So during the Chef’s Table there is the theme of “Masterpieces” and I have touched upon my challenged and what my inspiration was that in the end helped me to create the dish that I brought to the group of friends for a spell:
Since researching the background of when and where this particular piece of art (“Family Concert”) was created and conceived by Jan Steen, I found out that the western Dutch province in North Holland actually had influences from northern French cuisine.
Taking that a step further the Dutch’s food staples included:
– potato / bread
– herring / mussels / eels / oyster / shrimp / white fish
– fruits / cheeses / meat / wine / nuts
– eggs / lamp / pig / bread / fish
Whileas the drink of choice was:
– strong pale lager
Hmm… for the longest time I contemplated adding alcohol into my dish, because since the “Family Concert” was a depiction of everyday family life, in the case of Jan Steen – having a “Jan Steen household” meant that you had a “chaotic” or “messy household” – his family owned a tavern and he eventually owned one of his own as well.
But, considering the chances were very likely that there would be more than enough alcohol on hand (as well as lack of time due to the holidays) I decided to forgo the alcoholic addition and focused elsewhere.
In the end I decided that the base would be a mini Dutch Baby pancake (time permitting using potato flour) with a filling reminiscent of a quiche except the cheeses were those found more in Dutch culture and food.
I could have easily added fish or some other meat into the filling, but again lack of time prevented my from tasting the dish any further and I was already quite happy with the result.
For a traditional Dutch baby pancake:
– 2 whole eggs
– 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup milk (I used 2% milk)
– 2 tablespoons of butter
1: Set the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and place your skillet (or in my case muffin tray for smaller portions) into the oven to warm up.
2: Beat the eggs in a bowl and slowly add the milk and flour until the consistency is smooth.
3: After about five minutes pull the skillet / tray out of the over and add in the 2 tablespoons of butter and let it sit and melt. If you are using a muffin or cupcake tray be sure to break up the butter evenly across however many muffins you wish to make. For me I created ten which seems to be a fairly good number to spread the dough and butter across.
4: Once the butter has melted pour the batter into the skillet (or in the muffin tray evenly across) and play the tray back into the oven and let it bake for at least ten minutes or when the pancakes rises but are just golden as opposed to golden brown.
Note: Now we work on the filling… I actually used the recipe from Allrecipes.com close to a tee except I made the following changes:
– Instead of the pie crust I used a Dutch Baby pancake
– instead of cheddar I used a mix of goat cheese and provolone
– I used only half of the spinach portion while keeping the mushroom portion
Most the rest of the ingredients are the same as well as the steps from the recipe in making wrapping up the dish.
5: When taking the tray of the dutch baby pancakes out of the oven there will be a bit of a sinkhole in the pancake – this is normal! – so you are able to put the spinach filling into the sinkhole and put the concoction back into the oven for at least another ten minutes or until you see the edges of the pancake becoming golden brown.
6: Take the tray out and add the slices of goat cheese and provolone on top of the pancake with spinach filling and then put tray back into oven for another five minutes. After which you take out and serve.
Voila! A nice ready made concoction and hopefully not quite as messy as mine turned out to be for the Chef’s Table. How did mine become so messy and chaotic? Well it was because instead of letting the dutch baby pancake bake first before adding the filling I decided to add the filling soon after pouring the dough.
The result was that as the dutch baby rose, so did the spinach filling… so when it came for me to add the cheeses on top there were sinkholes in some of the dutch baby pancakes. Also in doing it this way when trying to take the dutch baby quiches out, the dutch baby pancake wasn’t as solid as I would have liked it to be due to the added consistency of the spinach mixture and the milk/egg mix (found in the recipe link).
Not that doing what I did was bad, on the contrary… but it definitely was not my preferred choice at the end of it.
Anyway… I hope you enjoy and here is hoping my next concoction was as good as the previous two. 🙂