You will be so glad you chose this recipe for dinner. It may look scary, but it’s actually really easy. You cook the mushrooms, make a sauce, and then layer them up with fresh potatoes. Once you’ve made it, your housemates will request it again.
About the words: Fond, Deglaze, Roux, Bèchamel? Meh! Don’t be intimidated. These are just shorthand for easy repetitive tasks in the kitchen. Definitions are in the recipe “Notes”.
Garlic Mushroom Scalloped Potatoes
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 12 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 1 TBSP dried thyme (or Italian seasoning)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
Béchamel Sauce (from roux)
- 1½ lbs yukon gold potatoes
- ⅓ cup faux parmesan cheese
- 1½ TBSP smoked paprika
- ¼ cup italian parsley, minced
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
Prepare your workspace:
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Slice the mushrooms. Mince the garlic.
- Butter a 6 quart (6 litre) casserole dish.
- If using whole nutmeg, grate it with your planer.
Sautée the mushrooms
- Heat a large skillet to medium high. Add olive oil. Sauté the mushrooms until they begin to release their liquid.
- Add 1/2 the vegan butter and let the mushrooms soak up the additional liquid.
- Stir in the dried thyme (or Italian seasoning), salt and pepper. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set them aside.
Make a roux
- Don't let the name intimidate you. A roux is a combination of oil (butter) and starch (cornstarch) that is used to thicken a liquid in the pan. It is super simple to make, and is the base for this delicious sauce.
- Turn the skillet down to medium heat. Melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Add the minced garlic, and cook to release the aroma (30 seconds). Sprinkle in the cornstarch. Use a whisk to combine the butter and cornstarch. Don't panic…it's supposed to seize up. Cook for a minute or two so the flavors can mellow. WELL DONE! You’ve made a roux!
Turn the roux into Béchamel Sauce
- Add about 1/4 cup (60ml) nut milk and stir into the roux with a whisk. Work all the lumps out before you add more milk. Continue adding the milk, whisking constantly. CONGRATULATIONS! You have made a Béchamel Sauce, one of the six French "mother sauces". Who ever thought it could be that easy!
- When all the milk is in the skillet and the sauce is smooth, add the vegetable stock, the concentrates, the nutritional yeast and nutmeg.
- Heat, stirring constantly for 8-10 minutes until the sauce has thickened up.
- For a super-silky texture, pour the Bèchamel carefully into your blender. Close the blender and cover with a folded towel to prevent accidental scalding from the hot liquid. Blend for 30 seconds to make the sauce silky smooth. Leave it in the blender for now.
Assemble the casserole.
- Using a mandoline or sharp knife cut the potatoes into discs about 3/8 inch (1 cm) thick.
- Arrange your ingredients in this order: sliced potatoes, blender of Bèchamel, sautéed mushrooms, Faux Parmesan cheese, and smoked paprika.
- In the buttered casserole, layer 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom. Top with 1/3 of the sauce, 1/3 of the mushrooms. Sprinkle on 2 TBSP of the faux parmesan and a dusting of smoked paprika. Repeat for two more layers. If needed you can use your fingers to compress the potatoes if needed. It is best if all the potatoes are submerged under the sauce.
Bake the potatoes
- Cover casserole dish with foil and place in preheated oven. Bake 20 minutes, covered.
- Uncover the casserole. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes. The top will be bubbly and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes.
- Spoon onto dinner plates. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs. Grate a few strokes of nutmeg across the plate for texture. YOU DID IT! Congrats!
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