This is a luscious and decadent first course. Make ahead and reheat at 350 F if you wish.
Ready time: 1 hour
6 small or 4 large spears Belgian endive
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 tsp chili flakes
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 package butter frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg lightly beaten
Trim endive spears and cut in half lengthwise. Heat butter over medium heat in a large skillet. When butter is melted and foamy, sprinkle sugar over. Cook until sugar begins to turn brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add endive cut-side down. Fry for about 2 minutes or until endive is slightly browned. Add chicken stock, orange juice and chili flakes and simmer gently, turning occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes or until endive is soft and sauce has reduced to a thick glaze. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Roll out puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 7-by-11-inch rectangle, 1/8-inch thick. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cut 1/2-inch strips along all sides of pastry. Brush the edges of the rectangle with egg wash then place the strips of pastry over the edges, forming a border. Brush with egg. Arrange endive in rows over pastry. Spoon glaze over.
Bake in the lower third of oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden.