The Knight of Pentacles has patience and precision, and loves routine and shaping the mundane around them into something exquisite. Enter this recipe for scalloped potatoes, that while takes time (and patience), is worth every minute. It also looks beauteous and tastes maximous.
-5-6 round white potatoes (choose potatoes that when sliced thinly are as close to a circle in shape as possible.
-1 cup cashews (soaked overnight or for at least 4 hours)
-2 cups cashew milk (or other nondairy milk, unsweetened and not flavored)
-2 rather large shallots, sliced
-4 plump cloves garlic, minced
-3 tablespoons dairy free butter or margarine
-5 sm pinches of dried thyme and rosemary
-Salt and pepper to taste
-2 tbs non-beef bouillon powder
-Fresh parsley and truffle oil (if you’re feeling fancy)
Equipment: high speed blender, mandolin, small ramekins, oven.
Soak cashews overnight, or at least 4 hours before cooking.
When you are ready to start… In a nonstick pan, heat the butter/margarine on low. Add in the sliced shallots when it has melted. Sprinkle with some salt, cover the pan,and get ready to caramelize these shallots. This takes a little over an hour to get the shallots nice and brown and “caramelized”. Stir every 10 minutes or so to loosen things up. Add a little water if shallots are sticking to pan or burning. About 1/2 way through, add 4 minced garlic cloves and most of the dried herbs (save some for topping later). Continue to stir and cook down the shallots. Really, the longer the better you cook these. I know it’s done when the apartment smells like French onion soup. Science!
Preheat oven to 350.
When the shallots are like buttah, add them to a high speed blender. Drop in the soaked cashews (after draining and rinsing), cashew milk, bouillon powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Taste test for flavor. You might want more herbs, or garlic (use powdered at this stage) or salt. Do as you please. Let the sauce sit for a few minutes.
Grab your potatoes and slice them as thin as possible. A mandolin is best for this. Slice them on the wider side so you get circles (pentacles) and not narrow ovals.
Now for the fun, Knight-of-Pentacles-Perfectionist, part:
*Pour about 1/2 cup of the cashew cream into each ramekin. Snake layers of potato slices around in a circle (like a traditional veggie tian) on top of sauce. Pour about 1/4 cup of the sauce on top of each potato filled ramekin and brush the sauce to cover the potatoes with the cream. Top with any extra herbs.
This recipe yields enough for 3 small ramekins (depending on size of potatoes).
*I didn’t do this, but you could also mix the sauce in with all of the potato slices and then arrange the tian but, unlike the Knight of Pentacles, I did not have the patience for that kind of mess with my hands – although I’m sure it would taste great all saucy like that. This way is just as good though! Trust.
Bake ramekins on top of a sheet pan incase anything bubbles over. The baking process will be close to an hour. You want the top to be crispy and the sauce to be bubbling through. You can turn the oven off and leave the ramekins in there as it cools. This will ensure cooked through potatoes.
When ready to eat, top with fresh parsley and truffle oil if you are feeling fancy.