Thomas Keller is an American chef who currently holds 7 Michelin stars total: 3 at Per Se, 3 at The French Laundry, and 1 at Bouchon. The Potato Pavé recipe is from his Ad Hoc at Home cookbook.
Potato Pavé sounds all fancy, but it’s essentially a neat scalloped potato dish. Pavé is the French word for “paving stones” a term chef Thomas Keller used to describe rectangular or square food preparations. It’s absolutely delicious, and it can be made a day in advance.
At the grocery store, I chose the largest Russet potatoes I could find, peeled and trimmed the potatoes so that it would fit the width of the baking tin. Using my Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer I thinly sliced the potatoes length-wise into the heavy cream. Each slice was neatly arranged in the tin, wrapped with tin foil, and then baked. After baking the potatoes, I placed heavily weighted cans on top of the potatoes, until they cooled to room temperature. The potatoes were then well wrapped and refrigerated for a minimum of 6 hours or up to 2 days. When ready to serve, just cut and pan fry them till golden brown.
Potato Pav Serves 6
1 Cup Heavy Cream Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 Pounds Russet Potatoes 5 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, (1 Tablespoon softened and 4 Tablespoons cut into 1/2-inch cubes) Grapeseed Oil 2 Thyme Springs 2 Garlic Cloves, lighted crushed, skin left on Basil or Chives – Garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Pour the cream into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Peel the potatoes. Trim the potato so it is a bit more rectangular.
Using a mandolin slicer or a food processor slice the potatoes thinly, about 1/16 of an inch.
Add the potatoes into the cream, making sure every slice is coated.
Brush the bottom of the baking pan with softened butter, and then line with parchment paper, leaving extra parchment paper so that you can later use to cover the top of the potatoes.
Begin laying the potatoes into the pan, placing them in the direction that best fits the pan. After the second layer, add some cubes of butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Continue layering the potatoes, adding butter and seasonings after each two layers. Fold over the sides of the parchment paper to cover the potatoes. Cover tightly with a piece of aluminum foil.
Bake the potatoes for 2 hours, or until completely tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.
Remove from the oven and let them cool for 15 minutes. Put a weight on top of the potatoes, cool to room temperature, wrap well, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or up to 2 days.
To serve, run a palette knife around the two longer sides of the pavé to release it from the pan. Trim the sides of the pavé. You can then cut it however you like and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Heat some grapeseed oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes cut-side-down, add the thyme and the garlic, and cook, basting with the liquid in the pan, until browned on the first side, then turn carefully and brown the opposite side.
Arrange the potatoes on a serving platter, browned side up. Put a small piece of butter on each piece to melt, and sprinkle with basil or chives.
adapted from Thomas Keller’s “Ad Hoc at Home” Cookbook