"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Think you know everything there is to know about potatoes?

Think again.

Rösti is a Swiss potato pancake, and what's different about it is that you use cooked potatoes, not raw.

So this dish requires a little bit of forethought--you want cold, boiled potatoes as your base. At the very least, what you avoid is the unpleasant experience of raw-in-the-middle of a too-thick pancake. At the very best, you have a little bit of heaven on earth--crispy, buttery fried potato on the outside, smooth and fluffy potato on the inside.

Now, according to my research there is a vast difference of opinion on just what additions make the perfect rösti. Cheese, bacon, herbs of all kinds, onion, garlic, sweet potato--once you get going there's no stopping the possible variations. So use this recipe as a base and keep experimenting until you discover Your Favorite.

A few things to think about:

--use salted water when you boil your potatoes. As with pasta, this simple step makes a world of difference.

--don't overboil your potatoes. You want them cooked but firm so you can grate them. Overdone, mushy potatoes will fall apart.

Here's my rösti in the pan...I was using a variety of potatoes, including purple ones! Psychedelic, man.

The flipping part was a little tricky, but if you've ever moved a cake layer around by using a plate to turn it upside down you've got the skilz. Following the directions in the book, I slid this, crispy side down, onto a plate, used another plate to flip it, then slid it back into the pan after I had melted more butter.

You wouldn't believe how fast the three of us ate this side dish. O'Malley ate his so quickly that I never even saw it on his plate--I looked up and it was gone, and then I had to chide him for helping himself to the remainder without offering some to the two of us. Did you know fifteen year old boys will growl over food they are slavering over, if you get your hands too close?

When I cook this again, I'll cook it a little bit longer. I used more than the recommended one pound of potatoes, and the rösti was the tiniest bit cool in the middle.

And I'll definitely be making it again. Boiling potatoes, water, butter/oil and salt. That's all you need, folks, and you've got a side dish worth growling over.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lots of posts recently, how wonderful for us readers! I could definitely recreate the mushrooms, half without the proscuitto for me.