That moment your almost 4 year old not-by-blood-but-couldn’t-be-closer nephew asks me at the dinner table, “Auntie Neeka, please sing Happy Birthday in Dutch because I just love it” and we all break out into a couple rounds of Lang zal ze leven. It’s times like that my heart could not be more FULL of joy and love and comfort. Although I may be the only one of true Dutch descent, that doesn’t mean I can’t share my memories, experiences, language and food with the ones I love. My Oma and Opa did it with me so I intend to pass along as much as I can. With my sweet great aunt, Tante Francis in town straight from the Netherlands my goal was to get as many recipes out of her as possible!
We set a date for two weeks ago to cook up a storm but I had to reschedule due to the hubs getting a stomach flu which rearranged some of his birthday plans. So, we were all set for Saturday. Ingredients purchased, plan made. And then she went for a Harley ride with my bonus pops. Gah! No worries, there was no crashing but she did get tripped up when getting off the bike to take some photos while at the top of a mountain. Oopsie! She went down and ended up breaking her humerus (upper arm). OUCH. The worst part? They had no cell service. And it was 100 degrees. And it was 12 noon. Oh, man. They ended up flagging down some super grizzly lookin’ hunters who graciously took her to the hospital.
Tante Francis was down for the count and not able to cook but she was able to direct me from the couch! I got this dish whipped up in no time. Super simple and no crazy ingredients! It’s basically mashed potatoes with kale and a side of smoked sausage. I threw some bacon into the potatoes because bacon’s never a bad idea right? Now, Dutch food is normally not my fav. It’s basically meat + potatoes and I’m not that kinda girl. We’re Dutch Indonesian so my childhood consisted of a good mix of the two cuisines. I always leaned more toward the Indo side of food. Lots of rice, coconut milk, and spices galore. However, these potatoes were so easy to throw together and were the epitome of comfort. IF it ever got cold in Cali (can it puh-lease cool down to at least 80?!), this din would totally fit the bill. Throw it all in one pot and cook, my kind of meal!
Prayers for Tante Francis are appreciated. She was supposed to fly home yesterday but will be staying until she’s healed enough to handle a super long flight. In the meantime, I’ll be bugging her to boss me around in the kitchen a little more to learn as much as possible!
- 3 bunches of kale (approx 6 cups), chopped
- 6 large potatoes
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- ½ cup milk, warm
- 1 smoked kielbasa (14 oz)
- Kosher salt & ground black pepper, to taste
- Peel potatoes, cut them in quarters and place them in a Dutch oven or large stockpot. Add cold water that just covers the potatoes. Cover the pot and cook on medium-low heat.
- Meanwhile, remove kale from stem and chop into small pieces. After the potatoes have cooked for 5 minutes, add the kale to the pot and the whole kielbasa on top of the kale.
- Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Simmer on a low flame for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are done (soft when pricked with a fork).
- Remove the kielbasa and set aside. Drain the potatoes and kale. Mash well, adding the butter and milk. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Slice the kielbasa and place it on top, on the side, or mix with the potatoes.
- This dish is traditionally served with mustard.