Rösti – turning raw potatoes into culinarian delight

Rösti, made with potatoes and carrots

Grate fresh potatoes, flavour with garlic and some Italian hard cheese. Fry until golden brown in a generous dollop of butter. Done.
Photo © J E Nilsson for CMC, 2009

There are many aspects to cooking, from nutrition to economy, to pure lucullian joy. Ideally I try to combine all these aspects into all that we cook.

One of my favourite things to do is to take something simple and then add a twist and a half to it and see it turn into something both delicious and fun, that might even render you a couple of surprised looks at the table.

Today we needed something to go with a mouthwatering piece of beef, and we didn’t want to spend all day preparing the side dishes, so we settled for the Swiss staple, rösti. In a world of rice, pasta and french fries, rösti is not always ranked amongst our first choices.

Rösti was originally a breakfast dish, slightly related to the fried carrot cake or chai tao kway we find in Singapore, but one that will fit splendidly together with anything that benefits from the company of potatoes.

If you haven’t got around to actually cook this before, the basic recipe is pretty uncomplicated: grate fresh potatoes. Add salt and pepper. Fry. Done.

Depending on what kind of dinner you are planning rösti lends itself to many variations. Adding different ingredients such as garlic, onions, carrots, bacon or apple can turn this dish into something different, interesting and one that is to your liking.

Chef’s secret; How to flip it so that the nicely browned side is upwards when served? Use two pans. When the rösti is half done, put a similar sized pan on top of the first one as a lid, flip the whole thing, and fry until done in the second pan. Or just fry one side and do the flipp onto the serving dish.

Smaklig måltid!