Going Dutch (history and food that is) through Pennsylvania
Most of us know about the Pennsylvania Dutch, right? However, I was today old when I found out that there were multiple wars during the 1600's between the English and the Dutch over the territory! In fact, even though the Dutch were the first to take possession, after the third Anglo-Dutch war, the English took control. It was a few years later that King Charles II granted land (which he named Pennsylvania, meaning Penn’s Woods) to William Penn to repay the country’s debt to his father. Girlfriends, we know drama, but nothing close to this level!
In honor of those first Dutch settlers, here is one of my favorite Dutch recipes:
Once, during my most frugal times, a local food store was having a sale on potatoes—five pound bags for 99¢. I couldn’t resist the sale (who can?), so I bought a bag, some kale, and had this easy and delicious dish every night for a week! Please don’t judge a book by the cover...wink wink.
Stamppot With Curly Kale and Rookworst (Boerenkoolstamppot)
Ingredients for 4 | Multiply by degree of hunger, divide by number of girlfriends!
- 3 1/3 pounds potatoes (such as Russet or Yukon Gold)
- 2 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 2/3 pounds curly kale
- 2 shallots peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 links Rookworsten (smoked sausage), warmed and sliced
In a large soup pot, boil the potatoes and the bay leaves in salted water for 20 minutes.
Warm the milk in a pot over medium heat.
When the potatoes are done cooking, drain, shake dry, discard bay leaves, and return to pot. Mash with a potato masher, or for a smoother consistency use a potato ricer.
Add the warm milk and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Season to taste with the nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Prepare kale. Wash, then trim, any coarse stems and discard any brown leaves from the kale. With a sharp knife, cut the curly kale into thin strips.
In a frying pan or skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and sauté the shallots for about 2 minutes, until translucent and starting to become golden.
Add the curly kale and the water. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes, or until tender.
Mix the cooked curly kale through the mashed potatoes then transfer to a serving dish. Top with the slices of the warm smoked sausage. Serve hot with your favorite mustard or gravy.
Staying at an Airbnb or VRBO and not able to cook? Here are a couple of great options if you go to Hawley or Philadelphia:
- Glass - wine.bar.kitchen | Traveling to the small town of Hawley? This quaint borough is nestled in the Pocono Mountains. Glass - wine.bar.kitchen is housed in the Ledges Hotel. The building sits on the edge of a stunning gorge and seasonal waterfall viewable from the restaurant’s panorama dining room and decks.
Glass features plates for sharing, which are perfect for our girlfriend gathering! I know I am looking forward to tasting everything on the menu especially the lamb chop with white beans and pistou.
- Talula’s Garden | Filled with history, Philadelphia (aka Philly) is one of the oldest municipalities in the United States. One of the most recognized personalities in Philadelphia dining, Talula owner Aimee Olexy truly understands what hospitality means. Talula’s Garden marks a return to the city for the worldly front-of-house veteran who was blessed with the ability to send the “fine-dining elite into effusions of breathless adjectives,” according to Philadelphia Magazine. And don’t be surprised if you catch the consummate “Maítre Fromager” tableside. “I work a lot and I love it,” says Olexy. “My work is who I am—and that is the only way I know to live.” A girl after my own heart!!
Talula’s Garden has so many options that I would have a hard time choosing. However, they have a cheese class! The Master Class…Six Artisan Cheeses candied nuts, honey, house-made jam and a little lesson plan. What a fun way to enjoy our next My Girlfriendships® gathering!