Leeks and Lemons.
First let me say that I owe my real love of stuffing to Gourmet Magazine and my twin sister. She is the one who found Gourmet's recipe on Epicurious seven years ago and we never looked back. We had found stuffing perfection. I am not kidding. Stuffing perfection. And being the serious foodie I am, I never, ever take stuffing lightly. The key ingredients in our beloved stuffing is cornbread, cranberries, sausage, pecans and leeks. So in my version I made for you, I left in the leeks which cooked properly, almost seem to melt into flavor. You could add cranberries or some homemade sausage which would add a lot of depth to this dish. I choose to keep it simple and give you the base recipe. Here are some additions you could throw in to dress it up:
2. homemade sausage
3. chopped pears
4. roasted garlic
You may be asking yourself why would I ever put lemons in this recipe? Lemons cut the fat, round out the flavor and make the whole thing sparkle. I found a first-of-the-season meyer lemon to add. I used half of it, and cut it into bite sized pieces being sure to remove all the seeds. When whole lemon are cooked with enough fat, they become little bursts of flavor without any of the bitterness you may taste in fresh lemon. I also embrace using the whole of the lemon; rind and all!
I would also say not to wait until Thanksgiving to make this. It is a perfect addition to a stuffed pork loin, a roasted chicken or baked white fish. This recipe also yields quite a bit, so you will have a hearty amount leftovers. xo
- 6 cups chopped leeks
- 1/2 meyer lemon chopped fine
- 1 medium sized head cauliflower
- 1 Tbls + 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
- 1 Tbls + 1 tsp fresh thyme
- salt to taste
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbls bacon grease (optional)
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Rough chop cauliflower. Add it to a food processor along with rosemary and thyme. Pulse until finely chopped and resembling bread crumbs.
- To trim leeks, cut off white bottoms and green tops. Slice lengthwise and then cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Then soak pieces in a bowl of cold water to remove dirt. Drain well.
- To prepare lemon, use a sharp paring knife to cut the lemon in half. Slice into thin pieces and remove the seeds. Chop lemon into 1/2 inch size pieces.
- Heat 3/4 cup of olive oil in large braising pan. Add drained leeks, cauliflower mixture and chopped lemon. Sautee well on medium high heat for about 20 minutes. Add stock and bacon grease and cover. Bake covered in 350 degree oven for 50 min. Be sure to check on it a few times to stir it.
- If you are going to add sausage or cranberries, then add during initial sautee so everything can bake together in oven