Monday, March 5, 2012

Janet here:

First and foremost, I am coming off a week-long visit with Miss M and her caretakers and I am officially in mourning. Despite the fact that they all had colds, it was wonderful on every level possible and I am counting the days until we are all together again. (Anything longer than a month is too long in case anyone is wondering.)

But on to the food. Best part: Rachel and I got to cook together AND the Divine Miss M joined us. Best. Thing. Ever.

But when Max wasn't helping in the kitchen, the other best part was cooking for more than two and cooking new food. This leek and sage casserole was a killer side to a fish dish I made (stay tuned for that recipe). I've said it before but it bears saying again: I was a fool for presuming that leeks were the same as yellow onions for ALL OF MY COOKING LIFE UNTIL LAST YEAR. I was an idiot. If you like leeks even just a little bit, make this now. You won't be sorry.

Sage and Potatoes Gratin
serves 8

2 tablespoons butter
4 leeks, cleaned and sliced
1 cloves garlic, crushed
about 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
about 2 pounds potatoes (I used Russet but I think you could try this with Yukon too), thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped sage leaves
1 1/2 cups (or so) grated fontina cheese or cheddar if you prefer
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the leek and garlic, salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place the sweet and regular potatoes in a bowl with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss until well coated.

In a casserole dish (9X13 or smaller), create layers. First the potatoes. Then the leek mixture with cheese and sage. Then repeat, finishing with a cheese layer.

Cover loosely with foil. Bake for 30 minutes with the foil on. Then uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes. Serve.

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