Melted leeks and poached disappointment

I had been excited about making this recipe for a long time. I had found it this summer and stuck it away waiting to make it for one of the first chilly nights, causing my expectations to rise. Well, they rose and they rose and I thought about this recipe day after day. One day, the temperature dropped and so did my love for this recipe. I had already decided it was a keeper and would be great to make as a starter for dinner parties. I was wrong.

These are the quantities per person:

  • 1/3 cup melted leeks(about 2 cups uncooked) 
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup simmering chicken stock
  • a handful of Parmesan or other hard cheese, grated as finely as possible (about 1/2 oz)
  • 1 large egg( and a tsp or 2 of vinegar to poach)
  • 2 Tbs butter

Use mostly white part and a little bit of green part of leeks. Cut in half lengthwise and wash well to get grit out. Slice into thin(about 1/8in) semi-circles. Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted, add leeks and a table-spoon or two of water. Simmer until water is almost all evaporated, adding more as needed to soften the leeks. I cut the amount of butter in half to one tablespoon to save on fat and calories. I don’t think this really affected the overall outcome at all. Once water evaporated and leeks softened, put 1/3 cup of the melted leeks into the bottom of a soup bowl.

While you are cooking the leeks, heat water on the stove top to cook quinoa according to directions on the box. When done and fluffed, put 1/2 cup of the quinoa on top of the leeks in each bowl.

In another pot, poach an egg. I have linked to you how to nicely poach an egg. I am terrible at poaching eggs and much like Julie in Julie and Julia, I really need to commit myself to the kitchen one day and go through a dozen eggs or two to perfect it. Take your beautifully poached egg and set it gently on top of the pile of melted leeks and quinoa you have placed in the bowl.

Also, simmer chicken stock in another pan on your stove top. This might be where I messed up. I happened to be at Brian’s when I was making this and he has limited cooking supplies. So instead of heating it up on the stove top, I simply microwaved the stock to warm it. Well, while the broth is simmering you are to slowly whisk in the 1/2 ounce of parmesan. I pulled the stock out of the microwave and attempted to do this and my parm clumped together and made a melty parm ball in the broth(which you can see sitting on top of the egg). Once simmered and whisked, slowly pour around your mountain of leeks, quinoa and egg.

There, now you have melted leeks, quinoa and poached egg in Parmesan broth. Taste it. It tasted buttery and salty to me. Tasty but not amazing like I thought it was going to be. It would be delicious when I was sick and salty was the only thing I could taste. Quite honestly, when I’m sick enough that all I want to eat is salty soup, I won’t be feeling well enough to stand in the kitchen to make this.

Fortunately, we had gone to the farmer’s market that morning and bought really delicious multi-grain bread. I spread some herbed goat cheese and sprinkled a little extra parmesan on it and broiled it in the oven for a few minutes. Toasted cheesy bread can save any meal!

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