Potatoes and cheddar cheese partner with sauteed leeks for a rich and satisfying side dish or meatless entree.
We are big potato fans around here. French fries, potato salad, mashed potatoes. A certain 7-year old hasn’t quite made up his mind about potatoes, but the rest of us love them. I’m happy to eat potatoes and salad for a meal any day of the week.
Typically potatoes go on sale right about this time each year. In the last year, I’ve seen prices as low as $0.99/10 pound bag for conventional potatoes and $2.50/5 pound bag on organics. If I see those prices, likely I will stock up. Potatoes are freezer friendly in some instances; mashed and twice baked potatoes freeze and reheat beautifully — and save you a lot of time on serving night.
This potato dish was a very pleasant treat this week. I had some leftover mashed potatoes from dinner that I mixed with cheddar cheese, sauteed leeks, salt and pepper and a little milk. I stashed it in the fridge until about 30 minutes before baking, though, I’m pretty confident this would freeze well also.
The resulting potato bake was rich and flavorful, thanks to the leeks and cheddar cheese. And the cheddar crust on top made for a nice contrast with the creamy potato interior. It made a great side dish for my meat lovers and a tasty main dish for moi.
Cheddar and Leek Potato Bake
- 3 lb russet potatoes peeled and cubed
- ¼ cup butter cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 leek chopped, white parts only
- black pepper
- 8 oz cheddar cheese (shredded) (2 cups)
- ½ cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 400 °. Grease a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.
- Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Cook until tender. Drain the potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Mash the potatoes thoroughly with a potato masher. Add the butter and mash it in well.
- In a medium skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the leeks and saute over low heat until the leeks are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the leeks and 1 cup shredded cheese to the potatoes. Add enough milk to create a thick puree.
- Spoon this mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Top the potato mixture with the remaining cup of cheddar cheese. (Can be covered and refrigerated at this point, if making ahead.)
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are hot and the cheddar top has melted and started to turn golden brown. (If cooking a dish that has been refrigerated, you may need to increase the time 10 to 15 minutes.)
- Serve hot.