- 1/2 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken or vegetable stock
- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2-1/2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/8 inch thick
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
- 1 large leek (white and light green parts only), sliced very thinly, washed well, and drained (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
In a small saucepan, combine the stock, cream, garlic, and bay leaf; bring just to a boil. Take it from the heat and let the flavors infuse as you assemble the gratin.
Heat the oven to 350°F. Spread about one-third of the potatoes in the bottom of a 2-qt. gratin or heavy baking dish. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Next, spread about half of the leeks on the potatoes. Top with another one-third of the potatoes, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg again, and top with the rest of the leeks. Arrange the remaining potatoes on top, and season.
Put the gratin dish on a baking sheet (to catch any spills). Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes, discarding the garlic. Tuck the bay leaf in the center of the gratin for decoration (but don't let anyone eat it), or discard it, too. Sprinkle with the cheese.
Cover the dish loosely with foil and bake in the hot oven until the potatoes start to get tender, about 30 min. Remove the foil and continue baking, basting occasionally with the liquid in the dish, until the potatoes and leeks are very tender when pierced with a knife and a golden crust forms on top, another 30 to 45 min. Let cool for about 15 min. before serving.
recipe by Beth Dooley and Lucia Watson, Potatoes as the Main Event