Netherland Antilles -10 October 2021

The Netherland Antilles are located in the continent of South America. It consists of five islands in the Caribbean Sea, namely: in the southern group Curaçao and Bonaire, which lie less than 50 miles off the Venezuelan coast. The northern group is made up of Sint Eustatius, Saba, and Sint Maarten.

The capital was Willemstad on Curaçao.

The official languages are Dutch, Papiamentu, and English.

The climates are varied in the south and the north slightly. The southern islands temperatures are around 80F, and the northern islands get more precipitation and hurricanes are more common.

The staples are maize flour, hot spices, crab, chicken, smoked hams, coconut, yams, root vegetables, black cake and so many other foods (https://recipes.fandom.com/wiki/Dutch_Antillean_Cuisine):

https://www.britannica.com/place/Netherlands-Antilles

BITTERBALLEN (Dutch Meatballs from Curaçao) (https://www.jocooks.com/recipes/dutch-meatballs-bitterballen/):

For Bitterballen:

  • 8 TBSP butter, unsalted (1 stick)
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 3 C beef broth
  • 2 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

For Breading:

  • ½ C all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 C breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  1. In a large skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted completely, add the 1 cup of flour, a bit at a time, whisking it, it will turn into a thick paste.
  2. Slowly stir or whisk in the beef broth. Make sure you stir thoroughly, the broth should all be incorporated in the roux. The gravy should be smooth but still quite thick.
  3. Simmer the gravy for a couple minutes then add the parsley, onion, and ground beef, stir well. Season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  4. Transfer the meat mixture to a Tupperware container and refrigerate for several hours until the gravy has solidified. I refrigerated mine overnight, but 3 or 4 hours should suffice.
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In 1 plate add the flour, in another plate add the eggs and the last plate the breadcrumbs.
  6. Shape the meat mixture into 1-inch balls. Use a small ice cream scoop, it’s easier to get the same quantity of meat each time. Place these meatballs on one of the prepared baking sheets.
  7. Roll the balls first through flour, then eggs, then finally breadcrumbs. Place these meatballs on the other prepared baking sheet. Once completed, place the baking sheet with the meatballs in the fridge until ready to fry.
  8. In a large Dutch oven, skillet or deep fryer, add enough oil, I usually add about 2-inches of oil. Heat the oil up to 375 F degrees.
  9. Fry the meatballs about 6 at a time until golden brown, should take about 4 or 5 minutes. If you have enough oil in your fryer the meatballs will float to the top when done. Continue until done with all the meatballs. In between batches you might have to clean the oil with a slotted spoon of all the leftover fried bits from the meatballs.
  10. Serve hot with a grainy or spicy mustard.
Here is my Bitterballen. I used Panko breadcrumbs and it gave them a real crunch!!Very good, especially with spicy mustard!!

GREEN MACHINE FROM SABA (https://foodandwine.ie/recipes/green-machine):

  • 1-1/2 C kale, sliced
  • 1-1/2 C bok choi, sliced
  • 1-1/2 C broccoli florets, parboiled
  • 1-1/2 C carrots, sliced and parboiled
  • 1 C sugar snap peas
  • 2 lime wedges
  • 1/3 C cashew nuts

For the Sauce:

  • 1 C coconut milk
  • ½ C cherry tomatoes
  • ½ tsp ginger, chopped
  • 1/3 C mint leaves (or to taste)
  • 4 dessert spoons coconut oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  1. To prepare the sauce, put coconut milk, cherry tomatoes, ginger, mint leaves, coconut oil and sea salt in a blender. Mix well. Keep to one side.
  2. Bring the wok to a medium heat, add the sauce, and cook until you get a nice aroma.
  3. Add the kale, bok choi, broccoli, carrot, and sugar snap peas. Stir for about two minutes until the sauce and the vegetables are mixed. Serve with lime wedges and cashew nuts on top.
Here is my version of the Green Machine from Saba. Squeezing lime over the top really enhanced the flavor!!

BUTTER COOKIES (ST. MAARTEN) (https://www.food.com/recipe/butter-cookies-st-martin-caribbean-373162):

  • ½ lb. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ C granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter & sugar along with the vanilla extract, until mixture is fluffy & light.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together flour & salt, then, ½ C at a time, add it to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition.
  4. Scoop dough onto the center of a large ungreased, 9-inch square baking pan, & using a spatula spread it out evenly.
  5. Bake the huge cookie on the center rack of the oven until firm to the touch & golden brown, about 35 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven & cut the 9-inch square cookie into 1-1/2-inch squares, making 36 smaller cookies.
  7. Place them on a wire rack to cool before eating.
Butter Cookie from Sint Maarten! Whether you like butter or not, you will LOVE this cookie!!
Here is my overall meal! Highly recommend it!

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