A good way of using leeks is to cook them with a cheese sauce and to add ham which can be any leftover ham you might have in the fridge. This is an inexpensive dish suitable for a lunch, dinner or supper and can be served with a variety of vegetables. Packed with flavour and topped with a coat of cheese this dish would be great with chicken or even without any meat and packed full of fresh peppers, onions and spinach for a vegetarian option.
- 2 large leeks, sliced
- 350g can sweetcorn, drained
- 4 – 6 slices ham, cut into pieces
- 500ml milk
- 50g soft margarine
- 50g plain flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 175g mature Cheddar cheese
- 25g fresh white or brown breadcrumbs
Cook the leeks in a pan of boiling, salted water for about 5 minutes until tender. Drain and spoon into an ovenproof dish.
Add the sweetcorn and ham, making sure everything is evenly distributed in the dish.
Put the milk, soft margarine and flour into a saucepan. Put the pan on a medium heat and heat gently until the margarine has melted.
Bring to the boil, stirring continuously until the sauce is thickened and is smooth.
Stir in half of the cheese and add the salt and black pepper
Pour the sauce over the vegetables and ham, making sure everything is evenly covered. Preheat the grill to medium.
Mix the remaining cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle evenly over the top. Grill for 15 – 20 minutes until the topping is golden.
Top tip for making Leek and ham gratin
If you are in a hurry this dish can be made using a jar of white sauce instead of making your own.