La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France at the time. We chose it while on the road, moving house the first time round, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like we did and like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, after yet another stint in Ireland, we're back in France @ Le Mas d'Ayen

Friday, October 02, 2015

Hete Bliksem or Himmel und Erde

Hete Bliksem, literally translated from Dutch, meaning Hot Lightning. The German version of this particular dish is called Himmel und Erde or Heaven and Earth, in English.  You can also call it Mashed Potatoes and Apple Stew Mixed Together.
There are many variations around and different methods of 'bringing' this dish together. Served often with any kind of pork but the most authentic accompaniment would be black pudding.

It is yet again a perfect autumnal meal, even if the present weather thinks it is high summer.

Here is my take on Hete Bliksem.

Ingredients - serves 4 hungry people
  • butter or lard, 1 tbsp
  • 100 gr smoked lardons/bacon pieces
  • 2 onions, peeled, halved and sliced

  • thyme, a few sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sage leaves, shredded
  • 750 gr cooking apples, weighed when cored and peeled- cut into moderate chunks

  • sugar
  • cinnamon

  • 1 kg floury potatoes, again weighed when peeled, cut into moderate pieces
  • 1 or 2 tbsp butter
  • splash of milk or cream
  • grated nutmeg, salt and pepper

  • bread crumbs
  • Fry off the lardons in the lard or butter.

  • When golden, scoop out of the pan and set aside
  • You might need to add some more fat before adding the onions and herbs

  • Sautee the onions till translucent
  • Add the apples and a splash of water. Turn down the heat and cover with lid.
  • Simmer till soft, but not completely mushy. You want some chunks. Stir regularly and add water if it becomes too dry or wants to burn.

  • Taste it and add sugar to your liking. A little sharpness is good.
  • Sprinkle in cinnamon.
  • Stir in the bacon pieces.
  • Take off the hob and let it cool slightly.
  • You may also want to take out the bay leaf and thyme stalks. I don't. I like to serve it to Bert, or so he believes.

  • Cook the potatoes in salted water.
  • Drain and mash with butter and a splash of milk
  • Season with freshly grated nutmeg and black pepper

  • Pour the apple compote in an ovenproof dish
  • Top with mashed potatoes, sprinkle with bread crumbs and heat through in a hot oven (190°C- fan) till the crumbs are golden.

Serve with black pudding, pork chop or sausage.
Often the apples are mixed in with the mashed potatoes and served that way.

Enjoy the weekend.

Patricia xxx...x

PS Commenting is free. ;-)

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