Victor Protasio
Active Time
25 MIN
Total Time
50 MIN
Serves : 4

For Daniel Humm, chef-owner of New York City’s Eleven Madison Park (EMP), comfort means the flavors of his Swiss childhood in the Alps: soft pretzels with mustard, veal schnitzel, spaetzle. I was lucky enough to taste his elevated takes on these dishes (and more) at EMP’s sister restaurant The NoMad last winter in the form of an elaborate smorgasbord he called Sunday Fondue Nights. In true Humm style, each plate was more decadent than the last, every detail fully considered then playfully crafted. I left the meal blanketed in a cozy haze.

This winter, Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara will decamp to Aspen, Colorado—the summertime home of the mkgallery Classic—to create a cold-weather pop-up. Situated in the restaurant of The St. Regis Aspen Resort and across 10 coveted yurts in the interior courtyard, EMP Winter House will allow Humm even more room to play with the après-ski dishes so close to his heart.

Grab a table while you can, or do as I will: While chef Humm and his team are spreading good cheer in the Rockies, I plan to hunker down in my Brooklyn kitchen and re-create my new favorite comfort food: Humm’s simple, golden potato rösti, blanketed in crème fraîche and layered with pastrami and whole-grain mustard. It doesn’t get cozier than that.

EMP Winter House (in partnership with American Express) runs from December 15 to mid-March; reservations open November 15;

How to Make It

Step 1    

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place potatoes in a large bowl, and rinse under cold water, agitating with your hands until water runs clear. Working in batches, pat potatoes dry with a clean kitchen towel. Place potatoes in a colander, and toss with salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Working in batches, pat dry again with a clean kitchen towel until potatoes no longer glisten with water.

Step 2    

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a medium stainless steel or cast-iron skillet over high until it begins to smoke. Reduce heat to low; pour out oil, and wipe out skillet with a paper towel. (This process will help keep the potatoes from sticking.) Increase heat to medium, and add 1/4 cup oil.

Step 3    

When oil is very hot and begins to shimmer, quickly pull skillet off heat, and carefully add potatoes in an even layer. Return skillet to heat over medium. Using a metal or heat-resistant spatula, loosen potatoes from sides of pan, and press down in center to form a cake.

Step 4    

Pour remaining 1/4 cup oil around and down sides of potato cake. Cook until bottom is slightly crisp and lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes, giving skillet a quarter turn every 2 minutes to ensure even browning.

Step 5    

Slide rösti onto a large plate. Place a second large plate on top, and invert. Slide rösti back into skillet. Cook until bottom is slightly crisp and browned, 7 to 8 minutes, giving skillet a quarter turn every 2 minutes. Slide rösti onto a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until crispy and browned and excess oil has pooled in baking sheet, 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 6    

Remove from oven, and let cool until slightly firm, about 5 minutes. Using a spatula, gently slide rösti onto a large plate. Top with crème fraîche, pastrami, chives, dill, mustard, and pickle slices.

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