Saturday, November 22, 2014

Baked Hasselback Potatoes





In the 1940's, the famous Hasselbacken Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden introduced a new side dish called hasselbackspotatis. It was a new take on the baked potato. In their simplest form, they are just whole potatoes cut in such a way to resemble a fan or accordion when roasted. The outside of the potato becomes a wondrous, crispy brown while the insides remain creamy soft.




The trick to the prep is actually quite simple. You simply set a pair of wooden spoons or chopsticks  on either side of the potato when you cut it. This ensures that your cuts will not go all of the way through, leaving the potato intact. Some recipes call for slightly shaving the bottom before you make the "fan" cuts so that the potato will lay flat. I forego that step by selecting potatoes at the store that are stable on a flat surface.

There are a million ways to finish them off. You can crown them with a half a piece of bacon, like the photo up above. A dollop of sour cream with some chives will work, too. But my favorite finish is a simple blend of extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, rosemary, lemon zest and sea salt.


Ingredients
4 medium russet potatoes, washed
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
Sea salt


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450ยบ. Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil or parchment paper.
  2. Place a potato on a work surface with the cut side down. Place wooden spoons or chopsticks on either side of the potato to keep your knife from slicing through. With a sharp knife, cut thin vertical slices from the top until your knife is stopped by the spoons/chopsticks.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, rosemary, lemon zest and garlic. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet and brush them all over with the infused oil.
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove from the oven and brush all over with the olive oil mixture, separating the slices slightly with a knife to get some of the mixture between the slices.
  5. Put potatoes back in oven and bake for another 30 minutes. 
  6. Remove from oven. Sprinkle the potatoes with chopped rosemary and sea salt, then serve.

Wine pairing: Pinot Noir