Skillet #9 - Jess' Swiss Rösti

 
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We were thrilled to have Jess Gardner in to demonstrate her recipe for Swiss Rösti. Jess aptly facilitated the attendees in learning both this simple dish, as well as the complexities behind its inception and inclusion within Swiss culture. It was a delight having such a passionate and engaged University of Melbourne student taking this session.

Jess - "I am a co-leader with an amazing not-for-profit called Youth Food Movement and a Plant/Horticultural Science post-grad uni student. My love of food goes beyond obsession and spills over into the 'whole world revolves around' category. Food is life."

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Rӧsti - Swiss potato cake

Serves: 4 people (makes two rösti)

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

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Ingredients:

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Rösti:

  • 1 kg of potatoes, waxy (preferably par-boiled the previous day)
  • 100 g butter or lard
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt

Salad:

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  • 2 heads cos lettuce (or any crunchy light lettuce of your choice)
  • 2-3 small heads of witlof or radicchio (or any bitter, crunchy salad green)
  • 2 pears (beurre bosc is good, but any will do)
  • 200 g Swiss cheese (such as Gruyere, or any meaty, tart cheese, like Emmental, Appenzeller, Raclette, Tilst etc)

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup White wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • ¼ cup Olive oil (or any light oil, like grapeseed, avocado etc)
  • Salt and pepper

 

Method:

 

Rösti:

1.     Boil potatoes whole with skin on until parboiled (an inserted fork meets resistance but the potato doesn’t fall apart). Cool (preferably overnight) and peel.

2.     Grate potatoes with a rӧsti grater or on the large holed side of a box grater, into a large bowl. Sprinkle salt over to taste and mix.

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3.     Melt butter over medium heat with a little olive oil (to stop butter from browning and burning) and add potato. Cook potatoes for 5 min or so, turning occasionally with a spatula.

4.     Form and compress potato into a large mass, about the same size and shape as the pan.

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5.     Place a plate over the top and cook on a low gentle heat for about 15 min.

6.     Turn the rӧsti onto the plate, then return to the pan top-side down, placing the plate back over the top and cooking on the other side for a further 15 min.

7.     Once nice and crispy, slide onto a large warm plate, served as is or cut into wedges. Serve with a salad on the side and/or a fried egg on top, or alongside german/swiss sausages with sauerkraut and mustard.

Salad:

1.     Roughly slice lettuce into ribbons and soak in cold water until fresh and crisp.

2.     Remove the hard white core from the witlof/radicchio, and slice as for cos lettuce, adding to bowl of cold water.

3.     Cut the pear into quarters and remove the core and stem. Cut into thin slices and add to bowl of cold water.

4.     Add vinegar and oil to a jar (or bowl) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Shake (or whisk) until well combined, and taste for balance.

5.     Drain lettuce and pear, shaking off any excess water thoroughly before returning to bowl.

6.     With a speed peeler, shave cheese into small pieces over the salad. Serve dressing alongside the salad, or pour over and toss just before serving.

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Hints:

  • Cooking the potatoes the day before and cooling them before grating them makes them hold together easier and as it affects the starches within the potatoes.
  • Always use a ceramic plate to cover the pan.
  • make sure you turn down the heat of the pan when placing the pan on the rösti as it can burn the bottom instead of acting to caramelize it. 
  • be careful when flipping the rösti as the plate can almost as hot as the pan!
  • always remember to re-butter and re-oil the pan before putting the rösti back in to cook on the second side to achieve the same consistency on both sides.
  • Re-hydrating the salad greens is helpful to bring back their crispness, and can be done with a host of vegetables and herbs.
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