From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
8 small leeks, well trimmed
16 thin slices cooked ham
butter, for greasing
150 g (5oz) mature cheddar cheese, grated
2 tblsp dijon mustard
6 tblsp crème fraiche
crusty french bread, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F/Gas 6). Blanch the leeks in a pan of boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Drain and quickly refresh under cold running water to stop them from cooking any further, then drain well and pat dry on kitchen paper.
Wrap each leek in two slices of the ham and arrange them in a buttered baking dish. Place the Cheddar in a bowl and stir in the Dijon mustard and crème fraiche until well combined. Season to taste. Spread over the leeks and bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbling and golden brown. Serve at once straight to the table with plenty of crusty bread to mop up all of those delicious juices.