Welcome to cheesy potato heaven.
Truth be told, there are not many recipes that I make twice - especially in one month. It's not that I don't like recipes enough to make them again, it's just I love trying new things - and unless something is insanely delicious, I will opt for trying out new recipes over old ones. However, I have made this dish now twice in the last month, and have had requests for more! I made this for two different parties and it was a hit both times. One of my friends who is not even a big potato fan went back for a second helping. That's when you know something is good :)
The first time I made the dish, it was to accompany my friend's main course of apple butter bourbon glazed pork chops, which were delicious as well! Now you may be thinking...what is a leek? Or...what does a leek taste like? Or...why is it named a leek? These are all excellent questions. Here are your answers:
1)The leek, is a vegetable which belongs to the onion and garlic family.
2) A leek tastes like a combination of onion and garlic - aka: delicious.
3) I have no idea why it is named a leek. Just eat it.
If you have never cooked with leeks before...I recommend this as your first experiment!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Yield: Serves 5-6
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 stalks of leeks (I used most of the leek except for a few inches of the very tops of the greens)
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
8-10 small red potatoes (1.5 lbs.)
Chopped green onions
1 Tbsp. Bread crumbs
Rinse the leeks and cut in half lengthwise. Chop into 1” pieces. Carefully wash the leeks again in running water. Butter a baking dish. In a large skillet, heat the rest of butter on medium high heat and add leek. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally and cook until leeks are soft.
Meanwhile, peel and slice the potatoes into ¼” pieces. Soak in water until you are ready to use them (prevent from changing color).
When leeks are soft, add thyme, salt, pepper, and heavy whipping cream. Simmer another 5 minutes until the sauce gets thickened.
Preheat an oven to 400F. Divide the potato, leek mixture, and each cheese according to your baking dish size (I divided them in half since my baking dish was fairly shallow).
Layer one portion of potatoes in the baking dish. Then layer one portion of leek mixture. Layer one portion of each cheese. Repeat for each layer. Sprinkle bread crumbs and green onion on top.
Cover with the aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. To check whether the dish is done, test by inserting a fork through the potatoes. If the skewer is able to go through the potato smoothly then it’s ready. Remove the cover and change oven setting to broil. Broil for 2-3 minutes until golden brown on top. Be careful not to broil for too long since you don’t want to burn the dish.
Remove from the oven and let it sit another 5-10 minutes before it’s ready to serve.
Source: adapted from Just One Cookbook