2 large or 3 small leeks
1 t butter
2 T butter
8 medium red potatoes (about 3 lbs, or four cups sliced)
3/4 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 t garlic, minced
1 t thyme
1/4 t fresh cracked black pepper
3-4 dashes Tabasco
8 oz Gruyere divided use
Spoon Mage™ Note:
The delicious layer of leeks in the middle of this dish is well worth the effort.
Leeks come bundled with two large or three small leeks. Choose the leeks that have the most white and light green.
Click here for how to prep a leek.
If you do not have leeks, use sliced onions and increase the garlic by 1 teaspoon.
This recipe is also wonderful with Jarlsberg cheese.
Preheat the oven to 350™ F.
Rub 1 teaspoon butter all over the inside of a 2 quart casserole dish and set aside.
Grate the Gruyere cheese and reserve in a bowl.
Prep the leeks. Use only the white and lightest green parts. Slice in half lengthwise and then cut into thin slices horizontally Rinse well. Drain and dry with paper or tea towels.
Melt 2 tablespoon butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté about 8 minutes or until they are tender. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan set over low heat, combine the milk, cream, garlic, thyme, black pepper, and about 1/2 cup cheese.
Stir the mixture constantly until it is hot and the cheese melts. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.
Do not let the sauce boil, just get it hot. Hot sauce helps the dish cook faster.
Do not peel the potatoes. Rinse and scrub them well, slicing any roots or icky parts. Cut in half. Then lay them cut side down and make thin slices 1/4 inch thick. When cut in this way, each slice has a bit of delicious peel.
Spread out half of the potatoes in the buttered casserole dish filling the dish to not quite half full.
Sprinkle with half of the remaining cheese.
Pour about half of the hot cream mixture over the potatoes.
Top with a layer of all the leeks.
Add the rest of the potatoes, taking care to leave about half an inch between the top of the potatoes and the top of the casserole dish. I like to slice while adding the second layer so that I do not waste potatoes by slicing more than fit inside my casserole dish.
Pour on the rest of the hot cream. The liquid should be only about halfway up the potatoes. Take care not to overfill your casserole dish or the sauce will bubble over and create a lovely mess. When in doubt, use a larger casserole.
Cover with a lid and bake for 1 1/2 hours – or until the potatoes are tender and starting to turn a beautiful light brown. The length of cookery time may vary depending on how thickly you slice your potatoes.
Optional: Brown the cheesy top by removing the lid for the last ten minutes of baking.
Allow to set with the lid on for 10 minutes before serving.