Sliced potatoes are baked in a luscious, golden cheese sauce until tender and delicious! Parboiling the potatoes briefly before baking ensures that the potato slices cook evenly in the gratin.
• 2 lbs. russet potatoes (about 4 large potatoes) or 2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes
• 1 T Better Butter (from my cookbooks) or commercial vegan margarine
• 2 cups Golden Cheese Sauce (recipe follows)
• ¼ tsp dried thyme (optional)
• sea salt or kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper
Peel and thinly slice the potatoes (about ⅛-inch thick). A mandoline works great for this, but watch your fingers! Place the slices in a large pot of salted water (2 teaspoons of salt is sufficient) so they do not oxidize (turn brown).
After all the potatoes have been sliced, bring the water and potato slices to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water begins to boil, set a timer for 1 minute. Immediately remove from the heat and drain the slices in a colander. DO NOT rinse with water! The potatoes will continue to cook slightly as they cool in the colander. Drain well and then place the slices on several layers of paper towels or a clean lint-free kitchen towel on your work surface. Pat them dry with additional towels.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Prepare the cheese sauce and keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Next, “butter” a shallow casserole dish with the butter. Place a layer of potato slices in an overlapping pattern and season lightly with salt and pepper. Spoon a little of the cheese sauce over the potatoes and spread evenly.
Continue to layer the potatoes with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper and then the cheese sauce. Sprinkle the top with the optional dried thyme and bake uncovered for 45 minutes. If the top has not sufficiently browned,
set the oven on “broil” and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Watch
carefully so they do not burn. Remove from the oven and serve.
Golden Cheese Sauce
• 1 and ¾ cup plain unsweetened soymilk
• 5 T tapioca flour
• ¼ cup vegetable oil
• ¼ cup nutritional yeast
• 1 T mellow white miso paste
• 2 tsp organic tomato paste
• 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
• 1 tsp dry ground mustard
• ¾ tsp fine sea salt
• ½ tsp onion powder
• ¼ tsp ground white pepper
Process the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Please note that the light golden color will develop as the cheese cooks. Transfer to a medium saucepan and cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring slowly and continually with a silicone/rubber spatula.
As the mixture begins to form curds, stir vigorously, scraping the sides and bottom of the saucepan with the spatula as you stir. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes bubbly, smooth and glossy. Taste and add salt as desired and/or additional soymilk to lighten the consistency to your preference. Reduce the heat to low to keep warm until ready to serve. Stir occasionally. The sauce will thicken upon cooling.