Before Moving to New York, Jon and I lived in Warsaw, where Halloween wasn’t such a big deal, but All Souls, the day after Halloween, really, really was.
The entire city seemed to migrate to the graveyards and embark upon a cleaning and decorating project – starting with family graves, then graves near the family graves, then other graves that looked like they needed some care and attention.
By late afternoon, leaves had been swept away, stone work had been cleaned, statues had been scrubbed with toothbrushes, brass railings had been polished, and then, as a final mark of remembrance and respect, votive candles were laid on the ground.
The little flames flickered in the gathering dusk, inviting the passer-by to stop, reflect and remember.
And then we went home to eat potatoes and sour cream.
Potato rosti take me back to Poland in one bite.
Rosti usually involve both grating and frying – both of which can seem like a step too far some days, I know. And honestly, boiled new potatoes cut in half lengthwise and smothered with sour cream and caviar are a delicious alternative. But I’m looking for crunch, so I persevere.
And while I can’t think of a short cut for the grating – though a food-processor will do the job, providing the grater attachment can be located, by which time it would usually have been quicker for me just to grate the potato in the first place – but the frying? Totally.
I bake my rosti in a thin layer in the bottom of muffin tins. This has the added bonus of creating lots of rosti at the same time that are all the same shape – perfect for a party canapé. - MakeThatMakeThis —MakeThatMakeThis
Test Kitchen Notes
If only 30 minutes stand between you and your guests’ arrival, and you’re still in need of both an appetizer and a shower, turn to this recipe. Grate the potatoes, season and squeeze them, shape a dozen baby rostis in the bottom of a muffin tin and bake while you clean yourself up. Moments after you slip into your little black dress, dollop these savory bases with classic toppings to impress with simple sophistication. —cheese1227
- Makes 12 mini rosti
large white onion
small tub of black caviar (I use the cheap stuff because it's really no more than a salty accent)
- Preheat oven to 400
- Grate the potatoes into a bowl
- Peel the onion, cut in half and grate into the bowl
- Season generously with salt and pepper
- Tip into a tea towel and wring out until as dry as possible
- Wipe a layer of oil around the muffin tin to stop the rosti from sticking
- Press 1 tbsp of potato mixture firmly into the bottom of each hole (it should come about 1cm up the side of the tin)
- Put a tiny knob of butter on top (about 1/4 tsp) - the butter helps the rosti brown, but add too much and they'll be greasy
- Bake for about 20 mins, depending on the thickness of the potato
- Turn out so that the nice flat bottom is now the top
- Top with a blob of sour cream and a little pile of caviar