Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rösti Potatoes

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.

Bon appetit. 

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm...this sounds very similar to a Latke. Were you thinking of Ben when you made it? :) And, who couldn't eat two pounds of potatoes for dinner? Sounds delicious to me!

    I think you should post even those meals that you don't feel are worth documenting. You know I struggle with posting outfits that aren't that fabulous, but I think it's important to keep it real. Even Martha has her off days!