Saturday, 17 March 2012

Endive Au Gratin

Here is a fairly simple recipe for a vegetable and cheese dish, which I learned in Switzerland.

What you need: 1 batch of white sauce, (recipe follows); 6 Belgian endives; 6 slices of ham; 2 cups of grated cheese, (originally swiss, but any kind you like); 1 package of noodles, cooked according to package directions.

Preheat oven to 350F. Make white sauce. Meanwhile, cook endives in a steamer or in boiling water for 10 minutes, or until tender.  Drain the endives. Wrap each one in a slice of ham and place in an oven proof baking dish. Pour white sauce over all the wraps. Cover with grated cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes, then turn broiler on for 5 minutes to create a lovely golden crust.

To serve, place noodles on a plate, and add 2 or 3 endives and some extra sauce. Goes great with a dry white wine.

This was my dinner tonight. I used a blend of Emmental and Gouda cheese.

White sauce - although usually cooked on the stovetop, I find that my microwave is the best place to make any kind of sauce which needs to be thickened. It cooks evenly, and without lumps.

What you need: 2 Tbs butter or margarine, 2 Tbs of easy blending flour, white pepper and Aromat* to taste, 1 cup  of cream or milk.

In a large glass bowl or measuring cup, (about 4 cup size), melt butter or margarine in microwave for 1 minute on med high heat. Add flour, and whisk together. Whisk in the cream or milk. Add seasonings. Cook on high for 3 minutes, stirring at half time. Cook on medium low for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring every minute, or until sauce is smooth and reaches a thickness like yogurt. Use in recipe, or serve over vegetables.

*Aromat is a flavouring blend made by Knorr. It comes in a little yellow tin. It contains salt, onion and garlic, but also MSG, so if that is a problem for you, Aromat can be replaced by a little salt, onion powder,  and garlic powder. 

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