Swedish Chef Sunday

More Dutch comfort food.

There is such a thing as Dutch comfort food and this dish is just it for a cold afternoon.

I cannot recall how many times I have made it in my life. It’s a bar type of food, we serve it at parties too. Easy to make ahead and very popular, trust me. It’s the original tapas!

Bitterballen (roughly translated “bitterballs”

They are not bitter though.The name derives from the drink they were used to eaten with, “bittertjes”.

3tbsp butter
4 tsp flour
1 cup milk
2 cups thinly chopped meat, I’m using left over steak
1 tsp parsley
1tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup fine breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 tbsp water
Melt butter on low heat, you are making what is called a Light Roux
Add flour, make sure to stir well. You’ll get a mixture that looks lumpy.
Let it cook for a minute and then slowly add milk
Stir until smooth and lower heat, keep stirring until it becomes a thicker mixture (thicker than cream of wheat but not as solid as oatmeal)
Turn off heat and add the spices and the meat.
Mix well and pour mixture onto a plate, refrigerate until cooled down and set
With wet hands make 1/2 inch balls.
Roll in bread crumbs and put in a single layer on a plate
Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to fry
Mix eggs and water and dip balls in eggs and again in breadcrumbs.
You can fry the bitterballen in 2 inches of oil in a pan or in the deep fryer until golden.(about 1-2 minutes)
Serve warm with mustard, the Dutch way.
Be careful as these will be HOT on the inside. Break open for kids so they don’t burn their mouths.


Picture courtesy of M&M Production management.http://www.m-m-pr.com/index.php

Mushroom Stroganoff Sauce for Steak ( Biefstuk Stroganoff)


beef stroganoff


When my friend John was in High School he spent a year in the US as an exchange student.
Years later right before we were moving he offered to cook me American dishes he learned when he was in the US.
Not one to pass up a free good meal I was his willing guinea pig.
He introduced me to hamburgers, he cooked them on the tiny balcony of our student housing flat.
His next meal was Beef Stroganoff.
I was excited but a bit puzzled, how is that an American dish?
But again free good meal, not rocking the boat.

We sat down to a plate with a brown sauce and noodles.
“Noodles” I said, “noodles?”
I did not remember that Stroganoff was served with noodles and wasn’t a reddish sauce served with rice.
We went back and forth over this for a while and I bet if we get together we can argue some more.

Recently while looking for recipes a friends blog had Stroganoff over noodles and I decided to research if I was not completely losing my mind over what I remember it to be

Turns out there is such a thing as the “American Stroganoff” and then there is the classic European one.
The American version generally uses either sliced beef or ground beef. It has mushrooms, sour cream added.
The European version is pretty far removed from that, it has vodka and paprika powder as an ingredient.

Mushroom Stroganoff European Style

  • 8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 1/2 cup Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream
  • dash of Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • shot glass vodka

Saute shallots and garlic in butter,add mushroom
Simmer until mushrooms are cooked
Add creme fraiche/ sour cream and tomato paste (leaving no lumps)
Season with salt, pepper, paprika and tabasco sauce to taste
Put vodka in a ladle that can handle heat and set it on fire, pour into sauce
Grill/cook steak to your taste
Serve meat with sauce.



Picture from the blog cookindineout

Chicken “just for Julie”

I like chicken but at some point there is only so many ways to cook it and not get bored. I used to make this dish when we lived in the Netherlands and we call it Chicken Florentine. Funny enough the American version includes Cream of Mushroom soup, not used in the Dutch recipe.
I’m sharing my version, it’s lower carb and we think it sounds tastier.
Dutch Chicken Florentine
For 4 people (if for 2 use 1 pound of fresh spinach and 2 chicken breasts)
4 chicken breasts, lightly pounded
2 tbs butter
2 pounds spinach
1 shallot, cut up
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
cheese, I use sliced Gouda but Swiss will work well
Season chicken with half of the salt and pepper
In a pan sauté chicken, making sure to brown both sides for about 5 minutes.
Remove from pan and keep heated in the oven (250)
cook shallot and garlic until slightly glazed. Do not burn the garlic, it will get bitter
Add Spinach and let wilt on low heat making sure to incorporate the shallots and garlic
Add heavy cream, mix well with spinach and allow it to reduce a little
Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg
Return chicken to pan. I make little “beds” of the spinach and put a piece of chicken op top with a slice of cheese
Cover and on low heat let cheese melt.

Wednesday Kitchen Funny

I always have issues in ordering my pizza’s from this Take and Bake place.
It is always wrong!
I might use these top tens the next time they mess up and they might even get it right!

The Top 10 Alternative Ways To Order Pizza:

10. If using a touch-tone, press random numbers while ordering. Ask the person taking the order to stop doing that.
9. Get taker’s name. Later, call exactly on the hour to say, “This is your (time of day) wake-up call, (name).” Then hang up.
8. Make up a charge-card name. Ask if they accept it.
7. Order a Big Mac Extra Value Meal.
6. Terminate the call with, “Remember, we never had this conversation.”
5. Say hello, act stunned for five seconds, then behave as if they called you.
4. Tell the order taker you’re depressed. Get him/her to cheer you up.
3. Make a list of exotic cuisines. Order them as toppings.
2. Have your pizza “shaken, not stirred.”
… and the Number 1 Alternative Way To Order Pizza:
1. Tell the order taker a rival pizza place is on the other line and you’re going with the lowest bidder.

Easy, tasty chicken.

Chicken with mozerella and ham

  • 4 chicken filets
    4 ounces mozerella, cut in 4 slices
    8 slices prosciutto ham
    2 tbs olive oil
    2 sprigs rosemary
    salt and pepper to taste
  • Cut chicken filets in half but not all the way,
    salt and peper
    layer with mozzerella
    roll and wrap ham around.
    cook on both sides for 3 minutes on each side.
    transfer to oven proof dish
    add rosemary sprigs and cook in 350 oven for 15-20 minutes
  • Enjoy!

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