16 November 2009

'Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers.

(Romeo and Juliet, Act IV scene ii)

Q: What do you get when you cross a foodie with a nerd?
A: My brother.

He's the one that write Acute Politics, which is updated less frequently these days, but now he's started a new blog wherein he divulges his delicious recipes for neo-gourmet food and beer. Go forth and fatten yourselves. Acute Cuisine.

07 November 2009

cold weather food

November is here, and so gone are the days of Indian summer, replaced by cold, hard rain, wood fires and early dark.

It's time for comfort food. One of my favorites is stamppot, or Dutch mash pot. It's usually potatoes mixed with some other winter vegetable either cooked (carrots, onions, pumpkin, winter squash) or uncooked (endive, kale), and occasionally bacon or sausage.

The lovely Lark and I tried stamppot in Amsterdam in the middle of August last year. We bypassed all the restaurants lining the streets advertising fancy foreign cuisine in favor of a little Dutch restaurant. We had stamppot with endive, and a television was showing the Olympics above Lark's head. I was watching it and commenting on the action, so she twisted round to look, and was promptly told by the proprietor that she should be focusing on our conversation and not on the television. Haha.

It's easy to make and delicious. I don't cook with recipes very often, and I think the best part is just throwing whatever you happen to have on hand in the pot and mashing it all up together.

Tonight's version looks like this:

8 medium potatoes, cubed
1 very small pumpkin, cubed
2 large carrots, thickly sliced
1 onion, chopped
Butter, salt, pepper

Peel and cut up vegetables. Put in pot, cover with water. Boil for 20-25 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. Drain. Mash. Add butter, salt and pepper to taste. If you're using endive or other winter greens, add it after you've mashed the potatoes and stir.

Optionally, you can broil, grill or boil sausage, slice it up and serve it on the side. It's what the cool kids do.

See? It's pretty simple. Googling 'stamppot' will find you all sorts of recipes, some more complicated than others, but some like this one have some fun Dutch food trivia. So crank up the Dutch music, open up a Heineken*, and indulge yourself. :)

At a pub in Groningen, Nederlands August 2008

Hup Holland hup!

*Yes, I know Heineken is the Dutch equivalent of Bud Lite, but what can ya do? Sometimes you just don't have fancy imports on hand. And it still beats Bud by a mile.