What's cooking world? — By Ben on 13 April 2012
Hot Lightning – apple potato mash with baked cheese

There are bloggers who inspire us to be better at what we do with their stories, recipes and photography. One of those bloggers is my friend Simone of Junglefrog Cooking. I’ve followed Simone’s blog since 2008. What got me hooked was her beautiful photography, her witty stories and the recipes she shares on her blog. Simone is a professional photographer based in Amsterdam and every time I visit her blog I want to visit her kitchen, studio and city. It’s just a feast to the senses. Without further ado, I leave you the first installment of the renewed What’s Cooking, World? section. Ladies and gentlemen, please stand up for Simone:

I suspect with a title like this one there might be a bit more spam then the usual amount..lol.. ;) But I couldn’t resist the literal translation for this typical Dutch dish.

When I was asked by Ben from What’s Cooking if I wanted to do a guestpost in his world series I was flattered. I love Ben’s blog and have been following it faithfully for years now. His Mexican dishes are fantastic and I just wish I could find the needed ingredients here easier. I can find a lot of stuff online but fresh ingredients are a lot harder. So most of the time I just drool over his photos and think what fantastic things I would be able to do if I just had those ingredients.. ;)

The idea  of Ben’s request was to write something about a typical Dutch dish. So that got me thinking, what is a typical Dutch dish? Our national ‘cuisine’ doesn’t have a lot of highlights. The first thing that springs to mind is that we have lots of different mash-dishes (called stamppot) as our national kitchen, but then again those are terrible to photograph, so did I really want to go there? Plus most of them are typical winterdishes and in this part of the winter it is spring so not the dish I was looking forward too. What is it with the Dutch and stamppot anyway? Why do we mash everything together..? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love stamppot and in winter we eat it at least once a week. We have several different varieties, but most commonly the potatoes are mashed with some kind of vegetable; endive, curly kale, brussels sprouts, carrots (in which case it is called Hutspot) and spinach, we like to add little bits of cruncy bacon to it and eat the lot with a smoked sausage (rookworst)

I could make croquettes but then, they do exist in other parts of the world. And I was stuck with all these winter dishes in my head. Or I could attempt to make stroopwafels but having never done that, I had no idea where to start.

But then it hit me; I could make hete bliksem (hot lightning)! This is a dish I hadn’t made in at least 20 years. Not because I don’t like it, but because it goes together with a baked slice of cheese, something I couldn’t put Tom through as the cheese hater that he is. But he was going out for dinner with work so I could make this. It’s still a mash and therefore by it’s own nature wildly unattractive, but hey, it’s Dutch! So I apologize for the somewhat unappealing photos as I assure you that the content of the plate are in fact quite good.

Jacqueline, my friend, and I used to make this all the time when we were student nurses. Mostly because it was quick and tasted good and didn’t require extensive kitchen space (which we certainly did not have) It’s a pretty old fashioned dish, as it doesn’t get made a lot here anymore either. Don’t know why as it is quite good and especially when you pair it with the bacon and the caramelized apples that I added it’s the perfect combination of sweet and savoury.

Recipe HETE BLIKSEM

Serves 2

  • 250g apples (plus a few slices extra)
  • 250g potatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • maple syrup
  • ground cinnamon
  • 4 slices streaky bacon
  • 200g cheese (in a flat piece)
  • salt
  • 1 egg
  • 50g sesame seeds

Directions

Clean and peel the potatoes and cut them into even size chunks. Boil them in salted water for about 10 min and then add the cleaned and chopped apples into the boiling water. Add the cinnamon stick as well. Leave to boil for another 10 minutes or until both apples and potatoes are to your liking. I like mine to be fairly chunky but that is a personal preference
In the meantime bake the streaky bacon in a dry frying pan until crispy and set aside
Slice a few apple pieces and melt a little butter in a fryin pan. Add the apple slices to it and add a bit of maple syrup into the pan as well as some cinnamon. Let simmer until the apple is soft.
Prepare a plate with one whisked egg and one plate with sesame seeds. Cut your cheese into the required size. The smaller it is, the easier it is too handle.
Dip the cheese into the egg and make sure it coats all sides. Then dip the cheese into the sesame seeds and make sure it is covered everywhere.
Heat a non stick frying pan on high until nice and hot. Put the cheese slice in and bake until the sesame seeds are brown. You have to do this rather quickly or the cheese will melt completely. Turn and bake the other side.
Drain the apples and potatoes and mash them together. Taste and add cinnamon and salt where needed. Remove the cinnamon stick before mashing!

Note

As you can probably see by looking at the photo I didn’t do so well with baking my cheese. I forgot to let the pan get sizzling hot so by the time the cheese started to melt, the sesame seeds were still a little pale. Still tasted good but do make sure the pan is hot enough.

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About Author

grew up around food. His family owned a restaurant in Mexico City and he spent a big deal of his childhood helping and learning after school the art of creating delicious dishes from simple ingredients. He created this blog to share his kitchen adventures with the world.

(22) Readers Comments

  1. I love Simone’s blog! Great to see you hosting her work here. This dish is wonderful and so unique!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    • Thanks so much Rosa!

  2. wonderful post Ben!
    who cares what the cheese looks like–it looks amazing to me! and totally edible!

  3. Love both Simone and your works! Great recipe and photographs to drool on and it is lovely to see her here. Looks fantastic!

  4. Great to meet you and what a wonderful dish!! Not to mention pretty darn gorgeous.

  5. I love this series, I’ll be sure to come back for the rest of the installments! I don’t know what you mean about the photos not being perfect, I think they are great and really convey a sense of comfort food here, in a completely new form, at least for me, thanks Simone!

    • Thanks so much Sue..;) You’re too kind!

  6. Hi Ben,
    Just hopped over from Rosa’s where I saw your lovely post on quesadillas. Just wanted to say a hello to you and tell you how much I enjoyed reading it. The quesadillas look fantastic.
    This guest post by Simone looks wonderful!

  7. This was fun! What a great idea, Ben, to have a What’s Cooking, World? Day. Love it. And I will immediately check out Simone’s blog! Thanks yet again.

  8. YUM!

  9. Morning Simone!

    Unattractive?????

    I don’t think so!!

    Beautiful photography and looks so delicious that I’m already drooling.

    If I hadn’t just finished breakfast I would go make this!

    What kind of cheese did you use?

    How thick was it cut?

    Have a joyful day!

    Charlie

    • Haha… Thanks Charlie. I used regular farmers cheese ‘belegen’ which is somewhere between old and young cheese. I cut the slice roughly with a thickness of about 1 cm. i did make it too large as that makes it harder to bake, but it had been such a long time that I forgot how to bake cheese..;) I would recommend using the same thickness for the slice but cutting the piece maybe 10 by 10 cm or something along those lines

  10. It’s lovely to Simone here, I’m ashamed to say that having spend 5 years in the Netherlands, I have never heard of Hete Bliksem, but it sure looks good :)

    • It’s rather an old fashioned dish I guess a lot of younger folks in the Netherlands also don’t know it anymore. Which is a shame as it is quite good!

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