, carrots, onions and celery with some beef stock until the meat is cooked and the carrots are tender. Add water if the mixture becomes too dry or starts to crisp.
  2. Drain the meat mixture in a colander, then place in a mixing bowl. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, lemon juice, and parsley and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook this for 2 to 3 minutes, and then add the beef stock. Continue heating, stirring constantly, until the sauce boils and becomes quite thick.
  4. 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.
  5. When the mixture has solidified, roll it into balls about 1 inch in diameter, using your hands.
  6. Roll the balls in the bread crumbs, then in the beaten eggs, then in the bread crumbs again.
NOTE: You can freeze the bitterballen at this point for frying at a later time.
  1. Fry a few at a time in a deep fryer or a wok with at least 2 inches of oil until golden (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  2. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with some mustard.
Bitterballen - courtesy of awesomeamsterdam.com

Bitterballen – courtesy of awesomeamsterdam.com

GO HOLLAND!

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Filed under Dutch recipes, Meat recipes, Snacks