Monday, November 19, 2007


I've always loved a one-dish meal. I'm good for a casserole or a lasagna any day of the week. One of my favorites at dinner parties (although I think everyone has had it by now) has been a layered dish with sauteed fennel and onions on the bottom, a layer of fish (salmon, cod, etc.) a thick sauce of some kind of cheese and milk, a layer of boiled potatoes that have been sliced up and topped with bread crumbs. It's always a winner. It's Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Dinner. I only know the Dutch name, which is "Vispannetje Uit de Oven." Something like Fish Dish From the Oven. Anyone know?

The Dutch have this dish called a Stamppot which is basically mashed potatoes with something smashed in there with it. Last Friday night, we had a zuurkool (sauerkraut) stamppot. While some people don't love the idea of sauerkraut, I have to say that good sauerkraut is very different from bad sauerkraut. (Plus, I find if fascinating because when I was first here, I saw a children's program on how it's made.) So here's how you make zuurkool stamppot. It's Fred's favorite stamppot.

Boil up about a kilo (two pounds) of potatoes. Warm up or cook the sauerkraut. Get about 125 grams of spek (diced up bacon) and throw them around in a pan until they're starting to get crispy. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and then mash them. Throw a in a little butter and milk to get them a little (but not too) "fluid" or smooth - like mashed potatoes. Throw in the sauerkraut, a little mustard, some salt and pepper and the spek and serve with a big chunk of worst. It's very wintery. Fred won't even talk about eating it out of season.

Stamppot can also be made with kale (boerenkool) shown above (thanks, Alastair!), which is boiled up with the potatoes, or escarole (endive), which is thrown in raw and wilts from the heat of the potatoes. There's also hutspot, which entails boiling up carrots and onions with the potatoes. And if you look online (and can read Dutch) there are lots of other variations - using Brussels sprouts, green beans and almost anything else. But always serve it with a worst.

I don't know what it is about the Dutch, but they love the potatoes. You can buy potatoes here that are labeled "crumbling," "somewhat crumbling" or "non-crumbling." I'm pretty sure that in my supermarket in NYC, we only had potatoes.


Anonymous said...

How about this pic:

And you're right - stamppot is wonderful winter food.


Anonymous said...


Mama Mojo said...

Adding canned pineapple or canned mandarin oranges is a delicious variation you should try. I've heard that in the Andes, they have an infinite variety of potatoes, much more than here in NL.

Anonymous said...

Also try squeezing half a lemon in your stamppot. When I was living in Rotterdam a friend of mine taught me to prepare it this way.