I have made this leek gratin twice for friends, and both times it has received rave reviews.
The leeks are almost melted in the pan, and added to cream and cheese, they become something very special. I exchanged the bacon for canadian bacon, as it saved an extra cooking step, saved calories and added wonderful flavor.
LEEK GRATIN WITH BACON AND BREAD CRUMBS
3 to 4 leeks
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of butter
salt and black pepper
1/2 cup cream
3/4 cup grated gruyere cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
4 slices of canadian bacon, cut into small dice
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
3 garlic cloves
Trim the roots and dark upper leaves from the leeks. Halve leeks lengthwise, then cut crosswise into thin slices. Rinse well to remove grit, drain well.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, season with salt and pepper and saute until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in cream, cheese, dill, parsley and canadian bacon. Turn the leek mixture into a 9-inch pie plate or similar size pan.
Heat oven to 450F. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Toss remaining oil and butter with the bread crumbs, garlic and a dash of salt and pepper. Add to skillet and toast until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle over leeks. Bake until bubbly and golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
Recipe adapted from USA Weekend, November 2011