Figured it wasn’t fair to post a few rave reviews of dinner at the Smartt house and not nights like tonight. We all have them. (don’t we???)
Tonight was a dinner flop. I’m not sure I can ever eat potatoes again with an open mind. Honestly eating in general has slid down a couple notches on the todem pole. What possessed me to make these sauted blobs? I was suggested the idea of “rosti” from a friend. She will remain unnamed on this post so that she is free from any association with the poor excuse of a meal I concocted. Plus, she only gave me the briefest of descriptions for the meal.
I remember hearing “hash browns,” “fried” and I guess I pictured something along the lines of a Waffle House potato dish – you know, smashed/diced, hashed overeasy smushed fried style? something like that? With a dollup of sour cream and splash of hot sauce?
I think I also heard “food processor,” come to think of it. Maybe “vegetables.” So here is what I came up with. My apologies to anyone who has ever enjoyed/ever wants to enjoy rosti. Probably don’t read the rest. And also to my friend, who for the record is an excellent cook. Even her coffee is way better than mine. Anyway, here is what I did.
- Peel lots of potatoes. Not a favorite job, but I kept picturing that crispy giant hash brown with a touch of my Polish Uncle Joe’s bellini/giant potato pancake, so I pressed on.
- Cut the potatoes and stick them in a food processor.
- Blend them up. Realize that the bottom is pasty mush, and the top is still giant chunks of raw potato. Begin to wonder if you have the right idea of “rosti.”
- Keep mushing the potatoes together until you have a uniform bowl of raw potato-ness.
- Pour it into a bowl and be disgusted by how much potato juice is swirming around. Is potato juice even a thing? Blot some with a paper towel. Then dump the mush into a strainer to get rid of the rest of the juice. Be pretty sure this is not how you make rosti, but cling to the idea of a giant hashbrown and continue.
- Hoping that some vegetables will consolidate the dish, chop up some pepper, onion, zuccini, and eggplant. Eggplant? You don’t even like eggplant. Oh well.
- Now, smush into patties, and fry. Then put them on a baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes, because you’re not quite sure there aren’t still huge chunks of raw potato packed in there.
- Enjoy? or something. Put a slice of deli ham on the kids’ plates as a sort of truce.
The first bite wasn’t quite that bad. It was mostly mashed potato, and did indeed have some sort of distant relation to the polish bellinis of my Uncle Joe. But then came the eggplant. And the, yes, chunks of still-raw potato, which I mostly managed to pre-emptively fish out of our patties.
Sam ate two bites and said, “Mommy, I can’t eat this.”
“Because it’s not good.”
I couldn’t argue. I was starving, and prideful, so I ate more than I want to think about right now. My stomach is still a little queasy, but it stayed down. Ketchup sort of helped.
When Todd came home, he bent down eye-level with the cold pan of glops.
“What is this??”
“It’s…gross. I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Is that mashed potato stuffing? What’s in it?”
“Nothing. No. It’s gross.”
“What meat is in it?”
“There isn’t any.”
(Jumping back like it’s pureed rat) “Ugh!! Throw it out.”
So, this is what Todd had for dinner.
Honestly, I was kind of jealous.
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