Leeks with Potato Chips and Chives

Part of the Moody Eater Makes series, where I make 5 recipes from a cookbook and let you know if it’s worth a TRY or a BYE.

Moody Eater tested Carla Lalli Music’s Leeks with Potato Chips & Chives recipe (p.108 in her James Beard Award-winning cookbook Where Cooking Begins ). Chips, chives, and leeks… sounds simple enough, right?

Well, I managed to gaff this one up. My skillet wasn’t hot enough, so the leeks never charred up. I also cut them too large or maybe I put too many in the skillet at the same time. Either way, the leeks turned out mushy the first time I cooked them, but adding the chips saved the recipe for sure.

✰✰✰✰ stars — It’s a TRY, especially if you cut the leeks small and really char them up.

Carla Lalli Music’s Leeks with Potato Chips & Chives

Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 4 leeks trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • Kosher salt freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 cup kettle-cooked potato chips
  • ¼ cup finely sliced chives


  • Rinse leeks, pat them dry, and season all over with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large, dry skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add leeks to pan, cut side down, and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until evenly charred on cut side, about 4 minutes (charred is a nice way of saying burned; things could get a little smoky).
  • Turn leeks over and add ghee and ¾ cup water to the skillet.
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook until leeks are tender when pierced with a cake tester and liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 4 minutes longer.
  • Transfer leeks to a serving plate. Crush potato chips with your hands and let the pieces rain down on the leeks, then top with chives.


p. 109 in Where Cooking Begins cookbook
Spin It (substitutions)
  • Red onions, quartered, for the leeks
  • Corn chips or corn nuts in place of potato chips
  • Coconut oil or a 50/50 mix of vegetable oil and butter for the ghee
  • Parsley, cilantro, and/or mint instead of chives
Calories: 310kcal
Cost: $5
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Quick Meal, Vegetable

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