Cooking is often like alchemy: ordinary ingredients become magically transformed into heavenly tastes. The first time I made this recipe, a Potato Leek Gratin from the New York Times, I thought it was so delicious that I ate nearly half of a recipe for 6 people. I had been searching for a recipe with potatoes and leeks, and couldn't have been more pleased with this one. I realize that I'm sharing it a little late for inclusion in Thanksgiving dinner, but it's not difficult to prepare and will work for a special or everyday dinner.
|Potatoes in dish|
2 Tbs unsalted butter, plus more to grease the dish
2 large leeks (I used 4 small ones) trimmed and halved lengthwise
1 1/2 lbs peeled Yukon Gold potatoes (I used a similar variety that I grow: Carola)
1 teas salt
1/2 teas pepper
2 thyme sprigs
1 cup heavy cream
1 fat clove garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1/4 teas ground nutmeg
3/4 cup Gruyere, grated (I used cheddar)
1.Preheat over to 350º. Butter a 2 quart gratin dish (I didn't have a large enough dish so used a souffle dish, which meant the potatoes were piled more thickly so got less crispy.) Wash leeks to remove any dirt and slice thinly.
2. Using a sharp knife or mandoline (I used a very thin, 2mm, blade with my food processor, which made the slicing easy work) slice potatoes 1/8 inch thick. Toss them with 3/4 teas salt and 1/4 teas pepper. Layer the potatoes in a gratin dish.
|Leeks added to the dish|
3. Melt the 2 Tbs butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, the rest of the salt and pepper, and the thyme. Cook, stirring, until the leeks are tender and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Discard thyme and place leeks over the potatoes.
4. Add cream, garlic, and bay leaf to the skillet, scraping up any bits of leeks sticking to the pan. Simmer gently 5 minutes, stir in nutmeg.
5. Pour the cream over the leeks and potatoes. (there's nothing in the recipe to suggest removing the bay leaf, but I remove it.) Top with the cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 -20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden. Cool a bit before serving.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Although there's much that's wrong with the world today, I know that I have so much to be thankful for, and I hope that you do too.