Thursday, January 08, 2009

Grilled Leeks with Romesco Sauce (Page 546)


  • Date: Monday, December 29, 2008 -- 7pm
  • Location: Westerville, OH
  • Kitchen: Karen and Dave's House
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Dining Companions: Karen H, Dave, Wes, Brad, and Deniz
  • Recipe Rating: B+

My special gentleman and I made dinner one night while we were at his parents' house over the holidays. I chose these leeks to make because they require a grill. We don't have a grill (one downside of having lived in apartments for so many years), so I try to make the grilled recipes in The Book when I am cooking away from home. I started by making the romesco sauce, which is a sauce from the Catalan region of Spain which is often served with fish or chicken or, as in this case, vegetables. I soaked a dried New Mexico chile in red wine vinegar, and meanwhile cooked almonds, then bread cubes, then garlic, then onion one after another in a skillet of olive oil. Once the onion had softened I added the almonds, bread, and garlic back to the pan, along with the chile and vinegar, a peeled and chopped tomato, paprika, and salt. I cooked the mixture for a couple minutes and then pureed it in a food processor. That formed the sauce. To cook the leeks I started by boiling them in water until tender, then my special gentleman finished them on the grill. Once they had nice grill marks we served them topped with the romesco sauce. The dish turned out pretty well Grilling is a nice way to prepare leeks -- the smoky charred flavor from the grill is a fine complement to the oniony flavor of the vegetable. The romesco sauce was also quite nice. With both ground up almonds and ground up bread in it, I was worried it was going to have a grainy texture, but it really didn't. It had a nice texture and a good flavor to it. I liked having a very substantial sauce with the leeks. A thinner sauce would have made this dish all about the leeks. While leeks are indeed tasty, I don't think leeks are vegetables that are great to eat in large quantities with no accompaniment. In this recipe, though, the hearty texture of the sauce made it a big component of the dish. It complemented the leeks well, and made the dish seem complete.

This recipe isn't online.

Now that we are quite a few days into the new year, I think it is about time that I make some resolutions/goals for 2009. So here goes:
  • Run a marathon. My plan is to start training at the beginning of March for a marathon in the fall.
  • Have fun planning our wedding, without getting stressed out or worrying about things that don't really matter.
  • Get a tenure-track job. My post-doc will be over in the not-too-distant future, so it will soon be time to start looking for a more permanent job!
  • Keep in better phone contact with my friends. I am not good about calling people, but whenever I do talk with people on the phone, I am always glad I did. Something to work on!
  • Appreciate the many blessings in my life.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep my mathematical life better organized (my offices, both at work and at home, are a bit of a disaster!).
  • Be a good friend.
  • Make 350 recipes from The Book!
That's a good start for now! I think 2009 is going to be a great year!


Emilee said...

This list of resolutions reminds me of the year I resolved to stop losing my keys. Or the year I resolved to drink more V8. Your resolutions are so AMBITIOUS! I'm tired just reading them!

Katie Flanagan said...

How did you keep the leeks from being sandy?

Teena said...

Em: if you don't make them ambitious, then what's the point of making them?!?

Katie: That's a great question. I sliced them lengthwise in half, all except the 2 inches closest to the root. That way they held together, but you could still get in there with water to wash them out so they weren't sandy.