Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 26 June 2014 Contents WHAT’S COOKING
Page 18 | 26 June, 2014
6-8 banana shallots
1 large leek
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
flaky sea salt and freshly ground
back pepper to taste
1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar
1⁄4 cup caster sugar
rosemary sprigs to garnish
Peel and top and tail the shallots.
Wash the leek well and cut the
white end into 3cm rounds.
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying
pan. Add the shallots and leek.
Cover the cook on low heat for 5
Turn the vegetables over and
continue to cook for about 10
minutes, until tender.
Meanwhile, bring the red wine
vinegar and sugar to the boil,
stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Simmer until slightly thickened.
Pour over the shallots and leek
and garnish. Serves 4.
Braised Banana Shallots & Leeks
with a Red Wine Vinegar Glaze
500g (about 2 medium) leeks
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3 middle rashers rindless
11⁄2 sheets ready-rolled flaky
120g soft goat’s cheese or
soft herbed cheese
70g gruyère or emmenthal
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
or rosemary leaves
Preheat the oven to 100°C.
Lightly oil a baking tray.
Wash the leeks well and thinly
slice. Heat the oil in a non-stick
Sauté the leeks on medium low,
until softened. Place aside. Sauté
the bacon until almost cooked.
Drain on paper towels.
Join the two sheets of pastry by
overlapping two edges slightly and
pressing together well to make a
long strip of pastry.
Place on the baking tray. Spread
with the soft cheese to within
2.5cm of the edges.
Dot the leeks, bacon and
shredded cheese on top. Sprinkle
with the herbs. Turn the pastry
edges over the filling slightly to
form a rim.
Bake for 20 minutes, until golden.
Leeks, Cheese and Bacon Tart
200g feta cheese
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 banana shallot, diced
2 teaspoons each: rosemary leaves,
freshly ground black pepper to
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Place the feta in a shallow baking
dish. Sprinkle with the olive
oil, balsamic vinegar, shallot,
rosemary, herbs and black pepper.
Bake for about 10 minutes, until
the cheese starts to melt. Serve
with crusty bread as a nibble.
Hot Feta with Shallots & Herbs
2 tablespoons each: butter, extra-
virgin olive oil
700g onions, thinly sliced
680g jar roasted red peppers
4 tablespoons jalapeno peppers
(from a jar), drained
1 cup good chicken stock
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
400g fresh fettuccine
1⁄2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
Melt half the butter with the oil in
a large frying pan over medium-
Add the onions. Sauté until
tender and caramelised, about 20
Drain the red peppers, pat dry
and cut into strips.
Add to the onions. Sauté for 2
Add the jalapenos, chicken stock,
balsamic vinegar and caraway
Reduce the heat to medium.
Simmer until the sauce reduces
slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in
the remaining butter.
Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine
according to the packet
instructions. Drain. Return to the
Add the onion and red pepper
sauce and toss to coat.
Transfer to serving bowls. Sprinkle
with parmesan cheese and serve.
Caramelised Onion & Red Pepper Fettuccine
Although they’re all members of the
lily family, leeks, onions and shallots
have their own characteristics which
make them more distant cousins rather than siblings.
Records show that the Roman emperor Nero regularly ate leeks
because he believed they were good for his vocal chords. He was
nicknamed Porrophagus meaning ‘leek mouth’ and the reference
probably didn’t have anything to do with his singing. The leek has been
the national emblem of Wales since 640AD when, according to legend,
the Welsh wore leeks in their hats for identification during a battle with
invading Saxons – and won.
Leeks – which look like giant spring onions – have a mild flavour and
are the base for many soups and stews.
Shallots are diminutive onion-like bulbs but with a more refined flavour
than onions and they are also less sulphurous. Shallots are now widely
available and recently a new variety has made it onto supermarket
shelves. This is the torpedo-shaped banana shallot that is longer than
the traditional varieties and perhaps a little milder. Shallots are great in
casseroles and slow cookers because, unlike onions, they don’t require
initial sautéing to rid them of any raw flavour.
Shallots grow in clusters and are joined with a common root end. Some
are bulbous and composed of three or more segments under their
coppery skin, others slimmer with just two divisions. The shallots used
in Asian cooking are generally much smaller than the varieties grown
There’s hardly a savoury dish that doesn’t call for an onion. In ancient
times, people believed onions were a symbol of eternity because of the
concentric circle that make up the internal structure. This is also the
reason that onion shaped towers were popular in Russia and Eastern
Europe because it was thought that these buildings would stand forever.
Brown-skinned onions are our most popular variety and come on strong.
However, recently the market for sweet onions – especially those with
white skin and flesh – has grown rapidly. They are excellent raw in
salads and hamburgers. Red onions are also mild, sweet and juicy,
great raw or for cooking.
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