Potato, Leek and Blue Cheese Bake with a Nutty Topping


We continue our culinary tour of Ireland with a sublime recipe from Nick Price, proprietor of Nicks Warehouse in Belfast. The award-winning restaurant is known for its relaxed atmosphere and imaginative cuisine, described by Frommer’s as “rib-sticking, soulful, hearty food.”

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Get ready for the ultimate in sophisticated comfort food. All of the ingredients are readily available at your local natural and organic food store.

8 oz. milk

2 oz. butter

2 oz. plain flour

4 oz. blue cheese

Salt and pepper

4 waxy potatoes, boiled in their skins, then peeled and cubed

4 leeks, washed, chopped and lightly sautéed in butter

8 oz. breadcrumbs

4 oz. nuts or seeds of your choice

2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Start the cheese sauce by warming milk until it’s hot to the touch.
  2. Melt butter in a separate saucepan. Add flour to make a roux. Cook slowly until mixture has a coarse sandy texture. (This eliminates the floury flavor. Be careful not to burn it.)
  3. Add the warm milk a little at a time, mixing as you go to achieve a smooth, creamy sauce. Cook slowly for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the blue cheese. Cook for another few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Combine the potatoes, leeks and cheese sauce in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture between four individual pie dishes.
  6. Combine the breadcrumbs, nuts/seeds and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pie dishes.
  7. Bake the pies on a tray at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and heated throughout.

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