This unusual sounding dish, the uitsmijter, originates from the Netherlands and, literally translated, means “bouncer” or “out-thrower” (there really is no correct translation). I can imagine you are now intrigued as to what this dish consists of. Well, nothing extraordinary actually — this is bread with fried eggs, ham, and cheese. However, it is a revered tradition in Dutch cuisine and is eaten widely across the nation. Be sure that you have a big appetite before trying one, as this is not a meal for the faint-hearted or small eater. Uitsmijters are eaten, usually, for breakfast or lunch and served traditionally with ham. However, many modern variations have now popped up, meaning you can enjoy several other meat variations adding also mushrooms or onions, with or without the meat. No matter which version you go for, the staple ingredients remain bread, fried eggs, and cheese.
Historically the uitsmijter used to be served at throwing out time and eaten after a good night on the town. So it is possible to see the link to the name.
But how does one go about eating an uitsmijter? There are several options available. If you are an uitsmijter virgin, I would recommend that you go classic — head for one of the many famed “brown cafes” in the Netherlands, so named because the interior decor is mostly dark wood, giving a brown hue to the interior. As dark as they may be, they are, however, well known for serving good, traditional Dutch cuisine. If you are somewhat of an uitsmijter expert then take the plunge and make yours at home, the variations are then endless.
I made mine at home on this occasion. I am a big fan of the dark Dutch bread and, am very particular when it comes to the bread part of the meal. I chose to use an Oer Brood (Artisan Bread), dark and covered in toasted sunflower seeds. You can choose anything from plain white bread, which is the original way it was served, to the darker varieties.
By this point in the preparation, you should not be able to still see the bread.
Lay two slices of bread on the plate, take two slices of cheese. Be warned, Dutch cheese is not just Edam — you will be spoiled for choice! Jong belegen (young creamy cheese) is normally used. Put a slice of cheese on each slice of bread. Then in the opposite orientation, add the ham. You would be wise to choose a proper butcher’s ham rather than the processed variety as it has more taste. Beenham (legham) is used widely in the creation of this dish.
By this point in the preparation, you should not be able to still see the bread. Fry two eggs, sunny side up, once ready place one on top of each slice of bread. Sprinkle with pepper and salt to enhance the taste — and then dive in.
If you didn’t prepare your appetite sufficiently before embarking on this culinary adventure then you may be forgiven thinking halfway through the meal “how am I ever going to finish this?” but rest assured, for those of you with a healthy appetite, you will feel more than satisfied after finishing off an uitsmijter.
Have a look at this local blog, which tells you everything you need to know, including how to make an uitsmijter at home.