This week I'm going to show you how to make one of my favorite brunches. It's a vegetarian dish that can be served either as a side dish or on its own with a dollop of sour cream. It also can easily be turned into something more filling, by adding smoked salmon and poached or fried eggs to it.
I love weekends so much especially when I don't have to travel. Not only because I get to relax, but mostly because I get to spend a lot of time around the kitchen cooking. Another important aspect of the weekends is that I can cook and eat my breakfast in my pajamas without having to fully wake up. I don't enjoy talking early in the morning, at least not until I get to eat. Roni also gets grumpy without having food or coffee first thing in the morning. For the sake of everyone in Austin, we try not to leave our house without eating or drinking coffee, and take out the grumpiness on each other.
Although I named this dish rösti, which is a Swiss dish, I found inspiration for it during my time in Hungary. Over there it's called either tócsni or lepcsánka depending on which region you visit and who you ask. It is very similar to the traditional rösti, but Hungarians sometimes add flour and eggs to the concoction. I prefer it without flour as it makes me feel better about eating healthier.
I made a few modifications of course, namely I added leeks and parsley to the potatoes. I like bold flavors and find potatoes alone to be a bit bland. If you don't like leeks, you can substitute them for onions or carrots. Same goes the parsley- use spinach or kale instead if that's what you prefer. Dare to improvise and try different combos until you find your favorite. As for me, this is my favorite. Jó étvágyat!
POTATO AND LEEK RÖSTI WITH POACHED EGGS
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
- 1 large leek, cleaned and finely chopped
- 8-10 cremini mushrooms
- 2 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled and grated
- 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 TBS kosher salt
- 1/2 TBS, black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 TBS butter, unsalted
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 8-10 tomatoes on the vine
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 TBS butter, unsalted
- 1/2 TBS butter, unsalted
- 2-4 eggs, pasture raised
- kosher salt, to taste
- 1 TBS white vinegar
- 2 oz. smoked salmon (optional)
- 1 TBS crème fraîche (or sour cream)(optional)
- Clean the leek by cutting and discarding the dark green woody leaves and the root end. Clean, chop it finely.
- Clean the mushrooms by trimming the dry tip of the stem.
- In a medium bowl combine the grated potatoes, leeks, parsley and jalapeño. Sprinkle half tablespoon salt and mix well until the mixture is evenly coated with salt. Set aside and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes.
- Handful by handful, squeeze the potato and leek mixture to get rid of the starchy and salty water. Sprinkle half tablespoon of freshly cracked black pepper, one teaspoon salt, and one tablespoon of olive oil and stir until everything is well mixed together and evenly coated.
- Heat one tablespoon butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the butter melts and starts foaming, scatter the potato mixture over the skillet. Using a spatula, gently press molding it into a 1/2-3/4 inch pancake. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, shaking skillet occasionally, until edges are golden brown.
- Meanwhile, heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Drizzle with one tablespoon olive oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the mushrooms and tomatoes to the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch salt and pepper. Let them cook while you flip and cook the other side of the rösti, shaking the pan every now and then.
- Cover the skillet with an inverted large plate. Flip rösti onto the plate. Add another tablespoon of butter to the skillet and let it melt. Once the butter starts foaming, slide the rösti back into the skillet, cooked side up. Cook for another 10-15 minutes until the bottom becomes golden brown. While it is cooking, using a silicone brush, spread half tablespoon butter on the top of the rösti.
- Remove the tomatoes and mushrooms from the heat and set aside until you're ready to serve it.
- In the meantime, poach or fry the eggs, whichever you prefer.
- Poaching may be more challenging if you’ve never done it before. If poaching, fill a medium non-stick pan with about 2 inches water. Heat the water over medium heat. Add one tablespoon white vinegar and a pinch of salt and bring water to a simmer. Crack eggs one by one into a espresso cup and slide them into the simmering water. The vinegar in the water will prevent the egg whites from spreading. Turn heat to minimum, cover the pan and let the eggs poach for about 4 minutes. When done, remove with a sieve.
- Once the rösti is ready, slide it on a cutting board or a large plate. Cut in four and serve with smoked salmon and poached eggs on top and a side of roasted tomatoes and mushrooms. You can add a dollop of creme fresh or sour cream to the top, too. Enjoy!
- To clean leek, use a pairing knife to slice it lengthwise starting from about 1/4 of inch from the root up to the leaves. Rotate the leek, and slice it again starting from the root. Fan the leeks open and place them under cold running water. Rinse out any dirt or sand until the leeks are clean.
- To clean mushroom, fill a quarter of a bowl with cold tap water. Drop mushrooms into the bowl. Submerge each one and then lift them out of the water with your hands. Place them on a paper towel and let them dry. Never clean mushrooms by rinsing them under running tap water, as the flavors will be washed away as well.
- I love fresh black pepper, so I usually add more than half tablespoon to the potato and leek mixture.