Rosti (rehsh-te), a fried, shredded potato cake, is almost the Swiss national dish. Nearly every canton has its own version; this particular recipe comes from Basle.
3 lb. potatoes, peeled, boiled for
10 minutes and cooled
3 oz. butter
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon black pepper
Using a sharp knife, cut the potatoes into julienne strips. Alternatively, grate the potato flesh on the coarse side of a grater. Set aside.
In a medium-sized frying-pan, melt half of the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until it is soft and translucent but not brown. Add the potatoes to the pan and fry for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Using the back of a spoon, press the potatoes down firmly and fry for a further 10 to 12 minutes or until a golden brown crust has formed on the bottom. Remove the pan from the heat. Place a plate over the pan and reverse the two. The mixture should slide out easily.
Add the remaining butter to the pan and return it to moderate heat. When the foam subsides, return the potato cake to the pan, crust side up. Fry for a further 10 to 12 minutes or until a golden brown crust has formed on the bottom.
Remove the pan from the heat. Slide the rosti out on to a warmed serving plate and serve immediately.