This is one of my family's most requested dishes. Not just my kids, but the extended, non-vegan part of the family as well. And no, you wouldn't guess they're vegan. VERY rich, creamy and garlicky. Don't worry, the long baking time mellows the garlic considerably.
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup hot water
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp salt or Lawry's seasoning salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
seasoned bread crumbs for the topping, if desired
Soak the cashews in hot water 15 min or so while you wash, scrub and if you need, peel the potatoes. (I never peel them but if using Russets you might want to).
In a food processor, blend cashews and hot water (adding more as needed to make the consistency of pancake batter). Blend until VERY smooth and creamy, 5 - 7 minutes.
Add cornstarch, tofu, garlic, nutritional yeast (if using), paprika, pepper and salt. Blend again until garlic is finely blended. (You may have to do in two batches if you have a small food processor).
Personally I usually don't add the nutritional yeast, it mainly just adds a yellow cheesy color, not a lot of flavor, but it's up to you and your preferences.
Slice potatoes in potato-chip-thin slices (I use a mandolin slicer here).
Place a layer of sliced potatoes in a large (9 X 14 or "lasagna-size") greased baking dish. Pour a cup or two of liquid over potatoes and continue to layer potatoes and liquid until pan is almost full. Push potatoes down with back of spoon as you go, so they are all covered. If more liquid is needed, just pour more soymilk in on top, you want the potatoes covered, barely, but not swimming.
Cover pan tightly with foil and bake 45 - 60 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when you poke them with a knife. Top with seasoned bread crumbs and another sprinkle of paprika and place under the broiler for 2 - 3 minutes or until it's browned. Or skip the breadcrumbs and just broil till browned and bubbly. Good either way.
Remove from oven, let sit 5 - 10 minutes before serving.
Makes enough for 6 people. (Well, that's the theory!)