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Saturday, 3 October 2009

Leek, Potato and Cheese Bake

I have been sat here this evening trying to decide what to make for dinner tomorrow from the bits and bobs I have around the kitchen and want to use up.

I have a love of leeks and today I managed to buy a whole bunch of the most gorgeous baby leeks at the Ballyvaughan Farmer's Market (Saturdays 10am-2pm).

So... something yummy to make with them.

I have concocted this recipe from one that uses tomatoes, and I have substituted leeks and tweaked it a bit to make the best of the tastes.

I am going to serve it with a couple of fresh salmon steaks.

Hence -

Leek, Potato and Cheese Bake

5 medium sized Potatoes
3 Leeks (sliced in rounds)
2.5 ozs Butter
2 ozs plain Flour (all purpose)
350 ml Milk
175 ml Chicken Stock
1.5 teaspoons chopped fresh Thyme
4 ozs Mature Cheddar Cheese

1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into slices, about 1/4 inch thick.

2. Slice the leeks into rings of about the same thickness, 1/4 inch.

3. Steam the potatoes and leeks (or boil them) until tender, being very careful not to cook too much or they will disintegrate.

4. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and stir it in. Heat it until it is bubbling then remove the pan from the heat.

5. Very slowly, bit by bit, stir in the milk and the chicken stock. Once it is blended, return the pan to the heat until the sauce boils and thickens.

6. Remove from the heat and stir in the thyme and half of the cheese.

7. In the bottom of a largish greased pie dish, overlap the half the potatoes and half the leeks to cover the bottom of the dish.

8. Pour over 2/3 of the sauce evenly over the potatoes and leeks.

9. Make a second layer of the remaining potatoes and leeks, overlapping them as before.

10. Pour over the remaining sauce and sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top.

11. Cook in an oven at about 180C for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is lightly browned on the top, no more.

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