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Potato and Leek Gratin

You should not count calories when you make a potato gratin, but this version really is relatively low-calorie.  It contains only enough butter to grease the dish and considerably less cream than most. Nevertheless, it is remarkably creamy, the cream infused with the lovely sweet flavor of leeks. Enjoy it with a grilled leg of lamb or a fresh pork leg cooked on the grill.

1 clove garlic (unpeeled)
1 teaspoon butter
1 ½ pounds red-skinned potatoes (or substitute with purple potatoes), sliced 1/8 inch thick.
1 ½ cups minced leeks, white and pale green parts only (2-3 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup chicken stock
3 ounces grate Gruyere cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
2. Cut the unpeeled garlic clove in half. Rub the bottom and sides of an earthenware or ceramic oval gratin dish (approximately 13 x 8 x 2 inches) with the cut clove. Let the garlic juices dry, then grease the dish with the butter.
3. Arrange one-third of the potatoes in the dish, and top them with half of the leeks. Season with salt and
pepper. Add another third of the potatoes, then the rest of the leeks. Season again with salt and pepper.
Top with the remaining potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Whisk the cream and chicken stock together and pour them over the potatoes. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes.
5. Uncover the dish. Press the potatoes down lightly with a spoons and baste them with some of the liquid so that the surface is moist. Raise the over temperature to 375 F. Sprinkle the surface of the potatoes evenly with the cheese. Return the gratin to the oven uncovered and continue baking until it is wellbrowned,
about 25 to 30 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Tastes from Valley to Bluff: The Featherstone Farm Cookbook by Mi Ae Lipe.

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