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Potato-Leek Gratin PDF Print E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 11:30



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.



Potato-Leek Gratin

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)

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+1 #1 Tagore Smith 2011-04-08 14:31
"a) I'm ridiculously accident prone b) I like to drink while I cook dinner."

I laughed a bit at this, both because it brought me back to the days of the FADC, and because I'm the same way, and have the scars to prove it. Drinking and cooking is risky ;).

Mandolins are awesome, aren't they? I'm actually pretty good with a knife, but it's hard to beat a mandolin for some things. Don't get complacent about it though- it's tempting to forgo the guard for a quick slice-up, but those things are sharp. I speak from experience.

This looks really good. I like to cook, but there are only a few good recipes that I can really call my own. One of them is basically a potato gratin with pancetta (or bacon), stewed onions, and real Parmesan, with a couple of eggs tempered into the dairy before baking. It's good, but unrelentingly rich, even using half milk and half cream. Now I'm wondering if a bit of leek might offset the richness.

Hope you're well.
0 #2 Launie Little-Kettle 2011-04-08 18:43
Tagore! Hey!
Don't worry about me having a sensibility lapse while using the mandolin - I have a healthy fear of it. A very healthy fear. (Although that fear doesn't dissuade me from having a glass of wine next to the mandolin on the cutting board.)
And in the spirit of FADC, I didn't write you until I had a cocktail in my hand.
Nice to hear from you!
0 #3 Tagore Smith 2011-04-09 15:19
Well, I'm glad to hear you have retained a healthy respect for it. I am sometimes a bit more cavalier about kitchen equipment than I should be. I think I heard somewhere that you ought to put a little bit of yourself into everything you cook, and failed to grasp that that wasn't meant literally.

Anyway, glad to see you're doing so well. Congrats on the Salon article. I didn't realize you were such a cook.

Drop me a line sometime if you have the time. Has been a while. And say hi to Jed for me (Hi Jed.) Jan too.


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