Saturday, January 15, 2011
January Spice Rack Challenge: Rosemary
I had so much fun with the Can Jam last year that when I heard of the Spice Rack Challenge I signed up right away. And then promptly forgot about it until I read about it again on today's post by Tigress. Then I got in a panic and thought the deadline to post my recipe was today, which it it isn't ( that would be a different challenge - more on that later).
In any case I should probably mention that the Spice Rack Challenge is the brain child of "Mom" at Mother's Kitchen and, like it sounds, the idea is to cook with a specified herb or spice every month and blog about it. I regularly use a lot of different spices in my cooking and this sounded like a simple project to write about. The focus ingredient for this month is rosemary which I use lots of, and I overwinter my rosemary plant every year so I have a constant fresh source. Problem was since I hadn't been thinking of it, I didn't have the rest of the ingredients on hand for the recipe I'd planned on. So I did like any sensible person- I googled rosemary recipes! Lucky for me, one of the first recipes to pop up was a very simple dish that required only a couple ingredients, all of which I had. It's not a dish I would have normally chosen, mainly because of it's simplicity but I thought it would do well in a pinch. To my surprise it was absolutely fantastic and that fact that it turned out so well has given me the idea to make the Spice Rack Challenge even more challenging. I've decided that from here out I'm not going to fall back on my tried-and-true recipes for this project; instead I'm going to find a new (to me) recipe for each ingredient. After all if the point of the exercise is to learn something, it only makes sense to try new things.
Beet Roesti with Rosemary
From How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
1 to 1-1/2 pounds beets
1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons butter
Trim the beets and grate them in a food processor or by hand. I think this recipe would be a great one for yellow beets as well. (I love yellow beets but as gorgeous as they are when fresh, yellow beets do not make a very attractive pickle.)
Begin preheating a medium to large non-stick skillet over medium heat. I used my cast iron pan but I had a little difficulty getting it out intact so maybe non stick is better if you use one.
Toss the grated beets in a bowl with the rosemary and salt, then add about half the flour; toss well, add the rest of the flour, then toss again.
Place the butter in the skillet and heat until it begins to turn brown. Scrape the beet mixture into the skillet, shape it into a nice circle, and press it down with a spatula. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the bottom of the beet cake is nicely crisp, 6 to 8 minutes.
Slide the cake out onto a plate, top with another plate, invert the two plates, and slide the cake back into the pan. Continue to cook, until the second side is browned. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.
It was amazingly delicious! Crispy outside just like potato roesti, it had a nutty, slightly sweet taste that worked very well with the rosemary. I served it with a dollup of sour cream on top and we had it for breakfast along with potato pancakes and poached eggs. I also tried a bit with some horseradish mayo and that was even more spectacular!
I think I'm going to like this challenge. If you think you might as well, it's not too late to sign up! You have until this Friday, January 21 to register.