Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Menu for 3/8/11 -- Boeuf Bourguignon and Caramelized Endives with Poached Pears

Tonight was a quick meal kind of night here at the Dude2 household, so I decided to use some of my leftover Boeuf Bourguignon, accompanied by a recipe for caramelized endives out of Seven Fires.  We also had some extra D'Anjou pears laying around begging for attention, so I decided on a whim to make some poached pears with red wine syrup for dessert (that's the picture above).  I'd never made them like that before, and I have to say it was really good.  And very easy.  Here are the recipes:

Caramelized Endives:
  1. 5 or so endives
  2. 1/4-1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  3. ~2 Tbsp sugar
Slice the endives in half lengthwise, being careful not to unwrap them.  The ones I got were very delicate in this respect, so it took more than the typical amount of care to get this part to work right.  Put the vinegar on a plate and dip the cut side of each endive into the vinegar:

Heat your cast iron griddle (or chapa, if you have one) to pretty high heat and sprinkle the sugar on it.  Wait for the sugar to melt and start to caramelize, then put the endives on it cut side down:

Don't touch them for five minutes or so.  If the sugar starts to burn, reduce the heat.  After five minutes, they should be good and dark on the bottom.  Flip them over and pour some of the vinegar from the plate onto the pan (not onto the endives or you'll wash off the sugar).  You can use as little or as much as you like here -- adding more results in a stronger flavor.

When they've had another 3 to 5 minutes to cook, take them off the heat and serve immediately:

Poached Pears with Red Wine Syrup:
  1. 2 ripe pears
  2. 1/2 C. rich red wine
  3. 1-2 Tbsp organic dark brown sugar, to taste (I used 1 Tbsp)
Peel the pears and slice in half lengthwise.  Remove the seeds with a spoon or a paring knife.  Meanwhile, put the wine and brown sugar into a small skillet or fry pan and bring to a simmer.  Put the pears into the simmering wine flat side down and cover for about 5 minutes.  Remove the cover and allow the wine sauce to reduce to a fairly thick syrup, then serve the pears on a plate with the syrup drizzled over them.  Quick, easy, delicious.

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