• 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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.