Smoky “Cheese” Sauce and a perfect baked potato

This recipe is more for myself to refer to the next time I want to make something like it than a hard and fast recipe. I was planning to have a baked potato for dinner and wanted a “cheese” sauce to serve over it with steamed veggies, but I also wanted to clear a few things out of the fridge. I’ve just estimated the amounts below as it was a real throw-a-bunch-of-things-in type of deal. Here’s approximately what I came up with:

Smoky “Cheese” Sauce

1/2 cup silken tofu
1 cup nutritional yeast
3 Tbsp tahini-based salad dressing (this was something I wanted to use up, in the future I’d just use 2 Tbsp plain tahini)
3/4 cup water (this I poured into the bottle I had the dressing in and shook it, in order to get the last of the dressing out)
1 small jar (4 oz) pimientos
1 Tbsp soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp tumeric (optional, for color)
juice of 1/2 lemon

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small sauce pot and heat over medium heat, stirring often, until bubbly.

For the baked potato, I scrubbed and dried a russet potato, poked it several times with a fork, then poured a little bit of olive oil in my palm and then rubbed my palms together, then rubbed my palms all over the potato to get a thin film all over it. Then I sprinkled some smoked Maldon salt on all sides and put it in the toaster oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour.

A perfect baked potato.

When it was done, I made a rough seam across it with a fork, then pushed the ends together to make it pop open into a wide boat to receive the veggies and “cheese”.

I steamed broccoli and asparagus together for just a couple of minutes, then topped the potato with the veggies, some “cheese” sauce …

… and some fried onions I found in the cupboard. OK, the fried onions kinda negate the innate healthiness of the meal, but I’ve had a really bad week and damn it, fried onions cheer me up.

Mark and I both had off on Monday for President’s Day, and Mark surprised me immensely by announcing early that day that he was going to Wegman’s to buy stuff for dinner. “Are you making dinner?!” I gasped in surprise. Turns out, yes, yes he was making dinner. He made gumbo and it was darn good! I’ve been eating it for lunch all week. I tried to get him to do a post, but I think that would have overwhelmed him. I did snag a photo, though. I didn’t help at all!

The last post was crazy kitten-heavy and I’m sure I do have readers that aren’t interested in kittens, and I don’t wish to alienate them, so this is a kitten-free* post. I’m sure they’ll have done something ridiculously cute that warrants a picture next time, though.

* It’s not technically kitten-free. If you look carefully at the last picture of the baked potato there is a vaguely kitten-shaped, black blob in the background that is, in fact, Gomez. It’s near impossible to take a kitten-free photo around here.


  1. Jain Said,

    February 25, 2011 @ 8:34 am

    O my, salt-encrusted potato skins is brilliant! I shall do it this way forevermore. Now I need to start playing with different salts. (My mate has offered to put a salt lick in the yard for me, I’m a real fiend.)

    Silken tofu in the cheese sounds pretty brilliant, too.

    I like the shot of the black ghost kitten and Yay for Mark’s gumbo. I hope next week is better than last.

  2. renae Said,

    February 25, 2011 @ 9:27 am

    Jain, my parents gave Mark a salt lick as a gag gift one Christmas! I have a few different salt pigs with different salts, so I guess I’m almost as bad.

  3. Josiane Said,

    February 25, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

    That looks *so* good! From the smoky cheese sauce to the salty potato and, yes, the fried onions – everything must have been working together extremely well. Yum! (Also, the plate on which you served it is really pretty; I love it!)

  4. Erin Said,

    February 25, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

    The baked potato meal sounds damned near perfect!

  5. kibbles Said,

    February 26, 2011 @ 11:38 am

    Subliminal kitten messages!!

  6. matt Said,

    February 26, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    “and I’m sure I do have readers that aren’t interested in kittens, and I don’t wish to alienate them”

    ^they’re crazy

    will definitely try the sauce.

  7. Zoé Vegetarian Said,

    March 2, 2011 @ 6:59 am

    The uncheese sauce on your baked potato seems incredibly yummy! With a simple photo shot you manage to make me hungry!

  8. Kuku Said,

    March 15, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

    The dish made a really great dinner. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  9. Sailu @ Indian Recipes Said,

    September 20, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

    This looks so delicious. Inspired to give it a try with some Indian spices. 🙂

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