Amos Bakes -- And other things
As an ode to the venerable, and now semi-retired, David Cohen of David Doesn’t Bake, I’m dedicating my first recipe to one I came across seven years ago in this paper. I’ve been making some version of David’s rosti ever since.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. A toaster oven works great here if it can fit your skillet.
Preheat an 8- or 9-inch skillet over medium heat. While it’s warming, use a mandoline fitted with the shredder attachment to shred the potato. The large holes of a box grater will also work here, though won’t result in quite as crispy of a crust. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Once the pan is hot, add a healthy glug of oil. It should sizzle when you drop in a piece of potato. If it’s adequately pre-heated, add the rest of the potato and press it into a thick pancake. The skillet walls should naturally shape the potatoes into a circle. Poke your spatula down the sides of the pan, pulling the potatoes just off the edges and forming them into a tighter circle. This will help steam escape and contribute to a crispier crust.
Now you wait. Don’t try to move the potatoes or pick them up, just let them do their thing for at least 5 minutes, more likely 10 or 15 depending on how hot your stove is. We’re looking to slowly develop a crust without any burned bits while also fully cooking the inside.
Give the pan a sturdy shake. If the pancake releases off the bottom and slides around freely, you’re ready to flip. Slide it onto a plate, put another plate on top, flip it so the crispy side is up and slide it back into the skillet. You should now be looking at a beautifully browned and irresistibly delicious rosti. Using the back of a spoon, press down the middle to create a makeshift bowl. Don’t press all the way through to the pan.
Crack in an egg, sprinkle with salt and pepper if you’d like, and slide the skillet into the 400-degree oven (convection if you have it). After about 5 minutes give the pan a gentle shake. We want the egg white to be set, but the yolk to still have a little jiggle. It might take 10 minutes, but keep checking, as the egg can go from perfect to overcooked quickly.
Slide it onto a plate and enjoy! This is just a basic rosti guide, but I encourage you to get creative. Pre-cooked bacon bits, a medley of herbs, or a healthy grating of parmesan would be excellent. If you’re a potato purist and scoff at outside additions, try frying in duck fat or butter instead!