Golden rosti and ancho chilli chutney
Any day that I want to treat John, I ask him what he’d like for breakfast.
The answer is usually rösti. We lived in the Alps for a winter where we both fell in love with it. I worked in a bar, John worked up the mountain. We weren’t together then; we lived in a one-bed studio flat with four friends. There was a small cooker and our cooking options were as limited as our budget, so we ate a lot of those röstis from a packet, with chilli sauce. This is a long way from that vac-packed version. I serve it with a punchy tomato and ancho chilli chutney and sometimes an egg.
For the rösti
800g medium-sized waxy potatoes, peeled
a small bunch of thyme leaves picked
30g butter or vegan butter
a handful of pan-fried kale
a small bunch of coriander, stalks chopped and leaves picked
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
a grating of manchego or vegan cheese (optional)
For the ancho chilli chutney
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 dried ancho chilli
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
500g ripe cherry tomatoes
50g caster sugar
150ml red wine vinegar
juice of 1 unwaxed lime
Coarsely grate the potatoes, then season with salt and pepper.
Place the grated potatoes into a clean tea towel, gather it up and twist the tea towel to squeeze as much moisture as possible out of your potatoes.
Heat half the butter in the frying pan until melted and bubbling, then add the grated potato.
Flatten the grated potatoes on to the pan slightly to make a pancake.
Allow to cook for a couple of minutes without touching, then gently give the pan a shake so the butter coats the bottom evenly and the rösti comes loose.
Continue to cook over a medium-low heat for about 10 minutes until the bottom looks golden and crisp. To turn the rösti over, place a plate that fits just inside the pan on top, cover your hand with a tea towel to protect it, then turn the pan upside-down with confidence so the crispy bottom is now facing up on the plate.
Add the second half of the butter to the pan. Now carefully slide the rösti back into the pan so the other side can crisp up. Cook for another 10 minutes, then slide it back on to the plate or a chopping board to serve.
Cut into quarters and then serve each quarter with a dollop of chutney, the kale, coriander leaves and stalks, spring onions, cheese, salt and pepper.
Homemade ancho chilli chutney
Put the cumin and chilli in a dry frying pan and toast for a couple of minutes then crush in a pestle and mortar.
Put the frying pan back on the heat, add a little olive oil and fry the onion, garlic and ginger until soft.
Add the tomatoes, the spices, the sugar and red wine vinegar.
Bring to the boil then simmer for 25 minutes, squashing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon as they soften, until the chutney is sweet and sticky.
Take the pan off the heat and squeeze in the lime juice.
IMAGE: Issy Croker