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According to the famous Dutch proverb it’s “better a good neighbour than a distant friend”. Whether this still holds true today remains to be seen, as thanks to the Internet, many Dutch emigrants now find it incredibly easy to keep in touch with family and friends. Nevertheless, it’s always good to stay on amicable terms with your neighbours, even if it is only to borrow the occasional cup of sugar or milk! With that in mind, we’ve compiled the top three recipes from Belgium – that hospitable and friendly neighbour immediately to the south of the Netherlands.
Waterzooi met kip (chicken stew)
4 stalks of celery
A small bunch of celery leaves
A small bunch of parsley
A small bunch of chives
4 chicken thighs
½ jar of Maggi base for chicken soup
1 dl of whipped cream or crème fraiche
2 egg yolks
Salt and pepper
First rinse the carrots, celery sticks and leek and then cut them into pieces. Next chop the celery leaves, parsley and chives and rub the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Now heat a tablespoon of sunflower oil in a heavy frying pan and gently fry the vegetables. Pour in half a cup of water, place the chicken thighs on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with half of the freshly chopped herbs. Leave the chicken to simmer with the vegetables for about 5 minutes, before pouring in ½ pot of Maggi base for chicken soup and 3/4 litre of water. Leave to simmer once more on a low heat, this time for 45 minutes. Now remove the chicken thighs from the pan and keep them warm. Meanwhile pop the egg yolks and cream into a large bowl and gradually stir in the cooking liquid until smooth. Pour this mixture into the pan, stir the soup thoroughly once more, season with salt and pepper and top with the remaining herbs. Finally place the chicken thighs onto four separate plates and pour over a few spoonfuls of the vegetables and soup.
Biefstuk met steppegras (steak and chips)
4 beef steaks
1 litre of cooking oil or sunflower oil
Salt and pepper
A knob of butter
First peel the potatoes and slice into extremely thin strips, using an extra sharp knife or a food processor. Next heat the cooking oil in a deep fat fryer or a heavy frying pan, and fry the chips, before removing and leaving to drain. Now sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper, place in a frying pan with a knob of butter, and gently fry until golden brown. Meanwhile, fry the chips once more until they are completely crisp and golden. Finally, place a piece of steak on each plate, top with a mountain of chips (steppe grass) and serve with a fresh green salad, a slice of lemon and classic French fry sauce.
Brusselse wafels (Brussels waffles)
First separate the yolk from the egg white and then whisk the egg yolk and sugar until nice and frothy (save the egg white for later). Now stir in the milk, flour and butter. Next whisk the egg whites (in a separate bowl) until stiff, before stirring thoroughly into the batter. Now grease a waffle iron with a little sunflower oil and leave to heat. Once ready, spoon a small amount of batter into the waffle iron, close, bake for approx. 2 minutes or until golden brown, and then gently remove using a fork. Repeat this process until you’ve used up all of your batter. Finally, sprinkle the Brusselse wafels with icing sugar and serve topped with whipped cream and cherry sauce. Yum!
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants.