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Leek Cooking Tips and Hints

Vichyssoise was created in America


Georgia Glynn Smith/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Leek Cooking Tips

Perhaps Vichyssoise, a cold pureed potato leek soup, is the most famous leek dish. You may be surprised to learn that contrary to its name, this dish is an American creation, albeit by a French chef. It was created by Chef Louis Diat in New York City's Ritz Carlton Hotel. He created the perfect cold soup for summer around 1900, inspired by boyhood memories of asking his mother for cold milk to add to hot soup to cool it off enough to eat.

When cooking leeks as a side dish, it is important they not be overcooked. Overcooking will turn them into a slimy, unappetizing pile of mush. They should be cooked until tender but still exert a little resistance when pierced.

The dark green trimmed leaves may be used to flavor stock or blanched and used as a wrapper for any variety of fillings or bouquet garni.

In general, leeks can be substituted for onions in most dishes using onions for flavoring. Unless you use a very mild sweet onion or perhaps green onions, substituting onions for leeks will result in a much stronger flavor which might be detrimental to the intent of the original dish.

Raw leeks may be sliced thin and added to salads.

Leeks partner well with veal, cheese, chicken, and ham.

Complimentary herbs and spices include chervil, parsley, sage, thyme, basil, lemon, and mustard.

More about Leeks:

Leek Cooking Tips and Hints
How to Clean Leeks
Leek Selection and Storage
Leek Substitutions, Measures, & Equivalents
Leek History
Leek Lore and Legends
Leek Health Benefits
Leek Recipes
Leek Photo © 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.


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