09 September


Bitterballen (Dutch Meatballs)

September 10: Feast Day of St. Theodard of Maastritch

Highlander and his co-workers stopped in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, for a day, after a week-long business meeting in Germany. They took advantage of seeing the city before having to fly back to the United States the next morning.  Although it was just a quick tour through the quaint streets by the river, they enjoyed the sights—and snacks.

One of the most popular snacks in the Netherlands is bitterballen (deep fried beef croquettes or meatballs). Islander tried to re-create them at home so she could experience a little bit of what Highlander sampled in Amsterdam.

We also wanted to make a traditional Dutch dish with beef as an ingredient in honor of a seventh century bishop in The Netherlands—St. Theodard of Maastritch—the patron saint of drovers and cattle dealers. Try making bitterballen on his feast day for a taste of The Netherlands.

Recipe

(Adapted from Taste of Home)

Ingredients

  • ¾ pound beef (sirloin steak)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • oil (for deep frying)

Directions

Chop the beef into ¼ inch pieces. Mince the parsley. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.

Stir in the flour and mix until smooth. Gradually stir in the broth to make the gravy. Boil until thickened. Stir in the meat. Add the chopped parsley. Cook and stir until the meat is no longer pink (about 3-5 minutes).

Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Transfer to a bowl, cool, cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours to allow the flavors to develop and solidify. In a small shallow bowl, put the breadcrumbs in it. In another bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and oil. Remove the meat mixture from the refrigerator and scoop into 1.5 inch sized balls.

Dip balls into flour mixture, then egg and then roll again to coat in breadcrumbs. Deep fry until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes). Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with mustard (optional).

Notes

  • Bitterballen has a very moist, meaty center. Make sure to fry them long enough to heat the beef inside.
  • We are working on trying more Dutch recipes and will add them to our Theme Menus list soon.

Baked Garlic Parmesan

Chicken Wings

September: National Chicken Month

It’s almost fall, y’all, and it’s time for some football! Our former neighbors, Glenn and Anna Maria B., would sometimes come from across the street to our house to watch the big game on our big screen TV. They often brought over game day goodies to share, like chicken wings from Wing Stop. We especially love the fried garlic parmesan chicken wings but we tried an oven-baked version at home, which is still just as juicy and flavorful.

We miss spending time with Glenn and Anna Maria since we moved away but this recipe will always remind us of the good times and good food we shared together. Bake garlic parmesan chicken wings for fall football game day gatherings and during National Chicken Month.

Recipe

(Adapted from Big Oven)

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ pounds chicken wings
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

In a large bowl, place the chicken wings and sprinkle with the dried oregano, rosemary and cumin.

Salt and pepper to taste. Lay the coated wings on a rack over a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, pour the olive oil in a bowl.

Add the chopped basil, minced garlic and parmesan cheese to the olive oil bowl. Remove the chicken from the oven and toss in the bowl until well coated. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Islander and Anna Maria’s favorite part of the chicken wing is the flap (also called wingette). They usually gave the guys the drumettes to eat.
  • Search our blog for other seasonal football food. Search our blog for other chicken recipes.

Apple Pie Egg Rolls

September-November: National Apple Months

All-American apple pie gets an Asian accent when made into egg rolls! We first tried these at a neighborhood social. Fortunately, we live in a culturally diverse county where fusion foods give everyone an opportunity to try a mixed plate of everything ethnic. They are easy to make and can be frozen until ready to fry up for a fast and fabulous fall dessert for family and friends. Crisp like the autumn weather, apple pie egg rolls are delicious during the National Apple Months of September, October and November—and also all year long!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 can apple pie filling
  • package of egg roll wrappers
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • oil for frying
  • cinnamon sugar

Directions

Open a can of apple pie pilling and chop coarsely into smaller pieces. Set aside. Separate the egg roll wrappers. Beat the egg. Moisten the four sides of one egg roll wrapper with the beaten egg.

Scoop about two tablespoonsful of apple pie filling and spread lengthwise onto the bottom third part of the egg roll wrapper. Fold both left and right sides in. Then fold up to cover the apple pie filling.

Roll and press to seal. Place seam side down on waxed paper. Fry immediately or freeze until ready to fry in hot oil until golden brown.

Drain each apple pie egg roll on paper towels. While still hot, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Serve with scoops of vanilla ice cream and drizzles of caramel sauce (optional).

Notes

  • Try substituting apple pie filling with other flavors: cherry, blueberry, peach, etc. Chunkier fruit fillings work best for egg roll style pies.
  • Search our blog for other apple recipes.

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