Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cheese & Bell Pepper Mini Rostis

Rosti (spelled roshtee) is a Swiss breakfast dish based on potato and also includes optionally other ingredients like bacon,cheese onion and other vegetables.It is basically a breakfast dish but can also be served as a side or snack.It originated in Berne,spread throughout the country and is now considered as a national dish of Switzerland.

I made simple mini rostis with potatoes,onion,mozzarella and bellpepper.You normally require day old cooked yet firm potatoes for this.You can cook the potatoes in boiling water till they start to become tender around 5-10 minutes or in the pressurecooker for just 1 whistle if they take too long to cook.You can also pierce it with fork or knife for quick boiling ,but make sure they are firm.You can also use baked potatoes for this as well.Russet potatoes work fine for rosti.

Cooked yet firm potatoes: atleast 2 very big
Onion: 1/2 cup chopped finely or 1 small
Bell Pepper :1 medium chopped finely or cubed (any colour)
Mozzarella/Gruyere grated: 1/4 cup or more
Salt &Pepper: as per taste and spiciness

Flour: 2 tbsp (optional)
Butter/Oil/spray: as much as needed

Grate the cooked-yet-firm,peeled potatoes in the big hole of the grater in to a big bowl.Heat a nonstick pan/skillet on medium heat and spray it with oil or drizzle oil or butter .Add finely chopped bellpepper,onion,cheese,flour,salt and pepper to the potato and mix well.Take handfuls,shape into a ball/circle/round and then press it on to the hot skillet and flatten it slightly with hands/ladle/spoon/whatever you like.Drizzle/spray little more oil or butter and cover with a lid or plate or whatever and cook for 2 minutes by which time the brown crust starts forming.

Remove the lid /cover and slowly turn the mini rostis to the otherside using two spoons/pancake turners or whatever method you know/prefer.Cook for 1-2 more minutes drizzling more oil or butter as needed.Serve warm topped with more grated cheese and additional salt and pepper if needed.

I added flour as I have seen in some versions.In rosti, potatoes act as binder.But when additional ingredients are added,to help in binding flour/eggs are needed.Flour also helps in absorbing the moisture that comes out of the mix when salt is added.Here I added salt and pepper together with the ingredients though traditionally they are sprinkled while on the pan.I added them with th potato-veg mix as I thought they would be blended well rather than some parts turn more salty while other lack salt as it happens while sprinkling.

Also covering the poato -veggie mix while cooking the first side is not a must.It helps in cooking faster though.Since I added bellpepper and onions which were not cooked or sauteed,this method of covering helps in cooking them and that too faster.Alternatively,you can add sauteed/cooked veggies to the potato mix and make rosti or if you are ok with raw taste go for that.

Turning the rosti to the other side is like an art.Normally for big/normal rostis,when one side is done or crisp,you cover it with a lid/plate (plate 1) and invert the skillet onto it.This makes the crispy side up.Then you cover the plate 1 with another plate (plate 2) and invert the rosti on plate 2.This brings the uncooked side up.Then you cover the plate 2 with the hot skillet,invert plate 2 so that uncooked side in on the skillet and put the skillet back on stove/gas.For mini rostis 2 pancake turners/wide mouthed spoons work fine.Alternatively if you go for taste and not for looks simply cut into slices then and there and turn whatever way you want.

This is my first entry to AWED-Swiss,guest hosted by Yours Truly and started by lovely epicurean -DK of ChefInYou.

A warm plate of mini bellpepper rostis also go to dear blogger Priya Suresh who is currently hosting AFAM-BellPeppers,an event started by Maheswari of Beyond The Usual .

Rostis can be baked in the oven as well.Either you use muffin pans or simply pie pans for mini and normal rostis respectively.This recipe yields 10-15 mini rostis or 2 big rostis.


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