Monday, 20 December 2010

Potato & leek gratin (+ ham version) & review

Thanks to CSN Stores I had the opportunity to test KitchenCraft Master Class Stainless Steel Mandolin Set. It came in a full gift/storage box. Seven interchangeable stainless steel blades - for various slicing, shredding are included. Also it has large safety guard to protect fingers - quite handy for me, as I tend to cut fingers when slicing. Ideal for slicing, chopping and grating and perfect for making quick and easy garnishes, especially for someone who like me does not have a variety of fine or coarse slicing or grating blade within a food processor. With this one I decide how thick the slices should be. The instructions make it clear how to set the blades up and there is a scale on the side of the main unit (in inches and mm) to allow you to set the slice thickness. All the blades come in their own box, quite handy for storage and due to the safety reasons - they are sharp.

Some of the blades you have to use together and unfortunately there are no instructions on how some of the blades must be used together otherwise they won't do the job. However, I believe it is not difficult thing to work out.

It is very stable, has non slip holders, so there is no way it will move on the worktop.

So far I used it to slice potatoes and it work very well, however I have seen some reviews saying that it is not working with softer stuff like tomatoes - instead it squishes them. Quite honestly - my main idea of using mandolin was slicing root veg (mainly for gratins, so the vegetables cook evenly) and so far I am happy with it.

Certainly not as good as the professional, worth ₤200 (or more) but will do the job in a household, I think keen cooks should be delighted. The 25 year guarantee is a bonus. Definitely good value for money.

So today I decided to show you my favourite potato and leek gratin, that can be easily converted to meaty one by adding few slices of ham. Gratins were the main reason of buying this mandolin, as my food processor has a coarse slicing blade which is too thick and it takes ages to cook gratin. I am not a qualified skilled chef therefore I am not able to slice vegetables by hand into even slices. This mandolin came really handy.

Serves 2

5-6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 large leek, finely sliced (I use white and light green part)
little bit butter
2 bay leaves
freshly ground black pepper
150ml double cream
150ml milk
100ml vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
2 slices of cooked ham (optional)
2 handfuls of grated mature Cheddar (or your favourite cheese)

Preheat the oven to 170 C.
Butter two ovenproof dishes and place potato, leek and ham (skip for veggie option) in even layers, starting with potatoes and finish off with potatoes too. Sprinkle each layer of potatoes with pinch of salt and pepper. Tuck the bay leaf to each dish.

Prepare the sauce. Pour the stock, cream and milk into a small saucepan, add the garlic and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the garlic and pour the sauce over layered potatoes.

Place the dishes on a baking tray lined with baking paper to catch any spills (mixture bubbles and tend to runs out the dish whilst baking). Cover loosely with kitchen foil and place in the oven for about 40 minutes. Then uncover and bake for another 25 minutes. After this time sprinkle with cheese and bake for another 15 minutes.

Serve warm and remember to remove the bay leaves from the dishes before serving. Very good on its own but it can also complement some meat, as a side dish.


  1. very tempting potatoes an leek dish
    1st time here lovely space do visitmy site

  2. Thanks for visiting, Santosh! I wil drop by soon. :)))


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