A few years ago my husband decided that he and a buddy would go to Amsterdam, The Netherlands the week before Christmas. I, of course, was not a fan of this idea but, I felt he should have a good time with his friend. So, while I stayed home with our then 6-month-old son, he was living it up in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He shared countless stories of his adventures there, but the one thing he marveled about the most was the strong coffee and the delicious food!
Kroketten & Bitterballen
- 600g beef poulet (meat for soup, but feel free to use chicken or vegetables here, if you do, you don’t have to cook it separately, instead, mix it through the rough straight away)
- 0,5l stock
- 1 onion
- 60g flour
- 60g butter
- salt, pepper, and spices to taste (e.g. nutmeg)
- ample flour, eggs and bread crumbs
- frying oil (e.g. sunflower oil)
- Boil the meat in the stock until the meat starts falling apart into little threads. This should take about 30 minutes.
- Take another pan and heat your butter until melted and fry the onions until glazy.
- Add the flour and mix until it’s clumpy and there’s no loose flour nor butter. You’ve made the base for your rough here.
- Add the stock with the meat and whisk through well. The roux base should absorb all the moisture and make one thick sauce. The sauce shouldn’t be runny anymore.
- If the sauce is way too thin, remove from the fire and prepare some extra roux base to which you can add the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add some more moisture.
- Season to taste.
- Leave to cool in the fridge, it should be cold when you start preparing it in order for the roux to keep its shape.
- Take three bowls and fill each with either the flour, eggs or breadcrumbs.
- Shape the roux into cylinder forms.
- Take the center filling (the roux) and cover it with flour. Place it in the eggs next and finally coat with breadcrumbs.
- You can leave the kroketten at room temperature for a little while now, but best is to store them in the fridge and fry them as soon as possible.
- Heat oil in a separate high pot to 180C (or use a frying pan).
- Fry the kroketten in the hot oil for approximately 4 minutes. The outside should be a nice dark brown.
Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek)
- 1 cup butter 250 grams
- 1 cup sugar 250 grams – preferably caster sugar (a fine sugar)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 250 grams
- Add sugar, vanilla sugar, salt, lemon zest and butter to a bowl and use a dough hook to mix the sugar with the butter. Till the sugar is just incorporated.
- When the sugar and butter are incorporated (make sure not to over mix it), lightly whisk the egg and add about 2/3 of the egg to the butter and add all of the flour. Mix until a dough starts to form.
- Once the dough is formed, take it out of the bowl and if needed, lightly knead it on a floured work surface. The dough will be very soft, so don’t knead too much, usually 30 seconds to form the dough and check if everything is incorporated is enough.
- Take the dough and wrap it in clingfilm. Flatten the dough to help it cool faster. Leave the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Grease a butter cake pan. If you don’t have a butter cake pan, grease and line a brownie pan or springform with baking paper.
- Press the dough into your cake pan. If needed put a piece of baking paper on top of the dough to smooth out the dough more easily.
- Take a fork and run the back of the fork on the dough to create a pattern. Use the remaining egg to brush the top of the butter cake.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, till golden.
- Leave to cool completely. To serve, cut small triangle pieces or little cubes.
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