Typical Dutch, Oliebollen.

Right at the beginning of November all over the Netherlands food trucks are set up to sell a traditional pastry called Oliebollen
(oilballs)

I published this in May but now is more the time to make and eat these.

Traditionally these are eaten between Christmas and New Years Eve and are as Dutch as clogs and Gouda.

I haven’t been asked, yet, by my family to make them but I might indulge them this year and go for it.

1 (0.6 ounce) cake compressed fresh yeast or 2 1/4 tsp 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.

Enjoy!

All wrapped up, Salmon en Croute.

When I was in culinary school many many moons ago we were taught many cooking skills and techniques.
Some I liked and retained some I flunked at, detested and forgot them as soon as I didn’t need to know them anymore.
One of my memories is of making filo dough.
The most boring, tedious job to do.
The rolling, folding and then waiting to do it all over again.
Not being a terrible patient person I failed that class.
Miserably too, but time passes and I got over that “F”.

To this day I still have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Filo dough.
I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I have made it since that day in 1977.
Luckily for cooks like me there is pre-made.

Himself went to Costco (for the non-Us readers, think mega grocery store where nothing comes in small packages)
Himself is not allowed to go to that store alone because he buys, a lot of food in bulk.
He came home with a whole salmon, his saving grace was that it was cleaned up. Never the less a WHOLE salmon.
I’m a bit bored with salmon and running out of ways to make it into a dish everyone will like.

That’s when my memory of Filo dough popped in my head (at 3 am by the way)

Here’s what’s for Christmas Eve dinner tonight;

Salmon with spinach in filo dough.

16 ounces washed spinach leaves
Freshly ground sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
nutmeg
Grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 shallot chopped fine
8 large sheets Greek filo pastry
4 oz salmon filets per person
Melted butter, for brushing

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C/425 degrees F.

Cook spinach with a couple tablespoons of water until just wilted.
Drain and squeeze out excess moisture.
In a little butter saute the shallot until cooked, add spinach for a few moments so it absorbs the shallot flavor.
Drain excess liquid
Roughly chop spinach and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste and the lemon rind and juice.

Take two sheets of filo pastry together (keeping the rest under a damp, not wet, tea towel) and set a salmon filet about one-third of the way up from the short end.
Cover the filet with a quarter of the spinach, press down gently.
Flip the short end of the pastry up over the salmon, flip the long edges inwards, then carefully roll the fillet up the length of the pastry.
Brush with melted butter and set on a baking sheet.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make four filo parcels in all.

Bake for 15 minutes until crisp and golden and serve immediately salad.

To make this a fancier dish you can add some goat cheese or Boursin cheese to the spinach.

Enjoy!

Hold on, blog post coming soon

My oldest is home from school and I’ve had to work every day since she has been home.
With preparations for the upcoming Christmas meal cooking and blogging have been on the back burner so to speak.
I do have a recipe for tomorrow, a festive salmon dish so come on by tomorrow for that.
Me, I’m driving to the mall today.

Turkey Leftovers?

We survived Thanksgiving with only a pound of turkey left over.

Now what to do with the left-overs?
One thing I do every year is make a big pot of soup.
You can do this the day or so after or freeze the carcass and at a later date defrost and use.

I see the stock as a blank “slate” you can add ingredients to or keep it traditional.

Turkey “chicken” soup

Carcass, wing and thigh bones
Enough water to cover the bones
Cut up carrot,onion, salt and pepper
A bouillon cube, this you can find in any grocery store. Mine is from Knorr.
Noodles, those big fat ones would be good.

noodles
Poultry seasoning, I buy mine for the bird and keep some aside.

Cover the carcass with water
Add carrots, poultry seasoning,onion, salt, pepper and bouillon cube.
Let simmer on stove or crock pot 6-8 hours
Remove bones and strain the soup into a clean pan, I use a clean dish towel
Clean the meat of the bones
Return the meat to the soup and add noodles
Flavor with salt and pepper to taste and simmer on low heat until the noodles are cooked

Enjoy!

You’ll love this side dish, I promise.


Ask any Dutch person about “peertjes” and they might very well drool.

 

Growing up this was the one dish my mom could cook to perfection, maybe because she was the queen of all things simmered/cooked forever.

 

I’ve always made it for Christmas, and for the last 21 years for Thanksgiving as well, because it is a bit of a fancy side dish. One that doesn’t really fit well with an every day meal for us.

 

Peertjes or Pears in Red Wine sauce.
(this will serve up to 6 people)

 

6, hard Anjou pears
Bottle of cheap red wine
1/2 cup sugar
2 cloves (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Peel pears and cut in 4 parts
Bring pears, wine and all other ingredients to a boil
Lower heat and let simmer until pears are soft.

 

You can bind the wine sauce with a little bit of corn starch if you want to eat it warm.
I always let the pears cool off and we eat it cold.

 

If you do bind it with corn starch, take a little bit of the sauce and stir a table spoon of corn starch until smooth.
Transfer to pan with pears and gently mix corn starch mixture in with pears/wine sauce.

 

Enjoy!

Image

With a little help from my friends, dinner is served.

This is not a recipe I thought up but it comes from a good friend and I’ve tweaked it a bit to fit my family.
I first met my friend Ellen in the Netherlands right before Himself and I were slated to move to France.
Her husband was Himself’s boss and she was also moving to France
Ellen has been a “foodie” before it was hip to be one. I can’t count the amount of stellar meals she has served us over the years, first in France then in the US.
Even though Ellen and Bossman have moved back to the Netherlands we kept in touch. 4 years ago they lived in San Francisco for 2 years and that is when she cooked this meal that is one of our easy “fancy” meals.

So if you want to impress your friends for a dinner date, make this!

Bacon wrapped pork tenderloin with apples.

For 4 people (or 2 with leftovers!)
1 medium sized pork tenderloin
2 tbs butter
2 large or 3 medium Gala apples
thin sliced bacon, about 4-5 slices
1/4 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp salt
1/2- 1 cup arugula per person

Preheat oven to 325

Peel and cut apples in equal parts by chopping the apples in half and then chop them in halves again so you have quarters.
Remove the core!
Thinly slice the quarters and set aside.
Salt and pepper the tenderloin
Wrap bacon around covering the whole piece of meat, secure with tooth picks
Brown butter and sear tenderloin on both sides for 1-2 minutes on each side
Butter an oven proof dish and line it with the apples slices evenly, single layer.
Put tenderloin on top of apples and cook covered for 35-45 minutes.

Garlic mashed potatoes
4 medium potatoes, peeled a cut in 4’s
3 cloves garlic
2 table spoons butter
3 tbs milk
1/4 tsp salt
dash of nutmeg

Cook potatoes on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until a fork can break them apart.
Drain water and return to stove to steam off the remaining water, Do not burn them!
Using a potato masher combine potatoes with butter, salt, milk until desired consistency
Add garlic and the dash of nutmeg

Cut the tenderloin in slices

To plate, (we use deep plates) bottom to top :scoop of mashed potatoes, arugula, apples, tenderloin and gravy from the tenderloin.

It’s a happy tower of food and it is one plate of good!

Enjoy

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