Hello everyone, it’s the second week of Vegan MoFo!
As promised, I’m going to show you what I made with the products P. brought me back from Brussels and London. Two kinds of vegan cheese! One of them is a French product, called sojami. I had the basil version, which was tasty. When eaten by itself, it was a tiny bit too sour, but spread on bread it was great. It reminded me very much of tofutti’s herbed cream cheese.
Since I almost never have cream cheese around (there is a German brand I could buy, but seriously, that stuff is inedible to me), I wanted to use the cheese for something special. Because the cheese is French and we recently made a trip to France, I made a French recipe. Voilà, gratin!
Although I loved this dish in my vegetarian days, I haven’t had gratin in ages except for the wonderful one from 500 Vegan Recipes. Time to change that, right?
Gratin dauphinois is a French dish from the Dauphiné region. Potatoes are sliced very thinly and then layered in a shallow dish. The sauce made for this gratin is usually made with cream. As far as I know, cheese is optional. I don’t know if pre-cooking the potatoes is necessary. I didn’t and the gratin came out great.
For the sauce I used a mixture of cream cheese, mayonnaise, oil, and unsweetened soy milk. The result was very similar to dairy cream and much better than soy cream, which usually tastes like, well, soy. It’s funny that this home-made cream sauce makes such a difference, because the main ingredient here is also soy. But who cares, I guess you want the recipe now.
Gratin dauphinois (serves 4)
600 g waxy potatoes (1 lb 5 oz)
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
100 g (3.5 oz) herbed cream cheese
2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
2 tablespoons olive oil
180 ml (3/4 cup) unsweetened soy milk
salt and pepper to taste
vegan cheese (I used the blue style sheese pictured above) and ground walnuts for topping
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F)
Grease a shallow baking dish with oil. (Mine was 26 x 18; 10 x 7 inch)
Peel the potatoes and slice them very thinly. A mandolin slicer works best here. Layer the potatoes into the dish, overlapping the slices. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, onions and garlic.
In a food processor, blend cream cheese, mayonnaise, oil and soy milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes. Bake for 10 minutes. remove, sprinkle with cheese and walnuts and bake for another 40 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the topping has browned. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.