(Especially suitable for absolute beginners or not-so-confident cooks)
What do you need? (serves 4; or 3 if they are large eaters)
Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees C.
4 chicories (fat ones!)
8 medium potatoes (don't know about you, but in my book 'medium' is as large as a tennis ball)
250 grams of bacon in cubes
150 grams of grated cheese (suitable for gratin)
125 ml creme fraiche (30% fat) or sour cream
fresh black pepper
some sea salt
some real butter (you only need approx. 50 grams)
How do you make it?
* Start by peeling, washing and slicing your potatoes in thin slices. Boil them until just about ready for eating.
* While your potatoes are boiling, put the cut up bacon in a frying pan and fry until brown and crispy. Take from the fire and put in a place safe from your cat (essential in my house).
* Slice your chicory in thin slices, take out the toughest (and most bitter) innermost part (your kids will thank you) and feed this to the rabbit if you've got one (it will love you) and quickly boil this (the chicory, not the rabbit!) as well. This will not take long! (Unless you like it to turn into snot)
* Take an oven dish, butter it with real butter.
* By the time your potatoes are done, the rest will be as well. So let the potatoes and chicory drain (!) in a colander, and then put them in the oven dish.
* Use the remainder of your butter; put it in cubes on top of your potatoes
* Sprinkle with the bacon.
* Sprinkle with the pepper.
* Spread it evenly with the creme fraiche (or sour cream)
* Sprinkle your grated cheese on top.
* Put it in the oven until the cheese has melted but take it out before it turns too brown. This will not take long, so stay around.
It tastes fine on its own, but it loves to be combined with a glass of dry white wine or, alternatively, Dutch Trappist Beer (**).
I hope you'll enjoy it.
** Yeah, yeah, you think Dutch beer, you think Heineken or Grolsch. Wrong!
We happen to have quite a few independent small wonderful beer brewers who specialize in
'brown' beer. Trappist is a brown beer, but the name is coined - it can only be used when it is connected to Trappister monks, who brew this type of beer near or within their cloister walls. The mother of all Trappister beers was brewed in La Trappe, France.
Truth be told we only have 2 proper Trappist beer breweries in The Netherlands, while there are many in Belgium.
Still, this has never stopped me enjoying this wonderful beer. Believe me, when you have tasted a proper Trappist, you will think Heineken/Grolsch lager booooooooooooring!