Jack is Cooking Endives au Jambon

Well Hello Internet!

I was in the store the other day (the kind that sells food), and although it is not endive season the endives looked particularly delicious.  So i thought i would make Endives Au Jambon, which is a classic french dish (i presume) comprised of Endives wrapped in Ham, bathed in béchamel and topped with cheese baked in an oven.  There are two ways to do this – the quickest way to do it is to just blanche the Endives, before wrapping them in ham and baking them.  The Second way is to butter braise them which takes a little longer but is extra especially delicious – in a buttery Julia Child kind of way.  So i suggest the latter.  It’s very easy to do, and all you need are endives, ham, cheese, flour, milk, and butter.  oh and some lemon juice.  and some salt and pepper.  and some nutmeg…

Heres exactly what you will need:

5 or 6 Endives (2 per person)
5 or 6 slices of ham (1 per endive)

4 tablespoons of butter
juice of one half lemon
3 tablespoons of flour
2 cups of milk
salt and pepper
a pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 cup water

1/2 pound gruyere cheese (grated)

You will also need 1 heavy bottomed pot, 1 small pot, and a casserole dish.

The First thing to do is to butter braise the Endives.  To do this we can follow Julia Child’s recipe which is this:
(preheat oven to 325°)

Rub 2 tablespoons of butter in the bottom of a heavy pan (like a Creuset).  Take the Endives (which have been washed) and place them in the pan.  I like to rub them around in the pan to get them coated in the butter.  add some salt and pepper, the lemon juice, and the 1/4 cup of water.  Cover the pot and on the stove slowly boil for 10 minutes.

Endives Braising in Butter

After 10 minutes, uncover the pot and turn the heat all the way up and boil for another 10 minutes – until there is only 1 – 2 tablespoons of liquid left in the pot.  At this point take some waxed paper, and put on top of the endives – this will keep them from burning in the oven.  Place them in the oven for 30 minutes.

After about 20 minutes it is time to
make the Bechamel for the next stage.  To make the béchamel place 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan on the stove.  When the butter melts add in 3
tablespoons of flour.  you will have a yellowish paste.  with whisk in hand add the milk in slowly – 1/4 cup at a time – continuously whisking.  You don’t want to have any lumps, so make sure that all the lumps disappear before you add the next 1/4 cup of milk.  (NEVER STOP WHISKING!) once all the milk is in, and it has come to a boil you will have a nice thick sauce.  at this point add the salt and pepper, and a generous pinch of nutmeg.

By this point the Endives will be Ready so take them out of the oven.  Turn the oven up to 450°

After Coming out of the Oven

Get your casserole dish out, and pour some of the béchamel into the bottom of it.  (about half).
Next with some tongs, carefully take each Endive and roll it up in a piece of ham
Ready to Roll

After rolling, place each roll into the casserole dish on top of the béchamel sauce.  once you have all of the rolled up Endives in the dish, pour the rest of the béchamel over them and top with the gruyere cheese.

After Cheesing

Place back in the oven at 450° for 30 minutes and cook until the cheese has gone all bubbly and brown.  If you want you can also place it in the broiler at the very end to give the cheese a nice browning.

Here it is after emerging from the oven:

Nice gooey melted Cheese

Close-up

And that’s about it!  its good served with a green vegetable of your choice!  i used sautéed mustard greens. 

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