Eat a leek for St. Davy's Day!
I'm reposting this in honor of St. David's day tomorrow, March 1. All true Welshmen should eat a leek. Which is far
tastier than the Irish shamrock, the English rose, or the Scottish thistle. Just sayin'.
Anyway, I invented this recipe to honor my Welsh forebears. It's a great favorite with the Scouts who've eaten it in the wild. It even won the weekly Scouters' Cookoff a few years ago at Ransburg Reservation!St. David's TrifectaIngredients:
1 pkg. bacon, 12 oz. or so. (I avoid sugar-cured bacon as being too sweet.)
1 bundle of fresh aparagus, about 1 lb.
2 bundles of leeks, about 5 medium.
olive oil, butter, salt, pepper
1. Cut bacon in pieces. Place in heavy pot and cook over medium-high heat. Render out most of the fat until bacon begins to crisp up. Remove bacon from pot and drain; set aside. Pour off most of the bacon grease, leaving only a small coating in the bottom along with any little bacon granules. This will help flavor the dish.
2. While the bacon is frying, cut asparagus into short lengths, then clean and cut leeks. To clean leeks, cut off roots and big green tops. Slice leeks in half lengthwise, then rinse under the tap. Leeks, a member of the onion family, accumulate sand and dirt between their leaves and have to be cleaned. After rinsing, slice leeks crosswise into pieces.
3. Once the bacon is removed from the pot and most of the fat poured off, add a bit of olive oil to the pot. This is because bacon grease has too low a smoke point. You want the flavor of the bacon grease, but you don't want to actually cook in straight pork fat. So, a wee bit of bacon and a slightly larger bit of olive oil is used to sautee the asparagus.
4. Once the asparagus is almost tender enough to eat, but not quite, add some butter -- anywhere from half a stick to a whole stick, depending on how much you like -- together with the leeks. Add salt and (freshly ground) pepper to taste. Leeks cook fast, since there's not much substance to them.
5. When leeks are soft, remove the pot from the heat. Move the leeks and asparagus to another dish for serving, if desired. Strew the top of the green veggies with the bacon pieces you fried first. Enjoy.