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Archive for May 23, 2014

TIP OF THE DAY: Hasselback Potatoes

The potato recipe that wins the award for “simple and elegant” is Hasselback potatoes. Simply by making a series of deep parallel cuts along the top of the potatoes, they open into this visually arresting fan. They are also called accordion potatoes or pillbug potatoes (because the segments resemble the shell of the pillbug—yuck!).

While they look fancy-frilly, they take little extra time over a standard baked potato: All you need are good potatoes and a sharp knife. Then, just slice, brush with butter and bake.

The cooked potatoes have the crispy edges of French fries, and the soft, creamy middle of mashed potatoes. The thinner the slices, the better the end result.

The recipe was created at the famous Hasselbacken (“Hazel Hill”) restaurant in Stockholm’s Hasselbacken Hotel, an elegant edifice that opened in 1748. They are a favorite dish in Sweden, enjoyed for breakfast, appetizers, lunch and dinner sides, and snacks. The skin of the potatoes is usually kept on.

   

hasselback-potatoes-thekitchn-apartmenttherapy-230

Hasselback potatoes. Photo courtesy The Kitchn | Apartment Therapy. See their step-by-step recipe preparation.

 
RECIPE: HASSELBACK POTATOES

Ingredients

  • Medium-size potatoes (a starchy or all-purpose potato; we use russets or Yukon Golds)
  • Butter, melted or softened (substitute olive oil)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional garnishes: bacon, blue cheese, breadcrumbs, dill, garlic, red or black salt, rosemary
  • Optional garnish: crème fraîche, sour cream, fresh herbs or microgreens
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    hasselback-potatoes-pan-thekitchn-apartmenttherapy-230

    Baking beauties. Photo courtesy The Kitchn |
    Apartment Therapy.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 450°F. If you decide to peel the potatoes, place them in a bowl of cold water to prevent discoloration.

    2. SLICE a bit off the bottom of each potato so that it can “sit” in the pan. Insert a thin skewer parallel, 75% of the way to the bottom of the sitting potato. This prevents the knife going all the way to the bottom, so all the slices remain connected, and enables you to make very thin vertical cuts. This requires careful knife work but is not difficult.

    3. PLACE the potatoes in a baking dish and brush with butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    4. PLACE in the oven and bake 30-40 minutes until done, brushing the potatoes with butter halfway through.
     
    Recipe adapted from GroupRecipes.com.

     
    Variations

  • Crispier: For the crispiest exterior, toss the sliced, raw potatoes in hot fat (butter, butter and olive oil, or lard, before they go into the oven.
  • Garlicky: Use garlic butter or place small slivers of garlic between the slices.
  • Herbed: Slip rosemary or dill springs between the slices.
  • More: Sprinkle blue cheese crumbles, breadcrumbs, chili flakes, crumbled cooked bacon, lemon zest, Parmesan or other choice over the potatoes during the last ten minutes of cooking.
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    Check out the different types of potatoes.

      

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