thomas keller\'s potato pave
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt
black pepper
freshly ground
3 lbs russet potatoes
3 1-pound potatoes if possible
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tablespoon softened and 4 tablespoons cut into 0.5-inch cubes
Canola oil
2 sprigs thyme
2 cloves garlic
lightly crushed, skin left on
While the ingredients are simple, the time, patience, and process that goes into it elevates the food. In Thomas Keller's take on scalloped potatoes, the texture is layered and crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. We would gladly make this recipe again as part of a special occasion meal.

Adapted from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Pour the cream into a large bowl and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 0.5 teaspoon pepper. Peel the potatoes. Cut a thin lengthwise slice off one side of a potato so it will rest flat on the mandoline. Lay a Japanese mandoline or other vegetable slicer over the bowl of cream and slice the potato lengthwise into very thin (about 1/16 inch) slices, letting them drop into the cream. (If you can't lay your mandoline across the bowl, slice the potatoes, adding the slices to the cream as you go.) Stop from time to time to toss the slices in the cream to keep them coated and prevent them from oxidizing. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
Brush a 10x6.5x3-inch-high pan with half the softened butter. (Don't use a shallower pan - you need the depth this size pan gives the pave.) Line with parchment paper, leaving a 5-inch overhang on the two long sides. These extensions will be used to cover the potatoes as they cook and later serve as handles when unmolding. Brush the parchment with the remaining softened butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Trim the potato slices to form a solid even layer in the bottom of the pan and lay them in the direction that works best to fill the pan. Repeat to form a second layer. Dot with a few cubes of butter and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Continue layering the potatoes, adding butter and seasoning after each two layers. Fold over the sides of the parchment to cover the potatoes. Cover tightly with a piece of aluminum foil (to allow the potatoes to steam as they bake).
Bake the potatoes for 1 hour and 50 minutes, or until completely tender when pierced with the tip of a knife or a wire cake tester. Remove from the oven and let 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 pave to release it from the pan, and use the parchment handles to lift the potatoes from the pan, or invert onto a cutting surface. Trim all the sides of the pave.Cut the pave into 12 equal pieces and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Heat some canola oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes cut-side-down, add the thyme and 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 chives.
In Ad Hoc at Home, Thomas Keller recommends a few products that are utilized in this recipe - mandoline, cast iron skillet, and palette knife. We've tried them all and can vouch for them.

We purchased the Benriner mandoline with the single screw and love it. It's inexpensive and performs much better than the Oxo mandoline Cook's Illustrated recommended a few years back. It's relatively easy to clean too. I've cut myself once using the mandoline, so I also wear cut-resistant gloves when I use it.

TK (Thomas Keller) is a huge fan of the cast iron skillet and loves making one pan meals in them. Also inexpensive, a cast iron skillet will last you a lifetime with the proper care.

Last, TK doesn't like to pinch his food. Rather, he prefers a palette knife. We have found the 8" size to be just the right size for our kitchen.