Urban Farming

Saint Patrick’s Day Potatoes with Leeks and Kale

Pocketing the nettle

The Urban Farmer gathering foodstuffs (in this instance, nettle) during a less-hectic spring.

(Saint Pat Potatoes.  A made-up dish.  Utterly wing-dinged and not to be found in any cook book.  A fairy tale until yesterday.  Saint Pat’s is what gets made when it’s 4:30 p.m. and The Urban Farmer’s sister and her partner are joining the Urban Farmer and Co-hab for dinner at 5:30 p.m. All those good intentions she had earlier about making Raspberry Rebound Oat Bars have gone out the window. She wonders if she’ll have time to clean the bathroom. And what about all those newpapers and other what-nots on the table? What is she going to do about those? Maybe she has time to put her bike light downstairs where it goes and maybe she doesn’t. Not sure.

This is what happens when she’s squandered her cooking time at the library, laboring over Chapters 6 and 7 of Emma Mulberry’s Whole Story. She’s determined to get it into ship shape by April 4, when her Beta Readers at the Stone Writing Group get a look-see.
Meanwhile, her thoughtful sister has prepared main dish, salad, and dessert. All the Urban Farmer was responsible for was filling in the holes– with kale maybe, and Raspberry Rebounds.

There’s no time for Rebounds now, but maybe the Urban Farmer can squeeze out some Saint Patrick’s Potatoes.)

Oil bottom and sides of a baking dish (9 x 12 is good).
Thin slice four potatoes (fine to leave jackets on).
Grate 1 generous cup cheese (I used Tillamook cheddar).
Sauté 2 cups onion, sliced thin, and 2 c chopped leeks (minus reedy green part (stick with the more tender white and pale green portion))
Rough chop 2 big handfuls (3 big handfuls?) tender garden kale, removing less tender stems.

Make about 1 and ½ c cream sauce. Here’s how I made mine.
Melt 3 T butter in small saucepan over med or med-low heat. When melted, stir in 3 T all-purpose flour. Incorporate flour into fat. Stir with an eye not to let mixture stick to saucepan. Bring to bubble stage. Cook one minute or thereabouts. Stir in 1 and 1/3 cups soy milk and ¾ t mustard powder. Allow to come up to bubble stage again on med-low heat.

(Why I like to make sauce on med-low heat. This allows you to tend to the cheese-grating, onion-leek sautéing, potato slicing, etc. You only have two hands, right? And two eyes? This way you don’t have to run around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to see to four things at once. You’re still seeing to four things, but the pace is slowed down a little. More relaxed. More enjoyable.)

Somewhere along the way, season with salt.  Perhaps a sprinkle on the onion-leek sauté.  Maybe a bit in the cream sauce.

Layering: Pave bottom of baking dish with potato slices. Layer on sautéed onions and leeks. Layer on chopped kale. Sprinkle on ½ the cheese. Add “roof” with remaining potato shingles. Pour cream sauce atop. Sprinkle on remaining cheese.

Bake, covered, in 400 degree oven for 20 min, then 30 min at 350. Remove foil for final ten min baking. May also bake at lower temp for longer time if you have longer time.



One thought on “Saint Patrick’s Day Potatoes with Leeks and Kale

  1. Pingback: Saint Patrick’s Day Potatoes with Leeks and Kale | Neighbors North

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