I apologize for the less-than-stellar photo. I am not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination but I always like to include a photo or two of the recipe about which I'm posting because I think it's always helpful to be able to see what the finished dish is supposed to look like. I know that when I go recipe hunting myself, I won't even look at a recipe anymore if there isn't an accompanying photo. Yup, I've become a snob. But mind you, I'm not a photo-snob; I'm just a lack-of-photo snob.
That said, I typically won't even post if the photos I've taken of my current recipe aren't up to par. I just blabber on about something else that day. But this particular recipe received such rave reviews from hubby, that I'm forced to enter it here just so I can remember and duplicate it in the future.
His exact words: "We won't even have to have sex tonight after eating that. It's all been taken care of already." (Is there any higher form of praise??) TMI? OK, we'll move on.
Potato, Leek and Bacon Gratin
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled then thinly sliced. Place in pot and cover with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil and boil for a minute or two. Drain and set aside.
1 bunch leeks (3 large) white and pale green parts only, chop first then rinse to remove grit.
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder
2 1/2 cups half & half, warmed in microwave
1/3 cup grated parmesan (reserve a little bit for the topping)
1/2 cup grated gruyere (reserve a little bit for the topping)
dash of nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
5-6 strips of bacon, cooked until crisp then crumbled
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 1 1/2 to 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add leeks and saute until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add in garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Saute for another minute or two. Reduce heat, sprinkle with flour, then cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Gradually stir in the half and half. Bring back to a boil and cook until thickened. Stir in the mustard powder and the cheese and stir until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and add nutmeg and parsley. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Spread potato slices in casserole dish. Top with the leek mixture. Sprinkle the reserved cheeses on top. Scatter crumbled bacon pieces over all. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.