This is one of my ultimate comfort food dinners. We often make this as a side dish for our Christmas dinner as the whole family enjoys it and often even asks us specifically to make this. Even children eat it because the ham and cheese masks the bitter taste of the chicory a bit. We also make it with potato puree on top and it can be our entire dinner then, because it has everything in it. You get your vegetables from the chicory, carbohydrates from the potatoes and meat and dairy from the ham and cheese. I don’t know if it is a typical Dutch recipe, but I haven’t seen it in many other places.
◾ 3 chicories per person
◾slices of ham (enough for the amount of chicorei)
◾slices of cheese (as much as the ham)
◾a knob of butter
◾100 ml milk
What do you need to do?
1: Boil the chicory whole.
2: Peel and cut the potatoes in parts and boil them with some salt as well untill they fall apart when you stick a fork in them.
3: Drain the water from the chicory and place them into a strainer to get rid of the extra water. 4: Cover the oven tray with breadcrumbs.
5: Place a slice of cheese on a slice of ham. Put a chicory (or half a chicory if it is a thick one) on the edge of the ham and roll up the ham and cheese around the chicory at once.
6: Repeat step 5 untill all of the chicorei is rolled up and place them snuggly in the oven tray.
7: Drain the potatoes and make sure to put them back on a low heat to steam them dry.
8: Bring the milk to a boil.
9: Get your mixer and mix the potatoes and the milk together to create a puree. It should become smooth, but not liquid. You might like to add a little dab of butter to make the puree extra creamy and pepper for some spice.
10: Spread out the puree on top of the chicory with a spoon. You can make nice figures in the puree with a fork.
11: Top it with some breadcrumbs and butter. You could add grated cheese or onions on top as well.
12: Place it into the oven for 20 minutes on 200 degrees Celsius
We love to serve a Stroganoff sauce with the casserole, as it gives a nice extra touch to it. I must say we always take the easy way out here by buying a package of sauce and not making our own, fresh sauce. But you could do that if you want to of course! Personally I don’t need a piece of meat with it, because of the ham and cheese incorporated in the dish already, but perhaps chicken breast or a nice rolled roast would be a nice addition.