Grilled Stuffed Endives with Vermicelli

endives

 

Happy New Years everyone! We hope you’ve all had a festive holiday–we sure did, hopping from one party to the next with seemingly nonstop eating. So we’ve been eager to get back into the kitchen and get cooking again. Developing recipes and trying new ingredients two favorite things we love about cooking. We love to pretend we are iron chefs, bouncing ideas off each other to planning a dish. So when Casey of Kitchen Play contacted us to develop a recipe with a yet to be determined secret ingredient, we were all in. Kitchen Play hosts a monthly contest around a unique virtual Progressive Party where six food bloggers are each assigned one of the following courses: cocktail, amuse bouche, salad, appetizer/soup, entrée and dessert to create using a specified product.

This month all six bloggers, including us were challenged to incorporate California endives into six different courses and our assignment was entree. At first we thought it would be a daunting task as the only times we’ve ever eaten endives were as appetizers or salads. We were also asked to make it Asian inspired.  Another tough request as we couldn’t recall any Asian recipes that called for endives.

endives

 

This was a great challenge as we learned so much about endives. First, we found out we were pronouncing endives all wrong.  There are in fact two types, the CURLY ENDIVE pronounced EN-DIVE such as escarole and frisee and the smooth and elongated BELGIAN ENDIVE pronounced ON-DEEV.  Regardless, they are both in the same chicory family and are loaded with valuable vitamins and minerals and have great flavor profiles in both raw and cooked forms.  When raw, endives have a crisp and slightly bitter taste but when cooked, have a nutty and almost sweet flavor.

So our main entree we came up with is a grilled stuffed endives with vermicelli noodles, similar to the bun dishes found in Vietnamese restaurants.

endives

 

Prepare endives by cutting the end and separating each leaf (California endives are not grown in dirt and are handled under sanitary conditions, so there is actually no need to wash, but if desire, wash and rinse dry) Stuff each endive with the meat mixture, being careful not to overstuff. The endives will form a natural cup–fold over the edges of the endive over the leaf. Brush each stuffed endive on both sides with oil and lightly season with additional fresh cracked salt and pepper.

endives

Add small amount of cooking oil to grill pan over medium heat and carefully add the stuffed endives meat side down. Allow meat to cook, brown, and develop sear marks by not moving the endives, roughly 3-4 minutes. Turn over and sear the endive side another 30-40 seconds and remove from heat and set aside. In same pan, heat another 2 tbs of oil and when hot add the scallions and remove from heat.

In a serving bowls, add vermicelli noodles, raw julienned endives, fresh herbs such as mint and basil, diced cucumbers, pickled carrots and daikon. Add the hot grilled stuffed endives and top with coarsely roasted peanuts and scallion oil. Add nuoc mam cham to taste and enjoy.

 

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endives

Vietnamese Grilled Stuffed Endives with Vermicelli

Ingredients:

Meat Stuffing
1 lb of either ground pork, chicken or beef
2 tablespoons of finely minced lemon grass
1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon of minced shallot
1.5 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of cracked pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
8-10 medium sized California Endives

Noodles and Accompaniments
1 package of thin vermicelli rice noodles
1/2 cups raw California endives, thinly julienned across the grain
2 tablespoons of roasted peanuts, coarsely crushed
2 tablespoons of scallion oil
fresh herbs such as mint, basil, diced cucumbers
nuoc mam cham
pickled carrots and daikon

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine meat with garlic, shallots, lemongrass, fish sauce, sugar, pepper, oil and mix well and set aside in fridge for flavors to meld.

Prepare noodles in advance by boiling according to directions, drain, and set aside.

Prepare endives by cutting the end and separating each leaf (California endives are not grown in dirt and are handled under sanitary conditions, so there is actually no need to wash, but if desire, wash and rinse dry) Stuff each endive with the meat mixture, being careful not to overstuff. The endives will form a natural cup--fold over the edges of the endive over the leaf. Brush each stuffed endive on both sides with oil and lightly season with additional fresh cracked salt and pepper.

Add small amount of cooking oil to grill pan over medium heat and carefully add the stuffed endives meat side down. Allow meat to cook, brown, and develop sear marks by not moving the endives, roughly 3-4 minutes. Turn over and sear the endive side another 30-40 seconds and remove from heat and set aside. In same pan, heat another 2 tbs of oil and when hot add the scallions and remove from heat.

In a serving bowls, add vermicelli noodles, raw julienned endives, fresh herbs such as mint and basil, diced cucumbers, pickled carrots and daikon. Add the hot grilled stuffed endives and top with coarsely roasted peanuts and scallion oil. Add nuoc mam cham to taste and enjoy.

Endive button graphic

If you have a blog, you can also participate in  Kitchen Play and have a chance to win great prizes just by trying any one of the 6 recipes using California Endives. Variations, alterations and ingredient substitutions are allowed and encouraged so feel free to serve these grilled stuffed endives with rice or other pasta. Learn more about endives by visiting Discover Endives

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12 Responses to “Grilled Stuffed Endives with Vermicelli”

  1. 1

    Fresh Local and Best — January 2, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

    This is a beautiful presentation. Endive leaves are such elegant vessels for stuffing just about anything. I like this Vietnamese spin on serving endives.

  2. 2

    wiL-shAkes — January 2, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

    nice. talk about kicking off the new year's with a fresh start.

  3. 3

    meltingbutter.com — January 3, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

    these look wonderful!! I never see the purple ones around here but will keep a look out…think they probably look nicer than the white ones… thank you for sharing this!

  4. 4

    Winnie — January 5, 2011 @ 2:40 am

    Such lovely photos and I just adore Vietnamese flavors. This looks like a really great dish. Wish I still had some endives around to make this…guess I'll have to buy some to try out this great recipe!

  5. 5

    suki — January 5, 2011 @ 3:26 am

    Yum! I might have to give this a try. I love Vermicelli noodles. :)

  6. 6

    Anonymous — January 5, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

    My son was born in Vietnam and we cook Vietnamese as often as possible. I made these on Sunday and they were FABULOUS, and quite easy. The seasoning of the meat was 'to-die-for'!!!

  7. 7

    Norma — January 5, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

    Beautiful and great pictures.

  8. 8

    fearandloathing — January 6, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

    Wondering… is there a standard brand and size/type of vermicelli you like? For this and any other dish that asks for it, like the meat patties, grilled sliced pork, spring roll construction…

    I try to buy what I think is correct, and for some reason, they always seem to be a bit off… too thick, or too soft, wrong consistency, etc.
    I can't wait to try these. It's been years since I ate endives, and I love the form factor of how they look.. a bit pod-like!

  9. 9

    g. — January 7, 2011 @ 2:20 am

    happy new year, you two!! hope you're both happy and well! xo.

  10. 10

    EATnLISTEN — January 8, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

    Yum what at tasty recipe. I was also glad to create a recipe for the Jan Kitchen=Play contest.

  11. 11

    Kung Food Panda — January 12, 2011 @ 2:29 am

    Those were quite tasty! Thanks for cooking them last time! :)

  12. 12

    elaine — August 6, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

    I love vermicelli very much and I will try this soon or later.

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