Crises make creative. Within a few days after the Netherlands went into lockdown, culinary journalist Mara Grimm had put together the website crisiskoken.nl. Over the past few weeks, new recipes from Dutch chefs have appeared daily. Recipes that we could count among what is so beautiful in Italy poor kitchen hot. The poor man’s kitchen.
There are real classics, such as pappa al pomodoro: Tuscan soup of tomatoes, stale bread and olive oil. Spanish shepherd’s crumbs: fried breadcrumbs with chorizo or bacon and white grapes. Mujadarra: A Middle Eastern dish that consists in its most basic form of rice with lentils and fried onions. Vegetarian rotis. Pasta carbonara. rice pudding. The ultimate bread and butter pudding (by none other than John Halvemaan).
But there are also wonderfully private, homely recipes, such as the fried potatoes with bacon and capuchins that star chef Bas van Kranen of Hotel de L’Europe used to eat with his father. Or how about the smurrel sandwich from the mother of chef Joris Bijdendijk: make a stew of onion, garlic, bell pepper, tomato and sambal, fill with pistolets and finish with fried bacon. Although probably not intended that way, crisiskoken.nl gives a cheerful insight into what chefs themselves like, when they are not cooking for you and me.
The website was, and rightly so, an immediate success. It has now even produced a booklet with forty simple and affordable dishes. Grimm spends it as low budget as possible. It will be printed on a residual batch of paper and will cost 9.99 euros, of which 2.50 euros is intended for the Food Bank. Crisiskoken can be ordered through the website until May 20. The booklets will be sent in June.
We will of course cook a dish from the site, namely ‘the only cauliflower that everyone likes’ from Merijn van Berlo of restaurant Choux in Amsterdam. It is officially a side dish for four, but can also serve as a main course for two, for example with a green salad on the side.
The only cauliflower everyone likes
(2 – 4 people)
A small cauliflower;
65 g of butter;
6 leaves of sage, thyme or rosemary, chopped;
1 garlic clove, chopped;
40 g flour, sifted;
400 ml of milk;
150 g of leftover cheese, finely chopped;
1 tbsp white wine vinegar;
3 slices old bread, crumbled
Heat preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Clean the cauliflower and cut into large florets. Cut these in half again lengthwise, so that you have flat florets that do not fall apart.
Behind the cauliflower on the flat side over low heat in a little bit of oil. Let it caramelize slowly, until the cauliflower is nicely browned and cooked on the bottom, but still has a good bite. That takes about half an hour. Then add 25 grams of butter and let it bubble until the butter turns brown.
Haal Remove the cauliflower from the pan and season with salt and black pepper. Put the rest of the butter in the pan and fry the garlic and sage, thyme or rosemary without browning. Add all the flour at once, stir well and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Now add the milk and stir with a whisk until smooth. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for two minutes on low heat.
Play Turn off the heat and stir in three-quarters of the cheese, just until completely melted. Season with vinegar, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Leg Place the baked cauliflower, flat side up, in a bowl and pour over the cheese sauce. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned and crispy.