Thursday, 9 September 2010

Seasonal recipe of the week

Leeks and Ham in Cheese and Mustard Sauce with a Cheesy Topping


3lb (1kg 350g) small leeks, trimmed and washed and cut in half
salt and pepper
2oz (50g) butter
170g Parma ham
3oz (50g) plain flour
¾ pint (425ml) milk
6oz (175g) cheddar cheese, grated
1oz (25g) Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tbsp (15g) wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp (15g)English mustard

For the topping

2 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
1oz (25g) grated cheddar cheese

Pre-heat oven to 200C / 400F / Gas 6.

Place the leeks in a pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes until just tender. Drain and put under cold water immediately to refresh and stop the cooking process.

Place the butter, flour and milk in a saucepan and slowly bring up to the boil and whisk all the time. Once it is up to the boil, reduce the heat and let it just simmer for 2 minutes.

Add the grated cheddar and parmesan and then the mustards. Season with salt and pepper.

Wrap the leeks in Parma ham put them into a shallow serving dish and pour over the sauce.

Mix the breadcrumbs and the cheese together and scatter over the top of the leeks.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Go for small or medium size leeks; large leeks (more than about an inch in diameter) are likely to be tough and woody. Leaf tops should be fresh and green, the root end should be unblemished and yield very slightly to pressure. Buy more than needed (around double by weight) to allow for losses due to trimming.

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