Spring, Daylight Savings Time, Easter–they bring rejuvenation, new beginnings, and an opportunity to bask in the warmth of longer days. We’re not very religious around here, but our family does observe all the major Christian holidays. With Easter being the most important, at least to the devout, we use this holiday to bring family and friends together in celebration. This week for #SundaySupper we’re helping you fine tune your Easter and Passover menus with dozens of recipes suitable for either holiday table (see below). Me? I’m preparing a Potato and Leek Gratin. Potatoes, leeks, cheese–how can you go wrong?
When considering traditional Easter (and Passover) fare, lamb is customary and carries special meaning for both holidays, while ham is rooted in U.S. customs. A decadent side of potatoes au gratin pairs well with both, whether you’re dining on a classic roast leg of lamb or a salty-sweet glazed ham. The thinly sliced potatoes and leeks are simmered in milk and herbs, then layered with Gruyere cheese in a gratin dish, and baked until golden and bubbly. Creamy, cheesy, potato deliciousness.
What is au gratin anyway? The term originates in France and dates back to the 16th century, referring to that part of a cooked dish which stuck to the pot or pan and had to be scraped (gratté) off so as not to be wasted. Nowadays, au gratin has come to describe a technique of creating a crisply baked top, usually with cheese. However, you can achieve the same effect without cheese, such as with gratin dauphinois, which is correctly made with sliced potatoes baked in cream and no added topping. This dish, adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, is dauphinois kicked up a notch.
The recipe can be prepped and assembled in advance, then pop it in the oven during the last hour of cooking your meal.
Wash and peel the potatoes, slicing about 1/4 inch thick. Then wash, trim and thinly slice the leeks, as well as the garlic.
Add the potatoes, leeks and garlic to a large pot, along with the milk, bay leaf, thyme, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are mostly done but still firm. Remove the bay leaf, then drain, reserving the milk.
While the potatoes are simmering, grate the cheese. It’s easy work if you have one of those Zyliss numbers. By the way, feel free to sub in Emmental or Swiss instead of the Gruyere.
Before piling stuff in, you’ll need to rub the dish down with garlic then grease it with butter. This should have been a gratin dish, but since I don’t have one, I’m using my trusty Corningware Oval 2 Quart Casserole. Start with a layer of the potato/leek/garlic mixture on the bottom, sprinkle that with a little pepper and nutmeg, then top with a handful of cheese. Repeat this until all the potatoes and cheese are used up, saving some cheese for the top. Pour the reserved milk over this until it comes up to the top layer of potatoes.
Bake until golden and bubbly.
- 3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 quart milk
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ tsp thyme
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 leeks, washed, trimmed, and thinly sliced
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
- Grated nutmeg
- 2 tbsp butter
- Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare a 9×12 inch gratin dish by rubbing with garlic and greasing with butter.
- In a large pot, add the potatoes, milk, bay leaf, thyme, sliced garlic, leeks, and salt. Gradually bring to a boil, and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender (but not falling apart). Remove the bay leaf, and drain, reserving the milk.
- On the bottom of the gratin dish, arrange a layer of the potato/leek/garlic mixture, sprinkle with a little pepper and nutmeg, then cover with a handful of the cheese. Repeat layers until all the potatoes and cheese have been used (ending with the cheese on top).
- Add the milk so that it reaches the top layer (about 1½ cups), then dot the butter over the top.
- Bake for an hour or until golden and bubbly.
Let’s see what the others have cooked up for us!
- How To Color Easter Eggs Naturally from Shockingly Delicious
Breakfast, Breads, and Buns
- Bunny Rabbit Bread from In The Kitchen With Audrey and Maurene
- Easter Brunch Creme Brulee Baked Oatmeal from In The Kitchen With KP
- Fresh Blueberries Hot Cross Buns from My Cute Bride
- Jamaican Easter Spice Bun from The Lovely Pantry
- Paska – Ukranian Easter Bread from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
- Portuguese Easter Bread | Folar de Pascoa from Family Foodie
- Resurrection Rolls from Neighbor Food
Appetizers and Sides
- Asparagus, Brie & Ham Crostini from Daily Dish Recipes
- French Gratin Potatoes (Dauphinoise) from Simply Gourmet
- Lemon Glazed Carrots from Curious Cuisiniere
- Not So Deviled Eggs from Country Girl in the Village
- Orange Raisin Couscous from Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Potato and Leek Gratin from Webicurean
- Spinach Spaetzle (Spinat Spaetzle) from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary from Small Wallet Big Appetite
- Slow Cooker Honey Glazed Ham from The Meltaways
- Sicilian “Enchiladas” from The Cooking Actress
- Alebele – Goan Coconut filled Pancake from Masala Herb
- Bunny-Approved Baked Easter Doughnuts from The Weekend Gourmet
- Carrot Cake Cheesecake from Chocolate Moosey
- Carrots in Dirt from The Urban Mrs
- Coconut and M&M’s Cookie from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream from Juanita’s Cocina
- Coconut Cupcakes from Magnolia Days
- Cream Cheese Candies from Cravings of a Lunatic
- Easter Egg Cookies from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Easter Simnel Cake from Happy Baking Days
- Exotic Walnut Cookies from What Smells So Good?
- Honey Panna Cotta with Grand Marnier Mixed Berries from Gourmet Drizzles
- Japanese Easter Petit Fours and Flowers from Ninja Baking
- Nutella Easter Egg Candy from The Messy Baker
- Old-Fashioned Peanut Rolled Eggs from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Painted Sugar Cookies from Ruffles and Truffles
- Strawberry Bundt Cake from Basic N Delicious
- Apple and Cranberry Charoset from The Little Ferraro Kitchen
- Flourless Chocolate Torte from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Moroccan Haroset from MarocMama
- Pavlova with Red Berries, Lime and Hibiscus from YinMom YangMom
Wine Pairing Recommendations for #SundaySupper Religious Feasts from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday, March 24 to talk all about Easter and Passover recipes! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.
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