Sliced potatoes and onions baked in a creamy sauce...
This is another dish I thought I'd said Au Revoir to when I became Vegan. Not so! It just takes a couple of tweaks and it's back on the menu. Traditional Dauphinoise uses cream, milk and butter, but as long as you can find a mild coconut cream, it tastes extremely authentic. It's virtually fool proof - just take care with the slicing of the potatoes. If your knife skills aren't that great then use a food processor slicing attachment or a mandolin (carefully!). Very important to mention that you don't want to rinse your potatoes as the starch on them helps to thicken the sauce.
5 medium to large potatoes finely sliced to about 3mm (skins on or off - I like to leave them on)
1 large onion cut in half root to tip and then finely sliced
1 400ml can mild coconut cream
1 to 2 cloves of garlic grated
2 vegetable stock cubes or equivalent veg stock powder
2 or three bay leaves
Handful of fresh thyme sprigs - leaves removed
Preheat your oven to 190C.
Take a baking dish and rub all over the base and sides with butter. Arrange your potato and onion slices in the dish. I like to have mine standing on their edges. It looks great for presentation and I find the creamy sauce gets into the gaps a lot easier.
Once you're happy with your arrangement, prepare the creamy sauce. Give your coconut cream can a shake and empty the contents into a pan on a low heat. Add in your crumbled veg stock or powder, grated garlic, bay leaves and a good grind of black pepper and bring to a simmer whisking slowly then allow it to sit for a few minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Pour the sauce over your potatoes and onions (discarding the bay leaves) and then give it a poke around with a knife to make sure the sauce gets in among the veg. Dot the surface with butter and scatter over the thyme leaves. Place into the oven, covered with foil initially, for about 45 - 50 minutes. Check after this time with a knife to see if the potatoes are softening. They should be just tender. If you're happy then remove the foil and return to the oven until the potatoes become crispy. Don't be afraid to adjust the cooking times as different ovens and different potato thicknesses might affect it.
Allow to sit for a few minutes to settle and then serve. I like to add a few more sprigs of thyme to make it extra pretty!