Third Thursday Potluck: April Menu

Dinner, Recipes
on April 16, 2013
Third Thursday April

Old School Pecan Studded Cheeseball, Water Crackers
The Big Italian Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing
Beet-Grapefruit Salad with Feta
Spinach, Ricotta and Speck Lasagna Rolls
Italian Meatballs
Beef Braised in Brown Butter
Scalloped Potatoes
Lemon Curd Tartlets Topped with Fresh Berries

All foods have a story, and at potluck, we are lucky to hear fascinating ones from our guests about the dishes they bring. Some recipes belong to a family history. Others tell a larger narrative about a people’s customs and struggles.

This month, supper club regular Wouter Feldbush introduced us to two traditional dishes from his homeland, Holland. The Dutch are known for straightforward, hearty cuisine that emphasizes vegetables, dairy, and a modicum of meat. It could be called “no-nonsense” food—rustic, and frugal, but full of flavor nonetheless. That sensibility fits right into our potluck schema.

“Hutspot” (“Mixed Pot”) is a modest, savory mash of root vegetables, with a story rooted in Dutch history. For months in 1574, the walled city of Leiden had been under siege by Spanish occupiers. The people were trapped in the city and starving. William of Orange breached the dikes, flooding the fields where the Spanish military encampments were in force. The Spaniards fled. What the famished Dutch found abandoned at their camps were kettles of potatoes, carrots, and onions stewed together—which they immediately ate. That unfamiliar hodge-podge became a symbol of freedom, and now a mainstay of Dutch cooking. Tasty, or, as they say in Holland, “Lekker!”
—By Nancy Vienneau, Nashville, Tenn.

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