Posted by: familiabencomo | Thursday, May 8, 2008

Endive into Summer!

Now that the warm weather is in full-swing here, I’m finding that although the days are longer my free time is shorter. Instead of just the house to maintain, we have the vast gardens on our palatial estate (Alfredo can mow the lawn, front & back, in 16.4 minutes if that gives you a hint to what I really mean by palatial!). Also, with gentler climes comes the desire to just lay back & enjoy the outdoors. Sooooo, with that said, I’m explaining why I have not posted anything in about a week. I’m one of those people who gets distracted by bright & shiny objects – the sun, in this case.

First, I want to send a HUGE, warm, full of love hug out to Honey B at The Life & Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch who tagged me with an “You Make My Day Award.” My goodness, thank you! It was YOU who made my day by dropping by for a “visit” & leaving your sweet comments.

I now would like to tag the ever-wonderful Deeba at Passionate About Baking with this award. Deeba has linked my blog to about half a dozen of her recent posts and it is such an honor to me that she even takes a peek at my blog, much less mention it on hers. I adore everything about Deeba & her blog, so it is without hesitation that I give this award to her.

Second, I want to give an abrazo muy fuerte to Gloria at Canela’s Kitchen who tagged me with an “I Love You This Much Award.” Well, thank YOU! Gloria, you really are a sweetheart. Your blog really speaks to my heart with all of your yummy, fresh recipes with a little Chilean kick.

There are really so many people who I really adore out there in the blogmosphere…. below are just a few I would like to pass this award to in no particular order. I literally check these blogs out every time I have the chance!

  1. Deeba, Passionate About Baking
  2. Marie, Proud Italian Cook
  3. Farida, Azerbaijani Cookbook
  4. Nicole, Art & Aioli
  5. Jessie, Cakespy
  6. Susan, Food Blogga
  7. Diva, The Sugar Bar
  8. Lori Lynn, Taste With the Eyes
  9. HoneyB, The Life & Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch
  10. Lorraine, Italian Foodies

Third, Farida tagged me last week with her inaugural tag Look What I Made! Well, she couldn’t have tagged a better person than myself for this one because ALL I do is make dinners & desserts that I have found on other people’s sites. I’m going to tag HoneyB, Nicole & Gloria for this one – I can’t wait to take a peek at their found recipes!

HERE ARE THE RULES to LOOK WHAT I MADE!

1. List the names of 2-5 recipes you tried from other blogs. Provide a direct link to the recipe. If not available, give the blog link and let the reader search for the recipe by name.

2. Shortly describe your experience with the recipe.

3. Tag 3-5 other bloggers or the authors of the recipes you listed to post the links to the recipes they have tried from other bloggers. Note: If you are new to the blogging world and haven’t had a chance to try any recipes from your fellow foodies, just pass the tag on to someone else.

4. Notify the tagged bloggers about the tag either by leaving a comment on their blogs or by emailing them.

Below are the recipes that I have recently tried & haven’t (yet!) posted:

  1. Alessandra Spisni’s Ragu all Bolognese, from We Are Never Full. It was delightfully easy to prepare & very tasty. Initially there was a typo in the recipe which confused me (happens all the time!), but Amy quickly got back to me to set me straight. During our emails, we both agreed that adding 2-3 tbsps of tomato paste would have enhanced the flavor. I will be making this one again & again. Thank you, Amy, for helping me out on this one!
  2. Lemon-Rosemary Scones, from Art & Aioli. I followed Nicole’s instructions exactly (except for using whole milk) and everything went along a lot smoother than I had expected. I’ve made these twice now & have been given LOADS of compliments. I did notice that when I prepared the dough the night before to have ready first thing in the morning the scones were more moist. Last Sunday when I had a 40 minute window to make scones for a ladies’ tea at church, the scones were more dry…. But, the compliments were plenty nonetheless.
  3. Goat Cheese & Poblano Quesadillas with Pineapple-Mango-Habanero Salsa, from Food Blogga. Best quesadillas EVER! Coming from Texas, I sometimes have notions of how Tex-Mex or Mexican food should be prepared & Goat Cheese has NEVER been a part of the ingredients list…. until now. Honestly, I was wowed by the experience. I hope my friends from The Big D don’t read this – I might be shamed from any future barbecues. The one addition that I did make to Susan’s recipe was to add some shredded chicken to make a meal out of the quesadillas. Muy bien!
  4. Spaghetti all’Aglio Arrostito, from Passionate About Baking. It was the perfect compliment to my lazy mood. I wanted something tasty for dinner, but not ALL the work. Deeba beautifully described the process to make the sauce & “voila!” it was done in a snap. I served it with Italian sausage & braised endive (recipe below). I always remove the casing from my sausages so they look a bit funky, but still full with flavor.

Finally, this brings me to why I titled this post “Endive into Summer!” I’m sure that we’ve all had endive at one time or another. They make the perfect little boats to carry a variety of cheeses or pates for appetizers & add a depth of flavor to salads. However, did you know that they are also remarkably easy to serve cooked! I did not know this (no surprise, really!). My generous, loving neighbor went on a tour of the only endive farm in the US last week and shared some of her endives with me. Thank you, Liliane! The taste leans towards the bitter side once they’re cooked, but Alfredo & I loved them. The kids were on the fence. I felt really sophisticated having them on my plate of pasta & sausages!

Braised Endive

Ingredients:

  • 6 heads California Endive
  • Butter
  • Chicken Stock
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Trim 6 endives and slice them in half lengthwise. Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat some butter and brown the cut side of the endives over a high flame. Do this in batches, adding butter each time. The pan will brown, which is fine – just don’t allow it to blacken; if it does, wash it out before the next batch.
  3. Place the endives, brown side up, in a gratin dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Pour chicken stock into the dish to a depth of ½ inch. Cover tightly and bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 20 minutes or until quite tender. Serves 6.

Chef’s Notes:

For a richer, more savory version, the halved endives can be wrapped in thinly sliced pancetta or bacon before browning. This requires a slower flame and browning on both sides. The butter will still be needed to keep the meat from sticking. This makes a fine first course all by itself, or it can be a delightful accompaniment to roasted or grilled meats and birds.

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Responses

  1. Dear Amy ufff how many things and emotion!!! Tomorrow I will look the recipes of other Blog to ty!! (Tomorrow is another day said Scarlett Ohara)
    I have to buy some endivas I love them!! but I cannot now. I would like to try this recipe! xxGloria

  2. Amy, thank you playing the tag:) The recipes you tried all look so delicious. Great choice! I am going to try some of them.

    And thank you so much for the award! It is so cute:)) I am going to proudly display it on my blog!

    THANK YOU!!!

  3. Thanks again Amy:), glad the weather is great where you are!! For once it’s nice here too so I’m not jealous but it won’e last for long:)

  4. One more yummy recipe for me to fix!!

  5. Oh Amy! I wish I could pass back the “I love you this much award!” You are so kind. Thanks for the tag too. It may take a few days to post all of it but I will get some good recipes and blogs to tag too!

  6. Amy, Thank you so much for this award, the feeling is mutual, I feel the same about you!
    Don’t feel bad about not posting for a while, spend the time in the sun with your family, remember blogging is a hobby, not a job. ha ha
    ( I need to take my own advice!!)
    Thanks again,
    xoxo, Marie

  7. oh! what a cute award…heehee. thank you ;) i love you this much too!

    xx

  8. *BLUSH* Amy…*BIG BLUSH*…woo hoo; looks like we’re making each others’ day! Thank heavens I didnt get here in my PJs this morning…bella, would have been so inappropriate. I FEEL SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!! Gracias….make that muchas gracias. Enjoy the sun, but don’t stay away for so long…missed you!! Tanti baci dear girl!!

  9. Ooooooooooooooh forgot to mention thanks too for trying the spaghetti. My, girl, you’ve been cooking up a storm!! YAY YAY YAY!!!

  10. Gloria – you are such a kind soul & I’m happy to “know” you. The endives might be tricky to find in Chile. According to my neighbor, they are only grown in France, Belgium & the one farm in the US. I’ll try to find something else for you that is easy to find.

    Farida – I should be thanking you! I love your site & it was fun to write about some of the meals/desserts that I have made.

    Lorraine – You deserve the award AND the sunshine! Best of luck with the move!!!

    Mom – I totally thought of you when I made the endives – it’s soooo YOU.

    Nicole – You are too cute! Take your time with the tag since I know you’re getting ready for your show in NYC. Best of luck!

    Marie – Big hugs to you! Thank you for that reminder. I do like this hobby – as long as I can work on my tan at the same time!

    Diva – I thought it was cute too! Just like you!

    Deeba – So glad to see that you were dressed appropriately for this award – we are trying to maintain a level of integrity here! You absolutely make my day AND I just adore you. You make blogging fun! I also baked your malted oats cookies & will post them at some point…. on a rainy day.

    Kisses to all!

  11. Dear Amy, Two things, We have endives here many times (are cost) but I upset with your neighbor! I will make soon some dish with endives!! and you may show him the picture!! ja.
    Other question, Amy the recipes is only the comments??? without pictures?? is OK but I don’t know. I want to make something today! xxxGloria(Really im not upset Im kidding)

  12. Congrats on your awards. All of the blogs you mentioned are great too :)

  13. Well, I better watch out, or I’m gonna get a big head from all of your accolades (and really short hair looks best on me).

    Thank you so much, Amy. You have such a generous and warm spirit. It’s no wonder you recieved these awards. You are so good at making everyone else’s day, most especially mine.

    I mean I just came to check out the endive (which is so simple and delicious), and I get an award. See what I mean? And I agree about your friends from Texas, it’s probably best to keep the goat cheese quesadillas between us. ;)

  14. Gloria – I’m so happy to hear that you do have endives. They are pricey here too, but it’s fun to splurge on produce occasionally (10 years ago I would have never said that – splurging was reserved for shoes!). Glad to hear that you are already thinking about the recipes you’ve tried. I can’t wait to see your discoveries!

    Maryann – Thank you, dear! Of course you know I love you this much too!

    Susan – Thank you, sug! I most certainly would say the same about your spirit – you always make me feel like you’re taking take of my well-being with all of your wonderfully healthy recipes & stories of the farmers’ market. About the goat cheese, I can already hear “Now don’t go Californian on us!” which I think is still on the books as against the law there.

  15. Amy! :) I have been MIA a little bit because my laptop had to go back to DELL and sitting at Grumpy’s computer is no fun! I will definitely be passing your tags along, I just need a little more time and my own computer! Thanks!
    P.S. My ice cream is supposed to be here on Wednesday!!!! I’m all excited!

  16. Thank you, HoneyB, I saw your post with the tag – it’s great! Thank you for joining in on it. I can’t wait to hear how you love the ice cream…. the other ladies already received theirs.

  17. Lucky ladies with ice-cream coming their way…may I do the royal *SULK*? This must have taken you forever to post Amy…I just posted my top 10 from Farida & passed on the awards you gave me, & the blooming day is almost gone. The kids were literally crying for their evening snack & milk…& here I was typing like a lunatic!! Giving 2 to you…had to, couldn’t resist returning one & adding another.
    Tanti baci…the blogs you’ve lined up are great, am gonna explore them in a day or two. the boy is better, & wants to go swimming %$%$#@#$!! They’ve broken up for a 2 month summer vacation here; chicken pox wasnt the best way to begin, but well…:0)


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