Clarinette's Cook

Cooking Management

Winter warm recipies

After the holidays and lots of heavy meals, time for simple warm dishes.

Since I left France, there is one vegetable I miss, apart from the artichoke and fennel, is endive. Not that you can’t find any, just that they are not popular and can be expensive.

They call them chicory in the UK. I used to love them in salad. Try an endive salad with apple and raisin and/or grapefruit or Endive salad with blue cheese and/or walnuts or endive salad with fennel and/or grapefruit. ‘Un regal’ !

Endives or chicory are also delicious cooked. you can either boil them, or ‘braise’ them, slightly grilled in a pan with vegetable oil. They can be served to accommodate meat or fish.

One dish I really love is ‘endives au jambon’. I braise the endives, then role them with ham, make a Bechamel, or white sauce, top with grated cheese, 20-25′ in the oven/grill and it’s so delicious. The good thing is you can prepare it in advance and put it in the oven last minute before serving.

They are different ways of preparing the white sauce or bechamel. My simple recipe :
– butter (20gr) + vegetable oil (1/2 spoon oil), it’s important to mix the two to obtain a smooth sauce
– gradually add flour (30 gr)
– same for the milk (1/4 l), if you are brave, you can boil the milk then add it.
– salt and pepper
– bay leave if you like but not necessary
– you can add a pinch of nutmeg.

The whole thing is to use patience and energy to mix it well.

If you want to make it faster, if you can find some, use the ready made Maizena Bechamel sauce or powder.

Another option is the Dolmio White sauce. I find it more fat but if you don’t have time, it’s always good to keep some in your kitchen.

This bechamel is also delicious for lasagna with minced beef or salmon.

Yesterday, I had a last minute guests. Very quick, I made some salmon lasagna with smoked salmon.
Just make layers of white sauce, lasagna, grated cheese (emmental or cheddar plus grated parmigiani), add small pieces of salmon, two other layers of lasagna, white sauce, salmon and cheese, top with white sauce and cheese, grill in the oven for 15′ and it’s done. served with salad and enjoy it with a glace of white wine.

Here you have the option of summer vegetable lasagna.

Watch here a video for an easy lasagna recipe :

What you can also make with the white sauce is a variety of vegetable ‘gratins’.
My favorites: gratin of cauliflower and/or leek, you can add mushroom, potatoes, carrots, peas, turnip, asparagus, artichoke, Brussels sprout, broccoli, sweet potatoes, courgettes, aubergines, or what ever vegetable you like. Just cook first the vegetables, poor the white sauce, add cheese, in the oven grill 15′ and it’s done ! You have the option of adding eggs and cream on the white sauce but I personally think they are not necessary.

Enjoy !



  1. debdobson

    I can’t wait to try the salmon lasagna!!

  2. Oh, yes, I miss it too. In dutch we call it andijvie, and we use it for a very tradional dish where we mix it raw into potato mash… Haven’t seen it yet in the UK.
    O wait I am getting caught up in translation again. The french endive is not the dutch andijvie. But chicory I find quite easy to come by, although expensive. Back home I fed it to the rabbits… There it is also eaten with ham and cheese.
    My favourite way to prepare it to slice one in two, take out the hard core, fry them in some olive oil and then caramelise with a very generous splash of balsamic vinegar…Gorgeous!

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