Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Baked Leeks

Have you ever eaten a Leek?  Up until recently I had never had one.  I had never known anyone who has eaten Leeks on a regular basis.  In fact my only experience with them is seeing them on various cooking shows and they always catch my eye in the market.  They resemble a Godzilla like green onion.  They are huge in comparison, but look nearly identical. 
Being a history buff I had to know what region of the world was known for Leeks.  Come to find out they are commonly associated with Wales(a region of the U.K.).  It is the symbol on the uniform of The Welsh Guards, a regiment of the British army.  It is also the symbol of a region in Romania.  They have found fossilized evidence it was a staple in the Ancient Egyptian diet, as wells as Ancient Mesopotamia. The Leek was also a favorite of Roman Emperor Nero.
Now that I was all caught up it was time to try one.  I found a recipe that called for the Leeks to be baked in a creamy cheese sauce that had me salivating in anticipation. (All I had been craving a good grilled rib eye steak, perfect main to go with my Leeks.  I made my shopping list and headed out to the market for my supplies.

Here's What You'll Need:

2 tablespoons of Butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar ( I used Parmesan)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
4 medium Leeks halved lengthwise

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9x12 baking dish.  Melt butter over low heat.  Stir in flour until smooth then slowly add cheese and milk while mixing.  Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Pour enough of the cheese sauce to cover the bottom of baking dish.  Add Leeks in a single layer and top with remaining cheese sauce.  Bake for 30 minutes or until Leeks are tender.
I kept all the shells from my pecans, as recommended by "mrbigshotno.1" of the Chowhound community.  Great recommendation, I soaked the hulls just before I tossed them in my BBQ.  The pecan smoke added a new depth to the rib eye that was just delicious.  I also have a habit of grilling a whole onion when I gill my steaks.  I just throw it on the grill unpeeled and let it cook away.  Now and again I will peel the onion and wrap it in foil with butter, garlic, and a touch of lemon or lemon pepper. 

Leeks are soooo good!  One of my new favorites for sure.  It kind of taste like a cross between a sweet onion and broccoli.  The cheese sauce was super tasty as well.  I can't wait to try another recipe with Leeks.
Any ideas?  What's your favorite way to eat Leeks?
 And if you've never had one I highly recommend giving them a go.  If your a veggie lover you won't be disappointed.
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1 comment:

  1. Whenever a recipe calls for leeks, I always substitute for green onions. I'm glad to find out they have a totally different and totally delicious flavor. I'll have to try this!