Sunday, January 3, 2010

Collard Greens, Broccoli Rabe, and Chicken Sausage with Potatoes Recipe (Stamppot)

One cold, wintry evening in The Netherlands I ate stamppot and fell in love. I was in Amsterdam staging a dance of Merce Cunningham’s for the Dutch National Ballet Company, and, in my off hours, I was eager to discover more about traditional Dutch cooking. This stamppot was one culinary delight amongst many I experienced, and highlighted my memories of that evening: from the texture of the woolen green coat worn by my dining companion, and his fascination with the makes and sizes of the ubiquitous Dutch bikes, to getting lost on the circular canals, ending up where we started, and deciding to have a pre-meal drink of jenever, the strong, and less junipery, precursor to gin. That night, at dinner, we talked of the skill and science behind the Dutch ability to keep the persistent water (which is eagerly lapping at their door) from flooding their country, and, after learning more about the engineering, we understood why many scientists hired to shore up the levees in New Orleans after Katrina came from here.

When I told Dutch friends of the family about my fantastic meal they chuckled. “You like stamppot?” they asked incredulously. “Sure, it’s good, but it’s not something we, as a people, are so proud of.” I suppose, for the Dutch, stamppot is common, simple, winter fare. A staple. Meat and potatoes. For me, it is associated with a fantastic meal, and of lovely memories of Amsterdam: of views of the Queen’s palace from my centrally located apartment, of exploring the city’s art and canals, of visiting the charming town of Edam to sample the cheeses made there, of devouring a rijsttafel, the multi-course Indonesian meal the colonial Dutch helped create, and of taking special trips to food markets to eat krokets, spiced meat rolled in breadcrumbs and deep fried. I even ate at FEBO. Yes, I did.

True, The Netherlands is known for fabulous raw herring sandwiches, smoked fish, pancakes (and the smaller, puffier, poffertjes), stroopwafels, take-home-delicious aged Gouda cheese, and for those tiny, and heavenly, chocolate sprinkles used to decorate one’s morning toast, but this simple pot of greens and potatoes is what I will remember most. Make it, and you, too, might remember a trip you took to The Netherlands, or perhaps your imagination will take you there. In any case, you’ll be nourished and sated inexpensively and deliciously, and you might even think of drifting peacefully down a canal in a pedal boat, stroopwafel in hand, colored, tilty buildings passing you by, so crooked you'll question if you've had one too many jenevers to drink. Make stamppot and go on a trip; you won't even have to visit a Dutch coffee shop to do it.

Collard Greens, Broccoli Rabe, and Chicken Sausage with Potatoes Recipe (Stamppot)

Note from Banu: this hearty and nutritious mixture of potatoes, leafy greens, and some type of meat, is simple to prepare, and a comforting, wintry, one pot meal. I make it with whatever type of green is available, kale, dandelion greens, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, etc.; choose whatever hearty green looks fresh in your store. I prefer stamppot with more greens and less potato, so using even three bunches of greens for the amount of potatoes in this recipe might not be too much. And losing the meat, and making a vegetarian version is perfectly acceptable, and would be delicious, too.

Sometimes I use bacon instead of sausage, and traditionally, the entire sausage, along with a little gravy, would be placed on top of a serving of the mixture of greens and potatoes. I like to mix everything together so I can eat bits of it for several days, and pack it up to take with me for lunch. Experiment with proportions; this is a fool-proof meal.

4 red potatoes, cut into 1 inch square cubes (or thereabouts)
4 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch square cubes (or thereabouts)
2 tablespoons olive oil
9 oz chicken sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces (but this can be bacon, or any other type of sausage, and you may use more that this amount, or leave it out entirely)
2 medium onions, chopped
one bunch broccoli rabe (leaves removed and chopped, and stems chopped and kept separate)
one bunch collard greens (prepared as the broccoli rabe)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3/4 pint half and half (or milk)

Fill a large pot with water, add the potatoes, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain them into a colander.

Meanwhile, in a separate large pot, heat the olive oil, and add the sausage (unless you are using bacon, or fatty sausage, in which case, do not add any oil until after you cook the meat and determine if you need more oil for the onions and greens’ stems).

Cook the sausage over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until brown. Remove the sausage (or bacon), and set aside. Add the onions (and more olive oil, if needed), and cook for a few minutes. Add the greens’ stems, and cook everything until tender, and the onions are translucent. Add the chopped leaves of the greens, and stir around until just wilted.

Add the cooked potatoes to the greens, and mash everything together with a potato masher. Stir in the garlic cloves and the half and half (or milk) and mix well. Stir in the sausage or the bacon, and serve immediately.

Similar Recipes from A Hungry Bear Won't Dance: Oven-Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash, Purple Kale, Crimini Mushrooms, White Beans and Nutmeg Béchamel Recipe,
Pasta with Ground Beef, Parsley, Garlic Yogurt, and Paprika Butter (Piç Mantı), Swiss Chard, Lentils and Bulgur Wheat with Parsley, Garlic Yogurt Recipe


Chef E said...

I like this whole idea, and makes sense...flavors combined! Comfort food at its best...

Anonymous said...

Yum. In Brussels it was Stoomf (not sure of the spelling). They served it to us at the Monnaie's canteen -smashed veg and potato as a side dish, or under a sausage. I'll make this for sure this week. Thanks Banu!

Banu said...

Thanks, Elizabeth. Yes, it's very comforting food. Just what I need when stuck in winter's grip.

To "anonymous": I bet this dish is similar in Belgium. I hope you like it!

Blogging To A Better Bonnie said...

The wind is howling here on the East Coast of the US and we are very much in the deep chill of January's cold grey days. Just looking at your photo and reading the recipe, makes my mouth water and warms me inside.
I know what's on the menu for dinner tomorrow night!

Richard said...

Sounds great! I want to travel all of Europe, so I will be sure to "stop by" and grab a bite of this when I'm in The Netherlands. Until then, I'll just have to make it and have people wondering what exactly it is!

Banu said...

Oh Bonnie, I know. It's so cold here in Brooklyn, I left the house looking like a polar bear! Yes, this food will warm and comfort. Please let me know how you like it.

Richard: yeah, please try it, and tell me what you think. Virtual travel by cooking is pretty great!

Michelle J said...

I wasn't hungry when I started reading this post, but now I am! Thanks for another yummy recipe idea. :)

Winters Reaper said...

oh yummy....

fits nice with a cold...

Anshika said...

Looks so very tempting :)

Chrissy said...

OMG, I have never heard of stampot... The ingredients are all my faves... Sounds like the ideal comfort food!.

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Velva said...

This post is proof that simple is best! I have spent time in the Netherlands ( I have a few posts) and have enjoyed comfort foods at their finest. I can visualize your centrally located apartment near the Queens Palace in Amsterdam and sampling cheeses in Edam. I love it when this happens :-) I suddenly feel worldy.
Love your recipe!

Aaron said...

Stamppot success! Just made this and it is delicious. Thanks again for another knockout recipe - and very farmer's market compatible for winter!


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Lucas Vilanova said...


najlepsze blogi said...

Good idea and good combination,i'm hungry :D

sanjeet said...

makes sense...flavors combined! Comfort food at its best...

Work from home India

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