Signs Of Spring & Potato Leek Gratin

 Sandy & I happened to be fortunate enough to be the beneficiaries of a sunny 76 degree day last Friday, especially befitting our foray to the beautiful north fork of Long Island with spring just a few days away.

 See a stunning array of primroses, dafodils, pansies and tulips. The colors are just faaaablous. Can you actually fathom that the little faces in the pansies always make me smile?
It’s true.

Ahhhhhhh…The Signs of Spring!

Happily, Briermere Farms was open for muffins and coffee.


 David Wines and son Chris of  Ty Llywd Farm were upbeat and had a spring in their step getting ready for the new season.
We left with a beautiful collection of pussy willows…and with the biggest fur balls we’ve ever seen. As well, the small German butterball potatoes and leeks we bought were destined for this weekends Potato Leek Gratin, a recipe I found in the NY Times March 16th issue…and, of course, changed to suit my taste buds and reduce the chubbiness of it all. 
Potato Leek Gratin

Time to prepare and cook 1 hour 45minutes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, more for greasing the casserole dish

3 large leeks, trimmed and halved lengthwise…each leek is app10″ long each after removing tops and bottoms
3 pounds peeled Yukon Gold potatoes…or I used the German butterball potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups Gruyère, grated.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Wash the leeks WELL to remove any grit inside the layers and slice thinly crosswise…app 1/4″…no bigger
2. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice the potatoes into rounds 1/8-inch thick. Toss with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh mill pepper. Layer the rounds in the gratin dish.
3. Melt the 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for one or two minutes. Add sliced  leeks and remaining salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until leeks are tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Add 1/2 & 1/2 and bay leaves to the skillet and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Put leek mixture in with potatoes and toss using gently two large spoons and then your fingers after it has cooled a bit. This is to make sure all the potato surfaces have been touched my the mixture.
5. Add 1/2 of the grated cheese and gently integrate the cheese into the blend. Sprinkle with the nutmeg and then add the rest of the grated cheese to cover the top.
6. Cover with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for 50 minutes, uncover and bake until the cheese is bubbling and golden, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
Suggestion if you like a more crisply and brown top…Broil @500 degrees for 5 minutes (over door open a bit).
Let cool slightly before serving.
Yield: 8-10 servings.

Ty Llywd Farms is a “find” you need to visit.   If you really want a taste of what you are in for, make it a point to take the 2011 North Fork Foodie Tour.
Don’t want to wait for the Foodie Tour? Go now!
David and Liz Wines operate their family farm in Northville, New York, on the north fork of Long Island and they sell fresh brown eggs, seasonal vegetables, hay and potatoes. On the foodie tour, you can even pick your own fresh eggs from the chicken coops.
The farm has been in the family since 1870.
Below is the sign you need to look for (it comes up fast) as you you travel (5793 Sound Ave). Monday through Saturday any time between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Don’t be shy…please feel free to comment…or feel free to become a follower of phoodographs and finds…
Have fun!
Coming Soon: Chaos Revisited

4 thoughts on "Signs Of Spring & Potato Leek Gratin"

Anonymous says:

Looks good, Bert. I'll be back to check on new posts.

Bert Spitz says:

Thank you all for your comments…
Have a recipe?
Let's have it.
Got one of Grandma's…
send it in…
Mangia Baby!

Bert Spitz says:

Thank you all for your comments…
Have a recipe?
Let's have it.
Got one of Grandma's…
send it in…
Mangia Baby!

cowgirl31lm says:

Just read amended post…your skills as a writer are blossoming.Love you!

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