Swiss Twist on Tubers


I stop into her house for a cup of coffee, and there, on the kitchen counter are about five idaho potatoes. The skins are still fresh with dirt from their previous home. The filthy sight of the tuber evokes a beautiful memory – past and fairly recent – of what these tubers can transform into.

Visions of two dishes flash alternately before my eyes, like a disco strobe: her warm potato salad and rösti. I blurt out, “potato salad?”

“No,” she says, “Rösti“. I couldn’t wait for the finished product. I was definitely coming back to pick some up for dinner, breakfast, whatever. After all, where else am I going to get rösti??

It’s a simple dish, but so much love needs to be put into it, or if you’re Swiss, it just comes naturally. It can be made by shredding raw potato (I think the Swiss Miss W pats it with a paper towel to absorb the moisture), or the potatos can be par-boiled and shredded. Butter is preferred in a non-stick pan, some salt and pepper, and it’s fried until golden brown on both sides. Now, there’s a standard Swiss brown that must be achieved for perfection (every photo you see will have the same hue). This leaves you with the dual texture of crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

If it really gets Swiss’d up, to turn it into a meal, bacon, onion and cheese (Swiss naturally) are mixed in with the shredded potato. Want more? Fry an egg on top. Oh yeah!…..I got the call – “It’s finished. Do you want to pick some up?” Silly question.

Two days later, there must have been some extra potatoes sitting around because I was able to realize that other photo that was flashing when I was handed a small portion of……….potato salad! Double jackpot.

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