Potatoes, cream, butter….three ingredients that I gotta say are pretty darn good together.  Add a some sautéed leek and it’s even better.  Put them together in a gratin, with a golden brown, crispy crust, and soft creamy center, and you’ve got one of the best potato side dishes out there.  In this recipe video, I show you how to make a Potato Leek Gratin, that goes as great with steak, as it does with chicken or fish.  Leeks, if you haven’t used them before have a very subtle onion flavor that add a bit of complexity to the potatoes.  I really like the way they come out when made in a saute pan like this, but you can use a baking, or any oven proof dish.  Give these a try and I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

To make the best Potato Leek Gratin, just follow these few simple steps:

  1. With any food, bland is bad.  Potatoes however, can be especially bland, so I want to make sure you season them with a good amount of salt and pepper.
  2. You need to sauté the leeks separately, before adding them to the potatoes and cream.  About 20 minutes over medium heat, will turn them soft and delicious.
  3. Use more cream or milk (or even water if you want to cut some calories), than you think you need.  The starch in the potatoes, along with evaporation, will thicken the cream, and potentially cause the gratin to dry out if you don’t have enough.  The mix should definitely be soupy when it goes into the oven.

RECIPE FOR POTATO GRATIN WITH LEEK

Ingredients for Potato Gratin With Leek (for 4)

  • 2 medium Russet potatoes
  • About 1 pint of cream
  • 1 Leek
  • 1/3 cup of gruyere (or another favorite) cheese
  • 1/3 cup parmesan

Making the Gratin

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Clean the leek, by removing the top green leaves, which are no good.  Slice the leek in half the long way, exposing all the layers, and wash them thoroughly under cold water as there is usually a lot of mud in there.
  • Chop the leek into thin strips, and sauté the leeks in butter with a dash of olive oil, until they are tender.
  • While the leek sautés, slice the potatoes into disks about a 1/4 inch thick
  • Blanch the potatoes until they just start to soften
  • Drain the potatoes and add them to the sauté pan with leeks
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Add enough cream so the potatoes are covered by about 3/4, and add the thyme, stir gently to combine everything
  • Put the heat on med-high to get the cream to a heavy simmer
  • Add 90% of the cheese and again stir to combine
  • Top with the remaining cheese
  • Put the pan into a 375 - 400 degree oven (you can transfer to baking dish if you’d like), for about 25 minutes, or until the top becomes browned, and the potatoes are tender - if needed  you can put under the broiler for the last 5 minutes or so.
  • Remove and let rest for about 5 minutes before serving

In the video, I drizzle a bit of white truffle oil over the top, which is very tasty, but not really needed…it’s a great dish without it.  Hope you enjoy it!!

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