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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper Scalloped Potatoes

Because third times a charm!

OK, this is the last potato recipe I'm posting for quite some time, I promise (although, I did make a potato soup last night that has lots of potential...).  The potato-themed recipe contest has officially come to an end, but I managed to throw this little number together just before it closed.

I don't have much of a story for this one, except that I was spacing out one day and thought, "Gee, I should combine roasted red peppers and potatoes.  I'll bet that hasn't been done before."  The sauce is a combination of several recipes I've used before, from hummus to "cheese" sauce.  I think it turned out fantastic!  In fact, a friend was visiting as I was putting it together, and between the two of us we polished off over half the pan.  Oh yeah, it is that good.  The sauce is creamy and satisfying, hinting at a cheese sauce, but just subtle and awesome.  If I change anything the next time I make this (oh yes, there will be a next time), it would be to add a little cayenne.  As it was, I ended up dumping a ton of pepper on it.  Of course, that doesn't mean much- I put pepper on everything.

I meant to bake this in my 2-quart casserole dish, but I was afraid that the veggies wouldn't fit or that the sauce would run over.  So I baked it in a 9x13 pan, which worked just fine.  Also, I didn't peel the potatoes, because I'm super lazy.  But also because the skin has lots of fiber.  Yay, fiber!

*The presentation is in thanks to my lovely sister, Mary, who graciously gifted me with some beautiful porcelain dishes to show off my recipes in the prettiest way possible.  Sisters are the best!

1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked (we'll talk about that in a minute)
1/2 cup roasted red peppers (the kind that come in a jar), roughly chopped
1 1/2 cup nondairy milk
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste

1 1/2 lb red-skinned potatoes, cut in 1/4 inch slices
1 medium onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced

Let's soak some cashews.  We're doing this because it softens them and makes them blend better.  Ta-da!
You can soak the cashews for a few hours or overnight, but come on, who's got time for that?  Instead, put cashews in a microwave-safe bowl and cover them with water and microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Set aside for a bit.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  Let it hang out for a sec.
Dump all of the sauce ingredients- except the cashews- into a high-speed blender or food processor.  Drain the cashews and then you can add them to the rest of the sauce stuff.  Blend on high speed until smooth.
Arrange the potatoes, onion, and pepper in the baking dish.  (You can make it look pretty, but I just kind of threw it all in and mixed it up.)  Pour the sauce over all of it evenly.  Bake for 45-50 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and potatoes are cooked through.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.


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