It is Monday morning and that means voting is OPEN for round three of Project Food Blog! If you haven't already, be sure to check out my entry for this third challenge, A Luxury Dinner, with Leeks, Lemon, and Lamb; if you love my dinner party (and maybe wish you had been invited!) please vote for me! It is just as simple as following the link and clicking on the heart to show your love. I appreciate all your votes and kind comments so much, and I am having a fantastic time sharing great food with you in Project Food Blog. I hope I can continue!
So for anyone just tuning in, my dinner party included 4 courses as listed here:
In my main post detailing my dinner party, I shared the recipe for my second course: Cauliflower Soup with Seared Scallops, Lemon Oil, and Caviar. This was my favorite dish from my dinner, but the Leek and Goat Cheese Crostini were a close second! I think I liked the crostini so much because they were extremely easy to assemble, and the flavors and textures were spot on.
The french bread is toasted in the oven, which gives it a great flavor and crunch. Then it is topped with cool, creamy goat cheese; I find goat cheese to have such a clean, earthy flavor and the perfect amount of bitter tang, which makes it one of my favorite cheeses. After spreading the goat cheese on the bread, each crostini is topped with a generous spoonful of the warm leek confit, followed by the Asian Pear and paprika. I loooooved it. (I might have even saved a tiny bit of all the ingredients so I could make it again for myself later. Shh... That was a secret.)
And before I leave you after this weekend of whirlwind luxury cooking, I just want to say one last quick word about this leek confit.
Please make it. It is fabulous. I never dreamed it would be so good! Somehow the common leek gets transformed into a luscious texture and taste that is out of this world. The confit is so delicious, and shockingly creamy, I almost ate it all when I was preparing it the day before. I reasoned that since it was so easy to make, that it was logical to just whip up a second batch for myself. (Wouldn't you think the same?) At the time, I talked myself out of it, but I can promise you that it is on my list to make again this week.
I will say it again, please make it. It is the easiest, most delicious, and versatile thing I have ever cooked. Can you think of other uses for the leek confit? I know I can...
Leek Confit and Goat Cheese Crostini, Topped with Asian Pear and Smoked Paprika
Leek Confit (makes about 1 cup):
2 leeks, white and pale green parts
2 tbsp salted butter
2 tbsp water
Salt to taste
1 french baguette, cut on the diagonal into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 4-5.5 ounce package goat cheese (without herbs or garlic)
1 medium Asian pear, cut similarly to batons, or 1/4 inch rectangular slices (see photo); could also do small dice if you prefer
First, make leek confit. Prepare leeks by cutting lengthwise in half, then cutting each half crosswise into 1/4-1/2 inch slices. Be sure your leeks are clean of dirt, and rinse if necessary. To make confit, melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat, then add leeks, water, and just a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the leeks are cooked properly, they should be creamy and soft. If any water remains, remove the lid of the pan, and stir over medium heat to evaporate. Leek confit can be served immediately, or can be cooled and refrigerated overnight or up to one week.
To make crostini, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly brush one side of cut french bread slices with olive oil, and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your bread. Remove the crostini from the oven; when cool to the touch, spread each crostini with goat cheese, then top with leek confit, followed by two pieces of Asian pear. Sprinkle lightly with smoked paprika, and serve immediately.