This lazy cat looks like it just had a big 'ole helping of this dish. It is a wonderful take on the traditional potatoes au gratin. The butternut squash provides a sweet, delicious velvety layer in this fall casserole. I suggest adding a little cayenne too - I like a little kick. A warning... this dish takes a little time to prepare.... peel, peel, peel... slice, slice, slice but it really is worth it. SO pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on some prep music and enjoy the process. You might even feel as content as that cat when you are done! enjoy.
butternut squash and leek casserole, Savor the Moment, Entertaining without Reservations, The Junior League of Boca Raton, 2000
3 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts)
1 lb butternut squash
3 tbls unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups milk
5 tbls unsalted butter
6 tbls flour
salt & pepper
1 1/2 lb baking potatoes
1 1/2 cups shredded swiss, fontina or gruyere cheese
wash leeks and drain and slice thin. Peel and seed butternut squash and cut into 1/8 inch slices. Peel potatoes and slice.
Melt 3 tbls butter and saute the leeks until tender and reserve.
Heat milk until almost boiling. Melt 5 tbls butter in a heavy sauce pan over low heat. Wish in flour. Whisk constantly for 3 min and milk whisking constantly. Bring to a boil and reduce heat for 1 min until thick. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread 1/2 the sauce in 3 qt. dish. Layer the butternut squash and potatoes in rows. Sprinkle 1/2 the leeks over the top. Sprinkle with some of the cheese and pour 1/2 of the remaining sauce on top. Repeat the layers ending with the sauce and the remaining cheese.
Cover with foil and bake at 400 degree oven for 30 min with foil covering (make sure you leave a tent so foil doesn't touch cheese. Remove foil and bake for 20 - 25 min longer. This is wonderful baked 1 hour ahead of time and just kept warm too.
ps. my sister-n-law made this for us to serve at pete's party. It drew rave reviews! thanks ac.