Friday, March 16, 2007

leek recipes

Leek and Kale Pie

3 Tablespoons Olive oil
2 medium or 1 large Leeks
1 bunch kale
1/2 c Cheddar cheese or other hard cheese, grated
1/2 lb white fish (or use canned tuna in oil or water)
Herbs (your choice)
1 c Bechamel sauce
3 tb Parmesan cheese, grated
1 9" savory pie shell, pre-baked (leave sugar out of a sweet pastry shell, then bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Saute leek and kale in olive oil. Sprinkle cheese onto pie shell. Spread leek and kale evenly in the pie shell.

Meanwhile, cut the fish into chunks; simmer in water and herbs. (or skip this step and use drained canned tuna) Drain. Mix with the bechamel sauce and pour into pie shell, covering the kale and leek mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake in oven for 25 minutes.

here's a recipe for bechamel sauce:

B├ęchamel Sauce

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 small onion studded with 2 Or 3 cloves, optional
1 small bay leaf
dash dried leaf thyme, crumbled
salt and white pepper to taste
nutmeg, to taste

In a medium heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat. When butter starts to foam, add the flour all at once, mixing well with a wooden spoon. Cook over low heat 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly to incorporate and cook flour. Remove pan from heat and let stand, up to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, scald milk (heating it until just below boiling point). Return saucepan with roux to medium-low heat. Add all of the scalded milk at once (to avoid the formation of lumps). Simmer, stirring gently with a wire whisk or wooden spoon.

Add studded onion, bay leaf and thyme sprig. Cook, stirring, over low heat, 15 to 20 minutes, until smooth and thickened. Strain sauce through fine-mesh strainer. Add salt, white pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Makes about 2 cups. From "Nancy Enright's Canadian Herb Cookbook" by Nancy Enright.

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Leek Tartare

adapted from "Happy in the Kitchen," by Michel Richard, as written in the LA Times

Julia's note: I admit I've not yet made this, but I want to! I love all alliums. The recipe says it takes 45 minutes, which doesn't pass my quick kitchen test, but this one might be worth it!

4 medium leeks
1 shallot, minced (I'll use green onions or something else since I rarely have shallots in my kitchen. jw)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 T mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons fresh chives (or chopped parsley or green onion tops)
3 drops tabasco
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste, who has a 1/2 teaspoon measure!?)

Prepare leeks by cutting off the dark green tops and the root ends. (you can wash these and use them in stock if you like.) Cut leeks in half lenghtwise, and finish up cleaning them by making sure there's no hidden dirt. Place each half cut sid down and slice crosswise into 1 inch pieces.

Steam leek pieces for about 8 minutes, or until they are bright and almost translucent. Spread the leeks evenly on a baking sheet, and place in the refrigerator until cool, about 15 minutes.

When they're cool, chop them up until they are a mushy consistency. (I might try a few pulses in a food processor, but the recipe didn't 'ok' that method...) Place them on a double layer of cheese cloth or clean kitchen towel, and wring out the excess water.

Combine leeks, shallot, and olive oil in a medium bowl. Stir in the vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise, sugar, ginger, chives (or parsley!), tabasco, and S & P. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Serve in with toast, crackers, crostini, or as a topping or bedding for chicken or fish. (this is Julia's serving suggestions, the LA Times and Chef Richard suggest using a mold on individual plates etc.)

Serves 3. per serving: 273 calories, 2 grams protein, 2 grams fiber, 22 grams fat, 477 grams sodium

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Two very easy Leek Recipe Favorites:

PAT'S BABY LEEKS

I lightly braise them in a skillet in a little water. Then, while they are hot, I put them on a platter, dress them in a good vinaigrette and crumble some sheep feta on top with cracked pepper. This is one of my 11 year-old's favorite foods. I learned the recipe in France, where leeks are the poor man's asparagus.

Leek Noodles

adapted from Ten Minute Cuisine by Green & Moine
In a wok, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 2 shredded leeks and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves. Add cooked noodles of any shape (about 1 pound when uncooked) and stir-fry until heated through. Season with salt and peppe


ok, I'm off to find some turnip inspiration. -julia

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