A Bullseye? I got a kick out of learning to make these circular Swiss potato latkes. Admittedly, this plain and humble version is not so elegant. But it is very good, and made an excellent supper, topped by an egg for sauce, and followed by some oranges and coffee.The rosti technique resembles the method for a spanish tortilla, and the rosti has a lot of possiblities, many of which have been done already, for combining, refining and fancification.
The rosti is a cake made of grated parboiled potatoes, crisp and buttery on the outside, and melting, almost creamy, on the inside. There is a lot of talk about the "real" way to make rosti; some people even say that no Swiss person would parboil the potatoes; others say that is nonsense, that in Switzerland, already cooked potatoes are sold for this very purpose. There are numerous versions in my ridiculously eclectic collection of cookbooks, and all over the net.
I certainly will not claim any particular authenticity for this version, which is more or less straight from the Gourmet Cookbook. I picked it because it is the plainest, and hence presumably adaptable, and because it worked. I'm thinking that I will be playing around with it in the future. This is what you need to make two modest servings. The serving you see in the pictures is really enough for two, except that you will need to put 2 fried eggs on it, rather than one.
Yukon Gold Potaoes one pound
salt and pepper
fresh eggs, preferably free range 2
6" well-seasoned cast iron or nonstick pan
spatula which is narrower at the handle, and wider at the outside edge (No doubt you could use another type, but this seems to give the best control in nudging the rosti around.)
2 plates, kept near the stove (as well as the serving plate)
Boil the potatoes until they are almost, but not quite, tender. Chill them thoroughly, preferably overnight, or up to several days. Peel the potatoes and grate them coarsely on the large holes of a box grater. In a nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron 6" pan (I used the latter), heat a generous amount of olive oil and butter. As with the Spanish tortilla, this really doesn't work unless you use a whole lot of fat. Console yourself with the knowledge that quite a bit of it will actually be left in the pan when you are done. (This is why you slide the potato cake in and out, rather than inverting the pan.)
When the oil foams, add the grated potatoes to the pan. Pack them in with your spatula, so that they fill the pan evenly. Salt and pepper generously, and turn the flame to medium low. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the bottom has browned nicely. Holding the pan with one hand, tilted slightly, slide your spatula under the rosti, and carefully slide it onto the plate you set by the stove. Flip it over using the other plate, and slide it back into the pan, now inverted. You will probably need to push the edges down a bit with the spatula.
Cook for another 10-12 minutes, slide onto serving plate. Salt and pepper, and sprinkle with come chives. Fry 2 eggs and top with the eggs. Consume, cutting into wedges, piercing eggs to make a nice sauce.
Some versions of the rosti incorporate grated onion, or egg. The egg is entirely unnecessary with the precooked potato, which holds together nicely without it, and goes all creamy and soft inside. The onion could be just fine, if you are in the mood. And of course, all sorts of seasonings might work nicely in the rosti itself, or sprinkled on top. I'm a fan of lovage with potatoes, myself.
A traditional way to make fancy rosti for starters is to top them with creme fraiche, smoked salmon, and a bit of caviar, and top the lot with fresh dill. This sounds particularly good to me.You can cut them in wedges. Another use I've seen in various places, is as a topping for a savory fish or chicken "pie"..or over a vegetable or beefstew with a thick, rich gravy, for a crisp textural contrast. The family resemblance to American hash browns suggests a brunch dish with maybe corned beef hash, poached eggs, or sausages. Sometimes people make little baby rosti for cocktail type snacks, using those Swedish pans with multiple openings for making bitty pancakes. This seems a bit fussy to me, but the little ones are probably a cinch to flip, which might make up for the fuss, a bit.
So-go forth and invent uses for the rosti. And don't forget to let me in on them, please. Or just have some with an egg, for supper.