As common as potatoes are in most cuisines, and as luscious as they are when paired with cream and Parmesan cheese and butter, there’s little left to notching things up a bit more than a spectacular presentation. Enter Potatoes Pave. Yes, they take some time, and yes, it can be messy if you’re not careful, but just look at where it takes you – black plate optional!
4-6 Yukon Gold potatoes
2 cups heavy cream
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375 deg. F.
Thinly slice the potatoes with a mandolin, the thinner the better.
Place the potatoes in a large bowl and pour the heavy cream over the potatoes. Using your hands, move the potato slices around so that all slices are coated with cream on both sides, and let them rest for a minute.
While the potatoes are resting, line a baking pan with foil.
Place a layer of potato in the pan. . Salt and pepper the potatoes, then grate Parmesan cheese on top. Continue this process until all of the potatoes have been used, being sure to put salt, pepper, and cheese over each layer.
Pour the remaining cream over the potatoes.
Top the potatoes with a buttered sheet of aluminum foil. Using another pan, place it on top of the foil and then add pie weights, or dried beans, or rice to the upper pan so that the potatoes in the bottom pan are compressed..
Place the pans on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for one hour.
Once removed from the oven, allow the potatoes to cool. Then remove the weighted pan and the foil. Trim edges, cut to serving size.
Heat a sauté pan with oil and some butter, then sauté each serving until golden brown turning once.
Garnish as you wish – maybe some sour cream, chives, and even some crumbled bacon or crisp pancetta.
You want to use a pan that has some depth to it. A rectangular loaf pan works well, as does a square cake pan. An advantage is that many kitchens already have these, and usually have 2, which makes putting a pan on top to compress an easier undertaking.
While I’ve only used metal pans, glass would work as well, and, truthfully, might be easier to clean.
When preparing the potatoes in the pan, I’ve had success using a foil-wrapped and buttered piece of cardboard on top, before putting the weighted pan on. Somehow it just felt like it was compressing better.
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