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Resolution: Leeks [Feb. 9th, 2003|11:19 pm]
[Current Mood |geekygeeky]
[Current Music |NOFX - August 8th]

New ingredient 3: Leeks
This is part of my New Years Resolution.

Though common, leeks are not an ingredient that I've used before in my cooking, through some odd coincidence. Leeks are closely related to onions, scallions, and garlic, all of which are members of the Lily family. Tonight I prepared potato leek soup, a classic comfort item, reminiscent of the traditional hearty stews of Wales.

(BTW, I hope the un-cut images don't bother people; I try to keep the file sizes small for quick loading.)

It came out rather well, all told. I tend to like soups thickened with potato, as does kit_ping. The flavor was good, with some herbs, spices, and a decorative garnish of green onions and paprika. (After the collards, I wanted to make the dish a little showy!) The flavor was good and rich, having given the leeks plenty of time to simmer and mellow in the pot. A little salt pork and butter when first sweating the leeks also helped to deepen their flavor, I think.

Also on the menu tonight was chocolate mousse, prepared by Kit. She specializes in desserts and baking in our kitchen, and she does it well.

Since this was her first time preparing chocolate mousse, I thought I'd add it here as a bonus item. It was based on Alton Brown's Chocolate Mousse recipe. However, he calls for espresso and neither of us are too keen on that; we substituted Chai for the liquid portion of the recipe and it worked fantastically well. The flavor is predominately chocolate, with just hints of spice and cinnamon to give it some depth. I highly recommend that all you chocoholics give this recipe a try!


[User Picture]From: sabercat
2003-02-10 12:26 am (UTC)

Leek and Tattie soup

Was also my favourite while living in Scotland. I think you should also post recipes and review system with stars or something of what you thought. Some of us are adventuresome as well and would give your recipes a shot.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2003-02-10 01:17 pm (UTC)

Re: Leek and Tattie soup

Okay, I'll start posting recipes. I wanted to start off and see how people liked these first; I didn't want to spam people with a lot of text. From now on, I'll include the recipe (behind a cut tag). I probably won't post ratings (beyond my written comments) just because I don't think I'm best at judging my own dishes. :)

My recipes will probably be a little... vague, at times. This is simply because I cook in a very improvisational manner. But I'll try to record measurements and ingredients as accurately as possible so that people can try the dishes out for themselves.

(Oh, and, nice ta see you, Sabercat!)


1lb 12oz (1.75lb) Yukon Gold potatoes
4-6 cups sliced leeks (3 large leeks, finely sliced crosswise)
1qt chicken broth or stock
2oz salt pork, cut into several pieces
4tbsp butter
cooking sherry or white wine
seasonings (salt, pepper, celery seed, bay leaf, ground thyme, paprika)
green onions (optional garnish)

large stew pot
stick blender (optional)

Melt the butter in the pot over med-high heat and, when hot, toss in the salt pork. Once the fat has begun rendering, reduce heat to medium and add the sliced leeks and a pinch or two of salt. Sweat the leeks until they start to become a little transparent and reduce down.

While the leeks are cooking down, clean and cut the potatos into small chunks. Keeping the chunks small and even will allow them to cook easily and evenly.

When the leeks are ready, use tongs to pick out the remains of the salt pork. Add a bit of sherry or wine to deglaze the pan, stirring. Add the potatoes and stock, supplementing with water if potatoes aren't covered. Add the bay leaf, five grinds of black pepper, a half teaspoon or so of paprika, half teaspoon or so of ground thyme, a teaspoon of celery seed, and any other seasonings you like.

Adjust the heat to get the mixture to a gentle boil, uncovered. Boil until the potatoes are soft and can easily be crushed with the tongs. Pluck out the bay leaf. Use the stick blender to puree the soup for an even texture. Add milk to thin the consistency to your liking.

Serve and garnish with sliced green onions (they add a nice crunch and spicy kick). Enjoy!

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[User Picture]From: traveller_blues
2003-02-10 09:56 am (UTC)
You... you carved a rat out of potato. *points* And ... you have Chocolate Mousse. Which is occasionally misspelled 'Chocolate Mouse' at the Safeway we used to frequent.

*facepalm* It's... 'Battle Rodent.'


(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2003-02-10 01:26 pm (UTC)
Heh, actually, I didn't carve anything. It's harder to make out in the picture, but it's actually a heavy dusting of paprika. (I like paprika.)

I cut a stencil from a scrap of cardboard. Then I used it to mask the application of paprika. Took only a couple minutes, but it added that extra presentation/ego touch. I do that on dishes now and again just to be memorable. (And slightly goofy.) :>

"Battle Rodent"? Let's be clear... I'm a rodent cook, I'm not cooking rodents!
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[User Picture]From: diadexxus
2003-02-10 09:57 am (UTC)
Leek soup just ROCKS.... My sister made some for Christmas and it was SOOOOO YUMMY. Lot's of good recipes online for them.

And with Chocolate Mousse, you can't fail to love it.
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[User Picture]From: sabercat
2003-02-13 12:07 am (UTC)


Thanks! And welcome aboard my LJ as well. I'll try the recipe this weekend at a dinner I'm headed to. I can't wait! :)
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