Each new years I try to squeeze in a few minutes to make a batch of my family’s oliebollen recipe. It’s a messy, smelly process that involves hot oil and a pile of little round fritters that no one ever eats because… well, who can say.. but I like them.
This year I tried something a little different. I made up the recipe as per normal (with the addition of about a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the batter) and opted to –instead of deep frying them– cook them in the waffle iron.
The result was something that tasted almost (but not quite) identical, but resulted in about one-tenth of the mess and –surprisingly to me– the first time ever that they all got eaten. In fact, the kids at our annual New Years bash were fighting over the last few.
Now the deeply philosophical question. “Oliebollen” as I understand it translates directly from Dutch into something like “oil balls” — which fits almost exactly to the proper cooking method. When they are neither cooked in oil nor emerge as balls, are they still oliebollen? Even if the recipe is exactly the same?