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Recipe: Leek Rings--NEW NEW
This is one of my husband's favorite "bad for you foods". He loves leeks and he talked me into making them into onion rings one day. Now he asks for them about once a quarter. He asked me if I had ever written up the recipe and was shocked to know I had not. Well here it is, for all to share.
3 large leeks
Milk for soaking
1 - 2 cups of white flour
Seasoning (salt is the traditional choice, but you can also add things like black pepper, or cayenne, or chili powder, or even curry powder)
Peanut oil for frying
Cut the root end off of your leek. Then cut most of the green ends off. Leave about an inch of green so you have something to hold onto while you cut. Toss these items in your garbage or your compost pile. Do not put them in your garbage disposal. This is one of the fastest ways to clog that machine. I know from experience.
Trim off the outermost layer of your leek and run the whole thing under lukewarm water to give it a good rinse. Leeks are dirty "critters" by nature. You want to get the mud off.
Do this with all three leeks and then cut them into quarter inch rings. You'll be cutting the white part and a bit of the light green. Toss out the rest of the darker green end. Separate the rings as best you can and put them in a 9 X 13 inch pan. Don't worry about getting the inner rings apart. These just become leek nuggets. When you have all of the rings in the pan pour over enough milk to coat the rings. This usually takes about 3 cups of milk. Depends on how many leek rings you got from your three leeks.
Let your leeks soak in milk at least 15 minutes or up to an hour. You can just put the pan in the refrigerator and come back later.
In a separate container (I use a 9 x 9 pan) pour in the flour. In a large sauté pan or soup pot pour enough peanut oil to have oil that is one inch deep. For me, this takes most of one bottle of peanut oil. You want to use peanut oil if you can, because peanut oil tastes clean and has a high flashpoint. This means it can tolerate being heated for deep frying.
Heat the oil on medium high until well heated. This should just take a few minutes. I know the oil is ready when I toss a droplet or two of water off my fingers and the oil gently jumps back. It'll pop. You don't need your oil too hot but it's can't be too cool either. You need to fry your leeks.
When the oil is ready, toss a handful or two of leek rings in the flour. Cover the leek rings with the flour and then gently shake off the excess and slowly put them in the oil. I use a tong for this job or a slotted spoon. Separate them with the tongs and then let them cook in the oil for a minute or two until they are light beige. You don't want to wait until they get real brown or your oil will spoil too soon and light brown leek rings taste great.
When they are done, pull them out of the oil and place them in a basket or bowl lined with a layer or two of paper towels. This allows the oil to drain off. While they are still very hot, sprinkle on your seasonings. Plain ones would just be salted but you can get creative with whatever else you want to put on.
You'll follow this same process with all of the leek rings. It usually takes me three batches to cook up all of the leeks. The oil will usually only be good for three fryings. After that it has enough flour in the oil that it starts to get pretty brown and cloudy.
I end up serving each batch as they come out of the oil. People hang around the kitchen anticipating the arrival of the next batch and they are best when really warm, but not so hot that your leek eaters burn their mouths.
Enjoy. Cheers! Zola
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