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Entries in Ethnic (16)


Alkmaarse kaassoep (Alkmaar cheese soup)

From our Sinterklaas Avond dinner last night. To stick with tradition, and the ethnic traditional, we serve a meal of Dutch foods, which it turns out aren't bad, just boring: Alkmaarse kassoep (cheese soup), Huzarensalade (Hussar's salad), Gestoofde Runderlappen (Dutch stewed/spiced beef), Boerenkool met aardappel (kale and potatoes), and Windmill cookies (which I have yet to make, but there's a recipe on epicurious) to finish things off. The soup is my favorite.

Alkmaarse kaassoep (Alkmaar cheese soup)

Origin: Classic Dutch Cooking
Yield: serves 4
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Ethnicity: Dutch

  ● 3 tbsp butter
  ● 1 onion, chopped
  ● 1/2 cup flour
  ● 5 cups milk
  ● 1-1/4 cups mature (sharp) Gouda
  ● 1 small celeriac
  ● salt
  ● toast (croutons)

1. Melt the butter in a pan. Add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened.
2. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, then gradually stir in the milk.
3. Continue to cook, stirring, until slightly thickened. Add 1/2 cup of the grated Gouda and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, peel and finely dice the celeriac, then cook in a pan of boiling water, for about 10 minutes, until softened.
4. Drain the celeriac and add to the soup with the remaining cheese.
5. Season to taste with salt, ladle into warm soup bowls and garnish with chives. Serve immediately with toast or croutons.

Some variations I've seen online:
• Add more cheese, less milk
• Color with powdered saffron, thicken with pureed potatoes, flavor with 1/2 tsp crushed caraway seeds.
• Top the soup with a cheese crust made from a mixture of three crushed rusks, 1-3/4 cups grated Gouda and a pinch of milk paprika sprinkled over top. The pan should then be placed under a preheated broiler until the crust is a golden brown.


Boerenkool met aardappel (Dutch kale and potatoes)

The side dish for our annual Sinterklaas Avond dinner.

Boerenkool met aardappel (Dutch kale and potatoes)

Origin: Classic Dutch Cooking
Yield: serves 4-5
Ethnicity: Dutch

  ● 3.5 lbs kale, tough stalks removed, finely shredded
  ● 2-1/4 lbs potatoes, peeled
  ● 11 ounce smoked sausage
  ● 1/2 cup milk
  ● 2 tbsp butter
  ● salt
  ● butter to serve

1. Steam the kale in a little boiling for 10 minutes, then set aside to drain.
2. Boil potatoes in a large pan and half cover with water. Put the drained kale and the sausage on top, cover and cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes.
3. Remove the sausage and drain the vegetables. Return the vegetables to the pan, mash well, and stir in the milk and butter until smooth.
4. Season to taste with salt and serve with the sausage and some butter on top.

Our own variation:
I make this as a side dish so I leave out the meat. I merely mash the potatoes, then mix in the previously steamed kale. I Add about 1-2 cups of smoked Gouda cheese, and spread the mixture into a baking dish. I make the dish ahead, then heat it at 350, covered, for about forty minutes.


Gestoofde Runderlappen (Dutch stewed/spiced beef)

Our main dish for Sinterklaasavond.

Gestoofde Runderlappen (Dutch stewed/spiced beef)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 4-8 hours in a slow cooker
Difficulty: Easy

  ● 3 lbs round steak, cut into six pieces
  ● 1/2 cup butter or bacon drippings
  ● 3 medium onions, sliced
  ● 1 cup water or dark beer
  ● 3 tbsp vinegar
  ● 1/2 tbsp mustard
  ● 1 bay leaf
  ● 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  ● 5 peppercorn

Directions (my version):
0. To get bacon drippings, I fry the bacon that I'll offer at dinner as topping for the soup, salad, and potatoes, then remove it from then pan, drain, and let cool before I crumble it and set it aside. Now I have bacon drippings.
1. Pound meat and rub each piece with salt and pepper. Heat bacon drippings (or butter) in skillet until very hot. Brown meat thoroughly on both sides.
2. Remove meat and place in slow cooker.
3. To drippings add onions and fry lightly, then remove to slow cooker.
4. To slow cooker add water or beer, vinegar, mustard, bay leaf, cloves, and peppercorns. Cover meat and cook on low for 8 hours, medium for 6 hours, or high for 4 hours.


Mtuzi wa Samaki

While traveling through Africa, one must eat, mustn't one? Calvin and I searched the internet today for recipe ideas. He wanted to experience foods from two different African countries, Kenya and Egypt. We started with Kenya, because as far as our travels go we haven't made it to Egypt yet.

Calvin made our Kenyan selection, Mtuzi wa Samaki, a curried fish dish that originated in Zanzibar before becoming popular throughout the east African coast countries. It turned out to be somewhat bland, but enjoyable. 

Mtuzi wa Samaki
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

  ● Oil -- 1 tablespoon
  ● Fish filets, cut into serving portions -- 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
  ● Salt and pepper -- to taste
  ● Onion, chopped or sliced -- 1
  ● Red or green bell peppers, chopped or sliced -- 2
  ● Garlic, minced -- 6-8 cloves
  ● Tomatoes, seeded and chopped -- 1 cup
  ● Coconut milk -- 1 1/2 cups
  ● Garam masala or curry powder -- 2-3 teaspoons
  ● Tamarind paste or lemon juice -- 1-2 tablespoons
  ● Salt and pepper -- to taste
  ● Rice, ugali, potatoes, or chapatti

1. Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet or pot. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Sear the fish fillets on both sides and remove to a plate. Do not cook through.

2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions and peppers. Sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes more.

3. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, garam masala or curry powder, tamarind paste or lemon juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 6-8 minutes.

4. Add the fish fillets, cover and continue to simmer until the fish is cooked through, 5-10 minutes. Serve with rice, ugali, boiled potatoes, boiled cassava or chapatti.


Sesame tofu stir fry

This is one of those intuitive dishes that really doesn't require much of a recipe—take what you have, throw it together with some tofu and some appropriate seasonings, and stir "fry" it. Here's the original recipe I have been working from (along with my original alterations). I tend to stick with the same general seasonings, and I always include the peanuts, the tofu, the sesame seeds, the sauce, and at least three vegetables. Sometimes I serve this over brown rice, other times over rice noodles. It's easy, it's quick (except for the chopping which, if you use bags of frozen veggies is nonexistent), it's vegetarian, and it's healthy.

Sesame Tofu Stir Fry

  ● 1/4  cup finely chopped peanuts
  ● 1  tbsp. sesame seeds
  ● 1  tsp. grated fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  ● 1  12- ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  ● 1  tbsp. sesame or peanut oil
  ● 1  16- oz. bag frozen stir-fry vegetables, thawed, or fresh veggies chopped (I often use fresh broccoli, carrots, peas, or whatever I have on hand)
  ● 2/3  cup bottled stir-fry sauce or something similar (or your own concoction)
  ● 2  green onions, thinly sliced (1/4 cup)
  ● 1 cup forest or shitake mushrooms

1. In a bowl combine 1 tablespoon of the peanuts, the sesame seeds, and ginger. Add tofu; toss gently to coat.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu mixture to skillet. Cook, stirring gently, for 3 to 4 minutes until sesame seeds are toasted and tofu begins to brown.

3. Remove tofu mixture to a bowl (I usually just push it up to the sides of the wok). Add vegetables to skillet; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. Add stir-fry sauce; cook and stir gently until mixture is bubbly. Stir in tofu; heat through. Serve over rice. Sprinkle each serving with some of the remaining 3 tablespoons peanuts and the green onions.

Nutrition Facts (makes 4 servings)
    * Calories 386,
    * Total Fat (g) 14,
    * Saturated Fat (g) 2,
    * Fiber (g) 6,
    * Protein (g) 19