Chop your asparagus into 1" pieces, removing the woody ends. Clean and slice your leeks. Set aside.
Add the macaroni to 6 quarts of boiling salted water (about 3 tablespoons of sea salt) and cook just below the recommended time on the instructions to your pasta. We want it to be on the verge of al dente since your pasta will continue to be cooked in the oven. Generally allow 1 minute below the recommended cook time. Drain and set aside.
In a small saucepan heat the milk on low. Do not allow to boil.
In a saute pan on medium heat, add the bacon. Render the fat and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon and place on a paper towel to absorb some of the oil. You should have around 2 tablespoons of bacon fat left over depending on the quality of your bacon. If it seems a little short, add a little extra butter later to make up for it AFTER the next step. If it seems like you have too much, just pour some of the fat off.
Add the sliced leak and cook in the bacon fat for around 5 minutes on medium heat. Once your leek has cooked down, add your butter and whisk in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming.
Add the milk and whisk it into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk vigorously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth. Stir in the 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large baking pan, add pasta, cheese sauce and asparagus and mix together. Top with 1 cup of shredded cheese. Place in the oven for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and top with cooked bacon. Serve and enjoy!
Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double-beatloaf. I hate meatloaf. We’ve all had our remarkably awful memories of a family members dry and dreadful meatloaf. Admittedly, it took some time for me to hop on the meatloaf wagon due to severe childhood scarring. Meatloaf can really be delicious… if prepared properly. I decided to make an alternative recipe with the overabundance of leeks that I’ve had in my possession as of late. Secondly, I’ve discovered that large amounts of garlic intake and feeding a newborn baby does not go well together and results in a very gassy baby. What does that mean? I’ve had to find a way to replace my love for garlic in MANY of my recipes (sigh). The answer was LEEKS! One day I’ll be able to reintroduce garlic back into my diet but leeks will do for now. You can always add garlic to the recipe below and feel sorry for me later.
The key to keeping your meatloaf from tasting like the Sahara is to COOK your vegetables before adding them to your meat mixture and allowing them to cool. The addition of a little milk to your breadcrumbs will result in a very juicy, memorable (in a good way) meatloaf. I topped this one off with some homemade curry ketchup (you can find a great recipe here) or use some of your favorite bottled kind from the European market.
Clean and thinly slice your leek. Finely mince the onion, celery, bell peppers, celery and shred your carrots.
In a saute pan over low-medium heat, add your olive oil, the chopped and shredded veggies and red wine. Add fresh thyme, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes until onions are translucent. Stir frequently. Set aside and allow to COOL.
In a small bowl, add your bread crumbs and milk. Allow to soak for a few minutes.
In a separate large bowl, whisk your egg until frothy. Add your meat, cooked veggie mixture, soaked breadcrumbs and fresh chopped parsley. With clean hands, mix all of the ingredients together.
In a large baking pan, lightly oil the bottom and add the meat mix forming it into (you guessed it) a loaf!
Mix the honey and curry ketchup in a small dish and coat the top of your loaf with appx 1/4 cup.
Cover with foil and bake in the oven for appx 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and add another 1/4 cup of ketchup to the top of it. Place your loaf back into the oven and cook for another 15 minutes.
Slice and serve with the remaining sauce along with some mashed potatoes and your favorite veggies! (We chose beets)
As you can tell, I have a surplus of leeks! Not that I’m complaining, I mean… I LOVE LEEKS. This recipe included the spinach from your recent CSA box as well as those leeks (of course). In order to make the quiche, we needed cheese. The fresh rosemary garlic sheep cheese from Black Sheep Creamery was a perfect match for this little dish. Who says real men don’t eat quiche?
Place pie crust on a baking sheet and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Set crust aside and reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
In a small pan, heat butter and chopped leaks over low/medium heat for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, salt, pepper and cooked leeks.
Spread spinach in bottom of crust and dot with sheep cheese. (we used Black Sheep's Rosemary Garlic Cheese but you can substitute goat cheese) Pour egg mixture on top and bake until poofed in the center and lightly browned. This should take 40 to 50 minutes.
Set aside to cool until warm or serve at room temperature.