Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Endive Gratin, a go-to recipe for hungry grownups

Is that you standing over the sink eating macaroni and cheese out of a crusty pan? You must be a parent. Well, put down the leftover kid food and step away from the sink - you need some easy-to-prepare grownup food. Endive Gratin (Franglais for 
"Gratin d'endives au jambon et  à la béchamel") is a yummy, satisfying French dish that is also surprisingly easy to make. It's the perfect go-to meal for hungry parents who've been deprived of some of the finer things in life, like flavor and texture.

The recipe is a cinch: Just give the endive a nice, long steam before you wrap them up in ham or prosciutto, bathe them in bechamel and sprinkle on some gruyere - then it's into the oven for ten minutes or so and onto the table.

(Oh, and if your kids will eat braised endive, more power to them. And maybe they'd like to come over for dinner sometime.)

Endive Gratin

Serves: 4

8 endives
1/2 lb. of thinly sliced ham or prosciutto
1 T. butter
1 T. flour
1 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded Gruyere cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a steamer (we use a large saucepan with a built-in steamer tray on top) steam the endives for 15-20 minutes.
3. While the endives are steaming, make bechamel sauce: in a frying pan cook the flour and the butter over low heat, stirring with a fork. Add the milk slowly while constantly stirring with a fork until you've made a thickened, creamy white sauce (bechamel). This takes about 10 minutes.
4. Wrap the steamed endives in ham or prosciutto (1 slice per endive) and place in a baking pan, all snuggled up together so they can share the sauce.
5. Pour the bechamel sauce over the ham-wrapped endives.
6. Sprinkle everything with Gruyere cheese.
7. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.
8. Eat like ravenous beasts civilized adults. Bon appétit!

You may also like:
Matzoh Ball Soup, Harbinger of Spring
Simple Apple Bread Recipe, for those "empty fridge" mornings

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