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La Belle Cuisine
of Leeks with Beaufort Cheese
(Blancs de Poireaux en Gratin de Beaufort)
Roger Verge's Vegetables in the French Style
by Roger Vergé (Edward Schneider, Translator), 1994,
Artisan, a division of Workman Publishing
For 4 servings
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
large leeks (2 1/2 pounds total)
1/2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 tablespoons crème fraîche,
or 3 tablespoons heavy cream plus
1/2 ounces Beaufort or Swiss Gruyère
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Trim away the root ends
and the greens of the leeks, then make 2 perpendicular cuts from the leaf
end toward the root, cutting to within
3 inches of the root end. Wash the
leeks carefully in warm water and
tie them into a bundle with string.
2 cups of water to the boil and cook for about 30 minutes.
Remove them and
drain well, pressing with a wooden spoon to
squeeze out as much water as
possible. Undo the bundle.
the flour and the paprika, and dredge the leeks in this mixture.
the butter in a skillet; when it begins to turn golden, add the
leeks and brown them lightly on all sides.
the cream (with the mascarpone if you are using it) and add
cheese and a pinch of nutmeg. Mix well until the cheese
is melted, and
season to taste with salt.
the leeks in a gratin dish or baking dish, spread the cheese
them, and run under the broiler (not too close to the
heat) until golden.
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