Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sweet Potato Rosti with Cinnamon-Bourbon Maple Syrup

Sweet potato rosti
Sweet Potato Rosti
A rosti is a Swiss potato dish that's sort of like a cross between an oversize latke and a pancake.  Traditionally, a rosti is made from grated potatoes and served as a savory accompaniment with eggs, bacon, ham or smoked salmon.  In fact, it was a local TV news feature with a potato rosti recipe by Dan Eaton that inspired me to create my Southern version of rosti using North Carolina sweet potatoes instead of regular sweet potatoes.

I cooked my sweet potato rosti entirely on the stove because I didn't use an oven-proof skillet, but you could certainly follow his method of finishing the rosti in the oven if you use an oven-proof skillet or frying pan.

Sunday brunch
Sunday brunch
I served my sweet potato rosti topped with Cinnamon-Bourbon Maple Syrup (recipe follows the rosti recipe below), and with some bacon and a fried egg as our Sunday brunch.  If you prefer to keep things savory or are watching your sugar intake, you can season the sweet potato rosti with salt and pepper, or even with gravy, instead of the sweet syrup.  And you can enjoy the sweet potato rosti with any other breakfast fare, or on its own, or even as a dinner side dish with pork chops, roast chicken, grilled steak, or pretty much any other main course as an alternative to potatoes or other starchy side.

Here are the keys to successful rosti making: (1) Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the grated potato or sweet potato before adding to the frying pan; (2) Don't try to flip the rosti before the bottom has fully cooked to a crispy golden brown, or else it could break into pieces during flipping; (3) Use a plate that's at least as big as the rosti, and be very careful in case there's any excess grease that could drip on you when you flip the rosti; (4) I used a non-stick skillet to make the flipping even easier.

Ingredients for Rosti
3 or 4 sweet potatoes (about 1 3/4 lbs)
2 Tbs plus 2 Tbs butter

recipe for sweet potato rosti
Cooking the rosti
Peel the sweet potatoes, then use a box grater to grate them into a large bowl.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large frying pan or skillet (10" to 12" in diameter) over medium heat.  While the butter is melting, sprinkle a little salt over the grated sweet potatoes and use your hands or a large spoon to mix it in.  Once the butter has melted, grab a handful of the grated sweet potato, squeeze out as much water as possible, and press into the skillet.  Repeat with the remainder of the sweet potato, pressing each handful into the skillet to make one large, pancake-looking rosti (about 1/2" thick or so). Raise the heat just a touch and fry until crispy and golden-brown on the bottom, about 25 minutes or so. Be very gentle using a spatula to lift the rosti a little to check for doneness, and make sure the rosti is crispy and "holding together" before you try to flip it over.

To flip, invert a large plate (at least as big as the rosti) over the rosti and hold it down with one hand, grab the skillet handle with your other hand, then carefully and confidently turn the skillet upside down so that the rosti drops down onto the plate. Slowly lift the skillet, making sure the entire rosti is now on the plate--the browned side will be visible now.  Place the skillet back on the stove and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.  When the butter has melted, gently slide the rosti into the skillet, uncooked side down, and fry for another 25 minutes or so until crispy and golden brown on that side.  You can remove the fully-cooked rosti from the skillet using the same plate-flip method.  Use a knife to cut into wedges, and drizzle with Cinnamon-Bourbon Maple Syrup.

cinnamon-bourbon maple syrup
Cinnamon-Bourbon Maple Syrup
Ingredients for Cinnamon-Bourbon Maple Syrup
3/4 cup real maple syrup (I like Grade B, which is darker & more robust)
1 tsp Bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve)
1" piece of stick cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, cover and simmer over low heat for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  I did this while the second side of the sweet potato rosti was cooking.  This syrup is tasty over pancakes, waffles, stirred into oatmeal, or any other way you use regular maple syrup.  You don't really taste the bourbon, but rather it helps tone down the sweetness of the maple syrup while adding earthy flavor notes.  Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you don't have maple syrup or the time to make your own bourbon infused pancake syrup, I recommend Jim Beam Bourbon Syrup, which is available at the Carolina Sauces online store.

No comments:

Post a Comment