One of my favorite recipes from childhood is the Chicken Broccoli Braid that my mom made (a Pampered Chef recipe). That flaky crust filled with a creamy chicken mixture inside, and those crunchy almonds baked on top. Just delicious. Well since I’ve loved that so much, I’ve tried making braids with several other mixtures over the years. Some have worked out great, some just decent. But last week, I hit a home run with this one.
I was trying to come up with a last-minute dinner plan on the day I was going to shop for groceries (meaning, there wasn’t much in the house that would be easy or quick to prepare…I did not have time to soak beans, people), and saw homemade pizza dough in the freezer, some potatoes from the garden on the counter, and remembered that I had leeks in the cold frame outside. I don’t know why or how the combination came together in my head, but man, it worked. (And we liked it so much, that I completely forgot to take a picture of the finished product. Oh well, I guess you’ll just have to make it yourself!)
Cheesy Potato & Leek Braid
- Pizza dough (homemade or frozen, thawed)
- 2 medium potatoes, shredded (I used a cheese grater)
- 1 leek, chopped
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- Garlic powder, salt, and any other seasonings of choice (try dill and oregano)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle cornmeal on baking stone/cookie sheet (I did this so the dough wouldn’t stick, without adding any more fat. You can also grease the pan, but I do say the “crunch” of the cornmeal was a nice texture!). Roll out pizza dough into large rectangle. Cut 1 inch slits in towards the center, leaving about 4 inches in the center intact. Like this (but promise you wont judge my rolling pin skills. I stink at rectangles.):
Squeeze some of the moisture out of the shredded potatoes. Mix potatoes with leeks in a medium bowl. Stir in enough mayo to hold mixture together and add seasonings. Stir in shredded cheddar. Spoon mixture down the center of your dough. Then proceed to braid dough strips, working from one end down to the other (just fold one strip over, then the opposite…no need to do anything to press them together. They’ll bind together as they bake).
Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
You can follow this same process and fill it with pretty much anything you want. I’m thinking Thanksgiving leftovers!
Enjoy! And have a very blessed and grace-filled Thanksgiving!