Day two of the Christmas special. We're going to make a braised leek mosaic dish. It's a braised leek mosaic with a cashew nut cream, sweet & sour onions and an onion & coffee broth.
All the recipes are for around 12 persons
The leek mosaic
6 to 8 sprigs
First take the thin leeks and trim the top and bottom. Wash the green tops well under cold water to remove any dirt or bugs. Then pull all the layers apart from each other and spread them on a oven rack. Once that’s done dry them at 50 degrees Celsius till completely dry and crispy. This can easily take a couple of hours. Meanwhile take your leek and cut them in half. Then use a thin knife or a meat fork to make around 8 thin incisions in the leek. This will insure a more even cooking process. Now transfer the leeks onto a metal container or on a metal tray and peel the peel from the lemon on top. Then season with some salt and drizzle some sunflower oil or olive oil on top. Finally also add the thyme and then cover the container tightly with aluminum foil. Really make sure It’s sealed properly, otherwise a lot of moisture will vaporize and the leeks will dry out and burn. Then bake them in an oven at 160 degrees Celsius for around 70 minutes. Once they’re cooked remove the foil and let them cool down for a minute or 5. Then also remove the thyme and lemon peels. Once that’s done remove the first layer of the leeks. This layer will be a bit dry, and I will not be so tender as the other layers. Now place the leek on a piece of nori and roll it all around. Cut the remaining nori sheet off and repeat this with all the other leeks. Then lay half of the covered leeks on a piece of plastic wrap and zest some lemon zest on top. Lay the remaining leeks on there and season those as well with some lemon zest. Now cover it completely with the plastic wrap and roll it up nice and tight. Then make a knot on both sides and roll each side a couple of times to make the roll even tighter. After that make an ice bath and place the roll in there. Let it set overnight in your fridge.
The onion and coffee broth
First cut the onions in half and clean them. Not chop two from the three onions. Then add a drizzle of oil to a hot pan and caramelize the chopped onions on a medium heat. Already add some salt as well. Now cut the remaining onion in 6 pieces and use a blowtorch to toast it on the flat sides. You can also do this on a barbeque or a gas stove. Once the chopped onions are caramelized deglaze the pan with the madeira. Then add the toasted onions together with the water, the bay leaves and the coffee beans. Let this simmer for at least 3 hours. After that pass the liquid through a fine sieve that’s lined with a kitchen paper to clarify it. Let it drip for at least 30 minutes so you don’t waste a single drop. Then transfer it back into the pan and reduce it till it has reached the desired flavor. If necessary also season with some salt.
The sweet and sour pearl onions
white wine vinegar
20 to 30
First mix the water with the white wine vinegar, the sugar, the salt and the zest or peels from half a lemon. Now bring this to a boil. Meanwhile take the onions and remove the root. Then cut them in half. Now clean them. Once the liquid in boiling add the cleaned onions and boil them for one minute. Then transfer them into a preserving jar, close the lid and let it cool down out of the fridge. Then keep it in the fridge for later.
The cashew nut cream
Mix the cashew nuts with the vegetable broth, the canned chickpeas and the salt. Then cut the peeled lemon in half and juice one half for 15 grams of juice. Add it to the blender and then blend it into a smooth cream. It might seem a bit thin, but it will set in your fridge.
The leek powder
Once the green leeks are dry transfer them into a blender and blend it into a fine powder. Keep it dry and covered. This powder is also great for seasoning or coloring creams in a natural way. Now take the pearl onions and remove them from the sweet and sour. Then separate the onion layers from each other.
How to finish the dish
Spread a thin layer of the leek powder on a tray and place the onion layers with the flat side down on the powder. Then take a long and sharp knife and use it to portion the leeks. I cut this roll in 12 pieces, but be gentle otherwise it will fall apart. Each slice it one portion. Now lay a slice on a plate and remove the plastic foil. Then brush a generous amount of the coffee broth on top. The leek is served out of the fridge, but by heating up the broth the whole dish will reach a comfy temperature. Now pipe a couple dots of the cream on top and place the sweet and sour onions on there. Fill these with the cashew nut cream. Then decorate the dish with some edible flowers or leaves. I use white alisium flowers. They taste a bit like wild garlic and that goes really well with the dish.