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Good Eats: Going Dutch

With the power out, Alton faces cooking the way it was done before electricity was common in homes. To cook that way, he uses dutch ovens and camp stoves over coals, first explaining how to choose and then how to “season” these cast iron cooking vessels. With dutch oven in hand and grill ready to go, he demonstrates Knead Not Sourdough bread, Cherry Clafoutis and Hoecakes, three delicious meals well-suited to dutch oven preparation.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 11x20
Production Number: EA1120
Airdate: Monday May 26th, 2008

Director: Alton Brown
Writer: Alton Brown

Main Cast
Alton BrownAlton Brown
As Himself


Alton's on the phone, and though the conversation is one-sided, it becomes clear he is speaking to his electric provider, trying to learn when they will restore his power. Sadly, there are many lines down and he comes away from the conversation no more informed than when he started it. But that's okay – he's been meaning to speak about the traditional baking process, which did not involve electricity. Indeed, the hearth was the first oven...

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Episode Notes
  • The teeth under dutch oven lids are designed to drip condensation evenly back onto the food.
  • Even if your new cast iron was cured at the factory, you'll probably need to cure it again once a year.
  • Needless to say, charcoal and wooden structures don't mix. Think before you light.
  • Clafoutis comes form an old Occitan word meaning “to fill up”.
  • If you're making the clafoutis iside, bake uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  • Hoe-cakes also go by: Johnny cake, Shawnee cake, Journey cake and no cakes.

Episode Quotes
Alton: Now, I hate to tell you, but this altar to the god of fire isn't here just so you got a place to snuggle with your sweetie while enjoying soft hits.

Alton: Baking... sans electricity... it's not just crazy talk, it's Good Eats!

Alton: (about the gluten mesh in bread) However, agitation is not the only way to create this. We can also do it with good old fashioned time, which also creates a lot more flavor. So, nineteen hours it is!

Alton: Since the curing process can create a fair amount of smoke, the grill may actually be the perfect place to do this. Now, if we were using an oven, I'd be shooting for 350°, but as long as you can maintain, say, between 325° and 375°, we'll be okay.

Alton: In the Limousin region of France the abundant cherry crop is celebrated with clafoutis, a dish that's a cross between a pie, a custard and a pancake. Most Americans won't go near it, 'cause it sounds like something you'd have to get a shot for!

Alton: Benjamin Franklin once wrote that nokehicks, or hoecakes, were finer than any English Yorkshire pudding, and I intend to agree. When you add a little maple syrup, they are absolutely late-night... Good Eats.

Cultural References
The episode title is a play on “Dutch date” or “going Dutch” which refers to a restaurant visit where each diner pays for his or her own meal (as opposed to the traditional date arrangement where the man pays for the woman's meal). Alton, of course, means using a dutch oven to cook his own food. The term possibly originated as one of many English perjoratives directed at Dutch ideas and customs, during a period when the English and Dutch competed fiercely for economic and territorial gains.

Itchy and Twitchy, Alton's lawyers, may take their names from Itchy and Scratchy. This cat and mouse pair (Itchy is the mouse) are the stars of a “cartoon within the cartoon” that appears from time to time on episodes of The Simpsons. Invariably, the episode names are puns that suggest violence, and invariably, Itchy gets the better of Scratchy with horrific results that often involve Scratchy's bloody dismemberment. Only once did the characters get along, an unpopular episode crafted in response to Marge Simpson's attempt to reduce the level of television violence in programs directed at children.

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