Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bereklauw

One of Holland's snack bars
Fast food has its own key players in Holland: ofcourse you can get a "vette bek" (literally "a greasy piehole", referring to the state of your mouth after you consume the fast food of your choice) at McDonalds, KFC or any other international fast food chain, but Dutch "snack bars" such as Febo, the neighborhood cafetarias and patatkramenshoarma places and broodjeszaken have a much more interesting variety of quick snacks. Besides the ubiquitous patat, or French fries, the Dutch have many meaty choices to pick from.

We've covered frikandellen and bitterballen before. Hotdogs and kroketten are also still pretty mainstream, but then we're getting into the more, shall we say, creative side of the snack business: items such as Kipcorn (a deep fried sausage from chicken meat and coated with corn flakes), Mexicano (a spicy rectangular flat beef patty that sports something akin to tire tracks), bamischijf (breaded asian noodles shaped like a bright orange hockey puck), nasibal (breaded fried rice ball), Sitostick (battered cubed turkey meat and pieces of onion on a stick), kaassouflé (a puffed up square of breaded cheese), nierbroodjes (kidney kroket) etc etc etc. These items are all deep-fried and contribute beautifully to the "vette bek" syndrome!

Automatiek Beursken in Velp still makes
most snacks from scratch
To increase business and make it easier for customers to just grab a quick bite to eat instead of having to stand in line to order, the Dutch use a "food in the wall" system called automatiek, or automat in the US.  Deep-fried beauties are showcased behind small windows. You drop in some coins, pull open the window of your choice and enjoy the hot, greasy snack. Repeat.

One of the more hefty choices of these greasy foods, and one that's easy to make at home, is a bereklauw, a bear claw, or berehap (bear bite). Whereas here in the United States a bear claw is a deep fried pastry, the Dutch version is a meatball, cut in thick slabs and speared with slices of onion, then quickly deep-fried. It can be eaten by itself or doused in peanut sauce, mayo or curry ketchup.

The Dutch have a love relationship with meatballs: the large, juicy gehaktballen are a traditional choice for protein for dinner. It goes well with practically any kind of vegetable and is served with a creamy, flavorful pan juice to pour over the potatoes. This snack is made with any leftover meatballs. Usually, you make a pan full. Whatever is not eaten with dinner that night, will be served sliced cold on a sandwich or, in this case, sliced and deep-fried as a midnight snack.

Bereklauw
4 large meatballs, cooked the day before
2 large onions
Skewers (do not soak!!!)

Slice the cold meatballs in 4 thick slices, cut the onion up in six. Take a skewer and start with the end piece of the meatball, then add a layer of onion, the second piece of meat etc etc. See picture below.

Heat the fryer to 375F. When the oil is ready, place one or two in the grease and fry for a good four to five minutes, or until the onions are done.

Douse with peanut sauce or ketchup and enjoy your bear claw!










2 comments:

  1. One of my favorite snacks after frikandellen and kroketten. Just made a bunch of meatballs this weekend and the leftovers are frozen to be turned into berehap sometime later this week :) I prefer mine with peanut sauce, but they are good with mayonnaise too :)

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  2. Do you have the recipe for Kipcorn,kaassoufle and bamischijf?

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