Vitello Tonnato @Enoteca
Lobby @Eden Amsterdam Manor Hotel
Happy New Year to you all!!! It’s been quite some time since I blogged about iEat-Out mainly because having a small kid, you really have to sacrifice a lot of private time, rather hard to have an evening out. Anyway, hubby knows I like eating out and during our Christmas break in Holland, he has arranged to drive an hour out to meet Aunt Thea for dinner. Oma & Opa were kind enough to babysit Marc for us.
When Thea asked what did I fancy that night, I simply said no Asian cuisines and she proposed a few places and I picked Enoteca which is located in Eden Amsterdam Manor Hotel. The reason why I chose this place was because of the idea of this hotel which used to be a hospital, was recently being restored and converted to a hotel (just opened a few months ago in Jun 2010). This information is not mentioned in its website and thanks to Aunt Thea who knows everything in AMS.
The restaurant itself has its own entrance but we went through the hotel unintentionally but that surely gave a great start of the evening by appreciating the interior of this hotel is very nice, it’s modern and looks like a hip hotel.
Arrived my in-laws place in Holland, weather is so gorgeous today. Here are a few snapshots sharing with you taken from their garden.
This is my first Christmas and New Year time in Holland, and I am extremely lucky as it has not been this cold (lowest -10°C) for years since 1997 and that I can witness the great sceneries of ice crystals on the leaves and grass. frozen canals, people go ice-skating on the canals. I had a very nice walk in a Nationaal Park called De Weeribben with my family.
Hopefully by end the week, I can get my own ice-skates and experience skating on the canals (but with inevitable falling of course!)
Today, the outside temperature was -8 °C already and will even go further to -10°C for New Year’s Eve tomorrow. This week I can have so many traditional and comforting Dutch food from my in-laws: Boerenkool (Farmer’s cabbage) stampot, Rode Bieten (own grown red beets), Pannekoek, Opa’s Oliebollen on New Year’s Eve and now tonight we had Erwtensoep which is only prepared in winter. If you travel to Holland, you will see a lot of restaurants or small cafes will have Erwtensoep signs outside their places. I did have tried several of them in the past but they are never as good as my in-law’s, they are mostly too thick for me and luckily the whole family here do not like too thick soup too.
Cooking & Preparation time: 3-4 hours
- 300g green split peas (wash and rinse) (Fig. 1)
- 300g pork hock or spareribs (cut into large pieces)
- 150g Dutch “sauerkraut bacon” or pork belly, it’s fresh not salted nor smoked preferably with rind (cut into pieces)
- 1 smoked sausage (Fig. 2)
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 leek, cut into small pieces
- 1 bunch leaves of Maggi Plant (finely chopped), official name: Lovage (Levisticum officinale Koch)
- 3 litres of water
- 2 cubes of chicken bouillon
- 1 pack Honig erwtensoep soup powder, optional if you can find it in a Dutch grocery shop (Fig. 1)
- Seasonings: salt, pepper,
- Mixed spices: coriander, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, chili. In Holland, there are many prepared packed herbs & spices, this is one for use in meat. You can add pinches of the above instead of the prepared one.
- A handful of small pieces Dried or fresh chives (bieslook in Dutch)
- In a large pan, bring water to boil and then add the pork hock & pork belly into the pan and let them cook for about 2 hours at medium heat. Skim off the floating scum.
- After 2 hours, add in the rinsed peas, chopped onion, leeks and chicken bouillon, let it simmer for over an hour.
- After the 3 hours, take the pork out of the pan, remove rind and bones, and cut it in small pieces. Return the meat to the pan.
- Dissolve the Erwtensoep soup powder in cold water and then add into the pan, keep stirring until mixed. Would be nice if you can find one in your surrounding. It’s very popular these days as it really enhances the flavor of the soup and thicken the soup nicely.
- Wash the maggi plant, cut and chop the leaves.
- Cut the smoked sausage into slices.
- 10 minutes before serving add the smoked sausage and the maggi plant and chives into the soup. Taste and season with salt, pepper and the mixed spices as described above (we have a mixed spice here in Holland specially for meat otherwise if you use the above mentioned spices it will be okay too).
- When it is ready, serve in soup bowls.
- The traditional way is to serve on side with rye bread (pumpernickel), with slices of katenspek (Fig. 2 , it’s a type of Dutch smoked bacon) or Dutch cheese, I like Cumin Cheese personally.
Eet Smakelijk !!!!
It has been unusually nice weather here in Holland in the last three days already, clear blue sky despite it’s a bit windy here, it is said that it will stay like this in the next few days. We took an afternoon walk today and it was so pleasant and refreshing! I did not have my camera with me so I had to use my iPhone to capture the beauty of these ice crystals on the grass and leaves. In the past, I would not think they are any special but when you are relaxed, in good mood and observe things around you more carefully, you will begin to appreciate more about the nature and surroundings.
Maybe we can ice-skating here soon?
This Christmas, we are staying in a bungalow in the stress-free island, Texel (Dutch Frisian Island), North of Holland. To get to Texel, we took the ferry from Den Helder with our car and with seagulls flying alongside the ferry in the air. The Teso ferry brings you to Texel in just 20 minutes.
Today, we had a long stroll along the beach near post 28 near De Cocksdorp), it was very relaxing walking along the shore, the wind blows away all your worries behind.
Lighthouse near De Cocksdorp (North of Texel)
Sand dunes and Beach
2 lovely Terriers playing at the beach: Jack Russell Terrier and Yorkshire Terrier
What will this be like after 100 years?
Beach café: Café restaurant de Toren
The perfect end to a long walk on the beach: relaxing with a hot chocolate and a bite to eat at a welcoming beach café
Hot chocolate with fresh whipped cream & typical Dutch snacks: Frikandel & bitterballen
Bread with Croquette (Broodje Kroket)
This is the most viewed picture in my gallery! EUR 60, it surely worth it!!!
A lot of people, especially the Dutch had high expectation to win in the quarter final but in the end we were all disappointed with the results. Nevertheless, I am certain those who came to Basel had a great party.
I learnt something that day: there is no sure win!
Here are some statistics that you may be interested to know:
- 180’000 visitors from Holland
- 500’000 litres of beer consumed
- 100’000 litres of mineral water
- 40 tonnes of garbage
………..Biggest party in Basel ever, even bigger than Fasnacht !!!
Hope you enjoy the snapshots! Orange Party……
It was very hot that day!
Polizei label also in Orange