The Delightful Dutch Dish

How one can cook oneself back into local reality

Stamppot To Go March 15, 2010

Filed under: restaurant — orangepumpkin @ 22:01
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A few months ago I had a chat with someone who was really bummed there wasn’t a take away for Dutch Cuisine. I just shrugged. I’ll be honest, I’m perfectly OK with the great Italian pizza baker across the street. If he’s moving, I’m suing, but I’m assuming he’s not going anywhere, except his pizza oven. Who needs a friggin’ take away of DUTCH food? Hm? Yeah,  nobody. I’m not so OK with the Chinese take aways that seem to have taken over our pretty society, but the rest of my family adores them. They sleep at the doorstep of any given Chinese restaurant, just to get some more yucky fatty foods. To me, Chinese is like fast food. Too fat, little tasteless, and not at all refined. Well, that’s maybe a bit harsh. I’m sure good Chinese food is brilliant, but most restaurants serve very little good brilliant food, in my limited experience. All I really like is the saté (satay), with peanut sauce! Bring it on, some white rice to accompany it and I’m in a blissful state. Not for long, but it lasts long enough for me to ignore the fat dripping from other people’s faces (yuck!). I also like most other types of satay, the Indonesian satays, they’re super great too. But there’s not much Indonesian take away, here, I think. There’s loads of Indo-Chinese restaurants, that make neither of the food in an OK way, that’s where you’ll get the horrible fatty spring rolls etc.

Anyway, my friend was bummed. She just wanted a little bit of stamppot boerenkool (you won’t see me ever make that, so nevermind what it is, all you need to know is that it’s gross) to go! Well, the heavens have opened up and granted her her wish. Not sure if it’s any use to her, but you can’t have everything. The great news is that I recently noticed a new take away has opened in Utrecht (yup, it’s a tongue twister), and it’s called: Stamppot To Go. It’s a cute little shop and they only offer take away. All kinds of recipes. So if you’re ever in the Netherlands and you’re desperate for trying some good old fashioned Dutch dishes: you now have a place to go. And Utrecht is OK for a tourist visit, so you won’t be wasting a lot of time on travelling to Stamppot Heaven. And you won’t have to put up with my less than perfect recipes!

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A world of excuses February 26, 2010

Filed under: restaurant — orangepumpkin @ 10:53
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I found out recently that I have a whole truck load of excuses not to post anything. The first excuse being: I haven’t done much cooking. So there isn’t really much to blog about. That’s great, but so against my own rules, you know. But I have the best of excuses for why exactly I haven’t cooked up anything lately: I’m not at home on Fridays. See? That’s one hell of a reason not to cook AND not to post anything. But it has to change!

Starting today. So, today I didn’t cook. But I did eat! I eat everyday, I’d be terribly anorexic and dead if I didn’t eat everyday. I haven’t been eating many overly Dutch dishes lately, especially not on Fridays. But, today I think I did. I went to a restaurant, and this restaurant cooks with local produce. So I ate a cow that grew up mere kilometers away from the restaurant. I didn’t eat the entire cow, I ate a sliver of it. The cow was some very local dish-thingy. It was called ‘noagelholt’. No idea what it means, it’s not exactly a Dutch word. It tasted of some herb rather than meat. And mainly, it was OK.

That was all for the Dutchness in my eating extravaganza. After that I had a typically French dish called ‘coq au vin’. Don’t we all know what that is? It’s a feathered friend dumped in wine. And it was good. I got to eat with my hands, something I hardly ever do, and I had all these bits and pieces of bone and cartilage in my mouth. Ok, so that last bit is the reason, the sole reason, I don’t gnaw meat of off bones. It’s disgusting and beastly and my poor highly refined taste buds are killed in the process. That’s too much of an offer to me. I just can’t do it. I’ll have some homeless guy go through the dumpster and finish off my chicken bones, see, I can turn my pickiness into a good deed! Only problem is, there aren’t many homeless guys going through dumpsters in the rural areas of my country. And that’s where I was gnawing of bits and pieces off this chicken wing, in a rural area. Where they have cows, and something called ‘noagelholt’, whatever that may be.

I also had a dessert. Errrrmmmm. What on earth was it again? Something to do with ice? No, that was a few days before that. Back then I had ice cream and brownie or something or other. But this time my company had a cheese plate (whereas the a few days ago I was the only one eating dessert, while probably the whole restaurant was looking at me, waiting for me to finish the damn ice cream and brownie). Gosh, what on earth did I stuff my mouth with? It was sweet. And it had a weird twist to it. Oh, now I remember. It was definitely more French to the table. And it was made of tonka beans! I’d never heard of the things, and it tasted great. But now I’m checking Wikipedia (my long lost friend, to whom I turn in cases of dire need and existential questions like ‘What is a tonka bean?’), and OH BOY. Yup, that’s a very ‘Oh, boy!’ kind of bean, that tonka bean. Did you know that it contains large amounts of coumarin? And that these stop bloodclotting? And that they might be carcinogenic? Oh dear! Oh, and coumarin can be lethal. Yikes! Ok, not to panic, I’m still alive and I’m actually typing this a few days after I’ve eaten them, so I probably didn’t get too much of these suckers in my system. And I don’t have any abnormal bruising anywhere, so I’m probably quite safe.

So it’s time to tell you that my dessert was GREAT! Despite the deadly tonka beans from hell! I lived to tell you that it was tasty and almost perfect. ‘Coz I had ‘crème brulée’! And that’s one big sucky dessert to make, I have been told. I’ve never tried, I’m not French and I’m not attempting to become anything like a good cook. I just buy crème brulée every now and then. I like it! No, I love it. I love the hard shell on top, that you can break only by tapping your spoon on it. So, this instant I was picking up my spoon, while my salivating glands were going wild, and I tapped the caramel layer on my crème brulée… and… that’s where it wasn’t perfect. It sucked. My dessert didn’t say ‘tock, tock’. It didn’t speak to me at all. It looked great, but once trying to break the hard layer that was supposed to be there, it wasn’t there. It was a bit of a gummy layer and not at all hard enough to break. Of course, I was immediately so terribly sad and heart broken that I nearly didn’t eat my dessert. But then my table mate took a fork and said ‘Oh, let me try these tonka beans’, and dug in. Wowza! That, my friends, is a horrible thing to do. Especially to me. I’m like the evil mistress of food. Don’t touch my crème brulée, suckers! I’ll eat you alive! So I dug in, and apart from the not so good top, it was still all great! The taste was nice and slim and not so fat. So I thought it was a great and healthy dessert. Especially considering the fact that I have this family thing of high cholesterol. Well, I don’t know if I have any elevated cholesterol levels, I just know that half my family does. Which is a great reason to stop eating saturated fats. But I don’t. I just love butter, milk, whipped cream. And I could never settle for the ‘light’ version of things. But this crème brulée might just be the light version, and it was great!

How local?

I have no idea. Apart from the cow and the restaurant’s statement about local produce, I did eat these bloody tonka beans. And they’re not from anywhere near where the restaurant is situated. They’re not from this world. They’re from South America. Like my favourite avocado’s. I know, my life totally sucks. So it’s quite a good thing these tonka beans are probably not good for you anyway!