Last week I was preparing to fry about 6-7 dozen Kuftes De Prassa for Rosh Hashanah. I usually calculate about 4 large prassa, leeks to 1 pound of ground chuck meat to make these light and fluffy meatballs that are part of the Simanim or blesses food for the Rosh Hashanah Seder. As it turns out I purchased about 20 leeks as I went on my way at the Santa Monica farm market buying leeks from different vegetable stalls.
There was a lot of leek left over after I was done cleaning chopping and steaming them. At first vegetarian kuftes with mashed potato sounded good, but the hour was late and the body tired so I made the mashed potato and decided to make a quajado in a baking dish and serve it as cut squares instead of individual fried patties. It turned out beautiful, puffy golden smelling of onion and parsley, an easy and delicious side dish.
Yield: 12 small servings
1 large russet (baking) potato
4 large leeks
1 cup of chopped fresh parsley
2/3 cup Panko crumbs
6 extra-large eggs
1 ½ to 2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons safflower oil
Peel potato and slice across in ¼ inch thick rounds. Place potato in a small heavy bottom saucepan and cover with water. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and let potato simmer for about 15 minutes or until soft enough to drain and mash. Drain and mash potato.
Cut off the stem ends with beard of leeks. Slice off the tough portion of the dark green leaving only about 2 to 3 inches of the dark green portion. Slice leeks half ways thru length wise and wash under cold running water until all sand and mud are cleaned away. Slice leeks length wise into thin strips and then, slice across leaving them finely chopped. Place cleaned and chopped leeks in a twelve inch sauté pan with a lid, cover with water and steam for about 15 minutes. Allow leeks to cook in pan and then take handfuls and squeeze out all water (you may add this water to soup if you wish).
Preheat oven to 400⁰ F. Place steamed leeks, mashed potato, chopped parsley, Panko, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add eggs and mix. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Place Oil in a ceramic or glass baking dish about 8 by 11 size. Add filling and place baking dish in hot oven. Bake for around 30 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Serve warm cut into individual squares.
Recipe note: You could make this a dairy dish by adding ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese and about 6 to 8 ounces of sharp white cheddar or crumbled feta. If you add cheese you will need less salt.
As a dairy version you could serve it at breakfast or brunch.