This version of the traditional Swiss pancake can seem a bit daunting to make, but after a little practice, these potato cakes will become a permanent part of your weekend repertoire. Use russet (baking) potatoes and take the time to drain them as much as possible so the final cakes have a good texture. The quantity here makes 4 thin roesti; use 2 skillets at once, if you have them, and keep the bowl covered with plastic wrap to prevent the potatoes from discoloring. As you make the pancakes, keep them in a 300-degree oven to stay warm. To make ahead, let the roesti cool to room temperature; reheat them on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
|1||small leek, finely sliced|
|2||russet potatoes, peeled and left in cold water|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
1. In a 10–inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until crisp, turning often. Drain on paper towels. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Return the pan to the heat and lower the heat to medium low. Add the leek and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened.
2. Remove the leek from pan and transfer to a large bowl. Crumble the bacon and add to the leek.
3. Wipe the potatoes dry. Using the largest holes on a box grater, grate the potatoes. Place ¼ of the potato mixture in the center of a clean kitchen towel. Fold towel in half then twist towel until liquid is squeezed from potatoes. Transfer to the bacon mixture. Repeat with remaining potatoes, adding each batch to the bacon mixture. Add plenty of salt and pepper.
4. Use a paper towel to wipe out the skillet. Heat over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan. When it melts, spread ¼ of potato mixture into the pan, pressing it down with a rubber spatula. Cook without disturbing for 5 minutes or until the underside is golden. Invert a plate over the pan, carefully turn the plate right side up and lift the skillet off the plate. Slide the potato back into the pan. Cook for 5 minutes more or until golden on the bottom.
5. When ready, slide roesti from pan. Keep warm. Repeat with remaining potato batter and remaining butter. Sydney Oland