The first time I ever heard about the Netherlands I was about 10 years old (so over 40 years ago). I saw a field full of tulips near Dublin airport and I was told that they were being grown in the same way as in the Netherlands. I think it was right there and then that I decided that at some stage I would have to see this for myself. It’s still on my bucket list.
Obviously this would mean a spring visit which suits me fine as the weather is starting to get a bit warmer but not too warm for making the most of the wonderful countryside and bike routes. The best way to see this country and enjoy it in a way that suits me is by bike. Even the Hoge Veluwe National Park offers bikes to its patrons.
Of course there are many cities worth visiting but Amsterdam is the place for me. Here again there touring the city by bike is a must for me but also by canal. I love the water and traveling by boat so what better way to see the city than by canal boat and while I’m there pay a visit to the floating flower market.
I read somewhere recently that when it comes to Dutch food there are 3 things that make a food Dutch
- Mash the hell out of it
- Boil the hell out of it
- Deep fry the hell out of it
Of course I don’t know if this is actually true but for my recipe this week I’m working on that theory
As per usual there are many different variations to this recipe, some of which seem to be very similar to the Colcannon that we serve here in Ireland at Halloween using just potato and cabbage. Most of the recipes have the same general theme of mashed potato with whatever vegetables you want to put in but either green cabbage or kale seems to be a must along with smoked sausage on top. Traditionally and being Dutch Rookwurst is the sausage of choice but any smoked sausage can be used. Unfortunately I had to use plain Irish style sausages as I couldn’t even get hot dog sausages here. (For those of you who don’t already know I live in a small country village and only get into the town every 2-3 weeks)
Ingredients (adjust your quantities to suit the number of servings and taste)
Salt and Pepper
Butter for mashing into veg
Sausage (I used normal Irish style sausages but I would recommend you use Rookwurst or similar where possible)
Peel and chop the root vegetables into chunks and finely chop the onion and cabbage . Put all the root vegetables in a saucepan, just cover with water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and continue to cook for about 10-15 minutes or until they are just starting to get soft. Add the cabbage and onion bring back to the boil and then turn off the heat. I don’t like my vegetables to be too soft but they do need to be soft enough to mash. You may prefer to cook them a little longer. Strain the vegetables, mash with a dash of salt and pepper and a knob of butter (amount according to taste ).Spinach leaves can be added at this stage as they will wilt enough with the heat unless of course you are using frozen spinach in which case add it at the same time as the onion and cabbage. My spinach was picked straight from a container in my backyard .
Meanwhile cook the sausages according to directions on pack. You can serve them whole on a bed of mash or chop them and sprinkle on top or stir them into the mash. In other words do whatever suits your preference.
I think this meal would go down very well with a glass of beer but I had mine with homemade Blackcurrant Cordial.
Join me next time for American night.