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How to....Cut a Leek

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How to....Cut a Leek

If you are just joining us today, please make sure to read the post I did about an hour ago.  This one is helpful, but that one will make you pee in your pants.  So, if you're in an office now, or if you're pregnant and already struggling with incontinence, take this moment to go relieve yourself.  Then come back, learn how to cut a leek and read today's earlier post on To Pose or Not to Pose...Maternity Photos.

I taught you how to cut an onion awhile back.  And hopefully it helped you become more efficient in the kitchen so that one day you can win The Amazing Race if they ever have an onion cutting challenge again....or you can just get dinner ready faster with your kids dogs nipping at your heels while you cook.  Today I thought that I'd show you how to cut and clean a leek.  If you don't know what a leek is, click HERE to see what Wikipedia has to say about it.  If you don't want to do that...just know that it's in the onion and garlic family and they are great to cook with.  I'm making quiche tomorrow (I'll share the recipe for that then) using leeks.  And, a leek looks like this.

 Leeks are really dirty.  Must be in the way they grow, but there is grunge between every layer. 

I'm gonna show you how to cut and clean them the easy way...the way a chef taught me.

 First order of business is cutting.  Don't even think about trying to clean them's a pain and then the cutting will be worse too.  Trust me, you'll just make a mess and never want to use leeks again.  And you shouldn't decide that...they are fantastic.

I drew a line on the leek to show you where to make your first cut.  Use a paring knife.  You want to make a series of shallow cuts for this first part.  The dark green part of the leek isn't good to eat, but if you just chopped the whole thing off where the dark green starts, then you'd waste a good portion of the usable leek.

So what you're going to do is make a series of cuts to remove only one layer of the husk at a time.  Move outwards towards the end so that each time you cut, you're just cutting away the dark green.  You want to preserve the super pale greenish part because it is tender and good to use.

<----See how I did it there.  How far each cut should be will depend on your leek.  Just make sure you're removing the hard stalky part.

Now, sometimes I just go ahead and cut so that the leek will be in small circles (like if you were cutting an onion into rings.)  But this time I wanted them a bit smaller so they'll distribute into more smaller pieces when i make my quiche tomorrow.  I cut a line down the middle.  And, just like with cutting an onion, don't cut through that hairy end.  It holds the thing together for you naturally. 

Use your big chef knife for this part.  You are done with your paring knife now.

Next you want to cut the leek into probably about 1/4 inch slices.  Cut the whole thing up until you get right up on the hairy end  (throw that hairy part away.)

<-----It will look about like this when you're done.  But you will totally see dirt all over the pieces.  NOW is the time to wash them.  It's easier to remove the dirt when you can separate the pieces.  

I can't seem to figure out what I've done here, but for the life of me I can't get this picture to turn the right, if you were wondering, I do live in a place where the same laws of gravity apply.  Our water does not come out sideways.

Wash and separate your leeks now.  This is the easy way to do it.  I promise. 

Once you've done this and dried them on a paper towel, you're ready to get cooking!

Tomorrow I will give you a fantastic recipe for quiche that even men like.

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At April 20, 2011 at 1:50 PM , Blogger AA said...

Logan-- a recipe I tried last night called for leeks and I immediately pulled up this page and followed your instructions. Super helpful- thank you!!

At April 21, 2011 at 8:55 AM , Blogger Logan @LifeforDessert said...

You have no idea how happy that makes me!!!


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