I found this recipe in an older issue of Food & Wine Magazine, and while the article didn’t specify as such, I like to think this dish was inspired by Snoop Dogg. I know I had the song “Gin and Juice” stuck in my head while I was cooking.
“Rollin’ down the street, smokin’ endo
Sippin’ on gin and juice
With my mind on my money
And my money on my mind”
Ahh, Snoop Dogg. Good memories…
This dish is a bit less controversial than the rapper as it demands no hash alongside and it won’t speak obscenities at you, so I think it would actually make a lovely addition to a holiday table. It would also grace a fancy dinner party spread quite nicely. The addition of honey cuts through the endive’s natural bitterness and let’s face it, gin and orange juice do complement each other quite well. I never thought to pair them with an endive, but it really does work.
Take your time searing the vegetables. You want them to get nicely browned on both sides. This is key to proper texture of the dish, which is intended to be very soft and wilted. When they’re done, you place them on a platter and then garnish appropriately, and the presentation really is stunning. Your guests won’t believe what you’re able to do with such a humble leafy vegetable! I guess that’s part of why I loved the dish – it’s basically elevating a simple and oftentimes overlooked ingredient to a show stopper of a side dish. So channel your inner Snoop Dogg (or not!) and make it soon! Enjoy!
Source: adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, February 2011
1 ½ tbs olive oil
5 medium Belgian endives, halved lengthwise and any outer leaves that are icky or wilty removed
¼ cup gin
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
½ cup fresh orange juice
2 tbs unsalted butter
1-2 tbs honey
1/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 scallion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 tbs roasted, salted pepitas
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the endive halves, cut side down, and cook until richly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Slowly pour the gin into the skillet and cook until it’s reduced by half. Turn the endives over, season with salt and pepper and add the orange juice. Cover and cook over low heat, turning once, until the endives are tender, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the braised endives to a platter, cut sides up. Add the butter, honey and stock. Boil over high heat until reduced and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the endives and sprinkle with the scallions and pepitas. Drizzle with some balsamic and serve immediately.