Dutch Rucola Stamppot and Meatballs

6/12/2019

You probably don't hear much about Dutch food. The Dutch are known for their painters (Rembrandt, van Gogh, Vermeer), tulips and our windmills, but not so much for out cuisine. While Dutch food can be very delicious. We Dutch people either mash our food, boil our food, or deep-fry our food. Our cuisine is simple, hearty, and rustic, which describes most of my favourite dishes. 
A very popular dish that we eat is  stamppot. On a cold, gray winter day, Dutch stamppot with gravy and a meatball is a bowl of comfort and delight. For those who don't know, stamppot is where we combine mashed potatoes with mashed vegetables. My personal favourite is an apple and sauerkraut stamppot, but batavian endive is really good as well. Unfortunately, Batavian endive is something very dutch and is hard to find in England, but an alternative is curly leaf cabbage. 

Today I will show you a different kind of stamppot, using rucola salad. I came with this idea when I forgot to buy the curly leave cabbage, but I had rucola at home. Best idea ever. The rucola gives a lot of flavour, since it's a bit peppery, while curly leave cabbage barely has any flavour.
This recipe is super easy and fail-proof. You only use three different spices, nutmeg, pepper and salt, and you will need some bacon, milk and butter that will make this stamppot traditional and yummy.

A stamppot is either served with a traditional smoked sausage, or a classic dutch meatball. This blogpost will teach you the classic meatball, the way my grandma used to do it. This meatball can be used for multiple Dutch dishes and is oh so delicious. I guarantee you that Swedish meatballs are nothing compared to a juicy, Dutch meatball. 

Dutch Rucola Stamppot and Meatballs


Grandma's Dutch meatballs
- 500gr minced beef
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper
- 1 (red) Onion, diced
- Fresh parsley, chopped up
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1tbs kicap
- 1tbs tomatopuree
- 2 tbs of Butter

Stamppot
- 1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used oat milk, but whole milk is traditional)
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- Salt
- 2 tbs butter
- 250gr diced bacon
- 1 (red) onion, diced
- 140gr rucola 

Method

Meatballs
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium to high heat, add the butter and let it brown. Meanwhile, add all the ingredients apart from butter into a big bowl (minced beef, egg, salt and pepper, onion, parsley, breadcrumbs, kicap and tomatopurree). Knead everything together, divide the mixture into 5 parts and make a total of 5 balls.
  2. When the skillet is hot and the butter browned, you can add the meatballs into the pan. Cook the meatballs until they are nicely browned around. When completely browned, add a cup of hot water and cover the skillet. Let the meatballs steam for 20-25 minutes.         

Rucola Stamppot                                                
  1. Put the potatoes and 2 teaspoons of salt in a large pot. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tinder, 10-15 minutes. Scoop out a cup of potato cooking-water and set aside. Drain potatoes and return them to the pot. Add butter, milk, salt to taste, pepper and nutmeg. Mash potatoes with a potato-masher. For creamier potatoes add the potato cooking water, a little at a time, stirring, until you get the desired texture.
  2. In a medium skillet, add the bacon and onion. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until fat dissolves a bit and bacon starts to get golden. Set aside when the bacon is the desired colour. 
  3. Add the bacon and onion mixture to the mashed potatoes and add the rucola. Mash until thoroughly combined. Divide the rocula-potato mash between 2 or 3 bowls. Serve with the meatball and maybe a little bit of extra gravy. Enjoy!

Second year recap

6/05/2019

I am so, so nervous, but also very excited. This coming Sunday, my placement year will be starting. I have been looking forward to this moment ever since I started university and I feel like someone needs to pinch me, because I still cannot realise that I am finally going away.

This Sunday, I will be moving to the other side of the world, Shanghai, where I will be following a Chinese summer school course for one month. In Shanghai, I will be intensively studying the Chinese language, plus a lot of Chinese culture, with things like calligraphy, Kung Fu, Chinese literature and a lot about economics and maritime business. At the end of this course, we will be having an official graduation ceremony at the university. 
Most weekends, we will have time off. Some friends and I have plans to visit Beijing, where we want to explore the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Of course, we will also be visiting Shanghai City and its temples. Maybe even the Yellow Mountains.

I am specifically excited about all the street food and the food that we will be getting at the university. We will be eating in the university’s canteen 3 times a day and no one speaks English, and there are no English signs!  Whenever we want food, we have to walk up to one of the windows and point at what we want, hoping it’s something that we like. It could be anything, sweet, spicy, sour? This is going to be one big experience for sure! I am planning on taking loads of photos and blogging about this experience, so keep your eyes open for a new blogpost.

Graduation of my friend Kayleen - Group photo of everyone who went to the South-West Business competition
A team photo of my horse riding team
The month May has been very intense, with a deadline every week and exams at the end of this month. I was also in the process of moving out and finalising bits for my placement. I had to get an apartment in Hong Kong (where I will be working from July onwards), go to London to get a visa for Shanghai, pack and move out of my current apartment, AND I also had to study besides that. 

Luckily, I can now happily say that I have finished my second year of university. I honesty could not be happier with how the year went. Being a president of the International Business society was an absolute honour with loads of learning points for me, and so was being the treasurer and BUCS captain of the horse-riding club. 
December was a very busy (but exciting) month for me, where I had loads of events to organise. For the International business society, I organised a dinner and a south-west business competition. In the same month I got accepted into the Shanghai Summer School. Two months later, in February, I got an offer for a six-month work placement in Hong Kong, starting this July. 
In March, the student recruitment team contacted me and asked me if I would like to take over the university Instagram with a day in the life and a Q&A. Everyone loved this take over, and they asked me to do another one this week again. They also asked me to be the face of the clearings campaign, I cannot share the photos just yet, but when the campaign launches, I will let you know. 

My old flatmates from my first year - Alfred the seagull, has been visiting me every single day since January 14th
Moana - Aya - Emma - Jacob - Chloe
The main reason why this school year was so amazing, is because I met the most amazing friends. During the summer, I have been dreaming of getting new friends in Plymouth. I have had friends, but I still felt really lonely. In December, Moana reached out to me over Instagram. She told me that she would study at my university for a few months. We decided to meet up and ever since, she has been one of my better friends. We went to Bristol together to explore, went on loads of lunch dates and took a lot of photos together. Honestly so happy that I have met her.
I also made loads of other friends, or got closer to older friends. My social life was peaking this year and I am forever grateful. 

So far, university has been a really good experience for me. I am curious of what the the future will be holding, where I will be in a years time, or maybe even in a month. I will definitely keep you updated. Only 3 more days until Shanghai. 

Changes to Chynna's Kitchen

6/04/2019

This coming Sunday, I will be moving away to Shanghai for a month of advanced learning of the Chinese culture, language and business practises. After this I will be moving to Hong Kong for six months, and Australia or Miami for another six. Due to me moving away for this long, I came to the realisation that maintaining a food blog is not going to work for me anymore. 
This is mainly due to me being a perfectionist that wants to create quality content. I will not have my photography props with me to the other side of the world, and this makes producing content for my blog hard for me. Not only that, I will also be in uncertain times, not knowing what to expect, since I will have a whole lifestyle change. 

I still absolutely love blogging and I have loads of exciting times ahead that I want to share with you. I decided that from now on, Chynna's Kitchen will be more than just a recipe based blog. I want to put in some lifestyle and travel influences. I want to share stories about my year abroad, about how it is to live in a whole different country, how I experience a whole different culture. 
I want to share the best places to go in Shanghai and Hong Kong, I want to share all the best street-food with you and explore the cities and tell you about my new home. 
I want to share more personal posts, like how I cleared my acne and hyperpigmentation on my skin, and I don't want to be restricted to one subject (recipes), since this is no longer maintainable. 

Whenever I can, I will still try to upload recipes, because I still love cooking and experimenting. The list of recipes that I want to share with you is enormous, I don't even think I can make all of it in one year (especially since I will be eating loads of Dim Sum). But, the way I will share this recipes won't be the same as I share them now (nicely styled, professional props etc), but a little bit more casual and homely feeling. Plus, they won't be as often as I did now.

I have been wanting to share more lifestyle related content on my blog, however, something in me stopped me since I thought that that would not belong on a food blog. However, this is my little space on the internet and I hope you still will follow me around in this experience, and who knows, maybe when I am back in England I will go back to just recipe sharing. But for now, I want to document my whole life. 
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