Saturday, April 14, 2012
Leek and Potato Casserole
But those leeks...sitting forlornly on the shelf in the fridge...begging to be used. My first impulse was to toss them in the slow cooker with some potatoes and vegetable stock. Soup is so nice to have on hand. Especially in the midst of a spring cold snap.
But inspiration hit. Or maybe it was an overdose of scalloped potatoes at Easter...
Either way, the path was cleared for this twisted version of scalloped potatoes.
The recipe is my own
1 1/2 lbs Yukon or Russet potatoes
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 medium leeks
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, Gruyere, Munster or any other good melting cheese)
for the crumb topping
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
preheat the oven to 350
Clean the leeks by cutting off the root tip and dark green tops and removing the outer tough leaves. Slice in half lengthwise and fan out the layers. Rinse well under cold running water to remove and sand and grit. Thinly slice the leeks crosswise.
Meanwhile peel the potatoes and slice crosswise into thin coins. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and arrange the potatoes in overlapping rows.
Add the cheese to the leek mixture and stir until slightly melted. Spoon the leek mixture over the sliced potatoes and spread into an even layer. Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes.
In a small bowl combine the butter, bread crumbs and cheese into a coarse blend. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle the crumb topping over the casserole. return to the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the crumb top has browned and the potatoes are tender.
The slightly sweet leeks played so wonderfully against the subtle sourness of the yogurt and sour cream. I almost forgot the potatoes were hiding underneath. This was a surprisingly light, though very hearty dish...serving well as a main course in a pinch. It wasn't bogged down with a lot of cheese or heavy cream, though I did miss the richness so often associated with scalloped potatoes. And the hunt for a better crumb top begins. I have the idea of an adult mac and cheese tossing around in my head and would love to be able to perfect a butter crumb crust before then...