09 April 2011

Leeks with Mushrooms and Garlic

Leeks have been around since the beginning of time. I know this because I recall in the Old Testament the Israelites longing and complaining for the cucumbers and leeks they used to eat while enslaved in Egypt, while wandering in the wilderness for 40 years on their way to the promise land. Me and the Israelites have something in common. We both love cucumbers and leeks. While I'll have to discuss cucumbers on another day, let me just say that with the right ingredients and cooking methods, this member of the onion family has become a staple in my weekly diet. 

Traditionally only the lower white bulb and stalk of leeks are cooked and eaten in recipes. I've never been one for tradition as I find that the whole leek can and should be consumed. There are some that believe that the upper dark green portion of the leek has no flavor. I assert that they simply have not been cooking it correctly and with the right ingredients. But do as you will with this recipe. Cook all or a portion of the leek. Either way you"ll be happy you did. 


Leeks with Mushrooms and Garlic

4 chopped organic Leeks
3 cloves organic Garlic chopped
6-8 ounces sliced Crimini Mushrooms
1-2 teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper
Olive Oil

In a saute pan or wok add the leeks. Sprinkle the leeks with olive oil until they are coated (add a little olive oil at a time, and use your hands or a spoon to coat the leeks. Keep adding a little oil at a time and stirring until the leeks are sufficiently coated). Heat the pan on medium high heat for about 15 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until leeks diminish in volume (see picture above). Once the leeks have diminished in volume add the mushrooms and garlic to them. Mix ingredients well. Turn the pan's temperature down to medium low heat and let simmer until the leeks, and mushrooms are to your desired softness. Once the leeks and mushrooms are to your desired softness turn the pan's heat to low, and add the crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Served immediately. 



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