Long Leek Pie

P1040972

This is a really great appetizer, with a picture that doesn’t do it justice. But trust me, it’s yummy and it’s easy.  A winning combination.

It’s puff pastry topped with leeks that have been simmered in white wine and herbs, then topped with goat’s cheese or crème fraîche. Did you know that some people don’t like goat’s cheese? It’s true, and crème fraîche isn’t a bad substitute for those people.

The recipe is from Yvette van Boven’s cookbook, Home Made. It serves 4-6 people. Mine was smaller, but a lot for two people.

What you need:

  • 4 sheets all-butter puff pastry
  • 3 leeks 
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • butter
  • a few thyme sprigs 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup aged goat cheese, grated or crumbled, or 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 egg white, loosely beaten  

What you do:

  1. Cut the leeks into three sections, removing the bottom and the dark green leaves. Wash the leeks, then simmer in the white wine, butter, thyme, salt, and pepper for about 20 minutes. Remove the leeks from the simmering liquid and pat them dry.

  2. While the leeks are simmering, stack the puff pastry and roll it out lengthwise. Use the back of the knife to score a rectangle just a few centimetres inside the edge; this will form a border. Place the leeks next to each other inside the border of the puff pastry.

  3. Top the leeks with goat cheese or crème fraîche, and brush the outer edges with lightly beaten egg white. (I put a little bit of freshly grated parmesan on top of the crème fraîche)

  4. Bake for about 25 minutes at 400°F. The edge will rise and become browned.

Enjoy it while it’s hot!

Corn Chowder, lactose-free

The sweetness of corn works well here with the salty-smokiness of the prosciutto and smoked paprika.  Roasted garlic comes in handy to perk up soups – sometimes when I’m baking I throw a bulb of garlic in the oven, wrapped in foil.  Then I store it in the fridge for future use.

If you don’t need to make this recipe lactose-free, feel free to use milk or half milk, half cream in place of the soy milk.

What you need:

100 grams prosciutto, chopped into medium-sized chunks

1 large onion, diced

1 leek, sliced

3 stalks celery, diced

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 large potato, chopped

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1 bulb roasted garlic

4 cups chicken stock

2 cans corn or a few cobs

2 cups soy milk

a few dashes of hot sauce

a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper

What you do:

1.  In a large pot, cook the prosciutto for a few minutes, then add the chopped onions, leeks and celery.  Cook on medium heat until they are soft.

2.  Stir in the paprika and cook for a few more minutes.

3.  Add the chicken stock, potato, parsley and roasted garlic.  Cook for about 30 minutes on medium low heat.

4.  Add the corn and soy milk and let them heat up but not boil.  Add hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste.