For those of you who don’t know, I’m trying to lose weight. I started in January. I’ll talk about that more another time.
This dish was prepared at the end of December. This is not a good dish if you’re trying to lose weight. It tastes WAY too good for that. It feels WAY too good for that. So, before you remind me that this is not good for me, I already know that. And it makes me sad.
I made this the day after Christmas last year. Yeah, it takes me this long to blog about it. Sorry. I have few/no excuses.
The amazing trick to this is you parboil (not quite done — kinda al dente) the potatoes. And the trick part of the trick? You parboil them in cream. Oh yeah, baby.
This serves 8 to 10, depending on how much you can take before food coma sets in.
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups finely chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 1/2 pounds 1/2-inch cubes assorted mushrooms (such as crimini and stemmed shiitake; about 10 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch slices
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp (maybe more) salt
1/2 tsp (maybe more) fresh ground black pepper
1 cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese (I hate how much I love Gruyere)
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, saute until soft and lightly browned (about 10 to 12 min). Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and saute until soft and liquid evaporates (about 7 to 8 min). Add garlic, saute 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, and then set aside to cool to room temp.
Get the oven heating up to 375.
Combine the cream, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in a large pot. Add potatoes. Bring to a boil. Now…you might think this is not enough liquid, and I would be inclined to agree with you, but in the end it worked perfectly, so I’m not going to correct this. Now, check out what magic is happening here: the potatoes are picking up some of the creamy goodness as they boil. And they’re giving off their own starchy goodness into the cream! It’s like they’re making their own gravy as they cook! Yeah, I know…this really isn’t good for you.
Once they’re boiling, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, and simmer until the cream is reduced by about half, and the potatoes are partially cooked. Stir often and watch to make sure it doesn’t burn. You’re looking at about 3 minutes here.
Brush your baking dish (13 x 9 x 2 is good) with oil. Transfer half the potato mixture to the dish, spreading it out in an even layer. Spoon the mushroom/leek mixture over in and even layer. Spoon remaining potato mixture over.
Cover with foil, and kinda tent it in the middle so it doesn’t fall into the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake until the potatoes are tender and the top is brown, about 20 to 25 minutes more.
Take it out of the oven, and let it rest 10 minutes. You want it to rest so the sauce kinda thickens, and you don’t burn your tongue out of your head when you take a bite.
As I said, it’s creamy. It’s rich. It’s so goll durned tasty. My kids ate it and asked for seconds, even the mushrooms and leeks! I’ll make it again when I’ve hit my target weight. Um..nah, one of my mini goals (I’d like to have it before my youngest is in college).