Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Alliyums

The other day, I was reading on Cookblog about Peter's way of getting more veggies into his kid. He serves an hors-d'oeuvre course of veggies while the kid is hungry, assuring that he'll eat every bite. Cool idea, but the part that intrigued me was the way he sliced and served the leeks in rounds. A simple thing, you'd say, and that's true, but something that I had never thought of doing. I was inspired.

And there were lovely, fat leeks in my grocery store that very day! 

Usually, you have to wash leeks carefully to remove all the sandy soil in which they are grown but, when you slice them in rounds starting at the root end, you can easily see when the dirt starts to show up toward the top. Those few rounds that have dirt can be easily peeled down to the dirty part and then rinsed - much easier than leaving them long as I always have in the past.

Now, Peter, for all his virtues (and they are many and varied), gets too fussy with food for my taste. He rarely sets a plate on the table without using at least two homemade vinegars, three exotic spices (most of which I have never heard of), six herbs that he grew himself in his extensive home garden, and two molecular gastronomic cooking techniques. I'm sure his food tastes much better than mine but, honey, that's just exhausting! So, I did what I often do with his recipes - I simplified it.

I hope he's not reading this, because I reduced the ingredients to the bare essentials - leeks, olive oil, and sherry.

I browned the leeks lightly on both sides in the olive oil, poured in a healthy dollop of sherry, turned the heat to low, and put a lid on the pan. The leeks steamed to silky perfection in about ten minutes, going from the crisp white of a summer dress to the golden yellow of old book pages. They made a dynamite accompaniment to barbecued beef ribs and fresh steamed asparagus, a meal that sang of the warming days of spring, when barbecuing is a pleasure and local asparagus and leeks are in abundance.

So, thanks, Peter, for the inspiration and the new technique!  This one's a keeper.

6 Comments:

Blogger Diane said...

what a great idea. I love simplified.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013  
Blogger Greg said...

I agree with Diane. Peter is one heck of a photog too.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Diane, you will love these.

Greg, yes, Peter is an artist and it shows in his photographs. If you haven't seen his pottery, click over from his blog - it's spectacular. I have purchased his work for gifts and always find myself wishing I had kept them for myself.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Peter is a dink, Zoomie. He junks up his food with too many flavors and then brags about it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013  
Blogger Greg said...

OK....How does one become designated an artist? I am an artist in my own mind...as well as a legend. :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, I agree about the layers of flavor - a little too much for my taste. But I do admire his writing style. And his pottery.

Greg, I'm not sure how that works - maybe if you sell your work, you're considered an artist? Or maybe if you just pursue it with great fervor? Hard question to answer, but if you think you are, you must be!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013  

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