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Red Deer Foodie

…getting busy in the kitchen!

Category Archives: leeks

This week I had the good fortune to “inherit” my friend’s weekly installment of Steel Pony groceries – plus her co-worker’s bag!   So much produce to use up this week because each bag contained a large bunch of swiss chard, bunch of baby leeks (which at first I thought were green onions – duh!), a kohlrabi, carrots, potatoes, cilantro, and tomatoes!   I will admit I’ve never cooked swiss chard before, so was kind of curious as to what to do with it.  I snooped around on the internet for ideas and came up with this quick and easy recipe that is totally doable on a week night but looks like you slaved over it!!

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Ingredients:

1 Tenderflake deep dish crust

2 slices bacon, chopped

3 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and pale green parts only

3 cups thinly sliced swiss chard leaves (no stems!)

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

1/3 cup whipping cream

2 tbs Dijon mustard

1 large egg, lightly beaten

150g piece of Swiss Gruyere cheese, grated and separated

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees & take pie crust out of the freezer.

In a large heavy skillet, cook bacon until golden – but not too dark!!   Add the leeks to the bacon and rendered bacon fat and cook till softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the swiss chard and chicken broth and cook till the chard is wilted – another 5 minutes.

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In a small pot, melt butter over medium heat and then lower heat before whisking in the flour to create a roux.  Careful here because things can get out of hand quickly – don’t let it burn!  Slowly add the cream and bring to a boil over that medium low heat – till the roux is thickened.

Now add your roux to the leek/chard mixture, and add the mustard and HALF A CUP of the gruyere.  At this point – season with salt & pepper and take a taste – if it’s good and seasoned to your liking then add in the egg.   I don’t say how much salt to add b/c it depends on your bacon and even the cheese you use!

Pour this mixture into the pie crust and then sprinkle with the rest of your cheese.  Chuck in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, until golden and bubbly.  Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Deeelightful!


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If you’ve been following my blog, you know I like fairly simple and healthy dishes!  I love using food that’s in season and guess what?  It’s asparagus season!!!  So here’s a quick dish inspired by something saw on the very lovely Everyday Occasions by Jenny Steffens Hobick blog.  Check it out – she’s a tiny (and much cuter) version of Martha!  Love this blog! 

Rather than cream for this recipe, I used Boursin Cheese and it added a really creamy texture to the dish – very springy!!

Creamy Spring Fettucine
Ingredients:
4 slices Aldersmoked bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
2 cups chopped leek (white part only)
2 cups whte button mushrooms, sliced
2 cups asparagus, discard woody part & cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup Boursin Garlic & Fine Herb soft-ripened cheese (flavoured cream cheese would also work)
1 pkg fresh fettucine, or your favourite pasta – reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water!

Method:
In a large non-stick skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp.  Reserving the bacon fat, remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.  Add the olive oil to the bacon fat over medium heat and add the mushrooms.  Saute for about 4 minutes, get those mushrooms soaking up all the nice flavour from the bacon fat.  At this point, put a big pot of water on to boil – I will always remember something I learned from a cooking show – make sure the water is waiting for you, not the other way around!! 

Add leeks and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. 

Next, add the asparagus and the boursin and stir to coat.  Start adding some of the pasta water – about 1/4 cup to start, stirring, and then keep adding till it hits the consistency you like!  Season with salt & pepper.  Cook for another couple of minutes.

almost done… all you need is the fettucine!

If you’re using fresh pasta, it really only needs to be cooked for a minute or two, eventhough the package may lie and say 4-5 minutes. If you overcook it, you’ll have a doughy mass of noodle-ish goo!  Trust me here, so make the pasta as the sauce is almost done cooking – you don’t want the pasta to be sitting around hardening up or sticking together!

Plate your meal: top fettucine with the sauce and top with bacon bits!  And guess what?  This dinner is done in under half an hour!

And another year bites the dust!  As quickly as it came, 2011 is nearly over, smell ya later: thanks for the good times!
Yesterday we had some family in, so I decided to use up my leftover smoked turkey that I purchased for a holiday party we had a couple of nights ago… my inspiration was the Jamie Oliver Christmas Special that I watched bout 4 times on Christmas Eve.  With the help of google, I was able to “translate” some of the British food measurement terms (what is a rasher, a knob or a pint), and I present you with a Canadian interpretation of Jamie’s leftover turkey and leek pie.

Smoked Turkey & Leek Pie
Ingredients:
3 strips bacon, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
4 lbs leeks, washed and chopped – white & green parts
sea salt & black pepper
2-3 lbs left-over white turkey meat, chopped
2+ tbsp regular white flour
4 cups turkey or chicken stock
2 tbsp Double Devon Cream
397g pkg Tenderflake puff pastry dough
6-7 fresh sage leaves, rolled and chopped finely
1 egg, beaten with a little dash of salt added

Method:
First off, get that bacon going in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Once the bacon is starting to brown, add the olive oil, butter and thyme leaves. 

While this is getting crispy, clean and chop the leeks – you may have a “holy crap this is a lot of freaking leeks” moment, but let it pass – they will melt down to practically nothing. 

Add the leeks to your pot of fat and stir to ensure everything is coated.  Put a lid on it and set the timer for 30 minutes.  Give things a stir every 10 minutes or so.

While that leek magic is happening, get your turkey ready and chop your sage.  This is actually a pretty simple recipe… time keeps moving on and finally 30 minutes is up!  Add the turkey meat and stir to coat.  Next add the flour and stir to coat – I learned on Jamie’s program that if you add flour to the goo before the liquid/stock goes in, you will avoid any lumpy nastiness!  Learning!

So now that you’ve stirred the flour, add your cream and stock.  Increase the heat and bring to a boil.  Give things a quick taste to see if you need any more seasoning… since I was using smoked turkey, I didn’t really need too much salt.  Anyways, the rest of this recipe is super easy. 

Couldn’t be any simpler – while things are bubbling away, prepare a sieve over top of another pot.    Transfer the goo into the sieve and mash down – what you’re collecting below is a delicious gravy to serve with your pie (or if you’re like me, slave over the gravy then completely forget to serve it with dinner!)

Will the goo is draining, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and roll out half of your pastry dough on a lightly floured surface.  Sprinkle with the sage leaves, then add the other half of the dough on top. Make sure this dough is large enough to cover the top of whatever dish you’re going to bake the pie in.

Add the goo sans gravy to a baking dish and cover with the pastry.  Tuck in all sides, like you’re putting it to bed, then using a knife, lightly score the top in a diagonal pattern and then brush with your egg mixture. 

Shove in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until crust is nice and golden.  Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Serve with a side of baby peas and the gravy would probably be a great idea too!  (BTW I heated that gravy in a pot and added about another 4 tbsp of flour, a bit at a time and whisking in between additions – it was lovely with the leftovers for lunch today).

This is what it looks like with peas and gravy!

Everyone have a great NYE and see you all in the bloggersverse next year! xo

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