Sunday, May 31, 2009

Herbed Rosti with Wild Mushrooms


So...the picture doesn't do it justice. I made a rosti the other day, and it was splendid...earthy and texturally interesting. But wait! I'm getting ahead of myself; let me back up a little.

**NOTE: I'm drinking sweet tea vodka lemonade while writing this so if it goes a little haywire, well, what can I say?!

A girl friend of mine recently suggested the formation of a cookbook club, and several friends (including me) jumped on the idea. Our first pick is Martha Stewart's Cooking School. For the next month everyone who is participating in the cookbook club is supposed to cook from the selection as much as possible. At the end of the month we will meet, discuss what we cooked, and bring a dish we've prepared (from the cookbook) to share. Sounds like fun to me!
I've tried a few things from the cookbook, including this rosti. Honestly, I had never even heard of a rosti until I flipped through the book, found a picture of one, and said "Hey! That looks tasty!". I have since learned that a rosti is a German/Swiss dish consisting primarily of potatoes that are shredded and pan-fried. In a nutshell, it's a giant latke. Mmmmm...
Without further ado, here is the recipe with pictures and commentary:

Herbed Rosti with Wild Mushrooms

2 large russet potatoes (about 1 1/4 lbs)
1/2 small leek, while and pale green parts only, washed and cut into julienne
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 small leek, while and pale green parts only, cut into julienne and washed
4 oz fresh chanterelles, wiped clean (halved if large)
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 oz fresh goat cheese, softened

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel potatoes and grate on the large holes of a box grater. Soak in water to cover for five minutes. Lift out with your hands, and squeezed out liquid, then squeeze out excess liquid in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. You should have three cups potatoes.
Toss together the potato, leek, and thyme, and season with 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
Melt 1 Tbsp each butter and olive oil in a 10-inch ovenproof pan over medium-high heat, swirling to coat evenly. Add potato mixture, and cook, pressing down lightly with a large spatula, until bottom is golden and releases easily from pan, about 4 minutes.


Invert rosti onto a plate. Add remaining 1 Tbsp each butter and oil and swirl to coat pan. Carefully slide rosti back into pan uncooked side down and cook until starting to brown underneath, about 3 minutes.


Transfer to oven and cook until deep golden brown and cooked through (it should offer no resistance when pierced in the center with the tip of a paring knife), 12 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, saute mushrooms. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook leek until translucent, stirring, about 1 minute. Add chantererlles, season with salt and pepper, and saute until golden, about 3 minutes.

Stir in stock and cook until reduced and slightly thickened and the mushrooms have softened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Slide baked rosti out of pan onto a serving platter. Spoon dollops of goat cheese in center of rosti and spoon mushroom mixture over top.
Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

I served the completed rosti with baked flounder (tossed with a little lemon juice, paprika, salt, and cayenne pepper) and a green salad (spinach, Belgian endive, Bibb lettuce) with blueberries, sunflower seeds, and a honey-lemon vinaigrette (pictured below).


The rosti was delicious. The actual potato pancake was crispy on the outside with a tender inside, and the leeks added a quiet sweetness. The goat cheese and mushrooms brought out a woodsy quality that grounded the dish. Adding a salad with nuts (well, seeds) and berries added to the earthy quality of the meal. Mmmm...I could eat this every night!

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