Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I need lessons in food photography!

I tried to make this dish look good... but I don't think I was quite successful. It was, however, very tasty, and were it not so filling I would have eaten all eight endives in one sitting! 

Gratin d'Endive is often served as a meal in France, and little else is needed to complete it. Some crusty bread, and perhaps a green salad. You will need: 

2-3 braised endives, leftovers if you have them (if not, prep endives as per braising, and boil them in a pot of salted water), per person
1 slice ham per endive, optional (any ham will do, leftover roast is great, but prosciutto is nice too)

125mL/ 1 cup béchamel sauce per person (recipe follows)
grated cheese, optional (swiss cheese is typical, but mozzarella is an acceptable stand in)

Wrap each endive with a slice of ham, if using.
Place in a buttered dish, smother with béchamel. Sprinkle with cheese if using.
Bake in 350'F/180'C oven until hot and bubbly, and the cheese is golden brown -about 30 minutes.
Makes great leftovers, though I am doubtful there will be any. 

Béchamel (plain ol' white sauce)
4 Tbs/ 60g butter
½ cup/ 60g flour
2 cups/ 500mL milk
nutmeg
salt and pepper

Melt butter over medium heat. When completely melted, stir flour. Grate nutmeg over the pot (or add a small pinch of the grated stuff).

Continue stirring until white foam subsides.
Slowly add milk while whisking vigorously to prevent lumps from forming.
Continue whisking until the sauce starts to bubble. Whisk for another 2 minutes.
Yields about 3 cups/750mL of béchamel. 
Can be used for all sorts of things, including a delicious spinach lasagna.

From the Department of Gadgets You Never Knew You Needed:

The Flat Whisk
Being used to making large quantities of béchamel, I was never really bothered with burnt bits in the pot corners, until I discovered the flat whisk!
I don't usually burn my white sauce at home because cooking at dinner is usually a leisurely affair, but I find this whisk extremely useful for getting into the corners of a pot, making all sorts of sauce-making, sifting dry ingredients and mixing small batches of cake batter a real cinch (my balloon whisk has soooo many tines that it is often a hassle to clean!)
Flat whisks come in all shapes and sizes, but this shape is becoming increasingly common. The original flat whisk looks a little like the tungsten coil in an incandescent bulb. Either way, a very handy gadget.



Bon app'! 


2 comments:

  1. The picture is good but it could be better if you had taken the shot from a little more distance and changed angle.

    ReplyDelete

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