Friday, February 5, 2010

Braised Leeks

Serves 4

Oh my gosh, these are just so good. Go to the store today and buy some leeks. You already have everything else you need, in your fridge and cupboards!


4 medium-sized leeks
2 Tbl butter
1/4 cup chicken stock or water
2 tsp red wine vinegar (or sherry vinegar or any kind, really)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To trim and wash the leeks: Discard the tough outer leaves. At the bottom end, cut just the roots off of the leeks, slicing only just above them and no more, so that the leek leaves are kept connected. Cut the top end so that the leeks are about 6-7 inches long. Slice, lengthwise into quarters. Place in a bowl filled with cold water and allow to soak about 10 minutes. Lift the leeks, and if you see any sand or grit in the water, drain the water and repeat with clean water. Repeat soaking and draining as many times as needed until no grit is left behind.

To cook: Melt the butter in a sauté pan placed over medium-low heat. Remove the leeks from the soaking water, align in the melted butter, cut sides down. Turn the heat to low, season with salt and pepper, and slowly, slowly cook, allowing the leeks to soften and the bottoms to turn a slight golden brown. After about 10 minutes, turn the leeks over and slightly brown the opposite cut side. Slow is key here. The longer they cook, the creamier and meltier they become. When the second side too is lightly golden brown, add the stock or water and the vinegar. Cover and allow to simmer slowly until the liquid is just evaporated. Can be served hot, warm or even cold.




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