- ¼cup crème fraîche (see below)
- juice of ¼ fresh lemon
- 1 heaping teaspoon chopped fresh chives, or 3 turns freshly ground white pepper
- 2 medium russet potatoes
- ½ cup peanut oil
- 4 ounces caviar (or more or less to taste or to fit your budget)
- Mix together the crème fraîche, lemon juice and chives or pepper in a small bowl. Let rest for 1-2 hours at room temperature to allow crème fraîche to thicken.
- Scrub the potatoes – they needn’t be peeled – and grate them on the coarsest side of your cheese grater. Form the shredded potatoes into 4 patties – loosely, don’t press them – about ½ inch thick, the size of a homemade hamburger. Prepare right away, as shredded potatoes will blacken.
- Heat 1/8-inch peanut oil in a sauté pan over moderate heat so that a test shred of potato sizzles. Using a spatula, carefully place the 4 patties in the hot oil and fry them – never using more than a moderate flame – until they are golden brown on both sides. It should take 2 to 2½ minutes per side. Remove the patties and blot any excess oil on a paper towel.
- Top each potato patty with the crème fraîche, top with caviar and serve immediately.
Making Crème Fraîche
Stir together 1 part fresh buttermilk and 4 parts heavy cream. Let it sit and cure for 8 hours at room temperature, then refrigerate overnight to allow it to thicken. The crème fraîche will keep for 10 days to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.