IT'S THE WEEKEND: Food and drink - celebrate St David's Day with leek recipes from Larkin Cen

WITH St David's Day just around the corner why not celebrate with some delicious Leek recipes from Welsh 2013 MasterChef finalist, LARKIN CEN.

Leeks are in season and available in abundance, so what better way to mark St David's Day than cooking up a storm with Larkin Cens recipes on behalf of the British Leek Association.

With ideas including Salmon and Leek Ramen; Leeks and Mussels in a Cider Sauce and Cheese and Leek Croquettes, there's no excuse not to make the most of leeks this season.

Larkin Cen’s Salmon and Leek Ramen

Serves Four

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

For the broth

15g dried shiitake mushrooms

4 stalks of lemongrass, outer leaves removed, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

50g fresh ginger, peeled, sliced and crushed

2 tomatoes, halved

Olive oil, for frying

Four x 130g Salmon fillets

Eight fresh shitake mushrooms, roughly chopped

Two pak choi, roughly chopped

Two British leeks, washed and thickly sliced, outer leaves removed

Soba noodles, boiled and drained

Directions

Put the dried shiitake mushrooms in a saucepan with one litre water. Bring to the boil, then gently simmer for five minutes to release their flavour. Add the lemongrass, garlic, ginger and tomatoes and stir to mix. Simmer gently for a further 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Season to taste. Pass through a sieve to remove the aromatics and set aside, Ready to reheat for serving.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium high heat with a generous splash of oil Place the salmon fillets in the pan skin side down and cook for about 3 minutes or until crisp. Turn the fish over and cook for a further minute of so. Take off the heat and let it rest.

Meanwhile, heat the broth back up to the boil and add the fresh shitake mushroom, pak choi and leek until cooked through.

To serve - put a handful of soba noodles in a bowl, add the broth with the vegetables over the noodles and place a fillet of the fish on top of the noodles.

Serve immediately.

Nutritional Info: Calories per serving: 662/Fat per serving: 21.4g/of which is saturated fat: 3.8g

Larkin Cen’s Cheese and Leek Croquettes

Serves Four

Preparation time: 30 – 45 minutes

Cooking time: 30 – 45 minutes

One tbsp olive oil

One British leek, washed and finely chopped, remove tough outer leaves

500g floury potatoes such as Maris Piper or King Edward, peeled and cut into chunks

Three eggs

60g Cheddar cheese, grated

Two tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Salt and black pepper for seasoning

60g plain flour

150g Panko breadcrumbs

One bottle vegetable oil, for deep frying

Directions

In a frying pan over a low heat, sweat the leek with a splash of olive oil for about 5 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool.

Boil the potatoes in a large pan of salted water for 15–20 minutes or until tender; drain. Return to the pan, and mash until smooth. Add the leeks, one egg, cheese, and parsley and mix together with a wooden spoon until it comes together. Season with salt and black pepper. Stir thoroughly. Chill for at least one hour to firm.

Spread the flour over a flat tray, and lightly beat the remaining two eggs in a shallow bowl. Put the breadcrumbs on a separate plate. Roll the chilled mixture into 12 balls of equal sized cylinders. Gently roll the croquettes in the flour, then dip each one in the beaten egg, and lastly coat in the breadcrumbs.

Heat the oil to 150°C in a large saucepan or deep fat fryer. Test the temperature by dropping in a few breadcrumbs, if they sizzle nicely the heat is at the correct temperature, if they turn black quickly, turn the heat down. Deep fry the croquettes for five minutes until golden brown. Cook in batches. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Info:

Calories per serving: 650

Fat per serving: 38.1g

Of which is saturated fat: 6.5g

Larkin Cen’s Hot and Sour Pork Tenderloin and Leek

Serves Four

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

400g Pork tenderloin

Salt and pepper, for seasoning

Olive oil, to sauté

One red pepper, thinly sliced

One shallot, thinly sliced

One Pak choi, roughly chopped

One British leek, washed and finely sliced, tough outer leaves removed

One lemon, cut into wedges, optional

Sauce

Two tablespoons honey

Three tablespoons sugar

100 ml white wine vinegar

One thumb sized piece ginger, peeled and finely diced

One tablespoon tomato puree

One chilli, finely diced and deseeded

Directions

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Sear the tenderloin until golden and transfer to an oven tray and place into the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove the tenderloin and let it rest for at least ten minutes.

In a saucepan add the sauce ingredients with a good splash of hot water and bring to a simmer. Cook until syrupy and reserve.

In the same pan in which you pan-fried the tenderloin add the peppers, shallot and pak choi and leek and sauté until the leeks are soft. At that point pour the hot and sour sauce onto the vegetables.

Serve on a large plate and carve the tenderloin to place on top of the hot and sour vegetables.

Serve with steamed rice and a wedge of lemon (optional).

Nutritional Info (excluding rice):

Calories per serving: 220

Fat per serving: 6.3g

Of which is saturated: 1.8g

Larkin Cen’s Lamb and Leek Thai Red Curry

Serves Four

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: One hour

Curry Paste

Two stalks of lemongrass, trimmed and chopped

One fresh red chilli, finely diced and deseeded

Two cloves of garlic

Two jarred red peppers in oil

One heaped tsp tomato puree

Juice of 2 limes

One tbsp cumin seeds

One tbsp coriander seeds

One tbsp paprika

Two tbsp soy sauce

One tsp sesame oil

Two cm (¾in) piece of fresh ginger

One tablespoon caster sugar

A handful of fresh coriander

Little olive oil, for frying

500g lamb leg steaks, chopped into chunks

One x 400g tin of coconut milk

500g baby new potatoes, halved

150g British leeks, washed and finely sliced, tough outer leaves removed

50g, mangetout, halved

One red pepper, finely sliced

One lime, to serve

Fresh coriander, to garnish

Directions

For the curry paste put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend to a paste. Once a fragrant curry paste is formed, reserve.

Drizzle some olive oil into the hot frying pan and add the lamb and fry until golden on the outside, then add the curry paste and fry for one more minute.

Pour the coconut milk in and turn the heat down to a simmer and put the lid on the pan slightly ajar and cook for 30 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for a further 20 minutes then add the leeks, mangetout and peppers in and cook for a further five minutes.

To serve - garnish with a wedge of lime and some freshly chopped coriander

Nutritional Info: Calories per serving: 706/Fat per serving: 45.2g/of which is saturated fat: 23.4g

Larkin Cen’s Leeks and Mussels in a Cider Sauce

Serves Four

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: ten minutes

1.5kg live mussels

Olive oil, to fry

One British leek, washed and finely sliced, tough outer leaves removed

One garlic clove, finely diced

100ml medium cider

100ml single cream

Parsley

Crusty bread

Directions

Wash the mussels and discard any that are broken and do not close when tapped.

Put a splash of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the leeks on a medium heat with the garlic and cook until tender, take out and reserve. In the same pan turn the heat up high and heat up the pan until red hot. Put the mussels in with the cider and put the lid on and cook until the shells have opened. Take the mussels out using a colander making sure you catch the cooking liquor. Add the leeks and cream to the cooking liquor and pour over the mussels.

To serve - sprinkle with roughly chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread.

Nutritional Info:

The following includes one slice of bread per serving

Calories per serving: 412

Fat per serving: 13.5g

Of which is saturated fat: 5.4g

Larkin Cen’s Lemony Chicken, Leek and Pancetta Spaghetti Carbonara

Serves Four

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

2 egg yolks

100ml single cream

Finely grated zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons

60g parmesan, grated

Splash of olive oil, for frying

300g chicken breasts, cut into strips

50g smoked pancetta, diced

One British leek, washed and finely sliced, tough outer leaves removed

300g Spaghetti

50 ml hot water

Salt and black pepper

One tablespoon lemon thyme, optional.

Directions

For the Carbonara sauce, put the egg yolks, cream, the juice of the two lemons and half the Parmesan into a mixing jug and mix together with a fork.

Heat a large frying pan, add a splash of olive oil and fry the chicken and pancetta until golden and cooked through. Lower the heat to medium and add the leeks to the pan, and fry until they have softened slightly but still their vibrant green colour.

Cook the spaghetti until it is al dente, drain it. Immediately, toss the pasta in the pan with the leeks, chicken and pancetta, then remove from the heat and add 50ml of hot water and the carbonara sauce to the pasta and stir together. Season with salt and black pepper.

To serve – grate the lemon peel onto the top of the pasta with the rest of the Parmesan and the lemon thyme if using.

Nutritional Info:

Calories per serving: 623

Fat per serving: 22.5g

Of which is saturated fat: 9.1g

Comments (2)

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11:18am Sat 1 Mar 14

Mervyn James says...

Cymru Am Byth, I am looking for a very large leek to insert into Cameron....
Cymru Am Byth, I am looking for a very large leek to insert into Cameron.... Mervyn James
  • Score: -1

11:47am Sat 1 Mar 14

cymruambyth says...

Mervyn James wrote:
Cymru Am Byth, I am looking for a very large leek to insert into Cameron....
Mervin, what a kinky tinker you are!
[quote][p][bold]Mervyn James[/bold] wrote: Cymru Am Byth, I am looking for a very large leek to insert into Cameron....[/p][/quote]Mervin, what a kinky tinker you are! cymruambyth
  • Score: 4

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