Back when we were dating, Chris made me a Valentine's Day dinner that neither of us will never forget. I had had a bad day at work and a long meeting after that. It was sleeting and I had to drive from CT to MA and I was not happy about it. Chris called my cell to inform me about the main course - lamb chops and potato pave. I remember saying something sarcastic; at the time I was not a fan of lamb, and I equated potato pave with potatoes au gratin, also not a favorite of mine. Chris remembers me scolding him harshly on his lack of romanticism, cooking me a dinner of foods I don't like, etc. etc. I'm sure it wasn't all that bad... But anyway, I apologized profusely, especially since the dinner was amazing, and potato pave has since become my favorite Chris dish of all time. It's ridiculously unhealthy, full of heavy cream and cheese, and it takes a lot of effort, but for once in awhile or special occasions (like New Year's), it rocks.
Special equipment: Loaf pan lined with aluminum foil, mandoline, cheese grater, brick or other heavy object that fits in the loaf pan. See picture for layering technique.
5-6 potatoes (we used red potatoes this time)
1 pint heavy cream
1 pint heavy cream
2 cups grated parmesan
Butter all sides and the bottom of the aluminum-foiled loaf pan. Using a mandoline, slice the potatoes as thinly as possible, then soak in the heavy cream. Layer the sides and bottom of the pan with one layer of potatoes, overlapping slightly. Top the potatoes with a thin layer of parmesan cheese and season with black pepper. Fill the middle of the loaf pan with several layers of potato-cheese-pepper until the pan is full and/or you are out of potatoes. Top with cheese and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Immediately after removing from oven, put a brick or other heavy object on top of the pave and chill (Note: we often make this in the winter and chill it by placing it in some snow). When you are ready to eat the pave, flip it and peel off the foil (see picture). Serve it in slices that you've browned in a frying pan.
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