You know, I think leeks are magic. Everything is better with leeks. The humble potato meets up with leeks in Julia’s Potage Parmentier, and they become a soup that you want to share with everyone and no one all at the same time. They are a depth-adding member of a fall/winter vegetable soup. They are a mild, yet assertive companion for chicken and pork in almost any form. In the dish above, they transform simple white rice into a luscious comfort-food side dish that seems like there’s more to it than there is.
I found this recipe in the now-defunct Penzeys One magazine, the short-lived (sad face) publication from Penzeys Spices. It’s unexpectedly rich and creamy, a great side dish for just about any meat, and went along quite well with the shrimp curry from last week. It’s also weeknight-holidaymadness-what’sfordinner simple. Broil some chops or steaks, or toss in some shellfish near the end of the cooking, and you have a quick, tasty supper.
Sauteed Rice with Leeks – Penzeys One, Vol. 1, #1, 2005
1/4 C olive oil
1 C minced onion
1 TB flour
1 TB salt
1/2 tsp sugar
4 C water
1 C rice, uncooked
Trim and clean leeks well, then slice into thin rounds, and rinse again if needed, and drain. In a frying pan with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the minced onions and cook gently until soft, but not brown. Add the flour, salt and sugar, and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Add the water, and bring it to a boil. Add the leeks and rice, stir to mix thoroughly, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the rice has mostly absorbed the liquid, and is cooked completely.
Get some leeks, try this rice dish, and try using leeks along with onions, or as a stand-in for onions, in some of your own dishes. You’ll taste the magic. I’ll see you soon, somewhere on down the Road.