Author Notes: When my husband and I visited Ireland in 2000, we fell in love not only with the friendly Irish people, but also their cuisine. We enjoyed creamed leeks in a pub while we were touring the Ring of Kerry. I promptly made my version, which includes lemon thyme and Meyer lemon zest, as soon as we arrived home. I’ve been making it ever since!
TIP: Use good Irish butter. —Lizthechef
cup whole milk
tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
leeks, washed, trimmed – white and light green parts only – cut into 1/4 inch thick circles (about 1/2 pound of leeks)
teaspoon fresh lemon thyme leaves (or any fresh thyme)
teaspoon Meyer lemon zest (or any fresh lemon zest)
teaspoon kosher salt
teaspoon ground white pepper
- Using a small saucepan, heat the milk until it simmers, when small bubbles form at the sides of the pan. Keep milk warm over very low heat.
- Using a medium-sized saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter, then stir in the flour, stirring and cooking over medium heat 2-3 minutes.
- Whisk in the hot milk, cooking over medium heat, and stir until sauce thickens – when it coats the back of a wooden spoon – about 3-4 minutes. Add the thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
- Using a large skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and cook until leeks begin to wilt and green color brightens, about 10 minutes.
- Add the sauce to the leeks, stir, then cover and cook over very low heat for 5 minutes. Serve.