August 25, 2015 — Dinner Party
‘…the radicchio is a flavour worth having a go with… and try not to lick the platter clean at the table!’
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200g black smoked ham (or 100g. pancetta, or speck, or 200g smoked bacon)
1 large head of radicchio (or trevise, or chicory)
1 glove of garlic grated
250ml chicken stock
125ml white wine
125ml whole milk
125ml cream cheese
200g tallegio (or brie or Camembert or medium strength cheddar)
100g gruyere or Parmesan (or cheddar) grated
2 bay leaves
1 tbs fresh thyme
Salt, pepper and lemon to season.
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Raddichio – four for a pound.
Mrs WDC and I are walking around Kingston Market on Saturday evening and the stall-holders are packing-up. There are a few bits and pieces still on display, as well as the remnants of what must have been mountains of avocados.
I’m entranced by the way avocados are sold in the market – the traders clearly get a very good price for a job-lot of avocados – but for such a delicate fruit – already ripe – sold in large volumes, the chances of damage is fairly high. Yet the cut samples look perfectly usable – the traders must have the Midas touch…
Therefore, it was with careful consideration that I examined an unsold crate of radicchio. The radicchio was in better condition than one might expect after a long hot day at market. ‘Four for a pound’, came a call. Well, how about that. It’s normally one for four pounds. I bought four and was further rewarded with eight enormous flat portobello mushrooms for free.
WDC is not about food for free. But it is about being as economic and sustainable as possible. It’s also about serendipity. If I happen to be at the market at the end of the day I will keep an eye out for a bargain. Okay, you may end-up with a shopping bag full of huge black mushrooms and several pounds of radicchio. But that’s where the fun begins…
Radicchio is part of the chicory family – endive, frisee etc. Each has a characteristic bitter taste which is accentuated when cooked – and may not be to everyone’s taste. But I love it and fortunately, so do the family. Here the radicchio is made into a gratin using a tallegio cheese sauce. The fruity tang of the cheese balances the bitter smoky flavours of the radicchio and ham. Use other smoked hams or bacon. Use any cheese, a dolcelatte would be interesting.
A perfect winter warmer – Cassoulet!
Try Dad’s loaded low-fat salsa quesadillas with The Laughing Cow Lightest x8 cheese.
An excellent way to turn a popular Italian slow food standard into an easy and quicker family classic.
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