I bought leeks at the market last week, so decided to try this recipe:
French Leek and Ham Shepherd's Pie.
2 1/4 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
1 pinch ground nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds leeks, sliced
2 medium tomatoes - peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 pounds cooked ham, thinly sliced
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly oil a 2 quart casserole dish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and chop. Stir in the cream, butter, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and mash until smooth.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion until translucent. Stir in the leek and cook another minute until the leek is soft, but not brown. Mix in the peeled tomatoes, lower the heat, and simmer five minutes, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes have lost some of their shape. Stir in the ham and season with salt and pepper.
Spread half of the mashed potatoes on the bottom of the casserole dish. Pour in the ham and leek sauce and cover with the remaining mashed potatoes. Brush the surface of the mashed potatoes with the beaten egg yolk. Sprinkle on the shredded mozzarella. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Of course I didn't have everything on hand, so made mine a little differently. I only had a little bit of ham, so added half a pound of mushrooms that needed using up. I didn't add the tomatoes, which was fine. I had some french onion dip in the fridge so I put that in the potatoes for added flavour.
This is a very versatile recipe, where you could add or remove ingredients easily and was very, very tasty. Should also add, I know my leeks weren't French, they were grown in Ontario!!!
If we go to the market this week, I am going to buy more leeks to pop into the freezer. You wash and dry them and cut them up as you like and then freeze. Great for soup or casseroles. I read you can also freeze diced up butternut squash, so will do that as well.
Got crazy weather here, had the a/c on, on Monday as it was that warm? Then it's going to be freezing cold by the end of the week? We'll all be as sick as dogs if it carries on like this.
For those of you in Canada, DO NOT MISS this week's Coronation Street episodes !!! It's going to be good.....