As many of you who read this blog regularly know, one of my favourite things to do is try to recreate dishes I discover on my travels once I am home. Today in my third post for Liberté, I’m recreating a classic Belgian dish – Chicons au gratin – basically endives wrapped in ham, slathered in a rich Mornay sauce (béchamel with Gruyère cheese) and baked until crispy on top. When I was 17, I spent a year in Brussels as an exchange student and one of my host mothers made a rocking version of this. It became a firm favourite and even now when I go back to visit, and if endives are in season, she makes it for me. It can be a fairly rich dish but I lightened it up by using Liberté’s Plain Greek Yogurt o% in the sauce. Result? A lighter Mornay sauce that doesn’t taste light! It bakes up beautifully!
In Brussels, I ate a LOT of this dish. It wasn’t, shall we say, the best for my figure. Well, that and the chocolate and the beer. So I was ecstatic to taste this made with a Greek yoghurt sauce. It’s so good you wouldn’t even realise the recipe was “light”. (Well, light-er!)
- For the endives:
- 6 small endives
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- For the Mornay:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
- 1/2 cup Liberté Plain Greek Yogurt 0%
- 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese
- (to assemble)
- 6 slices ham
- 1/4 cup Gruyère cheese, grated
Prepare the endives
- Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
- Remove the base of the endives and any loose outer leaves.
- Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat and add the endives.
- Sauté endives over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until they start to brown.
- Add the garlic and sugar and continue to cook until the endives start to caramelize slightly.
- Remove from the pan and place on paper towels to drain off any excess oil.
For the Mornay
- Heat the butter over medium heat in a decent-sized saucepan.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes (it should not get brown).
- Whisk in the milk and continue to cook until the mixture starts to thicken slightly.
- Remove from the heat and add in the yoghurt. Whisk until smooth.
- Add the grated cheese and continue to whisk until cheese is melted into the mixture. Set aside.
- Grease an ovenproof dish.
- Roll the sautéed endives in a slice of ham and place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish.
- Pour over the Mornay sauce, covering the endives completely.
- Bake at 425˚F for 25 minutes.
- Now turn off the oven and heat the broiler on high.
- Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top of the baking dish and broil until golden brown and bubbling, about 10 minutes.
- Enjoy with a green salad and fresh baguette.
For more fabulous recipes and to discover their Greek yogurt line, visit Liberté now.
Disclosure: I was compensated to develop recipes for Liberte.ca. All opinions are my own.