From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...It takes a while to work your way through ten pounds of potatoes. Despite all the potatoes I used last week, there was still a couple of pounds left in the sack that I wanted to finish up. I didn't want to repeat any of the dishes I had already made, so I skimmed through my files looking for a specific recipe for the Swiss version of hash brown potatoes that's called rösti. The recipe comes from Saveur magazine and I have had and used it for over a decade now. I love these potatoes, but I don't make them as often as I'd like because of the time required to get them on the table. There is nothing hard about the recipe, but the potatoes cook twice and must be chilled before they are finally browned. I usually boil and chill the potatoes the day before I plan to serve them, but, even with advanced planning, you still need the better part of an hour to complete their cooking. That being said, they are worth waiting for. The Silver Fox and I first had them years ago in a ski resort where we spent a completely unplanned day. Bad weather had forced us off the road and this was the only place to stay. We refer to the interlude as our introduction to après skiing and rösti and the meaning of the word fleeced. Rösti is a Swiss dish that consists mainly of potatoes. It is a common breakfast dish and many consider it to be the national dish of Switzerland. It was originally considered to be a complete breakfast, but over time it became an accompaniment to other dishes and was served with meals throughout the day. The dish is made with coarsely grated potatoes which can be cooked or raw. They are shaped into rounds or cooked as a large cake in a frying pan. While some add additional ingredients, the dish traditionally is seasoned only with salt and pepper before it is slowly fried in lard or butter. The process produces a wonderful crust and creamy interior that distinguishes it from standard hash browns. If you are a breakfast lover and have never tasted these potatoes, I hope you'll give this recipe a try. You will be wowed. I promise. Here's how rösti are made.
Rösti - Swiss Hash Brown Potatoes...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Saveur magazine
2-1/4 pounds russet potatoes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt + more to taste if needed
1) Place potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain potatoes and set aside to cool for about10 minutes. Peel potatoes, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. Grate potatoes using large holes on a cheese grater. Set aside.
2) Heat butter and oil in an 9 to 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. When butter is melted, add potatoes, sprinkle with salt, and mix well, coating potatoes with fat. Using a metal spatula, gently press potatoes, molding them to fit the skillet. Cook, shaking skillet occasionally, until edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
3) Cover skillet with a large inverted plate, invert rösti over onto plate, then slide it back into skillet, cooked side up. Cook until golden brown on bottom, about 20 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board, sprinkle with salt if desired, and cut into wedges to serve. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
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