Ok so I know I am late in posting this tips and tricks segment. I have a good excuse though I have been busy with orders from my store A Thyme To Bee Comforted! Busy is always good, but with busy also comes problems, i.e the Post Office, they are on my list this month....grrrr......
Well enough about that! So today's tip and trick is the Leek! A leek you say, what the hell is a leek. It's that thing at the grocery store that looks like a green onion on steroids!!! Wikipedia defines the leek as:
Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum(L.) J.Gay
The leek, Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum (L.), also sometimes known as Allium porrum, is a vegetable which belongs, along with the onion and garlic, to the Alliaceae family. Two related vegetables, the elephant garlic and kurrat, are also variant subspecies of Allium ampeloprasum, although different in their uses as food. The edible part of the leek plant is a bundle of leaf sheaths which is sometimes called a stem or stalk.
Why use a leek you may ask, well because it has a subtle onion flavor, not strong at all. It's darn tasty to!!! You also might be thinking to yourself well what tips or tricks could you possibly have for a leek??? Well the tip is on how to to wash a leek. A leek is like an onion it has many layers, and the stem is open not as tight as a green onion. So dirty etc tend to get stuck in the stems! So how do we was a leek, well there are two ways:
1. To wash a whole Leek halve the leek length wise, splay open the layers, and run water over them until your sure that all the grit has been removed. See pretty straight forward and simple!
2. To wash sliced Leeks soak the sliced leeks in a bowl of cold water. Let them stand undisturbed for about ten minutes to let the grit fall to the bottom of the bowl. Scoop the leeks out gently, taking care not to stir up the grit. Pat the leeks dry.
Now that you have some clean leeks what can you do with them, well you can make Home At Least Leek Salad, the recipe is courtesy of the Food Network (one of my fave sites).
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 to 3 sprigs thyme, stripped from stems
1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed with the side of a knife blade and quartered
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
6 leeks, soaked in salt water to remove grit and thoroughly rinsed
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup olive oil
6 ears fresh corn, boiled until tender and cooled to room temperature
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil or if dehydrated soaked in water to rehydrate
6 small sprigs parsley
Through the feed opening of a running blender add, 1 at a time, vinegar, thyme, mustard, garlic, honey, salt, and ground black pepper. Leaving the blender running, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream. Set aside until needed.
Slice the white and tender green parts of the leeks into 1/2-inch diagonals. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet and saute until tender. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Slice the corn from the cobs and place in a bowl with the sauteed leeks. Cut the sun-dried tomatoes into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the bowl. Toss with enough of the dressing to coat. Do not feel compelled to use all of the dressing.
Serve garnished with parsley and additional dressing on the side.
There are over 700 hundred recipes for leeks on the Food Network site, so if you haven't ever cooked with likes I suggest you give them a try and you might surprise yourself! They make a great soup!! Well thanks for joining me in this late but great tips and tricks segment......I am off to finish up my Pecan Brittle order! Here is wishing you and your family a safe and HAPPY Holiday season!!