1. Belgian Endive Gratin with Ham & Gruyere Cheese
This is my all-time favorite holiday dish to make for my family and friends. If you’ve never had endives before, let this be your first experience. And if you have had them before, be prepared to fall head over heels. This dish is very easy to prepare and you can serve it as a side dish or as a light entree with some crusty bread and a side salad. The flavor of these baked endives is beyond incredible and you’re going to score points with whomever you serve these to!
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon course salt
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 oz black forest ham, sliced 1/8 inch thick and cut lengthwise into 2 1/2 inch wide strips
1 cup milk
1/4 freshly grated nutmeg
1 oz gruyere cheese, grated
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add endives and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook until soft and tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside, covered.
2. Butter a 6-by-10-inch baking dish; set aside. Place milk in a small saucepan over low heat. In another small pan, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly pour heated milk into mixture; whisk constantly, avoiding lumps. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the nutmeg. Cook mixture; whisk slowly but constantly until thick and bubbling, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; set aside.
3. Wrap a piece of ham around each endive, and place in baking dish. Spoon sauce over endives. Sprinkle cheese over sauce. Bake until golden brown on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.
2. Creamy Pumpkin Soup
3. Roasted Root Vegetables
4. Steamed Mussels in White Wine
with Fries and Mayo Aioli
5. Beef Stew (In Belgium we call it Stoofvlees)
6. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
7. Steak frites with Green Peppercorn Sauce
8. Herb Roasted Wild Salmon
9. Gorgonzola Italian Sausage Pasta (AKA Pasta Elefante Street)
When my son was in grad school in Scotland he lived with two Italians on Elephant Street. His roommates taught him a very simple and basic pasta that he said happened to be the only ingredients left in their shared fridge! The ingredients are crumbled Italian sausage, mushrooms, heavy whipping cream, Gorgonzola crumbles, salt/pepper, red chili flakes, garlic, onion, white wine and mushrooms with a drizzling of finely chopped Italian parsley as a garnish. The main key is light on the cream and a bit heavier on the white wine when sautéing the ingredients. It’s delicious and the strong cheese cream sauce is contrasted with the spice of the Italian sausage complemented by the crisp outlier parsley taste.
10. Crepes with Grand Marnier & Vanilla Ice Cream