Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A few of my favorite things: Potato, leek and mushroom gratin


There are so many reasons to search for a recipe. Sometimes you have a craving, sometimes your husband has one. Sometimes you want to recreate a dish you've had before. Sometimes, you just want to use up what's in the fridge. Yesterday was one of the latter. Saturday I made another French Laundry recipe (post coming soon) and aside from a delicious meal, I had a fridge full of ingredients that I needed to use up - a couple leeks, some cream, the list went on. I was going to grill a rack of lamb for dinner so I thought a leek and potato side dish would be perfect.

potato-gratin (1)

So I began my search. Usually these searches result in a pile of at least 10-20 of my 100+ cookbooks strewn all over the island. This time I got it on the first try. I grabbed the Bon Appetit Cookbook, looked up leeks in the index and just about jumped for joy when I read that there was a Potato, Leek, Mushroom and Gruyere Gratin - perfect!!! Aside from potatoes and leeks, I also had a nearly full package of Crimini mushrooms. I scanned the recipe and found I'd need to substitute my Crimini mushrooms for the recommended oyster mushrooms and use Swiss in lieu of Gruyere. Easy enough. (And I used part cream, part lowfat milk to reduce the fat...)

This is a really nice gratin - I baked it in the afternoon and then reheated it for dinner. The mushrooms add a nice earthy flavor - try to cook the water out of them when you saute them to keep the gratin thick and creamy. My version follows - this would serve 4 as a side dish. The original is for a 13x9 inch pan, so I cut it in half to fit the ingredients I had (and to ensure we wouldn't be eating it for weeks to come!)

potato-leek-gratin (1)

Potato, Leek, Mushroom and Cheese Gratin
adapted from the Bon Appetit Cookbook

2 Tbsp. butter, divided
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and pale green parts
leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme, minced (about 1 tsp.)
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup cream (I used half cream, half lowfat milk)
3 Tbsp. dry white wine
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (I used 2 large)
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. plain breadcrumbs

Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and saute until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute until mushrooms are tender and golden and their liquid has evaporated. Transfer mushroom mixture to a bowl. In the same pan, melt 1 Tbsp. butter. Add the leeks and thyme. Saute until leeks are tender and starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms and stir to combine. (This can be made a day ahead.)
potato-gratin (2)
Preheat oven to 400F. Butter a baking dish (about 9-inch square). Whisk broth, cream, wine, salt and pepper in a bowl to blend. Arrange 1/3 of potatoes in the bottom of the dish. Top with 1/2 the mushroom leek mixture and 1/2 the Swiss cheese.

potato-gratin (3)

Create another layer of potatoes on top, then pour half the cream mixture over it. Add the remaining leek and mushroom mixture, then the remaining Swiss cheese. Top with the rest of the potatoes and then push the whole thing down with the back of a spatula. Pour the rest of the cream mixture over the top, then sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.

Bake uncovered until potatoes are tender and sauce is bubbling thickly, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Let stand a few minutes before serving.


Holly Keegan said...

(this is my second attempt at a comment... if I leave 2, I apologize)

I have made this same recipe from Bon Appetit and found it to be sooo good! I love your substitutions and the fact that you reduced some of the fat. While sad to admit that I don't have my menu ready for Sunday, I am willing to say that this recipe may just be my side dish! Thanks!

Pete said...

Nice Gratin, I love dishes that contain leek as the ingredients!

Ed Schenk said...

Looks very comforting!

ChristinaH said...

That looks scrumptious! I am on a leek roll lately. Am going to put this on next week's menu. Thank you for sharing!

Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking said...

Great with food that is suitable for heating up! It looks super delicious. Mmm.

Melih Kanat said...

looks like very delicious..

Alisha said...

Such a fantastic post - I too looove leeks!

Cheryl@pictureperfectmeals said...

I love your blog, it's beautiful! Potatoes, leeks mushrooms and cheese.. how can you possibly miss!! Thanks for this great recipe.

Endy said...

oh i love those u mentioned here! mashed potatoes is my fave n i usually mix it with mushroom, meats n cheese, yum!

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