Monday, 7 April 2008

Leek and potato gratin

Jules from The Domestic Goddess in Training passed me a recipe for leek and potato gratin a couple of weeks back. I finally got round to making it and it was such great comfort food, perfect now that the cold weather is back (boo). Thanks, Jules!

This one is quick to put together without the need to fry off the leeks of parboil the potatoes. Everything goes into a dish, into the oven and onto the table. Just the thing for a weekday dinner. It works nicely as a side dish with pork chops, roast chicken or grilled fish or even a simple steak.

Leek and potato gratin


(Serves 2-3 as a side dish)

70ml vegetable stock
70ml double cream
70ml milk
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium leek, thinly sliced
30g cheddar, grated
Some stalks of chives, finely chopped (optional)


1. Pour stock, cream and milk into a pan. Add garlic and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow the flavours to infuse while working on the other ingredients.
2. Preheat oven to 190C/gas 5. Scatter the potatoes and leeks evenly in an ovenproof dish. Pour over the stock mixture and sprinkle cheese on top.
3. Loosely cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and then bake for another 30-40 minutes until the top is golden. Garnish with the chopped chives and serve.

I have tweaked the recipe slightly from the one I was given. As with all kinds of cooking, you should adjust the seasoning, fluids, oven temperatures and so on depending on personal taste and circumstance. For example, add a little more milk or cream to the dish when removing the foil if it looks too dry. Cook the potatoes for longer or shorter depending on how tender or soft you like your potatoes. Or leave it in the oven for a little longer if the top is still not browned to your liking. It doesn't always work to follow a recipe slavishly to the letter. Cooking is as much about personal taste and judgement as about knowing what to do step-by-step. So relax, use your senses and have fun!


Holler said...

Your pie looks amazing Nilmandra! Who needs anything else on the side, not me, just give me a big scoop of this and I will be very happy!

Jade said...

WooT~ My Favourite! many to try recipes here and there. Will bookmark this for my "to-make" list. ;)

BTW you have a wonderful blog here! Nice!

Kevin said...

Potatoes and cheese...mmm...

didally said...

Oo... this looks delicious. Really great as a side dish for my roast chicken.

eliza said...

i've made similar dish using a recipe by Deborah Madison. i agree that potatoes and leeks go together very well!

Pixie said...

This looks wonderful and I agree it's best to follow your instincts while cooking. (though, i don't always do that!)

Jules said...

Glad the recipe worked for you Nilmandra. I like the idea of using chives. Like Holler, I could gladly just eat this on it's own!

tigerfish said...

Now I read recently that rice prices have gone up, they say we should eat more potatoes :D

What type of potatoes are best for gratin ?

noobcook said...

This looks wonderful! :D~~ (face of me drooling)

Antonia said...

This looks like my idea of heaven - leeks, potatoes and cheese. Yum!

Wendy said...


Julia said...

That looks so good, just my kind of dish.

commoi said...

I'll definitely bookmark this and try it out next week (as I write my papers... It's nice to have some serious comfort food that makes my apartment smells nice).

Jules's blog looks like a good read too (also added to my bookmark folder). :D

mycookinghut said...

I love gratin! This one looks delicious. :)

Nilmandra said...

Thanks to all for the kind comments.

Holler: LOL I know what you mean.. Carbo and fats... what else do you need?? ;)

Jade: Thanks! Hope you'll enjoy the other recipes too.

Didally: I had it with roast chicken too and it went beautifully. Recipe just posted!

Eliza: I got to go google Deborah Madison!

Pixie: I must admit I only started to become more comfortable with doing things on-the-fly recently as I gained more confidence in the kitchen. On another note, getting recipes from mothers and aunts is such a pain... they always tell you it's a bit of this and a dash of that... Erm, how am I supposed to recreate that?? :P

Jules: Thanks for putting the idea in my head to cook it in the first place. I had chives to be used up and it was either on top of the gratin or in the bin! They really went well with the creamy and cheesy sauce.

Tigerfish: I know wheat prices have gone up a lot, but I didn't know it's the same for rice too. I guess we'll just have to eat more vegetables! I think most potatoes should be fine. Floury potatoes like King Edward will taste softer and creamier when cooked while waxy ones like Charlotte or the red Desiree will taste firmer. Maris Piper is floury but a good all-rounder, not as floury as King Edward.

Commoi: Glad you found another interesting food blog. I love discovering good reads :)

Chuck said...

The perfect comfort food. Potatoes, cheese and leeks make a wonderful combination.

Deborah said...

This sounds so delicious! And you're right - the perfect comfort food!

Nilmandra said...

Chuck, Deborah: Glad you like the combination too!

Simply...Gluten-free said...

My first time here. This looks amazing - my idea of pure comfirt!

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