15 February 2008

Salmon with winter leeks

En français ici.
I have to admit, my current vegetable obsession is leeks. According to this insanely huge French culinary dictionary I got for Christmas, leeks are not only rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin A and B, but they are also diuretic and lowcal. On top of all that (I hope you guys are getting excited) leeks, or at least one of their varieties, are in season practically all-year long. (Photo: winter leeks)

I mean, what's not to like??

Ok, true, unlike in France where leeks are about as cheap as potatoes, in the US leeks are seen as a deluxe vegetable and are more expensive. (Incidentally, this makes absolutely no sense, since leeks are easy to grow in warm or cold climates.) But, they are absolutely delicious! Unfortunately, most leek recipes involve boiling them first, and my mom always tells me only to boil vegetables if I'm going to drink the water afterwards where they will have left all their vitamins. Um, yuck, mom. Here's a better idea.

Fish and Winter Leeks
(for 2 people)

3 Tbsp butter
4 leeks
3 carrots (and/or 1 red pepper)
2 frozen fish filets (I use frozen fish because fresh fish is way too expensive and most often I use frozen salmon, but you can use most kinds of fish with good results)

Peel the carrots; wash leeks and cut carrots and the white part of the leeks into round slices. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the carrots (and/or chopped red pepper) and leeks. (If you're watching your calorie intake, you can substitute 3 Tbsp of water for the butter.) Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper as desired. Add fish filets and cook for 5-8 minutes on each side, depending on the type of fish. Some of the leek bits will brown, this means they are starting to caramelize and it's absolutely delicious so don't worry.

Serve hot and enjoy!


Amy said...

That looks delicious. Another recipe that doesn't involve boiling the leeks but is really easy is potato leek soup (you probably already know how to make it, but I'll tell you how I do it anyway). You just saute the leeks in butter, add chopped potatoes (I like to add a chopped carrot too), cover with water, then simmmer until potatoes are soft. You can puree it or not, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Hopie said...

oh indeed. i LOVE potato leek soup. potato leek soup is what convinced D., who told me she categorically hated soup, that she didn't. And what convinced a guy my dad did theater with, who told me he categorically hated leeks (granted he had to bite into a raw one every night in the play), that he did ;-)

good idea to add a carrot! i usually make it with chicken or veggie broth instead of water for extra flavor.

Katharine said...

Rgarding the fish: At least in the case of salmon, please buy wild! In a discussion in our homeopathy class last month, while studying the remedy made from Pacific salmon (which is used to treat infertility in women), we learned that farmed salmon, when it escapes from the farm and mates with wild, weakens the fins and tail strength of the wild, which they need to make it to their spawning grounds. In Scotland, for example, there can hardly be found healthy wild salmon any more. Amy et al, you may know more about this than I - please chime in if you do. In any case, though it's expensive you may be saving the lives of a species when you buy wild. It is sold frozen in health food stores/sections - probably trucked in from Alaska which is another problem...perhaps I need to learn to fish!

Can't wait to try this recipe. Fast-free week (Publican and Pharisee) this week so fish is high on my list. Thank you, Hopie!

Hopie said...

Good point. I'll check out my local health food store. Fish here is so expensive! Too bad I don't live by the ocean. :-(