FnB’s Braised Leeks

March 23, 2011 at 8:11 am | Posted in Breakfast | 34 Comments
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Food and Wine Magazine is one of my favorite sources for reliably interesting, creative and delicious recipes. Over the years  many have found their way into my database as permanent dishes I make over and over.

In a recent issue, I spotted a small photo on an obscure corner of a page within a big article naming the Ten Best Restaurant Dishes of 2010. It caught my attention because it was topped with a sunny side up egg.  The piece featured FnB Restaurant in Scottsdale, and their winning dish Braised Leeks with Mozzarella and a Fried Egg

I had to give it a try. Not really giving me a recipe, the article directed me to a television segment from a Phoenix station where chef Charleen Badman is featured and demonstrates how to make her winning creation.

The video does help with the construction of the dish, but honestly I found it somewhat entertaining on a completely different level.  Along with the demonstration came the ever-annoying local television personalities hovering over the chef with their distracting antics which they think bring us entertainment.

Denver most certainly has it’s share of pretentious local celebrities, who provide us with never-ending eye-rolling, snickering moments, and after watching this clip I see every city has its “guy”….and this one takes the “full of himself” cake. C’mon Mr. Anchorman…”take a leek”…really???  Then if you watch carefully, he further entertains himself with another devilishly clever moment by using the leek as a mock microphone while everyone on set laughs giddily. Well, at least woman in yellow. And then something about leeking on his arm??? I didn’t snicker, didn’t know whether to laugh or cry or sit down and write Chef  Badman a note of commiseration beginning with “oh you poor dear”. 

Let’s take a look:

via How to make FnB’s braised leeks.

Even though I was warned not to, I tried this at home. (Photos from point and shoot camera.)

I halved, cleaned and braised leeks in butter, lemon slices and thyme until tender and fragrant.

Placed them in a casserole dish…

I topped with grated mozzarella cheese…

Sprinkled on some panko bread crumbs which were mixed with melted butter, Dijon mustard and a sprinkle of thyme. Popped the dish under the broiler which then transferred nicely to our breakfast plate.

Carefully topped with a sunny side up egg…

Oh look, the egg sprung a leek…… (ok, everyone in unison… snicker and roll eyes)

and the dish was a hit.

And served with a simple bowl of sliced kiwi and mangoes, it was a fun little breakfast. Even though the dish was different and tasty, I’m not sure it’s interesting enough that I’d make it again.  Even though they were cooked tender, the leeks were still tough and hard to cut, coming apart and sliding all over the plate. The whole thing lacked that “wow” factor.  I’m blaming it all on those heckling local “celebrities”. 🙂

Braised Leeks…It’s What was for Breakfast.



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  1. Looks hearty and light at the same time somehow. And of course the sausage patties would have me at the table immediately no matter what else was on the plate.

    • You’ve described it perfectly Russ! Those maple and blueberry sausage patties were to die for. 🙂

  2. I’m a sucker for any dish with a fried egg on top!

  3. I feel your pain, Sistah! We have nick-names for all our newsies and have a blast watching them entertain themselves with their weak jokes. (the technical difficulties just make our night) This dish may not have been as tasty as it looks, but I’d sure like a taste to decide for myself. BTW, my bowlio kicked in when I saw that antique compote. 😉

    • We too have nicknames for our bunch. Kinda fun. And technical difficulties always a bonus. I’ll never forget the “f” word being uttered when a bridge didn’t explode on schedule. The food: It really was pretty good…as you can tell, not much left on my plate. You’ve got great bowlio radar, part of my collection of classic Depression glass. 🙂

  4. Interesting recipe and everythings better topped with a fried egg.

    • You’re preaching to the choir Larry. 🙂

  5. “Take a leek” … that is pretty bad.

    I recently went to Z Cuisine in the Highlands and had the most amazing sandwich. Guess what? It was topped with a bechamel sauce and an egg. It’s hard to describe, but that tasty sandwich definitely makes the trip downtown worth it.

    • YUMMO – I have to hear more about that sandwich. See you Saturday and I expect a full description. 🙂

  6. I just had to watch after your description of the video and boy, were you ever right. This is definitely a pet peeve of mine and I thought no one was worse than Al Roker and Ann Curry until now. You were so right! I feel so sorry for the chef she had 3 of them chattering away! The dish does look good but I trust your review.

    • I’m sure glad you watched it Karen, you of all people would appreciate the humor. Definitely a pet peeve of mine…don’t get me started. I’ve never seen Al Roker and Ann Curry in action. Man, must have been bad. The chef was so polite during the whole thing…while watching I wondered, “what would Julia have done”. All in all, it seems so disrespectful. The dish was actually very tasty…maybe I was expecting too much with its “Best Restaurant Dishes” award. See you Saturday! 🙂

      • OK, so many the sausage with some cheese and panko and hold the leek?

        All I know is I saw see you Saturday and I thought…YES!

      • See you Saturday Barb! 🙂

  7. I’ve attempted leeks in a multitude of ways. They always came out tough as well, unless used in soup or risotto. I have to think there’s a way to do this without that unfortunate side effect… we just have to discover it!

    • When you figure it out, please let me know Liz!

  8. Sorry the leek didn’t turn out the way you expected it. Maybe steaming it ahead would make a difference. It looks very inviting to me!

    • Thanks Kirsten, steaming sounds like a good idea. See you Saturday.

  9. Geez, those TV people were the pits. How does that guy even have a job??
    I’ve made quite a few leek recipes and they really have to be well cooked. How about slicing them thinner? They’d cook faster. It’s just that this looks like it could be a delicious dish, Lea Ann. All that crunch and cheese on top!

    • Thanks Barbara. Loved the crunch on top part. 🙂

  10. Sounds strange enough, so I’m in.

    • Thanks Dan, I can always count on you to try the quirky. 🙂

  11. Haha… I loved the warning not to try this at home! She said it was a lot of trouble to clean the leeks. Haha. Why *are* these TV people so immature and annoying in segments like this?? Leeks are one of my favorites, but I’ve found (like you) that they work better sliced up and put into a recipe. I’ve made braised leeks before and they were nearly impossible to cut.

    • Well, I didn’t want to say anything…but yes, I too thought the “don’t try this at home” was a little silly. Too bad I can’t go to FnB Restaurant and try the dish myself… wonder if she gets those leeks nice and tender? Thanks Karen.

  12. So bummed you didn’t love the leeks! I know how it feels to pour so much time into a recipe and not have it turn out the way you had hoped. But hey, if we don’t hit a foul ball every once in a while, we get spoiled, right? 🙂 Looks delish, if nothing else!

    • I’m a leek fan…just kind of demolished the egg trying to cut the leeks. Love your advise on the foul ball! 🙂

  13. We have a couple of local tv “personalities” that I just cannot bear to watch…amazes me how people can bear them. But anyhoo…this dish sounds delicious…and that egg…oh my.

    • We only have a couple that I CAN bear to watch…. Thanks Heather. 🙂

  14. Oh you did beautiful beautiful things with those braised leeks. I’m enamored.

  15. You had me cracking up in this post! I don’t know if I can stand to watch the clip after your little write up here! It sounds like a Saturday Night Live Spoof on local day time news TV! LOL! The leek look wonderful and with the egg – perfect!

    I just saw how you got a new camera! Woo hoo!

    • You’ve GOT to watch that clip…it’s a requirement. 🙂

      Yup on the new camera. I’m learning.

  16. Coming up at 10 after, weather with Suzy Storm and now, traffic report from Rush Ower.

    • Too funny Chris. We used to have a weather anchor here in Denver whose name was Stormy Rottman.

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