Comfort Food for One – Potato-Leek Bake

Sometimes, when my partner’s away, I like to make a little dish of something warm, usually as a way to test out a recipe. I have this little pyrex baking dish (maybe 6X9 or so) that I got at a yard sale years ago, and it’s perfect for two or three servings of a casserole or crisp.

I stumbled across this recipe in a magazine somewhere, tore it out, and then proceeded to alter pretty much everything except the two basic ingredients – potatoes and leeks. As with most of my recipes, amounts are approximate and the recipes are forgiving…

Ingredients

  • 3 leeks (mine were about a foot long each) 
  • 2 cups sliced potatoes (done on a mandoline, skins left on, I used little golden ones I found in my cupboard)
  • 1 clove of elephant garlic (or 2-3 cloves of the regular stuff)
  • 4oz cream cheese
  • 2 oz shredded swiss cheese (~half cup grated)
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper, herbs to taste (I used herbes de provence)
Directions (preheat to 425 degrees)
1. Prep the vegetables: slice the potatoes if you haven’t already, cut the leeks in half the long way and then dice them into thin half-moons, and dice the garlic. Set the potatoes aside
2. Sautee the leeks and garlic in some olive oil with salt and the herbs of your choice. When they are soft and semi-transparent, turn off the heat and add the cream cheese and swiss cheese. Mix until it’s melted and stir until fully incorporated.
3. Brush a thin layer of olive oil in the bottom of your casserole dish and then layer in one layer of sliced potatoes then add about half of the leek and cheese mixture. Put in another single layer of potatoes, and then add the rest of the leek mixture.
4. On the top, put your last single layer of potatoes (make it look pretty!). Brush the exposed potatoes with olive oil, then crack some salt and pepper over the top.
5. Bake covered for 20 minutes, then uncovered for 20 minutes or until leeks are bubbly and the top layer of potatoes are starting to turn golden and crisp on the edges.
6. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes (this is important!) before slicing with a sharp knife and serving.
Makes about 4 side-dish servings and 2 entree servings.
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