I'm a devoted reader of the Amateur Gourmet. His recipes are, for the most part, spot on, and his restaurant reviews are great. Adam often receives cookbooks and recommends several a year. He has a new sidebar on his blog that has a recommendation list and the other day, I noticed "All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Food" by Molly Stevens. His review was very positive so I jumped over to Amazon.com and checked it out, and every review on the site was superlative. That was it, I had to get it.
Today, the book arrived and after leafing through it for a few minutes, I could see why everyone is so high on this book. It's incredibly well written, the pictures are beautiful. I turned to one of the recipes, Braised Leeks and Halibut and decided to give it a try. I had thick filets of Steelhead Trout in the fridge and a few leeks left that I hadn't figured out what to do with. So I decided to give this recipe a try. In keeping with the recipe, I prepared the leeks by splitting them in half and chopping the halves into nice sized chunks:
Molly advises you to rinse twice and I followed that - I've had gritty leeks before and that is NOT a pleasant experience.
While the leeks were soaking, I minced two cloves of garlic and about 1 1/2 TBS. of fresh thyme. After rinsing and draining the leeks, put a small braising pan (or small saute pan that has a lid) on the stove and heat using medium heat. Add a 1-2 glug of olive oil, then add the leeks, garlic and thyme and stir to coat with the oil. Season with salt and pepper and continue to saute until the leeks are glossy. Add a half cup of dry white wine (or dry vermouth) and bring to a boil. Cover the mixture with a piece of parchment paper that has been greased with a little butter.
Place a lid on the braising pan and put into a 350 degree oven on the center rack and braise for 45-50 minutes or until tender, you may have to add a little additional wine if the leeks are dry.
When the leeks are tender, remove from the oven and add about 1/4 C. of heavy cream (I used half n half, I would change it to light cream to make it a little creamier but keep the calories down) to the mixture and stir until smooth and creamy (I didn't measure the cream, I just eyeballed it).
I pan fried the trout and steamed some baby zucchini:
Excellent! Leeks, when slow cooked become mellow and almost sweet. R, who is not an onion fan, scarfed them right up!
Adam Roberts is sooo right about Molly Stevens.
Now that I have all of these wonderful cookbooks - I really have to get it together and make a weekly menu to make my shopping more efficient.
What was your favorite dish this week?