When my husband and I visited Ireland in 2000, we fell in love not only with the friendly Irish people, but also their cuisine. We enjoyed creamed leeks in a pub while we were touring the Ring of Kerry. I promptly made my version, which includes lemon thyme and Meyer lemon zest, as soon as we arrived home. I've been making it ever since!
TIP: Use good Irish butter. —Lizthechef
unsalted butter, divided use
all-purpose unbleached flour
leeks, washed, trimmed - white and light green parts only - cut into 1/4 inch thick circles (about 1/2 pound of leeks)
fresh lemon thyme leaves (or any fresh thyme)
Meyer lemon zest (or any fresh lemon zest)
Using a small saucepan, heat the milk until it simmers, when small bubbles form at the sides of the pan. Keep milk warm over very low heat.
Using a medium-sized saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter, then stir in the flour, stirring and cooking over medium heat 2-3 minutes.
Whisk in the hot milk, cooking over medium heat, and stir until sauce thickens - when it coats the back of a wooden spoon - about 3-4 minutes. Add the thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Using a large skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and cook until leeks begin to wilt and green color brightens, about 10 minutes.
Add the sauce to the leeks, stir, then cover and cook over very low heat for 5 minutes. Serve.