Braised Leeks with Mozzarella & a Fried Egg
- 2-3 large leeks
- 5-6 tablespoons butter, divided use
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
- salt, to taste
- 1/2 lemon, cut into slices and seeds removed
- 5 sprigs thyme, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup of chicken broth or water (or enough to submerge leeks halfway in pan)
- splash white wine (optional)
- 1.5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 cup good quality, freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 large egg
1) Trim tough green portions and root ends from leeks leaving about 5-6 inches of white and pale green portions. Discard any tough outer layers. Cut lengthwise and rinse under cold running water to remove dirt. Drain on paper towels.
2) Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook until butter is melted and starting to foam but not burn. Place leeks, cut side down, into pan. Squeeze lemon slices into pan and place slices next to leeks. Add thyme sprigs to pan. Cooke 3-4 minutes, or until leeks start to brown. Flip, season with salt, and cook an additional 3 minutes. Deglaze pan with chicken broth and wine, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Flip leeks back over and bring liquid to boiling. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until leeks are easily pierced with a paring knife.
3) Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Mix in Dijon mustard and then breadcrumbs. Place leeks in a small gratin dish, cover with shredded mozzarella and bread crumb mixture. Broil 5-6 minutes, or until cheese is melted and breadcrumbs are golden brown.
4) Melt final 1-2 tablespoons butter in a large non-stick skillet (depending on size of pan), along with remaining tablespoon of oil. Crack egg on a flat surface and add to pan. Season with salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium low. Spoon or baste a little of the hot butter/oil onto the whites of the eggs until whites are set and opaque.
5) When leeks are done broiling, top with sunny side up egg and garnish with fresh thyme. Serve immediately!