Sunday, March 25, 2018

Scalloped Potatoes with Leeks and Thyme

I never cooked with or eaten leeks before, have you?

When I went to my cooking class we used leeks for the Chicken Pot Pie we made, which was really yummy by the way. The chef said leeks have a celery texture with an onion flavor, so I thought they would work with scalloped potatoes. What do you think?

According to, when considering the leek mostly just the white and light green parts are eaten, though the darker green parts have plenty of flavor and can either be cooked longer to tenderize them, or used when making homemade soup stock.

The challenge when cooking with leeks is that they are almost always dirty. When leeks are grown, soil is piled up around them, so that more of the leek is hidden from the sun, and therefore lighter in color and more tender. What produces a beautiful leek, a long pale body, also results in sand and dirt being lodged deep inside the leek.

To clean the leek for this recipe first rinse the leek to wash off the visible dirt. Cut off the ends then cut it in half lengthwise. Fan open the leek and place it under cold water to get all the sand and dirt. Discard the dark greens and finely chop the rest. 


  • 2 tablespoons butter plus more for baking dish
  • 1 cup finely chopped leeks (if needed, sweet onion may be substituted)
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated/minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds yellow/golden potatoes, peeled and sliced thin


  1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. Coat an 8×8-inch (or approximate) baking dish with butter.
  2. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add butter. When butter has melted, add leeks; cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, thyme, continue to cook, stirring for 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in milk, heavy cream, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture has slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add potatoes; stir to coat potatoes. Transfer mixture to prepared dish, spreading potatoes evenly in dish.
  6. Bake until potatoes are done, lightly brown and bubbly, about 1 hour. If time permits, baste potatoes with sauce halfway through cooking. Let cool slightly before serving. The video shows that I made a roux and added ham and topped the dish with some grated fontina cheese. Yum Yum! My granddaughters gave it 2 thumbs up!

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