Scalloped Potatoes with Leeks

April 16, 2009

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I saw this recipe from Martha Stewart and had tucked it away–knowing one day soon it was going to come in handy. I was looking for a starch to go with ham and lamb, had a bunch of leeks in the fridge so as soon as I saw this recipe again, I knew it was the time to make it.

I made a few changes: doubling it, ’cause we’re a crowd *smile*; leaving out the nutmeg (my Mama is not a fan), adding about 8 dashes of hot sauce (as always in a bechamel or other milk-based sauce), using half and half instead of heavy cream (had to save some calories for the other things on the table), using half Gruyere and half muenster cheese (as I wanted a bit of melting cheese in it, to make up for some of the creaminess I was losing by not using heavy cream) and adding some garlic powder, just to add another flavor to the mix.

This behemoth took about 2 hours plus to cook (that’s the price I paid for putting it in one large dish instead of two smaller) and it was a bit ‘wetter’ than if I had used the cream….but it was delicious and I didn’t miss the heavy cream at all. And since it was a lighter side, I was able to eat more of those delicious roasts…just as I was hoping to!

I’ll give you the ‘regular’ sized recipe—but it does double just fine….just keep in mind my note above about using one large or two smaller dishes if you double it.

Scalloped Potatoes with Leeks

2 Tablespoons Butter

2 Leeks, sliced in half lengthwise, then sliced in thin half moons

6 Russet Potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly (preferably on a mandoline) **

3/4 teaspoon Coarse Salt (Kosher)

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder

Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste (I’d say about 1/2 teaspoon)

4 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded

4 ounces Muenster Cheese, shredded

1 cup Half-n-Half

1 cup Chicken Stock

6-8 dashes Hot Sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12 cup baking dish with cooking spray.

2) Melt butter in skillet over medium heat, add leeks and cook until translucent, 3-4 minutes

3) In small bowl, mix together Gruyere and Muenster cheeses. Set Aside.

4) In a large measuring cup, mix together Half-0-Half, Chicken Stock and Hot Sauce. Set Aside

5) Arrange 1/3 of the potatoes in the dish, slightly overlapping slices. Sprinkle with 1/2 the salt, 1/2 the garlic powder, and pepper. Then sprinkle on 1/2 the leeks and 1/2 the cheese mixture.

6) Repeat the layers.

7) Top with remaining potatoes–try and make a pretty pattern on top. (A spiral if your dish is round, nice rows if using a rectangular dish.)

8) Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Pour cream mixture over the top. Cover with foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray. (At this point, the mixture can be refrigerated overnight.)

9) Bake for 30 minutes at 350F. Increase temp to 425F, uncover and cook 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and potatoes are tender (check by sticking a fork in the middle of the dish—when it goes in easily it’s done).

10) Let rest for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

** The thinner the slices, the quicker it cooks, and the more delicate and sophisticated the dish. Make a dish like this even twice a year, and you’ve more than justified the money you spend on the mandoline. Truly.

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Filed Under: Recipe, Savory, Sides, Vegetarian-Friendly

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