Wednesday, June 20, 2012

L is for: Leeks {FnB Style, Braised w/ Mozzarella & Dijon Breadcrumbs}

When I was in Arizona for work a couple months ago, I had the pleasure of sampling several restaurants in the Scottsdale area. FnB is one that has continued to stick with me, and when people ask about my favorite restaurant in Scottsdale, it's always in my top 3.

The restaurant was not only named one of the best new spots in the country back in 2010, but their braised leeks were named one of the top ten *dishes* in America by Food and Wine Magazine that year. They even developed their own hash tag, #leekapalooza.

I'm here to tell you they lived up to the hype. Such a simple combination of flavors, yet so good. Like, I've had dreams about these leeks. I decided to recreate them so I scoured the world wide web in hopes of finding a recipe. All I found was this cheesy morning news segment which wasn't very helpful.


I love leeks. Leeks look like giant scallions. They are similar to an onion, but much milder. They are also extremely dirty, so you must wash them thoroughly. To use them in this particular recipe, trim tough green portions and root ends from leeks leaving about 5-6 inches of white and pale green portions. Discard any tough outer layers. Cut lengthwise and rinse under cold running water to remove dirt. Drain on paper towels.



Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook until butter is melted and starting to foam but not browning. Place leeks, cut side down, into pan and season with salt. Squeeze lemon slices into pan and place slices next to leeks. Add thyme sprigs to pan. Cooke 3-4 minutes, or until leeks start to brown. Flip, season with more salt, and cook an additional 3 minutes. Deglaze pan with chicken broth and a splash of wine (enough to submerge leeks halfway), scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Flip leeks back over and bring liquid to boiling. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until leeks are easily pierced with a paring knife.


Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Mix in Dijon mustard and then breadcrumbs. Place leeks in a small gratin dish, cover with freshly shredded mozzarella and bread crumb mixture. At FnB, they use house-made mozzarella. Clearly I wasn't *that* ambitious. But I would recommend getting the good stuff from the fancy cheese section of the grocery store and grating it yourself. Broil 5-6 minutes, or until cheese is melted and breadcrumbs are golden brown.


While leeks are broiling, fry your egg. To cook perfect sunny-side-up eggs, I like to use this method I learned from the Pioneer Woman. Now, I'm going to admit, I was in a hurry when I was making this and did what she recommended NOT doing, which was to cover the egg to steam it a little. Looking back, I probably wouldn't have done this because the yolk got just a *smidge* more cooked than I would like.

Basically, I melt a combo of butter and oil in a non-stick skillet and spoon the hot fat over the egg whites to cook them without having to flip them over. Yes, I realize this is not very healthy. No, I don't care.


Serve the egg on top of the leeks with a few fresh thyme leaves. At the restaurant, they spooned the runny egg yolk over the dish at the table. Mmmmm. I love me some runny yolk.


Without really knowing the actual recipe they use, I'm not sure how close I was, but if memory serves...pretty damn close. Not gonna lie, I gave myself a little pat on the back after this one. And then I promptly gobbled down the entire dish in about two minutes flat.

(P.S. I also made a second batch later that night for my friend Amy and skipped the fried egg since Bachelorette was starting and we were hungry. It was great both ways, so do whatever your little heart desires. :))

Braised Leeks {FnB Copycat Recipe}

by Jaymee Sire
Keywords: saute fry appetizer breakfast vegetarian lemon mozzarella leeks thyme

Ingredients
  • 2-3 large leeks
  • 5-6 tablespoons butter, divided use
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into slices and seeds removed
  • 5 sprigs thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth or water (or enough to submerge leeks halfway in pan)
  • splash white wine (optional)
  • 1.5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup good quality, freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large egg
Instructions
  1. Trim tough green portions and root ends from leeks leaving about 5-6 inches of white and pale green portions. Discard any tough outer layers. Cut lengthwise and rinse under cold running water to remove dirt. Drain on paper towels.
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook until butter is melted and starting to foam but not burn. Place leeks, cut side down, into pan. Squeeze lemon slices into pan and place slices next to leeks. Add thyme sprigs to pan. Cooke 3-4 minutes, or until leeks start to brown. Flip, season with salt, and cook an additional 3 minutes. Deglaze pan with chicken broth and wine, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Flip leeks back over and bring liquid to boiling. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until leeks are easily pierced with a paring knife.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Mix in Dijon mustard and then breadcrumbs. Place leeks in a small gratin dish, cover with shredded mozzarella and bread crumb mixture. Broil 5-6 minutes, or until cheese is melted and breadcrumbs are golden brown.
  4. Melt final 1-2 tablespoons butter in a large non-stick skillet (depending on size of pan), along with remaining tablespoon of oil. Crack egg on a flat surface and add to pan. Season with salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium low. Spoon or baste a little of the hot butter/oil onto the whites of the eggs until whites are set and opaque.
  5. When leeks are done broiling, top with sunny side up egg and garnish with fresh thyme. Serve immediately!
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5 comments:

  1. I love the step-by-step pictures. Very great way to use the eggs.

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  2. Stumbled upon this recipe by accident, tried it the same day, and both my wife and I have immediately added it to our "we have to make these more often" list. Fantastic recipe!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I really loved them as well!

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  3. Thank you for sharing this! I found you through reading a newer Food & Wine Article - (http://www.foodandwine.com/blogs/2014/2/11/fnb-s-leekapalooza) about #Leekapalooza and like you, I couldn't believe more people weren't talking about recreating this famed dish! I made this last week... PERFECTION. Shocked more people haven't landed here... regardless, thank you for bringing this to the masses :D

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I would LOVE to hear what you think. I read every comment and get a little giddy when I see someone has left one on the blog. Thanks for stopping by!

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