With the (non-stop) snow and cold I decided to treat myself to scalloped potatoes last week. But, then I saw that our grocery store had leeks on sale, only .99 each. So, I decided to really treat myself, and make a potato-leek gratin. The main difference between the two, is that a gratin involves a cooked cheese sauce, whereas scalloped potatoes just involve putting layers of potato and onions in a casserole and pouring milk over the top.
But, before I got to the sauce, I had a lot of prep to do - and a new toy to cut with. For Christmas Jedd bought me a mandolin.
An actual mandolin.
I had wanted one for years however: a) I'm ridiculously accident prone b) I like to drink a glass of wine while I cook dinner.
You can see how that could be problematic.
But, Jedd assured me when I opened the mandolin on Christmas, that it has an excellent safeguard. So, last week I happily went into the kitchen, poured myself a glass of wine, and started prepping potatoes on my new gadget.
The gratin was perfect – cheesy and slightly fruity from the leeks. And the trial run with the mandolin was a success. What a fantastic present.
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (sliced as thinly as you can)
2 sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
2 cups of shredded swiss cheese
2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ cup of white wine
3 tablespoons of flour
2 cups of warm milk (Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes)
½ of shredded Parmesan
Black pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Saute the leeks in the olive oil and white wine for 5 minutes.
Add the flour and stir for 1 minute, then add the milk. When the lumps of flour have smoothed out add the swiss cheese in small batches stirring constantly until the cheese is integrated into the sauce.
In a buttered casserole dish layer the potatoes, and alternate with the cream/leek mixture. When you reach the top layer of sauce on potatoes sprinkle the parmesan on top. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake until the potatoes are soft and the top is brown.
(Photos by Launie Kettler)