I saw some really fresh leek at a local gourmet shop last night so I bought some but the problem is, I've never cooked it before and to be honest, I am not even sure how it's supposed to taste like. LOL
Other than potato leek soup(which sounds awful), do you guys have good recipes ?
Before you do anything to them, wash them thoroughly.....dirt gets trapped inside the layers. Cut off the root and the dark green part, eat only the white & very light green. Cut down the length to separate the layers and wash them thoroughly in a bowl or sink of water.
I like them very simply cooked.....stovetop w/some chicken broth, a pat of butter and a splash of lemon at the end.....a sprinkle of kosher salt on the plate.
Don't under estimate potatao leek soup, good recipe in the Victory Garden cookbook, add a dolop of cream before consuming, fabulous family favorite. Leeks grow readily in the midwest, plant small started leeks, very low maintaneance. The other unforgettable dish is a peasant dish from france with chicken breast, garlic, onions, leeks, tomaotes, cream, white wine. Fabulous, don't have the recipe with me, should be some similar recipe in most cookbooks. Might attempt poting it on request. Good luck.
I just braise it in the oven alongside whatever meat I'm cooking with them: Cut off any roots, and the dark green tops, cut them in half lengthwise and wash thoroughly. Put them cut side down in an oven proof dish and pour chicken stock in to go about 2/3 of the way up the sides. Season with salt and pepper, and cook in the over until done (about 30 to 40 minutes).
You know, that sounds really, really good! Will have to try that next time. I usually saute them with a bit of carmelization for a pretty and tasty topping on fish. THe other night I sauteed them w/ red peppers and artichoke hearts, added a bit of cream and Romano and tossed it w/ linguine. I'm with the other posters that a good Vichysoisse should not be discounted.
On a side note, what happened to the price of leeks? We live in Ohio and I used to be able to buy them for between $1.50 and $1.99/lb. Wanted some for my chicken soup yesterday and it was $3.99/lb. Te grocer claims it was the bad frost in CA in January, but did everything die there? The rates for fruits/vegetables here is outrageous. Paid $3.59 for a container of strawberries that should be around $1.99. What's going on??
re: Diane in Bexley
>>Te grocer claims it was the bad frost in CA in January, but did everything die there? The rates for fruits/vegetables here is outrageous. Paid $3.59 for a container of strawberries that should be around $1.99. What's going on??<<
Yes, everything died -- citrus and avocado were the hardest hit, but all winter crops were pretty much a loss. The estimated loss to the CA farmers is around 1 billion dollars. Here's an article with more details:
I agree that potato leek soup, while perhaps not sounding the best, is terrific. You might want to give it a try. Below is my favorite way of cooking them solo (they are also wonderful, sliced, and used as a basis in most recipes in place of or along with onions). This recipe sounds very simple, but I gave it a try and we were all amazed at how complex and tasty the final product was. Do be sure to clean the leeks well, as noted above.
BRAISED LEEKS - Suzanne Goin's recipe:
6 large leeks
about 3/4 cup Olive Oil
1 cup sliced shallots
lots of thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper
- Preheat the Over to 400
- Trim the leeks leaving about 2 inches of the green attached. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise. (This is a good time to submerge them in water and shake them about to make sure you get any dirt loose from the inside. Place the leeks face down on a towel and pat dry.)
- Turn leeks so that they are cut side up and season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat for 2 min. Pour in 14 /cup olive oil and wait 1 minute. Place leeks in pan, cut side down, being careful not to crowd them. You may need to do them in batches, depending on the size of the pan. Add oil if need be.
- Sear them 4 to 5 minutes , until they are golden brown. Season the backs with salt and pepper while the fronts are cooking, then turn them over and sear the backs as well, 4-5 minutes.
- Transfer them to a large gratin dish, face up, lined next to one another.
- Pour 1/4 cup olive oil into the pan and bring to medium heat. Add the shallots, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes until the shallots are just getting soft.
- Add the white wine and reduce by half. Add the stock and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Pour the liquid over the leeks. The stock should not quite cover them.
- Braise in the oven 30 minutes.
They are wonderful just out of the oven. They are also excellent the next day, cold, with a mustard vinaigrette and topped with prosciutto and chopped hard-boiled egg. These really are wonderful.
For a lot of people the suggested COLD temperature of potato leek soup is off putting, but the cold thing is only a suggestion. I make warm vichysoise and it's really really delicious. It tastes like a cream soup without the cream. I also make a cauliflower soup with a leek base that is out of this world, and very easy.
Leeks are my favorite onion family member, with shallots coming in a close second. They are a fantastic base for any and all soups. When you saute them they practically disintegrate in a pretty green wilted mess that tastes like very delicate, young onions.
As someone else mentioned, they pair wonderfully with mushrooms. I also like to saute them with chopped zucchini and fresh thyme (or fresh oregano), and a squeeze of lemon at the end.
One of my favorite leek recipes is French and is a good starter/ first course. You will need 4 medium sized leeks that you have trimmed, split and washed clean of any mud. Tie them together in a bundle and immerse in boiling water for 20 minutes. When they are tender and can be pierced with a fork, drain and chill in cold water quickly to stop the cooking. Then drain, remove the string and pat dry.
Toase 4 tbs. chopped hazelnuts in a dry frying pan or in the oven until a light brown. In a skillet fry 4 strips good quality thick cut bacon until crisp and then set aside. Deglaze the skillet with 1 Tbs. white wine vinegar scraping up all of the good bits. Then add 1 C. heavy cream and boil to sauce consistence. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Crumble the bacon and stir into the cream along with the hazelnuts. Place 1 leek on each of 4 plates and spoon the sauce over. Serve hot.
Oh my it is good. Not an everyday sort of dish but one to be savored occasionally.
This recipe uses leeks as just one of many ingredients, but I really love it for a simple week-day meal.
Bring some low-sodium chicken broth to a boil (around two - three cups, depending how soupy you want the mixture to be).
Add two leeks (white and light green parts only) sliced thin.
Add two small potatos (waxy) as well as one fennel bulb sliced thin.
Flavor the broth with some fresh or dried thyme and a tablespoon of vinegar.
Simmer for five minutes or so.
Add two chicken breasts, whole, and poach in the liquid for about seven minutes.
Add some type of green. I use bok choy but you can also use Kale or Spinich. Cook until the greens are wilted.
Take the chicken out of the mixture, and slice it. If it is not totally cooked through, place it back in the broth and cook for a couple more minutes.
Serve with some crusty bread and white wine...yummy week-day meal that is better the next day!
This is from real-simple.com
Easy and a bit decadent- As other posters have advised, make sure the leeks are really clean. After cleaning, slicing and drying, into a caserole dish. Season with S/P, a bit of butter. Pour heavy cream on top and bake. REally good.
You can also add herbs and/or cheese if you like, but they are great by themselves.
Potato-Leek soup is awesome. It's become one of my fall/winter favorites. Give it a chance you might be surprised.
Another use for leeks - wash thoroughly then slice into thick slices (3/4 of an inch-ish) lay flat in a skillet or pyrex with oil, butter, white wine, shallots, assorted goodness and then lay a piece of fish on top of that.
Pan frying leeks is also a great option. They are also a welcome addition to stir-fry. I bet you could grill them very easily as well.
I got addicted to leeks last year. Just thinking about leeks makes me want to stop by the store and pick them up.
Edit: I wonder what would happen if you cooked leeks in something like Grand Marnier? Hmmm...
A favourite side, especially for beef steak and roast:
- Cut off the tops where the colour begins to change from white to green. Trim the root ends. Slice in half lengthwise. Clean well.
- Place in a single layer in a saucepan or dutch oven. Barely cover with water or chicken broth. Add a knob of butter and some salt.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has nearly evaporated, turning the leeks from time to time. Regulate the heat to prevent them from caramelizing or burning.
- Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan. Turn and sprinkle with a little more cheese. Add a few grindings of pepper. Serve immediately.