Cooking leeks can be challenging because the outer layers cook quicker than the inner core. This makes it difficult to achieve an even result. You can avoid this problem by cooking leeks sous vide in a water bath. In this method, the low cooking temperature means that the leeks never exceed the optimum temperature, which prevents them overcooking on the outside.
- 3 large leeks, trimmed with base intact
- 25ml of olive oil
- Preheat the water bath to a temperature of 85⁰C.
- Arrange the leeks side by side inside a vacuum bag. Season with salt, pour over the olive oil and vacuum the bag to seal.
- Place the bag in the water bath and leave to cook for around 30 minutes. To test whether the leeks are cooked, give them a gentle squeeze; if they feel soft, they are ready.
- Slide the leeks out of the vacuum bag and drain on kitchen paper.
If you like, you can supplement the olive oil with other fats. For added richness and flavour, try using bacon fat or butter. You could even add a dash of truffle oil to give a really luxurious result. However, make sure that you only use a very small amount of truffle oil or you will overpower the leeks.
Simple and stylish leek dishes, such as Martin Wishart’s Leeks vinaigrette with eggs mimosa, are both delicious and versatile. You could serve Steven Drake’s Grilled leek, aubergine and mushrooms as a weekend brunch, a light lunch or an elegant starter. Fans of classic French flavours will particularly enjoy Henry Harris’s Poached duck egg, leeks vinaigrette, deep fried snails and bacon with garlic butter.
Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com