Friday, November 11, 2016

Creamed Leeks

Here's a recipe I've been meaning to post for several years now (yes, really!) because I tend to make it only at Thanksgiving. I actually don't know why I don't make it more often because it is truly an exceptional side dish to any kind of roast. Creamed Onions have long been a Thanksgiving staple, but I once tried making them and peeling all those little tiny onions drove me crazy. Besides that, I like the mild flavor of leeks even better. I ran across a recipe in Gourmet Magazine a number of years ago and of course I had to tweak it extensively and this is the result. Instead of Breadcrumbs on top, I use Parmesan Cheese and I also add in a bit of Chicken Broth to soften the Leeks and give it a richer flavor. It is a wonderful Gluten Free dish, but not Lactose Free. However, both Cream and Parmesan Cheese actually have very little Lactose in them. Creamed Leeks is a flavorful side dish with a creamy and savory flavor that is incredible. It's also great as a sandwich spread the next day. You need to add this to your Thanksgiving Table! 

Creamed Leeks

1 ½ pounds of Leeks, root ends & upper green parts cut off (about 5 cups when cut)
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground Black Pepper
3 Tablespoons unsalted Butter
¼ cup Chicken Broth (or Vegetable Broth)
½ cup Cream
¼ cup or more grated Parmesan Cheese

Butter a glass pie pan and turn the oven on to 450 degrees.

Cut each leek lengthwise into quarters and then cut into 1 inch long pieces.  Place in a bowl of cold water and wash thoroughly and drain.

In a large frying pan, melt the Butter and add in the Leeks, the Salt and the Pepper. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat and then add in the Chicken (or Vegetable) Broth.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until leeks are tender. Turn off heat and add in the Cream and mix thoroughly. Pour into the prepared pan and pat down with the spatula. Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese all over the top and place into the oven. Cook until the top is Golden Brown and bubbly – about 15 - 20 minutes.

Note:  This dish can be made ahead and covered until ready to cook. Then place in the cold oven and turn the oven to 450 degrees and cook for about 25 minutes. 

Five Element Analysis

Leeks, like all Alliums belong to the Metal Element as does the Cream, Butter and Parmesan Cheese. Only the Chicken Broth (or Vegetable Broth too) brings in some of the Wood Element.  So this is a very Metallic Side Dish that helps balance the Thanksgiving meal or any meal that is short of that Element.

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