Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Creamy, cheesy potato bake with a lower cheese, higher protein twist

All afternoon I had a hankering for potato bake. At work, on the way home. I love the soft potato, the creamy sauce and the crispy cheese on top. Ah yum. I never make it though as I can't bear to cook with that much cream and cheese. I like to eat it but if I bake it I skimp and end up disappointed.

But no more! Tonight I gave into my craving and cooked the best potato bake ever. I skimped again of course but this time it worked. I had to share because this recipe is divine.  I credit the success of this recipe to the strength of my desire. Not to mention my homegrown spuds adding something special, but I'm sure store bought will be just fine.

Of course I made a huge dish so there is potato bake for lunch tomorrow and the day after.

Here's the recipe:

Wash, peel and slice potatoes. Steam them over boiling water until just soft. Be careful not to turn them to mush.

Preheat the oven to 180-200C and lightly oil a baking dish.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce.  Heat 40g butter in a saucepan. When melted, whisk in half a cup of plain flour.  Add 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Add half a packet of silken tofu and whisk like mad over reduced heat to keep the sauce smooth. Add more milk to keep the consistency of cheese sauce. Note there is no cheese needed at this stage.

Layer potatoes in the baking dish, top with shallots or herbs, then a third of the sauce, then more potatoes and herbs. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top and spread evenly.  Top with grated parmesan. Bake until golden and crispy.

I know I've said it again and I'll say it again, if you use tofu like this no one will ever know let alone object. The tofu adds soy protein and thickens the sauce. The mustard gives a cheesy flavour.  But I saved the cheese just as a topping which means I used a lot less.

If you like potato bake I hope you give this version a try. I'm completely thrilled and will continue to make it this way from now on.

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