23 March 2015
Rösti with sweet potato
We've talked about rösti a few times before. This Swiss concoction is essentially a big pan-fried shredded potato cake, not unlike hash browns. We like to eat it for big weekend brunches, with plenty of coffee and possibly an egg or two. It's easy, impressive, delicious, and cheap. What's not to love?
This weekend I decided to switch it up and try adding sweet potato to rösti. Since sweet potatoes are significantly harder and less fluffy than the standard white boiling potato -- not to mention sweeter -- I decided against a 1:1 switch. Instead, I used about 1/3 sweet potatoes and 2/3 mixed yukon gold and red. This turned out to be a good ratio: we got some nice sweet potato flavor and color, but preserved the general texture of a classic rösti.
Now, of course, we are thinking about more things to shred and add to rösti. Carrot? Zucchini? Beets could be really excellent if you wanted to top your rösti with a classic sour cream and smoked salmon combination. Fennel might be interesting there as well. And a mixed-veg rösti would certainly be a good way to use up broccoli stems and the odd heads of kohlrabi that come in our CSA box. I'm definitely going to keep this in mind for next fall.
Rösti with sweet potato
6-8 medium boiling potatoes
1 sweet potato
4-6 green onions
oil or butter to cook (not olive oil -- the smoke point is too low.)
Start out by peeling your potatoes and sweet potato. Shred them with a box grater or food processor, using the largest size shred.
Squeeze the liquid out of your potatoes. We just take big handfuls and squeeze them out over the sink before depositing them into a mixing bowl. You can also use a dish towel or paper towel if you prefer. This step is critical to ensure that your rösti cooks well, so don't skip it!
Slice up your green onions and add them to the bowl. Add a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Mix everything together.
Heat a 10-inch frying pan or skillet of your choice over medium-high to high heat. I think a well-seasoned cast iron pan is your best bet here, followed by nonstick. When your pan is hot, add a generous tablespoon of oil, butter, or a mix of the two. Swirl the pan to coat well.
Add your potato mixture to the pan, pressing with a spatula to get it reasonably even. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until lovely and golden brown on the first side, adjusting the heat down a bit if necessary. You'll be able to see the color coming up around the edges. The potatoes should also come free of the pan in one big solid cake when shaken back and forth a few times.
Next, flip your rösti. To do this, you'll need some intact oven mitts and a wooden (or otherwise unmeltable) cutting board big enough to cover your pan. Wearing the oven mitts, put the cutting board on top of the pan. Grab the pan and board at opposite sides and flip the entire contraption over onto your counter. Remove the pan to the stove, add a bit more oil if needed, and slide the flipped rösti back into the pan, uncooked side down. You did it!
Cook another 8-10 minutes, or until the second side is just as beautiful as the first. Slide the finished rösti onto your cutting board, cut it into wedges, and serve.
Just about anything that sounds good with potato should be good with rösti. I had mine with plain yogurt and pickled peppers. John had his with ketchup. If you are a proponent of fried eggs with runny yolks, this is an excellent place to apply them.
How do you like to eat your brunch-hour potatoes?