Monday, May 25, 2009

Rösti

Rösti is a traditional Swiss potato dish...considered by many to be a national dish. When we were in Switzerland visiting our friends (Pierre and Ute) many years ago...we were invited to Pierre's mother's home for supper. I will always remember her warm hospitality...how she bustled around in her cozy kitchen and served us a delicious dinner which included rösti. It wasn't too long after our visit that Pierre's mother passed away...and so any mention of rösti brings back fond memories of that dear old lady. After a little research...and a few trials...I'm ready to pass along my method for cooking 'glorified hashbrowns'...or rösti.

To make Rösti you will need:

  • 3 or 4 medium potatoes (Russets or Yukon Gold work well)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • A grater
  • A non-stick or cast iron frying pan
  • A plate that barely fits inside the pan.

Grate the raw potatoes into a bowl...using a large-holed grater.

Use a non-stick skillet. Melt 2-4 tablespoons of butter in the pan. Saute onions until somewhat tender.

Add grated potatoes and salt. Cook over medium heat several minutes, stirring two or three times to coat the potatoes evenly with butter.


Then pat the potatoes into a cake with the spatula and let cook for 10 minutes. Cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes.

When the bottom of the potato cake is golden brown, place the plate on the potatoes and invert the pan, holding onto the plate. Remove the pan and set it back on the stove. Add another tablespoon or so of butter and let it melt.


Slide the rösti back into the pan, golden side up, and cook for about 15 minutes, pressing down once or twice to make the pancake stick together a little more. You can cover it to get the potatoes cooked in the middle, but remove the cover at least 5 minutes before the end, so that your pancake is crispy on the outside.


Slide rösti onto plate and serve by cutting into wedges. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a side dish with ham and salad...and call it dinner (as we did the other night). Or, make it the main course and top with a sunny-side-up egg. Any way you serve it...you can't go wrong!

A cast iron pan seemed like the perfect cooking utensil for rösti...but I soon found out that my 'almost new' pre-seasoned cast iron skillet required a little more seasoning! Once it was coated with a thick layer of potatoes...I switched to a non-stick pan. I'm sure Pierre's mom used cast iron...but my Canadian version is cooked in a T-fal pan.