This spicy leek dish pairs beautifully with beef, pork, or even some pan-fried fish. Spicy creamed leaks have a smooth texture with that delicious bitter saltiness of parmesan. This recipe dresses up a run-of-the-mill vegetable into something fit for fine dining.
You can season with salt and pepper according to your own taste, however, consider using white pepper. Color wise, it works well with the cream and allows the color from the red chilies be the real star.
The red chili pepper offers the leeks just a hint of heat which you can intensify by using two peppers or upgrading the pepper used. You can use a habanero or scotch bonnet here if you’re one for extreme eating. Malagueta and Thai peppers work well for some extra heat. Or use red jalapeño or Fresno for something on the lower end of medium.
Note, the peppers are a true part of the eating experience, so their unique flavors are part of the dish. For instance, red jalapeños will have a slightly sweet, bright flavor while habaneros will bring a more fruity sweetness. Keep that in mind while you’re considering which chilies to use.
Transform spicy creamed leaks from a side dish into the star of the show by serving it with grilled chicken breast. It’s easily turned into a delicious full meal.
Spicy Creamed Leeks
- 2 large leeks
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 red chili pepper chopped (red jalapeño, Fresno, malagueta, bird’s eye, or Thai Chili all work well)
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and Pepper to taste white pepper works well to match the creamy color
- Clean and chop the leek into slices around 1/3 inch wide.
- Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add the butter and crushed garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occassionally.
- Add the leeks and stir often for 5 minutes until they start reducing.
- Add the chopped red chili pepper.
- Stir the leek mixture to avoid sticking and reduce the heat to low.
- Add flour and stir well to ensure no lumps form.
- Add the parmesan and milk and stir continuously until the liquid thickens.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
- Red jalapeño: Lower medium heat, slightly sweet and bright
- Fresno pepper: Lower medium heat, sweet, fruity, and slightly smoky
- Malagueta pepper: Upper medium heat, sweet, and tangy
- Thai pepper: Upper medium heat, fruity
- Habanero: Extra-hot, fruity, and tropical sweet