Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chow Down to Eurovision 2013 - Netherlands

Only one dish that can represent The Netherlands this year the croquette. This choice was easy as it is my first meal in Amsterdam after my beautiful friend Chantal picked AB and I up from Schiphol airport. I sorry we smelt so bad, 30 hours is a long time travelling even at the front end of the plane. A quick shower and risking life and limb on the Amsterdam stairs at the hotel and we were ready for dinner. No need to wait for a table or translate a menu, just pop €1.60 into the slot and open the little door to feast on a piping hot crumbed saucy treat of deliciousness. I knew Amsterdam was famous for what they sold in windows but I had no idea it could be so tasty. The Netherlands proved to be a foodie mecca with all the cheese on display (read free tourist lunch), apple pie, ostrich, and I even did the down the gullet moment with a hearing. I have no idea how many croquette I had during my week time there but I don't believe the Netherlands was hit too badly by the GFC, you're welcome.
Almost as entertaining as the Eurovision songs is the what seems like 3 hours now of voting. It is the chance for every country's presenter to have their moment on the world stage, which many use wisely and other just seem to miss the mark by miles. One classic voting moment was in 1998 when Conny van den Bos was talking about her participation in the contest and Ulrika Johnson asked "a long time ago was it?".(4min mark on video) From then on AB and I had a new measurement of time, when was it? "it was when that Dutch woman was in Eurovision" The second clip is Conny's entry in 1965 and given the feisty rhythms if Conny and Ulrika were in a cage fight my money is on Conny!
This recipe is based on a bitterballen recipe from Dutch Cooking Today given to me by the lovely Chantal.
Veal Croquettes
  • 400g diced veal
  • 1 litre of beef stock
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 50g butter
  • 50g flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • flour
  • 2 eggs
  • breadcrumbs
  • Make a bouquet garni by tying together a sprig of rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley and oregano.
  • In a saucepan put the meat, stock, bouquet garni, and peppercorns then simmer for 1 hour.
  • It is ready when the meat is falling apart
  • Strain the meat and reserve the stock
  • Discard the peppercorns and bouquet garni
  • Pull the meat apart with a fork
  • In a large saucepan melt the butter
  • Add the flour and stir to combine
  • Slowly add some stock while whisking to make a smooth sauce
  • As the sauce thickens add more stock a little at a time, you might not use all the stock.
  • While whisking let the sauce cook to thicken further for a few minutes, it should be a "thick shake" consistency
  • Add the meat back to the sauce
  • Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • Pour the sauce into a flat baking dish and refrigerate over night.
  • You can make either big croquettes or smaller bitterballen
  • Form the sauce in to the required shape and coat in flour, egg and breadcrumbs
  • In hot oil, fry for 2-3 minutes till crispy and warm in the middle (you might need a few/several test subjects)
  • Drain in a metal colander over a bowl to retain the crispness while draining
  • Serve with mustard and gherkins or fries with mayonnaise
  • If you make different types, e.g. beef and veal a little polenta in the breadcrumbs with help telling them apart



Will Anouk and Birds make it to the Eurovision Final this year?
veel succes!

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