Potato-Bacon Tart

January 27, 2008

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Since I knew next-to-nothing about Dutch Cuisine, my neighbors graciously allowed me to borrow the one cookbook they have on the topic that is written in both Dutch and English: Dutch Cuisine by Helene Matze. As far as the recipes go….not too many of them were things I would be tempted to make. Lots of fish I’ve never heard of, recipes calling for scraps of meat after a slaughter…..but this one did look like something C and I would like….so it went into the ‘Make This Weekend!” rotation. I mean, bacon and onion and potatoes–fried up together!…it couldn’t be bad no matter how it turned out! And tasty it was……

Potato-Bacon Tart
(Achterhoek Area)

200 g Sliced Bacon
750 g Boiled Potatoes (about 4 large)
45 g Flour (3/8 cup)
1 Egg
1 1/2 dl Milk (3/4 cup)
1 Onion
1 Tbls. Chopped Parsley
Pepper and Salt

Slowly fry the bacon slices till crisp next to each other in a frying pan.
Slice the potatoes and place the slices on top of the bacon in the frying pan.
Mix flour, egg and milk into a smooth batter.
Peel and chop the onion and spoon into the batter with parsely, pepper and salt to taste.
Pour the batter over the potato slices and gently heat till slightly browned.
Turn the potato tart with the help of a lid and let the other side brown.
Cut the potato-bacon tart in wedges and serve with a green salad.

I made a few modifications–I drained off most of the bacon fat, browned the onions in the pan before adding it into the egg mixture and added a couple of dashes of hot sauce to the mixture to give it a bit more flavor. Next time, I will not add the onions into the eggs, I will scatter in among the potaotes as I’m layering them. I may break some of the bacon slices and do the same with them.

It was tasty! As I said, potatoes and bacon and onions, you knew it would be good. The egg mixture cooks up to add something of a crepe taste to the tart—particularly the bottom ‘crust’ layer (and as you can see, mine got *nice* and brown)…adding a flavor dimension not usually found in this kind of thing…and I really, really liked it. Absolutely worth a try!

Back to the cookbook critique:

Now I obviously can’t speak to if she captured Dutch cuisine….but I can speak about it as a cookbook in general. It’s not a good one. Perhaps it works if you are very well versed in these dishes and are just looking for a guideline for quantities it’s fine…but as a stand-alone, the recipes are not very user friendly.

In this recipe, for example:

It doesn’t specify which kind of potatoes to use (my note: use waxy…I wanted to use waxy, but only had a few russets hanging around and wasn’t about to run out for a handful of potatoes on an otherwise peaceful Sunday morning so…..let me tell you, floury potatoes are not the way to go in this dish.)

It doesn’t specify pan size (my note: This would be best in a 12-inch skillet…my 1o inch was a bit over-filled)

It says to heat until ‘lightly browned’…I found that I had to use the omelet technique to lift the tart and tilt the pan so that the egg mixture could run underneath, othewise I would never have been able to flip it.

It doesn’t say if you should boil the poatoes with the skins or without….whether you should peel them before slicing….how thinly or thickly to slice the rounds….

I think you see what I’m getting at. Any experienced cook can make educated guesses on these questions…but if you’re looking for firm instruction for how it would be done authentically, it leaves more than a bit lacking.

So while I don’t recommend that anyone rush out and by Dutch Cuisine by Helene Matze—I would encourage you to try either of the recipes I’ve posted from it—this Potato-Bacon Tart or the Kale with “Rookworst”. Both are very tasty, and different enough from the usual to keep things interesting.

Filed Under: Mains, Recipe, Savory, Sides

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