Sunday, May 23, 2010
I am sad to say that until last night I had never braised a vegetable. Wow...was I missing out! D grilled salmon filets and I sprinkled them with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese after they came off the grill and then served them on a bed of braised leeks....let's just forget the salmon as it paled in comparison to the leeks...which were, for lack of a better word, divine!
Braising is a slow cooking technique that can be used for meats or vegetables. In the case of vegetables, they are "cooked for short period of time in hot butter or another fat, then simmered partially covered in the cooking liquid until they are soft and the liquid is reduced to a sauce-like consistency." (The Joy of Cooking) This technique yields a deep, creamy and delicious flavor. I seriously could not get enough!
D and I both agreed that this would go wonderfully with filet mignon and mashed potatoes...now that would be a luxurious meal!
The recipe I used was from a cookbook called "Salmon", by Diane Morgan. I halved the recipe as there were only two of us.
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 medium leeks or 3 large, white and green parts only, halved lengthwise, rinsed, and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
kosher or sea salt
freshly ground pepper
In a 8 or 10-inch saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat and swirl to coat the pan. Add the leeks and saute, stirring frequently, until they just begin to brown, 8-10 minutes. (Reduce the heat to low if the leeks begin to darken and get crisp at the edges.) Add the broth, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Adjust the heat so the borth is barely at a simmer, partially cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and the leeks are very tender, 35-45 minutes. (The leeks should be very moist but not souply at all). Uncover and raise the heat to reuce the liquid, if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.