August 19, 2011

Cooking the Flemish Way

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:19 pm by newsurroundings

To learn how to cook like the Belgians- that would be a great accomplishment.  With the help of my new cookbook, Everybody Eats Well in Belgium,  I am trying to at least prepare a few special dishes the Flemish way.  This book, written in English and with standard measurements, is out of print but I was able to buy it off ebay (thanks to my brother, who kept an eye out for it and got it at a good deal).

What could be more Belgian than Belgian endives, or witloof (meaning white leaf)?  They are featured on practically every menu and can be prepared almost any way- raw in a salad, steamed, baked.  This recipe is just titled, “Belgian Endives the Flemish Way” and is vey simple to make.

Core and clean 6-8 endives (I just used 4 and decreased the other ingredients), smear pan with 5 T. of unsalted butter, arrange endives and add juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 T. confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 t. salt, and pepper to taste.

Cover the endives with buttered parchment paper and a plate, and put lid on and cook on medium heat for 30-45 minutes, until tender, turning once.  Remove plate and paper and turn up to high heat and cook to reduce the sauce to a dark syrup.  Turn the endives so they can brown on all sides and then garnish with parsley.

I love how they turned out, tender and carmelized.  They were a little bitter, so I think I would add a little extra sugar next time.

Also for dinner- spinach mashed potatoes.  I love this recipe because it’s simple, colorful, and healthy.  It’s basically just mashed potatoes and cooked spinach, stirred together.  The recipe calls for several herbs also- parsley, chives, and tarragon- but I didn’t have those and it didn’t seem to matter.  They were delicious.  By the way, I have started using butter milk when I make mashed potatoes- butter and milk all in one- how easy is that.

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