Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I haven't posted in a week, and I could give many excuses, but the real reason is that I haven't been cooking to the standards that I normally cook (think veggies with bottled indian curry). I am embarrassed for the world to see some of the dinners I throw together for myself. But, I started a new job yesterday (yay!), so what better time to have a new outlook on blogging. I am going to attempt to post about every dinner I eat, even if it's chinese takeout.
To start, my dinner last night. The first day of a new job is bound to be exhausting even if you end up sitting at your desk for most of the day filling out paperwork and getting settled. I think the first-day exhaustion is due to the weeks, or even months, of anticipation and anxiety about the huge change of a new job. So, as expected, I was very tired when I walked in my door last night. I was starving, and I immediately went to the kitchen to see what I could cook up. Of course, there is a freezer full of beef, but I couldn't stand to wait for anything to defrost. I have one of those hanging produce baskets, and in the basket was one lonely potato. This potato was supposed to go in a beef and barley soup I made a couple weeks ago (and never posted, ahem), but I decided to omit it from the soup. A rösti immediately popped into my head. Quick, easy, and satisfying, it was a perfect dinner.
Not only was it the perfect dinner, but I also considered the post I could write praising cast iron cookware. But now I have spent two paragraphs talking about new jobs and turning over a new (blogging) leaf, so I will rant the benefits of cast iron another time.
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add 2 lbs russet potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled, and cook for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
2. Peel the potatoes and coarsely grate them (a food processor fitted with a medium-sized grater does the quickest work).
3. Heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil and 2 Tbsp butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the grated potatoes and brown until a crisp, golden crust forms, about 10 minutes, gently pressing down on the potatoes with a spatula occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Invert the potatoes by placing a plate face down on top of the skillet. Using oven mitts, grasp the skillet and plate firmly with 2 hands and carefully turn the potatoes onto the plate. Add another 2 Tbsp vegetable oil and 2 Tbsp butter to the skillet, let the butter melt, and then return the rösti to the skillet with the crisp side up; cook for 10 minutes longer. Transfer to a serving platter and season again with salt and pepper. Scatter 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese over the top and serve hot.
The recipe is from The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook, from which I also made a Slow Roasted Beef Brisket (see here).
And no, I did not eat 2 pounds of potatoes for dinner last night. I made a small version of this recipe with the one yukon gold potato I already had. Also, I did not have Gruyere cheese, so I topped the rösti with pepper jack and a squirt of Secret Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce. Not quite so classy, but man was it delicious.