Monday, July 28, 2008

Rösti potatoes, a Swiss specialty

My friend in Strasbourg, Øivind, did not only initiate me into the art of preparing a perfect duck. He also served me my first Rösti potatoes, potato cakes with cheese. He loves to prepare Rösti from scratch, whereas I tend to be lazy. I take out the ready made frozen ones, to heat up in my oven.

I will concentrate on the preparation of the potatoes. On how to make a perfect duck breast I refer to my previous article here on Enjoy Food & Travel.

Øivind served my first rösti before moving to Brussels some 12 years ago. Then he rented a house in Oslo and invited friends to a great dinner. He prepared them now as then, with roughly grated cheese and potatoes.

As we walked through the supermarket in Les Halles in Strasbourg looking for the ingredients, I suggested that we could use grated cheese, saving time and energy. Øivind did, however, insist that hard labour would give the best result and bought a whole cheese to grate himself.

He grated three to four peeled potatoes, and in order to get a good end result, he placed the grated potatoes in a kitchen towel, squeezing out as much liquid as possible, then adding the seasoning.

Then he fried the grated potatoes gently in salted butter until soft and golden, but not brown. He took the potatoes out of the pan, mixed the cheese and grated potatoes and shaped the mix into a large flat cake, that was fried in a pan until crisp.

And voila! Fried duck breast with a delicious swiss potato cake. Try it! It is a break from your mashed or dauphinoise potatoes - or your French fries.

The cheese makes is very tasty, but some of you may find it a little rich to duck, but I did not - it was fab!

Have a try - and enjoy it with a good red wine!!!

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