Traditional Dutch Cooking Workshops and Nomzing
We'll be cooking some traditional Dutch dishes at Camp Holland. Why? Because we can, and sharing food is fun!
Pannenkoeken (Dutch pancakes)
You'll need the following items to serve 4 people:
- 400gr flour (add 100gr per extra person)
- 800ml milk (add 200gr per extra person)
- 3 eggs (add 1 egg per two extra people)
- some sunseed oil
- toppings like stringy bacon (or other meats), cheese, jam, stroop, lemon curd, sugar, powdered sugar, pieces of fruit or vegetable, honey, Marmite, etc.
Stuff you'll need:
- A bowl to mix in
- A whisk
- A ladle
- A frying pan (∅ 42 cm is preferred ;)
- A spatula (wider is better)
Put the flour in the bowl. Whisk it loose first. Now add about half of the milk and use the whisk to make a smooth batter. Make sure there are no lumps of dry flour in the batter. When the batter is well smoothed, gradually add more milk until you've added all of it. Keep stirring to keep it smooth and without lumps. Then add the eggs and mix these well through the batter.
Heat up the frying pan and add a little oil. No more than a teaspoon is needed. Make sure the pan is hot, but not too hot (around 350°C is a nice temperature). This is just around when the oil starts to vaporise.
Now use the ladle to pour the batter into the pan. Make sure you don't put in too much, or the batter will not be dry enough on top by the time the bottom is nicely (light) golden brown. Roll the batter around in the pan with a large circular motion, to distribute it evenly.
Wait until the top of the pancake is dry and the bottom is starting to turn light brown, then use the spatula to first loosen the whole pancake from the pan, and then turn it over. If you're feeling especially heroic, try to flip the pancake in the pan, because, well... you know.
The other side will be ready a bit sooner, so keep an eye on the bottom from time to time.
Take the pancake out, serve immediately or stack on a separate plate (doesn't need to be heated if you're baking a whole stack of them).
Repeat until all batter is used up or feeling bored.
Toppings & variations
Most toppings are simply added after the pancake is baked. With stuff like jam or fruit it's easiest to roll the pancake up and eat it that way.
Some toppings however are better if added before or during baking:
- Bacon - Bake a couple of thin rashers of smoked bacon on one side. Turn each rasher when they start to crinkle and then pour the batter on top. Bake on both sides normally. Pro-tip: Serve these with stroop
- Other meats, like salami, chorizo, ham, etc. - Same as with bacon. Note that lean ham should be baked really short, or your pan will turn into a tiny disaster area!
- Cheese - Put batter in the pan (be extra frugal about the amount) and put slices of cheese on one half of the wet batter. Fold the other half on top so you get a closed half-moon shape. This can usually be done quite soon, but you may have to wait for the batter on top to dry a little. Now bake both sides as a normal pancake.
- Chocolate - Same as with a cheese pancake. Hagelslag is an ideal way of putting chocolate in a pancake, chocolate spread is not.
- Vegetables - Stir-fry some vegetables in a separate pan. Things like leek, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, green beans, corn, etc. will all work nicely. You can choose to add a little broth or soy sauce to spice them up. Now bake a normal pancake, or one with meats in them. When it's done, put it on a plate with the vegetables on top and roll it up into a roll.
- Fluids - Most types of liqueur and some soda's make for excellent pancake improvers. Bake a normal pancake on one side and add a dash of the fluid a the side of the pan. Then turn the pancake over and bake like normal. In case of highly alcoholic fluids, you can choose to flambé your pancake. Make sure you have a lid nearby in case the fire goes out of your control. Note: If you choose not to flambé your pancake but you're adding highly alcoholic fluids anyway, be aware that the fumes coming from the pan are mostly vaporized alcohol, so be careful with any open fires nearby, including the one under the pan!
- One extra special pancake variation is to make pancake-granola-cookies. You will have to change the batter for this to work though, so usually this is something to do after making the savoury pancakes. Just add the following to the 'normal' batter:
- A good amount of honey
- A few handfuls of muesli, granola or cereal oats (less whole nuts is better, as these can be problematic when flipping the pancake over)
- A handful of raisins
- Optionally: Diced or grated apple, dried apricot, dates, succade, etc.
- Optionally: Seeds, e.g. sunflower seeds or linseed
- A pinch of cinnamon powder, and optionally (very) little ground white pepper, cardamom, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and such
- An extra dash of sunseed oil, to make sure the honey doesn't stick to the pan too much
- Mix well and leave for a while so all new ingredients can soak up a bit.
- Mix well each time before pouring into the pan with the ladle. Don't be too frugal about the amount of batter you pour in. These cookies should bake to around 1cm in thickness. It also helps to keep them small, around 10cm in diameter.
- Flip over when the top is starting to dry and the bottom is deep golden brown (the honey caramelises, causing a darker colour).
- These cookies can be eaten hot (optionally with some ice cream) or cold, and make for a perfect breakfast. It's almost like the Dutch version of the American pancake (in other words, the origin of the American pancake).
- Other stuff: If you're bored with the above and you're ready to try other stuff, go ahead. All you really need is some common sense and an idea of what would taste good. Pancakes are like a very forgiving edible platter, a bit like pizza.
Erwtensoep (Green pea soup)