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Gratin of Leeks with Beaufort Cheese



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La Belle Cuisine


Gratin of Leeks with Beaufort Cheese

(Blancs de Poireaux en Gratin de Beaufort)
Roger Verge's Vegetables in the French Style icon
by Roger Vergé (Edward Schneider, Translator), 1994,
Artisan, a division of Workman Publishing


For 4 servings
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

5 large leeks (2 1/2 pounds total)
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons crème fraîche,
or 3 tablespoons heavy cream plus
2 ounces mascarpone
3 1/2 ounces Beaufort or Swiss Gruyère
cheese, grated
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Trim away the root ends and the greens of the leeks, then make 2 perpendicular cuts from the leaf end toward the root, cutting to within
3 inches of the root end. Wash the leeks carefully in warm water and
tie them into a bundle with string.
Bring 2 cups of water to the boil and cook for about 30 minutes.
Remove them and drain well, pressing with a wooden spoon to
squeeze out as much water as possible. Undo the bundle.
Mix the flour and the paprika, and dredge the leeks in this mixture.
Melt the butter in a skillet; when it begins to turn golden, add the
floured leeks and brown them lightly on all sides.
Preheat the broiler.
Heat the cream (with the mascarpone if you are using it) and add
the grated cheese and a pinch of nutmeg. Mix well until the cheese
is melted, and season to taste with salt.
Arrange the leeks in a gratin dish or baking dish, spread the cheese
mixture over them, and run under the broiler (not too close to the
heat) until golden.

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