April 18th, 2018 01:30:00 pm
I recently had the pleasure of enjoying some southern cooking. Low country ingredients like leeks were on the menu in various forms. I thought about the fact that I don’t use leeks… and yet they are so delightful. So I decided as soon as I returned to the desert, I’d get busy incorporating them into my menus. I picked up some gorgeous organic leeks at Sprouts and on the first night, I sliced them super thin and flash fried them, and used them as a topping with mushrooms for burgers. Amazing flavor. Second night I decided to vapor cook them. You really can’t go wrong here! This Leek Side Dish pairs with just about anything...
First a note about cleaning them. That is really the most complicated part and if you know what your doing, not a problem. Trim off both ends… leaving some of the darker green which is great for consumption. Now put it in a colander and use running water to get in between the “stalks” where the sand is. Now that it is rinsed properly (because you first cut it and loosened it), you can trim it to whatever your use will require.
Here I’ve sliced it lengthwise for a side dish which I served next to spicy Indian meats. It will really go well with anything though. Don’t forget they are also very good for you. Bonus!! Leeks (an allium vegetable) have much to offer in the way of good health and, like garlic, it's thought that much of their therapeutic effect comes from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin. Allicin is not only anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal, but research has revealed that as allicin digests in your body, it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that neutralize dangerous free radicals faster than any other known compound. Leeks also contain kaempferol, a natural flavonol that's also found in broccoli, kale, and cabbage. Kaempferol is impressive in its potential to boost health. Research has linked it not only to a lower risk of cancer but also a lower risk of numerous chronic diseases.
Today I took my 11” Frying Pan (see it here). I heated some avocado oil (because you can heat it without created a trans fat like you would if you used Olive oil). I seasoned the oil with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and a few others…
Once the oil was very hot (enough to sizzle), I added the leaks cut side down. I then added the lid and reduced the heat. This will start vapor cooking the heavier top part, while lightly browning the cut side. After several minutes I could see it begin to get a rich green color. I quickly removed the lid and turned them, and replaced the lid for more gentle vapor cooking. While this would take 35 – 40 minutes baking or roasting in the oven, using the lid and baking this via vapor cooking, reduces that time down to about 15 minutes.
We had a bit of leftover and I chopped it and put it into a small bowl, to be added to the scrambled eggs the next morning. I hope you enjoy this leek side dish and if you’re not already using them, that you consider incorporating them into your menus. They literally go with anything and smell so incredible while cooking.
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