White Truffle Potato Pavé, Straight Outta French Laundry
Doesn’t really have the same hardcore ring to it. If you know me, you know I can pretty much try to truffle anything and this dish is no exception. You’ll be seeing alot of white-truffle style dishes coming out of my kitchen. Thomas Keller coined the term Potato Pavé which is basically french for paving stones and all I did was add some white truffle oil to add something to it. This is dish is perfection, it is so damn good I’m thinking of not even wasting my time with this post and just going upstairs to make more of it. The truffles aren’t mandatory however, so if you’re not a fan feel free to omit them.
If you’re looking for something to make your guests look like Franco, you’ve found it.
This is something you’re going to want to make the night before, its really nice because you can get 95% of the cooking/prep done before you’re ready to serve so its great for dinners where you will be scrambling around and need something that you can work in that doesn’t require alot of maintenance.
- Bottle of Quality White Truffle Oil
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 4-6 Russet Potatoes (Bigger the Better)
- 5 Tablespoons Butter
- Canola Oil
- 2 Thyme Sprigs
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- Minced Chives
- Note: If you’re not a huge truffle fan you can ommit the truffle oil and make the classic Pavé
A mandolin slicer makes this much better, a wide julienne peeler worked pretty well, I assume a sharp knife can work as well but it might be a giant pain in the ass. You will need a baking dish, ideally 10″ x 6 1/2″ x 3″, its not the end of the world if you only have one that is 1-1.5″ tall though. You will probably also need a piece of cardboard, which we will explain later and some parchment paper.
Get your stuff together and give your potatoes a rinse.
You’re going to want to slice your potato’s pretty much as thin as you can while still making decent time. I used this wide julienne peeler because I didn’t have a mandolin when I took these pictures.
You want the longest/widest strips of potato you can get.
As you go along drop the strips into the cream, making sure to drop them in regularly. You don’t want to wait until the end and just dump all the strips into the cream. You want a thin layer of cream between each strip so that it spreads.
Slowly but surely your bowl will fill up, finish up your potatoes.
Get together your white truffle oil, a brush, and melt about 4 tablespoons of butter in a bowl.
So what we are going to do is take a baking dish (10″ x 6 1/2″ x 3″) lay down some parchment paper making sure that it hangs over all the sides. Then pick up a strip of potato, one at a time, and lay them down across the bottom, side by side. You may want to start preheating your oven to 350 degrees at this point.
Hopefully you’re getting the idea here, just keep laying down strips of potato, layer by layer, on top of eachother. Every other layer (I rotate basically) I brush it with a light layer of butter, then the next layer I brush with truffle oil, then I go back to the butter, and so on and so forth until the whole thing is done. I also sprinkle a little dash of salt every 3 layers or so across the pan.
Eventually you should be able to layer it up to the top and have something like this.
Your oven should be at 350 by now, wrap the dish in aluminum foil completely and toss it in the oven for 90-120 minutes.
You will want to start checking on it around 90-ish. The way you know its done is that you will have a heavy knife and just be able to basically drop the tip on the surface from like 1″ above, and it should cut right into it. You want it nice and cuttable/soft.
Let that cool off for a second, this is where I got a bit “DIY” mode. You want to cut a piece of cardboard that is the same size as the top of the potatoes.
Then wrap it in aluminum.
Then, fold the parchment paper inwards into the tray, and put the aluminum/cardboard sheet right on top.
Put some weight down on top of the aluminum sheet, put it in the refrigerator, and let it sit. You want this to sit for at least 6 hours, which is why I just reccomend letting it sit over night. You can let it sit up to 2 days.
Now then, fast forward to when you’ve let it sit at least 6 hours.
Ok once you’re ready, pull the brick out of the fridge, at this point it should feel pretty solid. Go ahead and pull it out of the pan using the parchment that is hanging over the sides as handles and put it on a cutting board. You can peel off the parchment paper at this point.
You should have a big ugly block of potato like these pictures.
Now take your knife and cut off the edges to make it a perfect rectangle.
Closeup of the shavings, you can see the layered potatoes clearly. I literally just tossed these shaving in my mouth as I was making this they tasted so good. You can set them aside or do whatever you want with them but I just sat there and ate them.
You can choose your own shapes for how you cut it from here. I opted for slicing the entire brick down the middle length-ways and then cutting each about 1 1/2″ apart the other way to form these rectangular type bricks. You can make squares or get a cooking cutter and make stars for all I care.
Set aside and let them get to room temp, at least 30 minutes, another step that you can do earlier in the day before people start showing up if you want.
Now then, take a frying pan, put some canola oil into it, heat on medium-high heat, drop the butter into it, drop the thyme and garlic into the butter
Pretty simple at this point, put all your bricks into the pan and fry them nicely on all sides, meanwhile you want to be basting your bricks with the butter/thyme/garlic mix and a spoon.
Turn once they are browning on the other side.
Once you’ve got a nice brown sear on all sides, go ahead and plate however you see fit. Sprinkle with chives and serve.
Best part is these things are even amazing as leftovers. Seriously…potatoes never had it so good.