Date Night Dinners - Back To Our Roots

6/06/2014 tringel 0 Comments

This week we went Dutch, and no, I don't mean we took a week off, went to a fancy restaurant and split the check. I mean we made "Dutch" food, or as close to it as you can get with two home cooks. Last week we decided to make homemade knishes based on my European/Jewish Roots after Brenden came up with the idea of spicing up our dinners and trying some new dishes based on our culture. This week was Brenden's turn. I am pretty sure his entire family is from the Netherlands and a lot of his favorite meals are based off the Dutch recipes that have been passed down. The pannekoeken I have tried leaves me with no doubts that dutch food is amazing. Unfortunately that is about the extent of my tastings because everything else they make has bacon or sausage in it, including one of Brenden's top five, Dutch Lettuce.

With Dutch Lettuce being a frequent craving and comfort food of Brenden, it was first on his list to make for our Dutch inspired meal. However, as I mentioned, his family recipe loads it with sausage and/or bacon, so he had to make a few adjustments for me. He found a more traditional recipe online for a dish, similar to his Dutch lettuce. It was pretty much a side of fancied up mashed potatoes. There is no going wrong there. We mashed up peeled, boiled potatoes and then added spinach, turkey bacon, a little milk and salt and pepper to taste. Simple as that. Brenden also added some vinegar to his portion to make it a bit more like home. But again, I view this more as a side dish (especially when I am prepping for races), and Brenden knew this so he found a second dish to accompany the potatoes.

Gehaktballen. No, it is not gibberish, it was the meal to our side. Although Brenden was disappointed by the turn out, I thought it was frickin' delicious (note: Brenden was only disappointed because it did not maintain the shape it was supposed. After a brief period of sulking, he admitted that it was very yummy in his tummy.)

I was very excited for this part of the meal. When Brenden described it and after I read the recipe it seemed that a gehaktballen was a fancy word for a Dutch inspired meatball, and who doesn't like meatballs?! Unfortunately, as I stated above, our meatball didn't really turn out, but the taste was still there. When the meatballs began to crumble, Brenden got frustrated and we decided to improvise and make it a hash (we think that soaking the bread made the meat stick less then if it had been dry or maybe we just needed more slices, who knows?). So, we broke up the meat even more and browned it as if we were making taco meat. We then grab some eggs from the fridge and quickly cooked them up over easy style. Tada! Gehaktballen hash, just like corned beef hash...but better if you ask me! I would call the night an evening of happy mistakes because I thoroughly enjoyed it and would make it exactly the same way next time.

Meatball Hash
Recipe adapted from, Gehaktballen
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 2 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 3.5 fl oz milk
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 oz butter
  • 4 eggs
  1. In a large bowl, combine the meat, onion, egg, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and mustard. Knead a few times until everything is completely mixed together.
  2. Cut the crust off of the bread and soak it in the milk.
  3. Add the soaked bread to the meat mixture, breaking into pieces as you combine (this should help hold everything together).
  4. Dispose of the excess milk.
  5. (Optional) Divide the combined mixture into four equal quantities.
  6. (Optional)Roll each portion into a ball.
  7. (Optional)Roll each ball in the flour to lightly coat and set aside.
  8. Heat butter in a medium sized skillet over medium heat.
  9. Sear the meatball on all sides (This is where our direction following fell apart, literally. You can continue to cook the meatballs as they are if they stay together; ours fell apart so we contiunued to cook it more like ground beef. I listed some of the previous steps that may not seem necessary because I think they did help to make the flavor of this meat different then your typical ground beef or meatball...but it is really your choice).
  10. While the beef if coking through, take a seperate skillet and cook your remaining four eggs as desired (we chose over easy).
  11. On a plate, spoon some of the beef mixture on the bottom and add an egg on top.
  12. Serve and enjoy.

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