Going Dutch

Growing up my mom was not necessarily a good cook.
We never went hungry but it was clear later on in my youth that she was neither adventurous or original.

This was all before the movement to make food differently, more gourmet with global cuisines mixed in.

My dad was a reasonable cook, he often would make the usual Dutch staples us kids liked.

One of them is “Pannekoeken”, a very simple recipe with only 3 ingredients.

Pannekoeken (Dutch Pancakes)
1-2 eggs
1 cup milk
1tsp salt
1 cup flour

Beat eggs, add milk and salt
Mix in flour until you get a good mixture, it should be thinner than American pancake batter
In non-stick skillet melt a dollop of butter and pour a thin layer of batter.
Cook both sides until golden

For toppings you can add anything sweet at the table.
I remember as a child how much I liked being able to dress up my Pannekoek myself.


Swedish Chef Sunday, pancakes anyone?


Creamed Spinach from scratch.

Best thing about being a cook is the ability to make something you crave. I have been looking around for a recipe that will give me that luscious velvety creamy creamed spinach.
I played around with an Emeril recipe and then improved on it.
I make it at least once every 2 weeks.

Creamed Spinach:

2 pounds fresh spinach, washed and tough stems removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat.
Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes
Drain in a fine mesh strainer, pressing with a large spoon to get as much water out as possible
Finely chop and set aside

Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium high heat.
Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the spinach and cook, stirring, just until the liquid is released.
Add the cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and cook until the cream is reduced by half, about 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Himself takes over the kitchen.

On the rare occasion Himself has to fend for himself for dinner he has been making Frittata. Not just eggs and cheese, no this is a Man’s Dish not your frou-frou girlie kind of food. (or so I was told)
It starts with eggs and anything he can find in the fridge, literally. The base remains the same but the sky is the limit as for the filling.

Anything goes Frittata

4 eggs
1 cup cream
2 tbs butter
1/2-1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup cheese
6 ounces ham, chopped
2 shallots
2 cloves garlic
1 cup spinach
1 tomato
1/2 cup mushrooms

Mix cream with egg, salt and pepper
Add ham, shallots,garlic, spinach and mushrooms
Melt butter in medium sized skillet.
Mix well and pour into skillet
Slice tomato into thin slices and evenly layer them on top of the egg mixture
Sprinkle cheese over the whole mixture
Cook on low, covered, until egg is set.
You can swap out the vegetable, artichoke hearts instead of spinach. Bacon instead of ham. If you want a thicker frittata add an egg.


Happy Sunday!

Garlic Rosemary Tri-Tip Roast

I like meat, and beef by far is my favorite cut.
Growing up we’d eat pork, chicken and beef in that order because pork is cheaper.
Beef and especially steak was reserved for the grown-ups.
Not until I started Culinary school did I eat steak on a more regular basis.

This roast is good eaten for dinner but it also makes great left-overs (if there are any left after dinner, it’s that good)

  • 1 tri tip roast, 2-1/2 lb.
    1/4 cup red wine
    2 tbsp. olive oil
    1 rosemary sprig
    3 cloves garlic
    Salt and pepper

    Marinate tri-tip for at least an hour or overnight.
    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place roast in 9-by-13 baking pan.
    Place in an ovenproof dish that has an oven rack, uncovered, and bake at 425 for 45 minutes.
    Take it out of the oven, drape it loosely with aluminum foil, and let stand for 10-15 minutes for medium rare.
    Meat will continue to cook as it stands, this way you get a nice tender roast.
    Slice thinly on the diagonal edge.
    I save the drippings to dip my meat in. (which is why we never have leftovers because it’s so good!)


  • Happy New Year, in May….

    A pancake post on Facebook had all my Dutch friends come out of the woodwork.
    Here is a Olliebollen Recipe for my friend Pati.
    Traditionally these are eaten on New Years Eve and are as Dutch as clogs and Gouda.

    1 (0.6 ounce) cake compressed fresh yeast
    1 cup lukewarm milk
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 egg
    3/4 cup raisins
    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 raisins.
    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.

    Say what?

    This is another dish a friend introduced me to. We were invited to a dinner party at her house and she made this amazing pasta dish. When I asked her for the recipe she told me it was Spaghetti Puttanesca. My Italian is a bit rusty so I asked her what it meant and my proper and very well mannered friend told me “it’s the hookers pasta”. So here it is, hookers pasta highly modified from the original.

    Shrimp Spaghetti Puttanesca.

    3 to 4 tomatoes
    1 pound medium size shrimp, peeled
    3 cloves garlic
    2 shallots
    4 tbs olive oil
    2 tbs capers
    1/4 cup green olives, you use black one if you like the taste less acid.
    1/4 white wine
    1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
    dash of Herbs de Provence
    anchovy filets

    Dice tomatoes in large chunks
    cut shallots in small pieces
    In a skillet saute shallots and 1 clove of garlic on medium heat in 2 tbs olive oil until they look shiny
    add shrimp and cook them until almost pink, 2 minutes
    set onions and shrimp aside.
    saute tomatoes and remaining garlic in 2tbs olive oil.
    add the white wine and let it evaporate a little, reduce heat to low
    add the anchovies or serve them on the side at the dinner table
    Add the capers, olives,salt, pepper and let it simmer until the tomatoes are slightly mushy but not falling apart
    Add the shrimp and heat through on medium heat
    sprinkle the Herbes de Provence over the dish
    You will have cooked the spaghetti while you were working on the sauce so drain that and put in a serving dish.
    Sprinkle a little olive oil over the pasta and pour the sauce on top
    At the table you can grate some parmesan cheese on your food

    Happy Mothers Day, Swedish Chef style.

    My mom loved making cake and the running joke was that when you visited you were offered cake either to eat there or to take with you.

    In honor of Mothers Day and my Mom, a repeat of the Swedish Chef making cake.

    Wednesday Funny

    Food Spoilage Table

    Anything that makes you gag is spoiled (except for leftovers from what you cooked for yourself last night).

    When something starts pecking its way out of the shell, the egg is probably past its prime.

    If opening the refrigerator door causes stray animals from a three-block radius to congregate outside your house,
    the meat is spoiled.

    Any canned goods that have become the size or shape of a basketball should be disposed of. Carefully.

    It should not taste like salad dressing.

    Fresh potatoes do not have roots, branches, or dense, leafy undergrowth.

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