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Posts Tagged ‘Leeks’

Braised Leeks

I actually made this dish ages ago. Like in February. But I’m posting it because it is delicious and I’m not sure how it fell through the cracks. And also because my grand plans for fava beans went bust. Yes, that is fava beans as in fava beans and a nice chianti. (As an aside, that movie haunts my dreams. Who lets fourth graders at a sleep over watch that??) But unfortunately I ruined them with some bitter orange zest. Which is a shame, because fava beans photograph beautifully – I took some glorious photos and they are going to live on in a future fava beans post. But it is leeks for today!

Leeks and shallots really just seem to go together. It is one of those classic pairings that just scream French food and Julia Child to me. This is a great simple side dish that could compliment any chicken dish or stand alone, perhaps with a poached egg and hunk of baguette. I think it also would be great dressed up with a dollop of sharp mustard mixed into the shallots and some panko bread crumbs on top. I love simple recipes like this because they are great bases on which you can build more complicated variations.

My only tip for this recipe is to carefully clean the leeks! I’ve included specific directions in the recipe text. The first time I made this dish, I was in a serious rush and I didn’t clean the leeks fully. Things were a little gritty, which is not exactly the texture I was going for.

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Aushak

This was a really unique recipe that I spotted in Ruth Reichl’s memoir about her New York Times restaurant critic years. The book, by the way, is great. I loved that she included reprints of some of her more famous reviews and she is a very fluid and vivid writer. The book ends with her taking the editor position at Gourmet though, which is sad as I truly miss Gourmet. Bon Appetit is just not the same.

The recipe is Afghan and it is truly fantastic. I’ve never eaten Afghan food, nor spotted it on too many food blogs, and this is a terrible omission. This is a fabulous dish – spicy, but comforting, filling but not too heavy, and most importantly, beyond delicious. I made some large adjustments to the recipe, perhaps making it less authentically Afghan, but I put the original ingredients in parenthesis. And now am on a hunt for a good Afghan restaurant and more recipes, so I’m taking suggestions.

A final note, this recipe is a bit complicated. But it makes a healthy amount of food, so there will be plenty of leftovers, and I think it is one of those recipes that once you make it a few times and get the hang of it, things will roll more quickly.

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Sausage Cassoulet

Snow! It snowed! I can’t believe it – winter is really here. Allegedly this is what I wanted when I moved back North after living in blissful sunshine in New Orleans for years (snow sighting: only once). But now, I’m not so sure as the snow is already turning to mushy slush. Blech! This is a perfect recipe for a snowy dreary day. It fills the house with good smells, is hearty and warming and doesn’t take forever to make.

I had 4 pounds of ground sausage pork to use up (Had major plans for a stuffing recipe that went nowhere), so I made meatballs instead of using sausage links. Either works, but the links are definitely preferable and less work. This recipe refers to the cassoulet in ironic quotes, which frankly seems a bit snooty even for Gourmet/epicurious. My resident Frenchman approved it, so I’m removing the quotes from my version. Then again, I also added leeks which seem to really boost the French-ness of any dish.

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This recipe has been everywhere recently! It is from the new Thomas Keller cookbook and every review of the book mentions it. When he was on Martha, he made it. I love that suddenly leeks seem to be very popular – next to squash, they are my new favorite ingredient!

This, as to be expected, is a little complicated. I actually toasted the brioche bread cubes (more like over toasted them). I highly recommend buying already made ones, as it would greatly simplify things. The flavor of the pudding is initially a bit disappointing (it is delicious – this is a Thomas Keller recipe- but after the time involved, I had unrealistic expectations), but it just gets better and better as the flavors really meld together. After two days in the fridge, the leeks taste even more leek-y if that is possible. In short, a great leftovers recipe!

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Herb Leek Tart

It has taken me awhile but I finally found a rectangular tart pan so I could finally make this recipe that I’ve had saved for months. This is essentially a sophisticated quiche and its is perfect for a light lunch or as a side with dinner. The recipe though, like any Martha recipe, is a little time consuming since you make a crust as well, but it was totally worth it.

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Lamb Stew

This was delicious!  Lamb shoulder was surprisingly easy to find – it was at both Pathmark and Wholefoods and it was (at Wholefoods prices) about $13 for about two pounds.  I also used homemade chicken stock, which gave a nice strong flavor to the dish (in the words of J, it tasted like a lamb screwed a chicken).

Lamb Stew

Also mostly eaten - can't seem to get a photo early enough!

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