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Entries in Sides (14)


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.


Semi-fried green tomatoes

I've posted this recipe before, but for one thing it was hidden inside another recipe and hard to find, and for another, I haven't tried making something new in a while (for shame!) so I have no new recipes to report right now and Jon feels like we need to post something here...

We love this recipe. There's lots of room for variations, too. I've tried this it corn flakes, I've tried it with panko, and last night we tried it with whole wheat panko (because that's all they had at the store). I think my favorite is the regular panko, but others preferred the corn flakes because you can get a more even coating on the slices with that. Also, the original recipe called for them to be served with fresh homemade salsa, but we felt they were fantastic on their own. Others I think might enjoy them with something like a ranch dressing. And The cayenne is not entirely necessary, either, as any seasoning (or none) will do.

Semi-fried Green Tomatoes

  ● 1/2  cup flour
  ● 1 tsp salt
  ● 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  ● 1 large egg
  ● 1 tbsp milk
  ● 1 cup cornflake crumbles or panko
  ● 4 medium green tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  ● 1/4 cup canola oil

In a shallow bowl combine the flour, salt, and cayenne.  In another shallow bowl beat egg and milk together. In a third shallow bowl place corn flakes, well crumbled (I go over mine with a rolling pin), or panko in a third bowl.
Coat tomato slices with flour mixture, then dip into egg mixture, then coat with crumbs/panko.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 4 tsps oil over medium heat.  Fry tomato tomatoes in batches for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown, adding more oil as needed.  Drain on paper towels before
placing on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375℉ for 4-5 minutes or until tender.

I don't have a finished product picture (we were too hungry and they disappeared to fast!), but here's a before...


Cranberry Relish

One of my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal is the cranberry relish, not the gooey sticky kind that comes mostly from a can but the fresh chunky kind made from whole, organic ingredients. I guess I like my cranberry relish they way I like my salsa. This recipe came from orignally, and I added the nuts (why wouldn't you add nuts? Just don't forget to add them at the last minute to keep them from getting too soft from all the moisture).

Cranberry Relish, fresh style

Yield: about 3 cups.
Prep Time: 15 minutes.

  ● 2 cups raw cranberries, washed
  ● 2 tart apples, skinned and cored
  ● 1 large whole (peel ON) seedless orange, cut into sections
  ● 1-2 cups granulated sugar to taste

1. Use a food grinder with a medium-sized blade to chop up the berries, apples, and orange (pith and all). You can also chop by hand (wow, that's a lot of work) or use a food processor (but be careful not to over-pulse or it will become mush).

2. Mix in the sugar. Let sit at room temperature until sugar dissolves, about 45 minutes. Store in the refrigerator.



Butternut squash soup

I thought Jon, the resident pumpkin lover, would scream travesty when I made soup out of butternut squash instead of its orange relative, but actually I think he liked this one better. I know I did. It's just enough sweet and just enough spicy. Of course you can make it sweeter by using more cream or spicier by using more ginger (and I've heard of people adding curry, too).

Butternut Squash Soup

Origin: Alton Brown
Yield: 4 servings
Cooking Time: 40 min
Difficulty: Easy

  ● 6 cups (about 2 large squash) seeded 2-inch wide chunks butternut squash
  ● Melted butter, for brushing
  ● 1 tbsp. kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
  ● 1 tsp. freshly ground white pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  ● 3 cups vegetable stock
  ● 4 tbsp. honey
  ● 1 tsp. minced ginger
  ● 4 oz. heavy cream
  ● 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Brush the flesh of the squash with a little butter and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper. On a sheet pan lay the squash flesh side up. Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the flesh is nice and soft.

Scoop the flesh from the skin into a pot and add the stock, honey, and ginger. Bring to a simmer and puree using a stick blender. Stir in the heavy cream and return to a low simmer. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. I failed to actually measure the heavy cream and ginger but I'm pretty sure I added more of both, particularly of the ginger, than is called for. In any case, this soup was delicious.