The first trick to these Swiss grated potato pancakes not to overcook the potatoes when boiling them. The second trick is to boil them the day before, and leave them uncovered in the refrigerator to dry out. The third trick is to top them with sour cream and either the best caviar you can afford or a few smoked salmon shavings.
Cook the potatoes in simmering, salted water for about 10 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the potato meets with no resistance until it gets to the middle, which should still be firm. Drain and allow to cool. Peel off skins, and refrigerate, preferably overnight.
Grate the potatoes into long strips. Add the beaten egg, salt, and one teaspoon of the oil, and mix lightly.
Heat remaining oil in a heavy-based frypan. When hot but not smoking, add two tablespoons of grated potato mixture, and press softly with an egg slice. Fry on both sides until golden brown, and drain on paper towel. Repeat with remaining potato mixture.
Allow to cool for a few minutes, then top with sour cream and a spoonful of caviar.
PS. To be traditional about it, you would cook one big potato cake, using all the grated potato in the one pan. When the first side is golden brown, turn it out gently onto a flat plate and slide back into the pan to finish browning the other side. Cut into wedges to serve.
© 1998 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.