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Recipe

Frizzled Leeks

Yield: Yields enough to garnish 3 to 4 servings

These crispy leek strips make a fantastic garnish for beef tenderloin, braised short ribs, or roast pork or chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium leek, trimmed of roots and dark green tops
  • 2 cups neutral-flavored oil, such as peanut, vegetable, or canola
  • Kosher salt

Preparation

  • Thinly slice the white and light green parts of the leek into 3-inch-long julienne strips. Rinse in a bowl of water to remove the grit, drain, and pat dry.
  • In a small (2-quart) saucepan) heat the oil over medium-high heat (it should reach a depth of about 1 inch) until it’s between 325º and 350ºF on a candy thermometer. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low to hold the oil in this temperature range.
  • Add a small handful of the leeks to the oil. (Caution: the oil will bubble up immediately. Always fry in small batches to avoid overcrowding the pan and to prevent boil-overs.)
  • Fry the leeks, stirring often with a metal slotted spoon, until the oil is barely bubbling and the leeks are light golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes. (The oil temperature will drop when you add the leeks; let it return to the starting temperature before frying the next batch.)
  • Lift the leeks from the oil using the slotted spoon, tap against the side of the pan to drain off excess oil, and transfer to a large plate lined with a couple of layers of paper towel. Gently shake on the paper towel and then slide the leeks onto the paper towel below it, discarding the oil-soaked top layer.
  • Sprinkle the leeks lightly with salt while they’re still hot. Let cool to room temperature before using as a garnish.

Make Ahead Tips

The leeks can be stored for a few days in a sealed container, but they’ll taste their best when made no more than 4 hours ahead.

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