11.14.2010

Creamy Baked Leeks


Does everyone like a side of creamed onions on Thanksgiving? It always seems to be on the menu, doesn't it?  Truthfully, it's never been a favorite of mine. Then I ran across this recipe in a magazine called Fine Cooking which I (accidentally) picked up a couple weeks ago. It was chock full of great ideas for the holidays; I bookmarked a bunch and am going to make several of them during the next couple months. And here was the answer to my creamed onion dilema: creamy baked leeks.

I've always liked leeks because they seem to whisper onion rather than yell it. So I decided to give this recipe a pre-Thanksgiving try to see if I wanted to serve it to guests. We found them delicious; they are definitely going on my menu!  And you can get the leeks cut, trimmed, rinsed and in the pan a few hours in advance. Just boil the cream and add just before baking. This recipe serves about 6 or so, depending on how large your leeks are; you may have to increase the recipe. Mine were not very big ( I saw some huge leeks yesterday, a couple days too late!) and I should have either used a smaller pan, or bought more leeks. They are supposed to be crowded in the pan.

Creamy Baked Leeks
From Fine Cooking Magazine, Make-ahead Holidays


 


Ingredients:
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt
8 medium-large leeks, ideally with several inches of white
2 teaspoons lightly chopped fresh thyme
1 cup heavy cream
2 large cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 piece of parchment paper

Method:
Heat oven to 350° F.  Butter a 10 by 15 inch baking dish and sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt in the bottom.

Cut the dark green portion and all but 1 inch of the light green off the top of the leeks. Discard any tough or damaged outer leaves. Trim the ends by cutting the roots, but leaving a bit of the bases intact to hold the leeks together. Cut each leek in half lengthwise and rinse under cold water, fanning the layers to make certain all the dirt is removed. Pat dry and place cut side down in the baking dish. They should fit snugly. Sprinkle with the fresh thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
At this point you can refrigerate for up to 6 hours.


Heat the cream and garlic to a rolling boil, watching carefully so it doesn't overflow. Remove from heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Pour the garlic and cream mixture over the leeks and cover with a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit the inside of the baking dish.

Bake until the thickest part of the leek is fork-tender and the cream is nearly all reduced, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the Parmigiano-Reggiano and some black pepper. Return to the oven until the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes.
Transfer leeks to a warm serving platter.

60 comments:

  1. These leeks sound so good! I may just need to add something new to my Thanksgiving line-up. Thanks!

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  2. This recipe is a good, simple and novel addition to the Thanksgiving side dishes. It looks delicious!

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  3. Not a huge fan of creamed onions but I think I would love your leek recipe. Looks delicious!

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  4. oh my what a divine recipe great idea love it

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  5. I'm with you on preferring leeks to onions, although I've never tried creamed versions of either. The idea sounds delicious though.

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  6. I love leeks. They are so sweet when they are cooked. These creamed ones look delicious.

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  7. I love leeks so that side dish looks just droolworthy!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  8. I'm also having leeks today. I'm making deep fried fritter leeks! Yours look awesome delicious. Have yet tried them in this way before. Simply tempting! Thanks so much for sharing.
    Cheers, Kristy

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  9. I just saw a recipe in Food and Wine featuring creamy baked leeks topped with a poached egg...I think I know what my post-Thanksgiving dream breakfast is now.

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  10. The combination of cheese and leeks has to be a winner!

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  11. I've actually never had creamed onions but I do love the almost buttery flavor of leeks. These sound fantastic!

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  12. this looks utterly scrumptious. I had creamed leeks before and it was so good. I have to make it again. :)

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  13. I like your description of leeks whispering onion flavor over the screaming of other varieties. :-) Actually I've never had creamed onions on Thanksgiving. Might have to give this a try this year. Thanks for sending along the recipe Barbara.

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  14. I do sometimes struggle with how to use leeks - this a great idea and looks like a beautiful result!

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  15. My knee-jerk reaction to the title was "I don't care much for onions at all." Then, as I was reading, I recalled a leak soup from my childhood that I liked a lot...

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  16. Mmmm I ♥ the idea of leeks as a side dish, and the fact that it whispers the name! Garlic cream is a winner...how yum is this dish!!

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  17. I've never had creamed onions, for thanksgiving or otherwise--but I think these look absolutely delicious! I adore leeks. With cream? Perfection.

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  18. Barbara, thank you so much for your nice comment on my last post. I really appreciate your concern. :)
    This leek dish looks fantastic! I love leeks so much - they one of my favorite vegetables (not really a vegetable, but you know). I am always looking for new Thanksgiving dishes and this looks perfect. Oh, and I've been clicking away on your cookie posts and I am seriously drooling. Those zimtsternes looks amazing! I love almond flavored anything. :)

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  19. That's a great way to describe leeks-as whispering onion rather than yelling! These sound delicious :D

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  20. I'm growing leeks for the first time this year, but they're tiny right now. I love leeks, they're milder than onions, and whereas onions sometimes made a dish too sweet to my taste, leeks never seem to. Hope my leeks will be good whisperers:)

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  21. I've never tried leeks, I don't think!

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  22. oh my gosh, yum! i would never think in a million years to bake a leek, but it sounds wonderful! i can't wait to try this!

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  23. Loved seeing this as I had forgotten about this recipe. Thanks, it's on the list now.
    Michaela
    @Finecooking

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  24. Leeks are one of my favorite veggies when the weather cools down--I usually cook them on the stovetop, but this is a great idea!

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  25. I didn't know I could prepare the leeks this way...looks so good! Thanks for sharing another easy and delicious recipe.

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  26. I use leeks all the time...however, I've never made them quite this way. Thanks for sharing something new for me.

    Flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

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  27. I love leeks in everything and have been eating a LOT of them this year and particularly love them with parsnips and then with potatoes.
    How could this not be delish - and the leftovers would make a wonderful soup!
    :)
    Valerie

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  28. These look great! I love leeks...yum!

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  29. What a fantastic new twist on creamed onions, Barbara! This would be a lovely addition to our holiday table.

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  30. Hi Barbara,

    I love leeks and this recipe sounds good and will try this, thanks for sharing. One of my favourite soups, is leek and potato.
    The glass newel post finials,that were your Mothers, that you were writing about, sound gorgeous.

    Happy week
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  31. I smiled when i read about he creamed onions at Thanksgiving. My parents have a tradition with creamed onions ( we kids could never quite feel the love). In our late teens and early adulthood, it was how we brought boys home at Thanksgiving-we would pass them the creamed onions, if they accepted, and then ate the creamed onions, we would joke that they were keepers.We still have that tradition but we do it with out children. :-)

    Now, leeks I love! Creamed leeks sound pretty good.

    btw, Fine Cooking is one of my favorite cooking magazines. Lots of recipes w/o a million advertisements.

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  32. I have never had a leek! Strange, I know! They sound delightful.

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  33. I had an onion dish already picked to served for Thanksgiving and now you've gone and tempted me with this dish! I love a good 'whisper' food ;) This sounds wonderful, Barbara!

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  34. What a unique recipe. Bookmarking this one, if not for Thanksgiving, for Christmas!

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  35. Daaaaahling, I think every veggie can improve with a bit of heavy cream LOL :D. Wonderful veggie dish.
    *kisses* HH

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  36. These look really scrumptious and would be a perfect sub for creamed onions. I have to give this a try. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  37. Love the idea Barbara. Europeans use leeks much more than we do, especially the French.
    Sam

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  38. I do love leeks. One my favorite ingredients to work with. These would be a welcome addition to any holiday feast.

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  39. This is what I call an interesting recipe, which means, I have never had anything like it. It is time to change that status.

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  40. Oh, my! Leeks are one of my favorite things. Thanks for this recipe--I've bookmarked it.

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  41. I love Leeks, my friend just brought me some from his garden, mine are finished for the season. A wonderful recipe and perfect with the addition of cream!!
    xx

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  42. i have been having so much fun planning thanksgiving....

    this looks wonderful, my friend

    kary
    xxx

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  43. I love the magazine Fine Cooking. I just discovered it too and love the recipes. Never tried leeks before, but it sure does look good!

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  44. I love baked leeks with a good béchamel sauce; adding parmesan is brilliant, what a wonderful vegetable, perfect in quiches, soups and just like this, on its own..

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  45. my mom loves leeks so i am going to make this for her soon. thanks for sharing this.

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  46. I'm actually on the look out for some baby leeks! Your baked version is perfect.

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  47. Wow, I never thought in preparing leek in cream...it sure looks yummie and will definitely make a great side dish :-)

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  48. Hi Barbara! Can you believe I have never cooked leaks??? I don't know why, I love them! This sounds delicious!!!

    Hugs ~

    :) T

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  49. Of all the allium family members, the leek is my favorite. Love it in all forms---and this looks exceptional. I had friend who said that onions were the good earth, but leeks were sweet heaven.

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  50. I just did some braised endive that I am going to blog about soon and it is the same idea - not a strong onion taste, but melt in your mouth goodness. Please blog about your kitchen for the Kitchen Reveal on Dec. 1st. You can include recipes or anything you want = it is your blog. I would be honored to feature your kitchen.

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  51. Cream and cheese!!!! I just love that dish....Fantastic!

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  52. I love leaks! Great recipe!!

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  53. BARBARA! YUMMMMMMOLA! Leeks in any form are special treats, but I have NEVER had them this way! Whoah, I bet Thanksgiving at your house is special and delicious! MAY YOU HAVE A SPECIAL CELEBRATION WITH ALL THOSE YOU LOVE and thank you for coming by. Please, have a seat on my lovely settee...mine is white, but just as lovely as the pink one that you saw in the photo you admired!

    Bises, Anita

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  54. i don't think i've ever flat out eaten a leek--they're always masked by something like potatoes. i'd definitely be interested to try this preparation--nice, barbara!

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  55. What a fantastic idea, Barbara!! I really love leeks but have mostly limited them to soup. I will have to try these very soon indeed. :-)

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  56. Barbara I love creamed onions, so I should really love this. I will have to hurry to give it a pre-Thanksgiving try, but if you loved it, then I know I will.
    So much to do for the day, but I love every second of it.
    hugs to you...

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  57. What a versatile, great side dish, especially for all the holidays coming up. ;)

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  58. What a lovely idea. There's nothing like taking an old familiar classic and updating it. Sounds like this would be an excellent addition to the holiday meal!

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  59. I hope you have a good weekend!

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