Thursday, August 26, 2010

Joe can cook! Episode 4: Oven Roasted Leeks


It looks like from the comments dropped in my previous posts, invited food reviews don't exist in Melbourne do there? Jolly well, they really don't have to. 

After doing a bit of research about the food and beverage industry in Australia; i have gotten some interesting facts to share. 

Firstly, i find out that they have implemented a scoring system similar to the Michelin stars, instead of stars, there have "hats". One hat to Three hats, how easy is that? However with the system in place, people out there are suddenly disillusioned to eat in a hatted restaurant. Just for example, i called up a one hat restaurant yesterday and asked if i could make a reservation for this Friday or Saturday. In Malaysia, you would have gotten a no problem sir, look forward to having you here. In Melbourne? Sir, we are fully booked out for the weekend, may i suggest looking for the next available weekend? Sure, please do. Well Sir, how does 5 November at 6 pm sound? (With a tone of how lucky you are). Gosh, i had to look at my computer to see what month we are.

Somehow or rather despite the number of good restaurants within the city centre, full booked out restaurants are typical scenarios and to try walking in, you probably need to have a few backup plans at the back of your pockets.
Which brings me to the conclusion, how to find free food in Melbourne? You simply don't.

Oh well Malaysia 1 Australia 0.
--

All that being said, if you can't find free food nor dine out, lets cook. I simply love leeks and i remember it being a staple dish during the chinese new year season when either my grandmother or mom or even uncle if i am not mistaken cook up a huge plate of stir fry leeks with roasted pork. The leeks are almost braised to a soft texture and everything oh gels so well together.

So having a craving for leeks, i decided to improvise and give it the oven treatment. 

Now leeks are really dirty, so after cutting it into chunks from the bottom to where the stalk turns green (discard the green portion of the leek, not the other way around), give it a good rinse and make sure all the sand is washed off. 


After that spread it all out onto a tray, coat the leeks with olive oil and generously season it with salt and pepper. If you want to add more flavour, add a slice of bacon, or maybe two (diced). 

Pre heat your oven at 190 degrees and when it is up to that temperature, pop the tray of leeks into the oven for 30-40 minutes, when the leeks go tender. If you find that the leeks dry out and start to caramelize, pour abit of stock over it to keep it moist.

Otherwise, use the leeks as a base for a roasting meat i.e. beef, pork or lamb so you got the meat juices combining with the vegetables. 

 

Although it doesn't taste as great as how the chinese does it, well at this point in time, this has got to do. For a first time, i think it tasted pretty damn fine.

17 comments:

Michelle Chin said...

I haven't tried roasted leeks before! This is very inspiring.

Yes, in Melbourne, us food bloggers ( I don't know if I belong to KL or Melbourne ok... ) have to pay for our own food.

CUMI & CIKI said...

i lurb leeks!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

c&c: me twoo..

michelle: wow, i cooked something that u haven't tried? whee...

J said...

I no like leeks but I like bacon a lot! :)
(Looks good......)

Chaokar said...

yumm.. yes i laike my leef stir fry with siew yoke.

HairyBerry said...

looks like the leeks sweated well. good job, dude. try steaming it with some beef slices and sweet japanese soy sauce. that was my daily dinner many many moons ago. ;D

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

hairyberry: steaming? hmm might try it out!

chaokar: who doesn't likeee..

j: aiks, why dont you like leeks?

Michelle Chin said...

OMG you really think i am some kind of cooking machine that cooks everything?

NO LAH! But I did cook leeks before. In stews only. Never roasted.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

michelle: haha u do sound like it!

J said...

Dunno why... There's just something about the texture/ taste that puts me off...
Or maybe it's just the way my mum cooks it?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

j: haha maybe its ur mum.. =)

babe_kl said...

hmmm never done baking leeks before, moght try it after stewing, braising and stir-frying. also thanks to Nic to intro on steaming it!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

babekl: haha theres plenty of ways!

UnkaLeong said...

I love leeks as well, it *ahem* does a good job of cleaning out the plumbing :P

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

unka: i didnt know that haha thanks for the tip!

eiling lim said...

Well, gone are the days when you get free food invites but nevertheless, now you can bring ze chef out of you!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

eiling: sigh i want my free food!