Imperfect Paradise by Dan Dembiczak - I'm so proud of Dan Dembiczak, whose first novel - Imperfect Paradise - is available for sale in both eBookor Paperback on Amazon.com! The story follows ...
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Today was the final of the World Cup, with Netherlands and Spain battling it out on the futball field. Dan & I had his sister Lisa and her two friends Todd and Sarah over to the tiki bar for a viewing party.
To get into the spirit of the game, we came up with a Dutch Tapas menu, and Lisa, Todd & Sarah handled drinks. We started with a round of Spanish Cava Mimosas, and then some folks switched to Heineken.
We started things off with a spread of Dutch Gouda cheeses, Spanish Manchego cheese, Spanish olives, tapenade, and crackers. We also put out Nutella, as we thought it might be Dutch, but were both too excited about eating some by the time we realized it wasn't, so bought it anyway. Todd & Sarah also brought some grapes, crackers and cheese to add to the bounty.
I also searched on About.com's 'Traditional Dutch Food' listing for some inspiration, and made up a few dishes that I thought sounded like good bar food.
The simplest were little shrimp and cucumber sandwiches (on Dutch potato bread), with a mayo/mustard/dill/parsley sauce.
Then we moved on to the very indulgent, heavy, but utterly delicious Slavinken - made by seasoning ground pork with herbs, then wrapping balls of it in bacon before frying them in butter. It was while making these that I realized the Dutch don't mess around. Some people wrap scallops or figs in bacon - the Dutch wrap their pork in bacon.
After recovering a bit from the Slavinken, and while waiting for SOMEONE... ANYONE... to make a goal in the game, I brought out the Chocolade Hagelslag - dark chocolate sprinkles served traditionally on buttered bread in Holland. I actually have vivid memories of a classmate in 1st grade who would eat hagelslag for lunch - which seemed so foreign and strange compared to the PB&J and cheese sandwiches the rest of us were eating.
Despite all my culinary tributes to the Dutch, they failed to score and the Spaniards were able to sneak one point in in overtime (albeit arguably while off sides). Perhaps if I'd been drinking Heineken they could've pulled through for me... but I did eat Hagelslag for you, Netherlands.
1 lb ground pork (455 g)
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tbsp dried)
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tbsp dried)
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tbsp dried)
2 tbsp fresh marjoram (or 1 tbsp dried)
Salt & pepper
6 extra large slices of rindless streaky bacon or prosciutto
1 tsp butter
Mix the ground pork and herbs. Add salt and pepper (don't add too much salt, because the bacon is salty). Wet your hands and form small sausages with the ground pork mix. Wrap the bacon around it, tucking in the ends, to form sausage-shaped parcels. Melt the butter in a frying pan, and fry the slavinken over a medium heat for approximately 15 minutes.