Cutting leeks into large pieces (they almost dissolve when thinly sliced) gives them a presence equal to disks of potato, while cooking the vegetables separately-the leeks are braised in butter, the spuds are simmered in milk and cream-preserves their distinct flavors. The glorious results will supply the homiest meatloaf supper with pizzazz.
Provided by Lillian Chou
Yield 8 servings
Number Of Ingredients 8
- Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Generously butter a 3-qt shallow baking dish. Cut a round of parchment paper to fit just inside a 12-inch heavy skillet, then set parchment aside.
- Halve leeks lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces (you should have about 8 cups). Wash leeks.
- Cook leeks in butter with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, covered with parchment round, in skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, peel potatoes and slice crosswise 1/16 inch thick with slicer. Transfer to a large heavy pot with cream, milk, thyme, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally (liquid will thicken). Stir in leeks, then transfer to baking dish.
- Bake, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
- Do Ahead
- Gratin can be baked 2 days ahead and chilled. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes, then reheat, covered, in a 350°F oven until hot, about 30 minutes.
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