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Leek and Serrano Ham Gratin

A deliciously rich and warming winter treat using lovely leeks and gorgeous serrano ham. Ideal for quick hearty lunches or easy suppers.

You will need:
4 leeks
250g serrano ham
250g grated cheese
salt and pepper

How to cook:

1. Top and tail the leeks, removing any outer leaves and wash well.
2. Cook in fast boiling salted water for about 10 minutes, then remove the leeks but keep the cooking liquid and place the leeks into an earthenware dish
3. Place the ham in layers over the leeks and top with a handful of grated cheese, season with pepper.
4. Prepare a bechamel sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan, add the flour (about three tablespoons) and cook gently for a minute or so. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the water from the leeks stirring constantly until it begins to thicken and you have enough sauce to cover the leeks. Return to the heat and cook for 5 minutes.
5. Pour the sauce over the leeks and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
6. Place the dish under the grill for about 10 minutes until it bubbles and browns.

Tip: Add some grated nutmeg or a spoonful of mustard to the sauce for variation or make the sauce with whole milk and not the cooking liquid for a richer sauce.