Food Feedback: TMI on the brownies? And do we need more witloof?

March 8, 2012 8:34 am
  • The offending/entertaining brownie, made with Oreos
    The offending/entertaining brownie, made with Oreos
  • One reader loves witloof, or endive, so much he wants to start "Friends of Witloof."
    One reader loves witloof, or endive, so much he wants to start "Friends of Witloof."
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Adjust a rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. You need a tube pan with a 10- to 12-cup capacity, preferably one with a rounded bottom and a fancy design. Butter the pan well (even if it has a nonstick finish) and dust all over with fine dry bread crumbs, invert it over paper, and tap out excess crumbs. Set the pan aside.

Break up the chocolate and place it in the top of a small double boiler over warm water on low heat. Cover with a folded paper towel (to absorb steam) and with the pot cover and let cook until barely melted. Then remove the top of the double boiler and stir the chocolate until completely smooth.

Put the endives in a saucepan with just enough water to cover. Add the lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer until the endives are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain well but reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid for the sauce.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute. Add the milk gradually, stirring with a wire whisk, then add the reserved cooking liquid. Cook, whisking to avoid getting any lumps, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes longer. This is important to get rid of the pasty flavor of the flour. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheese. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Butter a glass or enameled baking dish large enough to hold the endives in a single layer. Wrap each endive in a slice of ham and place in the prepared dish. Pour the sauce over the endives and top with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese. (The dish can be made ahead up to this point and refrigerated or even frozen until you are ready to proceed.)

Preheat the broiler.

Bake 15 minutes, then finish the dish for 5 minutes under the broiler to brown the cheese. Serve immediately. This is one dish that cannot sit around because the sauce will get watery.

Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer or 4 as a light meal.

-- Adapted from "Everybody in Belgium Eats Well Cookbook" by Ruth Van Waerenbeek (Workman, 1996)

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First Published 2012-03-07 23:14:58

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