I have a question about the recipe "Braised Leeks " from Erin McDowell. i assume this isnt worth it without butter? i feel like leeks need butter, right? thank you!
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Baking consultant at large at Food52, and author of The Fearless Baker (Fall 2017)
You assume right, especially in this case - but really is anything worth it without butter? ;)
While this current fad of bragging about how much butter one eats has its humorous side, and is not without historic precedent (I'm reminded of Howlin' Wolf's declaration that he could "eat mo' chicken than any man you ever seen") it should be realized that people are likely to believe such nonsense and let it affect their actions.
The majority of this planet’s inhabitants frequently cook alliums without butter. I assure other readers here that there are delicious allium based dishes in Asia, for example.
If you want to enjoy alliums without the use of butter, the best course of action for someone unfamiliar with this methodology would be to find recipes specifically designed without butter.
Lisanne is a trusted home cook.
It depends what you're "really" asking. If you're asking whether you can still make a good dish of braised leeks without butter whether because you don't have butter in the house and need to run out and buy it or whether there's an acceptable substitute for any of a variety of reasons (special diets among them), I think you can still make a pleasing dish with an alternative fat source. If you're still considering this recipe but have specific conditions/diets/or guests to satisfy, let us know more and we can provide a good answer.
Thanks everyone! I am cooking for strictly kosher guests so I’m not using any dairy with the meal as it has meat. I’ve had braised leeks and they’re delicious but I was kind of thinking out loud — that there’s something magical about a leek and butter and maybe I should choose a side dish where it doesn’t matter as much. (Like coq au vin kind of needs wine....) but if someone convincing had tried it with olive oil I might have reconsidered. :)
Nancy is a trusted home cook.
Tea - here are a few ideas.
1) One full flavoured meat alternative. Enhance the poultry flavor (already in the recipe as turkey or chicken broth) and use schmaltz. As rich as butter, just different.
2) Make a leek recipe designed from the start with olive oil. I'm sure there are many out there. A couple I've used successfully are
* Baked leek casserole. Flavored with olive oil & mostly Italian herbs (basil, oregano, sage, rosemary thyme). Compatible with turkey and stuffing. Can add starchy root vegetables or leave them out.
* Roasted leeks, onions and garlic. Roasting brings out both the flavors and the sweetness of the vegetables. Can be served hot, warm or chilled.
Good luck with your meal planning.
I have not made this dish but you could try it with butter flavored coconut oil.
I enjoy making a vinaigrette of olive oil and mustard with some herbs to add to boiled boiled while they are still warm. Let it sit for a few minutes so the leeks can absorb the flavors. Light, but flavorful.