Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pinot Grigio Braised Leeks

The nutrition facts for this delicious side dish were created at Calorie Count! The servings are extra large because that is the way we eat it. Nutrition facts do not take into consideration that the alcohol evaporates and thus the C- nutrition grade. But, we know better. Enjoy.

Pinot Grigio Braised Leeks

4 large leeks
3 T unsalted butter or olive oil
3 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ - 1/2 t white pepper
1 t sugar
1 bay leaf
1 cup Pinot Grigio or other non-sweet white wine (or vegetable stock with 1 T cider vinegar)
2 T parsley, chopped

Rinse the leeks to remove external dirt. Slice off the roots. There is about two inches or so of light green above the white bulb and that is fine to eat. Do not eat the dark green stalk. Cut off the dark part of the stalk and remove it hence to the compost bin.

Slice lengthwise and discard outer layer. Slice each half leek lengthwise in the middle (you have just quartered each leek lengthwise). Cut into half inch chunks (see below pic). Add to a bowl of cool water and swish about. Drain in a fine mesh colander and repeat until the dirt is removed. Drain thoroughly and pat with a paper towel to dry.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add butter. When it is melting and bubbly, add the leeks. Stir to coat the chunks with butter. Reduce the heat to medium. Sauté for about five minutes, stir every now and then. After three minutes, add the garlic and stir to release the beautiful aroma.
Sprinkle with thyme, white pepper, sugar, and add the bay leaf. Stir.

Add wine (or stock with cider vinegar) and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and braise, covered, for 10-12 minutes or until the leeks are tender and the sauce has reduced.

Remove the bay leaf. Taste and adjust with more pepper and if you use it salt. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. If you are using stock and cider vinegar you may want to add another splash of vinegar to finish the flavors. If there is too much liquid, raise the heat to achieve a vigorous simmer, uncovered, for a few minutes to reduce the sauce. Stir frequently. You don't need all the liquid to evaporate, just a goodly bit of it. The leeks should still be quite juicy.

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