Any time I go to out to eat, I devour the fries that came with my dish first and save most of the actual meal for leftovers. It sounds ridiculous, but I live and die for potatoes. It must be the Irish in me.*
The path to my happiness is paved with warm, crispy-edged, fluffy-centered russets.
And while I am on the super-convenient subject of things being paved with potatoes, have you ever heard of a dish that’s literally named Potato Pave? It’s chef Thomas Keller’s spin on scalloped potatoes, and it’s named after– quite obviously– paving stones, because of the look the layered potatoes create. What you’re getting when you try Potato Pave is essentially a super crisp exterior with almost thick-potato-chip-esque slivers all up and down the sides as a result of thinly slicing and layering cream-soaked potatoes. That cream also helps to bind together the potatoes so the centers are melt-in-your-mouth creamy. It’s dreamy.
* Side note: I got the DNA results back that I mentioned a few weeks back in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day. I am… far less Irish than I thought I was. But it’s still there… All 5-10%, or so.
This is a party version of the Potatoes Pave, which involves cutting the layered potatoes into small squares and skewering with toothpicks to be perfectly finger-food sized. They also seemed perfectly dippable at this size, so I used the reserved cream from the potatoes to make a super easy cheese sauce. The potato starches that have soaked into the cream actually help the cheese sauce to thicken slightly, which makes for a much better dip.
“Party Potato Pave Bites with Cheese Sauce” sounds like a title of a recipe that would require, like, ten thousand ingredients. But all you need to make these is FIVE ingredients– potatoes, cream, bacon, and chives. Oh, and salt and pepper, if you want include those in the ingredients list.
They also are pretty easy to make thanks to a little (okay a lot) of help from my PL8 mandoline. I have to highly recommend this thing if you don’t already have a mandoline at home, or even if you do. It saves me so much time in the kitchen because my knife skills are… well, not the most impressive.
The Party Potato Pave Bites with Cheese Sauce do have to refrigerate overnight though, so even though they’re easy, they require some planning in advance. It’s well worth the effort, I promise!
Just look at that cheese-covered stack of crisp potatoes and you’ll know I’m telling the truth.Print
Adapted from Sunday Supper Movement
- 5 pounds russet potatoes (about 12 total potatoes)
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 pounds cooked crispy bacon
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Chopped chives, to top
- Line an 8×8″ baking dish with parchment paper, allowing some to hang over the sides. Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Peel the potatoes and use a mandoline to thinly slice them, lengthwise, into a large bowl.
- Add in the salt, pepper, and heavy cream, and gently stir until all of the potatoes have been coated in cream.
- Line the bottom of the baking dish with two layers of slightly overlapping slices of potatoes, allowing excess cream to drip off before placing the slices in the baking dish. Then add a layer of cooked bacon. Top with two more layers of potatoes, then another layer of bacon, and then two final layers of potatoes. Transfer the remaining cream to a sealable container and refrigerate for later
- Fold the parchment paper inward and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 90 minutes, or until the potatoes can easily be pierced with a knife. Weigh down the top of the potatoes with another baking dish filled with cans, two bricks, or any heavy object that can evenly fit over the top. The heavier, the better. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
- The next day, preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Turn the potatoes out onto a large cutting board. Use a large knife to trim the edges. Cut the potatoes into small squares and skewer with toothpicks.
- Transfer each skewer to a nonstick or greased baking sheet, laying them on their sides. Bake in preheated oven until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Carefully flip them and bake until crispy and browned, another 15 minutes. Season with additional salt once they’ve come out of the oven, if necessary. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the reserved heavy cream in a small pot over medium heat. Mix in a handful of cheese at a time, stirring until fully melted, and continue until the cheese has reached your desired consistency. Keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve.
- Transfer the cheese sauce to a bowl for dipping along with the potato pave bites. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve immediately.
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