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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

And now for something completely different

A lot of babies are coming into the world, and therefore there's a lot of secret knitting in my world. And we all know that secret knitting is not good for blogging. All I'm at liberty to say is that several things are being knit on several pairs of needles with several skeins yarn.

So we'll discuss my second favorite topic: Leeks! I'm not sure where leeks have been all of my life, but now I'm smitten. So savory and delicious (as are most things coated in butter). I adore leeks so much that my mom bought me a special leek plate for Christmas. I think it's actually designed for asparagus, but whatever.

Besides just cooking them up with a few shallots, I've stumbled upon a few other leek recipes in recent weeks. I cooked a ludicrously rich Easter dinner that included Martha Stewart's scalloped potatoes with leeks. Oh, the gruyere!



We did not weigh ourselves the next day.

So this weekend, the leek-mania continued as we visited my family in Pennsylvania for a much-needed vacation. It was terribly relaxing, apart from my father's decision to empty the dishwasher at 7 a.m. and dump all of the utensils on the kitchen table.

Mom greeted us Sunday morning with a scrumptious cheddar and leek strata. I don't know the origins of this recipe, but it has multiplied all over the internet (with each incarnation misspelling the word "garlic.") But don't let the recipe's anonymity scare you off -- this strata was a winner. My dad thought it needed sausage, but I loved the taste and texture just fine.

Anyone else out there a leek fan? Any recipes to share with me?

18 Comments:

OpenID thinkingmama said...

I love leeks too!! Just today I got 5 of the biggest ones I've ever seen from the CSA I'm a member of. I swear they're almost as big around as my forearm. I also got potatoes. I may have to try that recipe!

1:48 AM  
Anonymous Dawn said...

They're the national vegetable of Wales, in the UK so I grew up eating them. Favourite recipes: on eby Delia Smith: http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/stuffed-jacket-potatoes-with-leeks-cheddar-and-boursin,1110,RC.html

and a plethora of recipes from the BBC GoodFood site: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/search.do?keywords=leeks&searchType=recipes&pager.offset=0

Enjoy!

7:16 AM  
Blogger SJ said...

I'm afraid I don't have a recipe to share. I'm rather uninitiated in the ways of the leek, my only experiences with it being in the pureed form of potato leek soup. But those recipes sure do sound yummy!

7:31 AM  
Blogger gleek said...

mmmm, strata! the one we had at jess's was so good. did you make that one? anyway, kaitlyn has a good recipe for a pea soup that has huge chunks of leeks in it. it's really awesome.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous An Abundance of Lisa said...

I haven't tried cooking with leeks yet! Your praise of them makes me want to pick some up at the grocery soon!! I'll be looking for those recipes!

8:31 AM  
Blogger Kuka said...

oooh I made a fab new leek recipe on Friday night - easy chicken and leek pie =) (there's a photo here)
Melt 50g butter, add one sliced leek and 200g mushroom. Saute for a little while (you know, until sauted) then add two chopped chicken breasts. When the chicken is cooked add 2 teaspoons french mustard and stir through. Taadaa!
I made the pies just like in the magazine - cut a circle of puff pastry, stack some of the filing on top then put a slightly bigger circle of pastry over the top, bake for 20 minutes or so. mmmmm delish!

8:55 AM  
Blogger Veronique said...

There's leeks everywhere in France, so I grew up eating them! Here's one unusual recipe that my grandmother used often: steam leeks (tie them up in twine first), and serve them cold with vinaigrette. Mmm...

9:57 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

I've been seeing leek recipes that sounded delicious EVERYWHERE lately. Now with this testament to their wonder, I feel like I have to try them!

Though I haven't tried it yet, the recipe below from Real Simple caught my eye. Sounds yummy!

http://food.realsimple.com/realsimple/display/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1036250

12:52 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

you know what? i don't think i've ever eaten a leek in my life. i probably woulda remembered if they are scrumptious as you say. i must try some now. that tasty strata looks like a good place to start. yum yum yum. . .

2:59 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

One of my favorite recipes is a goat cheese and leek quiche. A family friend gave me the recipe, but I found it online here: www.recipezaar.com/185121
I usually make it without the crust and have even used milk in place of the cream and it still turns out great.

I also love to make mussels in a broth of leeks, garlic, thyme, white wine, and butter. The recipe is here: www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_28760,00.html
This is one of my favorites! It is so good, and it's also fast and very easy to prepare.

5:38 PM  
Blogger The A.D.D. Knitter said...

If you are a leek enthusiast, then I highly suggest you check out Belgian cuisine as leeks are a very popular ingredient!

10:20 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

My favorite is a chorizo and leek soup that is AWESOME. I can't find the recipe at this moment. But basically you cook the chorizo, add leeks and garlic. Then add a big can of tomatoes with liquid and a packet of grits. Once the grits are cooked, add spinach and corn. MMMM. Delicious, easy and all in one pan.

1:35 PM  
Blogger ingrid said...

Yummers! I love leeks! Too bad hubby isn't a fan. Here's my favourite leek recipe from Anna Thomas' Vegetarian Epicure Book Two:

Leek and Tomato Quiche

short crust pastry (there are zillions of recipes out there)
2 c sliced leeks
2 T butter
salt and pepper
1/2 lb Swiss cheese
1 oz Romano cheese
1 T flour
4 eggs
1 3/4 c cream or milk
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

Prepare the short crust pastry, line an 11-inch quiche pan with it and prebake according to whatever recipe you choose.

Wash the leeks, split them lengthwise and slice enough to measure 2 cups. Sauté in butter with S&P until they start to brown. Set aside.

Grate the cheeses and toss with flour. Beat the eggs and cream, add a little salt.

Spread the sautéed leeks evenly across the bottom of the quiche shell and spread cheeses on top. Pour the egg mixture over the leeks/cheese and top with a layer of thinly sliced tomatoes. Salt and pepper the tomatoes.

Bake for 15 mins at 400 F, reduce the temperature to 325 F and bake for another 30 mins.

Enjoy!

2:42 PM  
Blogger Karin said...

I like leeks too. I have not used them in a while though. I live in a very hispanic part of town currently and the produce sections tend to have more cactus and tomatillo than leeks!

I am moving a week from Wednesday though, and I am going to be close to a organic grocer that has $15 produce boxes weekly. I hope i get some leeks!

11:52 PM  
Blogger Michaela Dollar said...

I just had to google leeks to see if I've ever eaten them before! What's really bad is I'm still not sure!!

3:40 PM  
Blogger AnnieB said...

I love leeks too - simply sauteed in plenty of butter with freshly ground black pepper - YUM! will be trying some of the recipes on here too though - they all sound so good

am having the teeniest, tiniest giveaway on my blog, so tiny it is almost not worth mentioning - however I just did sooooo if you fancy dropping by would be lovely to see you there...

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Willemtje said...

We are also vary partial to leeks and eat them at least once a week. Sometimes we just cook them adding na little vinegar to the pot. Serve with cooked potatoes and fried chicken breat.
Another way to use them is the following:
Fry an onion, add sliced leeks, a few carrots, bell peppers and/or button mushrooms, leave to simmer for 10-20 minutes (according to your own taste).
In the meantime boil some white fish (talapia, cod, whiting e.g.)
Add packet of curry sauce to the leeks, add the fish (in small pieces) and stir carefully. Serve with rice.
Here in Holland we can buy a special herb mixture for fish dishes, this tastes wonderful over this dish.
Have a nice meal,

Willemtje, a Dutch knitter

1:15 PM  
Blogger Philippa said...

I like them sauteed in butter with mushrooms, either on good brown toast or with wholewheat noodles. They're also good in risottos, used either instead of or with the onion at the beginning. As a side dish, I usually chop them quite finely, sautee/steam them in a tiny amount of butter and the water still clinging to them from washing 'til nearly tender, then deglaze the pan (with the leeks still in it) with a drop of white wine vinegar, or, if they're small, simply braised: leave whole if you can, blanch them briefly in boiling water, refresh under cold water, place in a baking try dotted with lumps of butter and s&p, and bake hot until tender to the point of a knife and glossy.

I'm also really looking forward to trying out these:

http://nourish-me.blogspot.com/2008/04/gingery-mushroom-salad.html

http://nourish-me.blogspot.com/2008/04/pale-and-elegant-leek-and-flageolet.html

Enjoy!

5:48 AM  

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