“If Leekes you like, but do their smell dis-like, Eat Onyons, and you shall not smell the Leeke; If you of Onyons would the scent expell, Eat Garlicke, that shall drowne the Onyons' smell.”
~Dr. William Kitchiner(1775-1827) , The Cook's Oracle (1817)
I love leeks. They remind me of spring. Cutting them up reveals a spectrum of fresh shades of green hidden inside. I considered adding some bacon to this pie, since I had some that I wanted to use up. I'm glad I didn't. The subtle flavor of the leek was just perfect starring all alone in the creamy base. The Gruyère didn't overpower the leeks, but the bacon would have.
This is a sample recipe from The Country Cooking of IRELAND, the book that I'll be shipping to one lucky winner at the end of the month. You need only comment for an entry. The leek pie is the creation of Kevin Driver, the chef at Kelly's Resort Hotel and Spa on the Sea in Rosslare, County Wexford.
I halved the recipe, since there was only Scott and I around for dinner last night, but I'll give it to you the way it was presented. It says it will serve 6, but we had no problem polishing off the half-size pie.
We LOVED it and I'll be making it again soon. It was easy, too. Pepperidge Farm frozen puffed pastry never disappoints.
3 tablespoons of flour
3/4 cup butter, softened
4 cups chopped leeks (about 4, whites only)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 lb of Gruyère cheese, grated
1 1/2 lbs of puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a very small bowl, work flour into 1/3 of the butter, using a fork, creating a Beurre Manié. Melt remaining butter and add the leeks. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until softened.
Stir in the Beurre Manié and cream and bring to a boil, stirring. Remove from heat to cool. When it is at room temperature, stir in the cheese. Cut two 10 inch disks from the dough. Put one on a cookie sheet, brush some egg over the surface. Pile leek mixture in the middle and spread to within a 1/2" of the edge. Tope with remaining disk. Press edges together and crimp to seal. Brush all over with beaten egg and then cut a few X's in the top.
Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and cook for 20 minutes longer.
Serve immediately. Serves 6.