Monday, January 11, 2010

Left Overs...

Posting has been pretty slow for me, I'm still cooking up a storm, but not cooking much new... In the past week, I've made steak frites, various pizzas, a ton of bread, roasted chicken, and homemade sausage with lentils (see previous posts regarding all of these). Not much new to write about. However, I did want to mention a terrific side-item that keeps well for several days, potato pave.

The beauty of this thing is that you can make it as rich or lite as you wish by varying the liquid added to the potato prior to baking. What makes it better than "au gratin" is the ability to saute and add some textural contrast to the creamy potatoes. Pictured above are New Year's Day leftovers (1/2 of a cornish hen, black-eyed pea and collard gratin, and potato pave).

For my preparation of the pave you'll need

Heavy cream
4 russets
salt & pepper

2-8 inch square pyrex dishes
Something heavy and oven proof like a good cast-iron skillet
aluminum foil.

Preheat oven to 400F. Start by lining one of the baking dishes with foil and butter generously. Butter another piece of foil for the top and set aside. Square the potatoes (the dish is called pave, pavers, get it?) and slice thinly, about 1/8 of an inch thick. Could use a mandoline or show off your sick knife skills. I prefer the latter. Pour cream (a cup or two) into a bowl and dip each potato slice in the cream then transfer to the dish, overlapping very slightly. After half of the potatoes have been layered, give a good sprinkle of salt and pepper, then grate a good amount of parmesan over the first half. Repeat with the second half and top with the other piece of foil. Place the second dish inside the first, give a good press and weight with the iron skillet. Bake for about an hour and a half. Remove from the oven and cool. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably weighted.

When ready to serve (about 10 minutes beforehand), pull the entire pave out of the dish using the foil and carefully peel off the foil. Using a very sharp knife, cut rectangles/squares etc from the center. Next in a hot pan, saute for 2 to 3 minutes per side in the oil of your choosing, or even on all sides for extra crunch!

You can serve these in place of any potato dish and look like a Rock Star, or better yet, a television star on The Learning Channel Trauma show!


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