There’s the turkey, of course, but oh those sides! Roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, boiled onions — the list goes on and on for favorite dishes to serve at Christmas. Without relinquishing any family favorites, you might want to try this recipe from my new cookbook “Favorite Flavors of Ireland.”

Leeks au Gratin

Serves 6

Related to both onion and garlic, leeks are similar to giant scallions but are the mildest of the three. Leeks figure prominently in recipes of Celtic nations from the earliest times, especially as flavoring in soups or stews. They are often served as a side dish, as in this tasty gratin topped with Kerrygold Aged Cheddar cheese.

8 large leeks (white part only), halved lengthwise

1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream

2 cups shredded Kerrygold Aged Cheddar cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Steps

1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Butter an ovenproof baking dish.

2. Cut each leek half into a 6-in. length (discarding excess) and rinse well under running water. Cook in salted boiling water for 5 minutes, or until slightly tender; drain.

2. Put the leeks, cut-side up, in the prepared dish, pour in the cream, and sprinkle with the cheese, salt, and pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cream thickens and the cheese melts. Remove from the oven and preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the leeks with the breadcrumbs, and then place the dish under the broiler 4 inches from the heat source for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve immediately. 

Cooking Your Way to Christmas:

Day One: Traditional Christmas Pudding with Brandy Butte

Day Two: Dubliner-Spinach-Artichoke Dip 

Day Three: Roast Goose With Potato-Bacon Stuffing

Day Five: Pear and Ginger Pudding

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Tags: Chefs, Christmas Recipes, Cooking, Holiday Recipes, Recipes, cuisine

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