Who's That Girl

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WHO'S THAT GIRL: A higher education obsessed foodie who is documenting her life in the kitchen. I love to cook delicious, gourmet-style foods for those I love and always welcome a challenge in the kitchen. With that challenge comes an impromptu nature. I tend to avoid following recipes to the exact, so you are not likely to find very many posted here. Being that I am a Libra and am learning to be free in the kitchen, the story always goes, "A pinch of this and a smattering of that!" Thank you for visiting -- and happy reading!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Oh lovely leeks. How could it be that we only found one another five months ago.

Yes, it's true.

How could someone so terribly obsessed with onions (someday I will figure out a way to appropriately cook them into a double fudge chocolate cake) and also garlic simply not know about leeks? 

I mean, really.

I cannot even recall how I learned about leeks. But it was sometime during the summer and likely while browsing a cooking site that I learned about this amazing treat.

What a beautiful vegetable. It must be a woman -- a tall, gentle stalk with her skirt splayed, eternally poised in a dance of circular motions. It truly is vegetable in motion and loving of life.

But what to do with her?

I had rushed after work to my local grocery and, to my utter glee, the store had a few leeks still in stock.

No more than six available, I picked over each one, studying intensely the color density and the smoothness of the stalk and cylinder-shaped bud. I flicked the soft leaves, also squeezing gently to feel them give slighty at the touch of my finger tips.

What to do, I wondered, all the while eyeballing the produce stacker who had already given me the evil eye because, at this point, I had already pursued the mushrooms, eggplants, green onions and bell peppers. And I wasn't finished. I wanted, also, to check out the avocados and wonton wrappers, which are oddly placed in the produce section.

Oh, dearest Libra -- make a decision quick.

I decided on the two strongest appearing ones. One for tonight's dish -- whatever it may be; the other for another time. Maybe for a marriage with that plump eggplant? Hum...

I decided on the fly and as I was preparing this real-time evolving dish I though: Someone on this planet must have thought up this recipe before and perfected it.

I am sure, I pondered, that some restaurant somewhere in Thailand must be serving this dish as a Monday night special.

Ah, well, we enjoyed it.

I sauteed the leeks in a bit of olive oil. Just a tiny bit because as I recently learned at Miraval, no matter the wonderful qualities of olive oil, one must still be very careful and mindful of the fat content it carries.

Meanwhile, I prepared a boil with vegetable stock, fresh garlic and three bay leaves. I also added a bit of Old Bay seasoning for fun and nostalgia.

Next, I boiled water. Simply water for the rice sticks.

When the leeks were poised to begin turning golden brown, I added chopped red bell peppers (about half) and a tiny bit of chopped shallot, hoping to slow the cooking process a bit to also ensure that the leeks were slightly undercooked.

Meanwhile, I chopped mint and basil to toss in the mixture at the end.

It was quite simple and lovely, and the assembly was easy.

Before plating, I added a bit of a mixture: About three to four tablespoons of soy sauce with two tablespoons of black and white sesame seeds along with some mirin and rice wine vinegar.

After this, I put the bowl in the freezer to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Don't ask why -- but I imagined this as a cold dish.

For my plate, I added a bit of siracha and, to both bowls, a small shaving of ginger to finish it all off.  So, really, very, very little salt and fat with this dish.

What would I have changed? I would have done a better job cleaning the shrimp. I really need to improve this skill to get all of the vein out!

I also would not have let the basil sit in the fridge for one day too long. Also, I may have added some yellow bell peppers for fun and a few freshly chopped green onions at the end.

In all, nice dish -- very light, very refreshing for these late-in-the-season-hot evenings.

And, look at what I also picked up from the market today:


  1. I somehow missed this post yesterday. Ah, leeks. Seems like a person could make an incredible melange of leeks, onions, scallions and other stuff. Hmm, that gets me thinking (always a dangerous thing).

  2. Oooh! That sounds good, being that I am such the fan of onions. Now you've got ME thinking! Hum...


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