Stage 3, Bruxelles – Spa: Today, Gabriel Gaté presents Taste Le Tour from a Belgian beer café and looks at the most popular Belgian dishes. Eccentric French gendarme François makes a classic Belgian endive dish, while sommelier Christian Maier discusses Belgian beer with an expert.
- 4 medium witlof (Belgian endives)
- about 80 g butter, cut into small pieces
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp chopped parsley
- 50 g plain flour
- 500 ml (2 cups) milk
- pinch of grated nutmeg
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 120 g Gruyère cheese, grated
- 4-8 thin slices ham
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Remove any damaged witlof leaves and trim the hard ends.
Place about 20 g butter in a saucepan. Place the witlof on top and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 2 tbsp chopped parsley over the top and cover with a layer of baking paper. Place on low heat and cook for 20-25 minutes, turning the witlof a couple of times during the cooking.
Melt the remaining 60 g butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Whisk in the plain flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Bit by bit, whisk in the cold milk until you obtain a smooth sauce. Cook for 2 minutes and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper and stir in 80 g grated Gruyère cheese.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Transfer the cooked witlof to a plate and leave to cool a little. When cool enough, wrap each witlof in a slice or two of ham. Place in a greased gratin dish and spoon the white sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley and remaining Gruyère.
Place in the preheated oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Take care, it’s very hot!