Food | Nick Smith's Prawn and Leek Gratin

Here is a great example of a recipe that looks and seems a lot more posh than it really is in two ways. One, it’s got a French word in the name, and two, it’s got finely sliced potatoes on top and nothing says haute cuisine like glorified crisps on a pie. Prawn and leek is a great combination (although to be fair most leek combinations rock my socks) and a gratin is a very cheap way of combining these two ingredients into a dish. I’ve super simplified the recipe so you don’t need a spice rack bigger than Yotam Ottolenghi’s and it’s beer money friendly.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

2 Large leeks

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

Salt & Pepper

2 large potatoes


Knob of butter

Corn flour 200g

Fresh or frozen prawns


Pre-heat the oven to 200c.

Boil the kettle and start thinly slicing the potatoes. Add them to a pan and boil them until softened, but not crumbling when spiked with a sharp knife. Drain the potatoes and allow to cool. Meanwhile dice the onion and gently fry in butter on a medium heat. Slice the leeks horizontally and once the onion has softened, add them to the onions, stirring well.

Turn up the heat to caramelise the leeks without cooking them all the way through. Once they have started to brown on the outside, throw in the prawns and fry again for 3 minutes. Now dust the mixture with a tablespoon of corn flour and add milk dash by dash to create a creamy sauce. The sauce will begin to thicken as it’s cooked, but add more milk or corn flour until the sauce clings to the ingredients while still being liquid. Some will evaporate during baking, so create a wetter sauce than desired.

Place the leek and prawn mix into a baking tray or pyrex dish then lay the potato slices on top in an overlapping fashion. Brush butter or margarine over the potatoes for an extra crispy topping. Bake at 200c for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are crispy and golden. Serve with vegetables.

You can also try this recipe with other ingredients:

For the carnivores try with chicken and fresh sage

For the veggies try with mushrooms and sweet potato

You can see more of my recipes including Chorizo and feta gnocchi bake here

Nick Smith




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