Chicon Au Gratin or Belgian Endive Gratin
This is a classic Belgian dish. When I was first asked to try this dish, I crinkled my nose, because most of the Endive dishes I tasted before tasted awfully bad and bitter. I just could not imagine sauteed and caramelised endives wrapped in ham and topped with Mornay sauce and baked can create such a delicacy. Mornay sauce is basically a Bechamel sauce with melted Gruyere cheese. The combination of flavours is amazing. This dish is popular for a reason. I tried to prepare this at home, but I could not get good Gruyere Cheese and used some Cheddar and Parmesan instead. I did not taste as good as it did with Gruyere. So in case you can lay hands on Gruyere, use it. You can still make it once to have a taste of this famous dish.
Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 35 minutes (including preparing the Mornay Sauce)
Baking Time : 25 minutes
Difficulty : Medium
Serves : 4 - 6
Ingredients :For the Endives :
For the Mornay Sauce :
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 2 tablespoons Whole Wheat Flour
- 3/4 cup / 180 mils Milk
- 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated (you can, like me, use a mixture of Cheddar and Parmesan)
For Assembling :
- 6 slices Ham
- 1/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated (use mixture of Cheddar and Parmesan, if you can't get Gruyere)
Method :1) Cut off the base of the endives and remove all wilted leaves.
2) Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the endives. If you have some extra loose leaves you can also add them to the frying pan.
3) Saute the endives over medium heat for about 10 minutes until they start to brown. Turn them occasionally so they brown evenly.
6) Add the flour and combine it with the butter and cook the mix for a few minutes, till the flour is no longer raw.
8) Place the sauce back on the stove and cook until it starts to thicken while constantly stirring.
10) Add the cheese and mix the sauce until the cheese melts and the sauce becomes uniformly thick.
13) Take one endive and some of the loose leaves that came off and wrap this in a slice of ham.
14) Place it in the baking dish seam-side down. Repeat with the rest of the endives.
16) Sprinkle the remaining Gruyere cheese or the cheese mixture forming a top layer.