2 lbs. new red or other waxy potatoes
1⁄4 cup canola oil
3 strips smoked bacon, cut into 1⁄2" slices
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. grated cantal or gruyère cheese
8 oz. farmers' cheese (such as Friendship brand)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp. finely chopped chives
1. Using a mandoline, cut potatoes into 1⁄16"-thick slices. Place potatoes in a bowl of cold water; set aside.
2. Heat oil in a 12" cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring, until its fat has rendered, about 6 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander; add to the skillet. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally and crushing potatoes into small chunks with a wooden spoon, until potatoes are tender, 20–25 minutes.
3. Add cheeses, and garlic to skillet; stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover. Cook, scraping bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon, until cheese is melted and the potatoes are mashed, about 5 minutes. Stir vigorously and season with salt to taste. Sprinkle with chives and pepper to taste.