Thursday, January 13, 2011

“Cheesy” Potato Gratin

I finally fed my craving. See, I've been craving scalloped potatoes since Thanksgiving. The warm cheesy bubbles that pop with steam on the way from the oven to the table, the crisp browning edges that crunch, the perfectly laid rows of thin potato slices that are soft when you bite down, yet not mushy... yeah, that's what I've been craving. 

I fought the craving off for a while until Christmas rolled around and we had dinner with my wife's family and my mother-in-law served up a potato gratin, looking like the angels had made it and placed it down right beside me to tantalize my olfactory senses. And it was made with bacon. As quickly as the angels had laid down this dish beside me, the Devil was there to enforce the steadfast law that if you want something done your way, you better just do it yourself. So I begged for the recipe, veganized it, and bestow upon you the holy grail of potato gratin.

“Cheesy” Potato Gratin
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
dash chipotle pepper
2 1/2 cups soy milk
1 1/2 cups daiya chedder shreds
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano

In a medium saucepan, combine onion, garlic and margine and heat over medium heat until margarine is brown and bubbly and onions start to turn translucent. Stir in flour, salt & pepper. Add soymilk stir over med heat until thickened & bubbly. Be careful not to let the heat get to high, or the soymilk will burn (it has a lower burning temp than cows milk. Add the Daiya shreds to the thickened sauce and sir until melted. Grease a 3-quart baking dish and lay half the sliced potatoes in the dish. Cover with half the sauce, lay the remaining half of the potatoes down and cover with the remaining sauce. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree over for 45 min. Mix oregano and paprika with panko bread crumbs. Take pan out of oven, remove foil and sprinkle bread crumbs on top of potatoes. Bake at 40 to 50 minutes more or until potatoes are tender. Let stand, uncovered for 10 min before serving.

For a super hipster version, mix some faux bacon bits in with the cheesy sauce and join the faux bacon revolution.

Serves: 8 (large servings)

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