A few years back my friend Ann made some scalloped potatoes for Easter—she’s a wonderful cook, like many of my friends (lucky me!) These weren’t low calorie, everyday potatoes, they were a little bit fancy. Something you can serve company with a baked ham or a grilled tenderloin or even a meatloaf. So when our Supper Club met last month and it was my turn to bring a starchy side dish, I tried to replicate those. I tell you people were swooning over them! In fact it makes me hungry just to look at the picture I took!
¼ c. butter
3-4 large leeks, cleaned and chopped, white and light green parts only
2 cups whipping cream
3 minced garlic cloves
4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 cups grated white cheddar
1/3 c. grated Parmesan
First of all, make sure the leeks are well washed. Nothing ruins a dish quicker than a gritty mouthful of sand. (To digress a little, we’ve noticed that the leeks we grow in our garden aren’t as sandy as the ones from the market.) Sauté the chopped leeks over low heat in the melted butter, cover and cook until soft (8 or so minutes.)
Oil a 9 by 13 pan well with olive oil. Mix the chopped garlic into the cream. Layer half of the potatoes into the pan, top with half of the leeks, add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle half of the cheese over this layer, then carefully pour in half of the cream. Repeat these layers and grate the Parmesan over the top. Bake in a preheated oven (375) for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Check about 45 minutes in—if the top is quite brown but the potatoes aren't soft, cover it with foil for the rest of the time. Let stand another fifteen minutes to set up before serving. You'll want to put a cookie sheet under your pan in case they drip.
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