Hasselback Potatoes

I spent this cool, windy March day with the windows open because the fire alarm was blaring. I guess this is what happens when you try out a few recipes and aren’t a seasoned chef. I had intended to share 4 different ways to make Hasselback Potatoes, but we are now down to three. I will explain in a bit….

First of all, what is a hasselback potato anyway? My girlfriend calls them Hasselhoff Potatoes. HAHAHA After a little digging, I found out that this type of potato comes from the Swedes – the name is from the Hasselbacken Hotel Restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden. It’s a different version of a baked potato with thin slices that get crispy on the edges when baked and yet the insides remain creamy soft. The are visually stunning and make a great addition to any holiday meal.

My family of 5 all like to eat baked potatoes, so some nights we have just that for dinner. These are usually the nights when I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen doing lots of prep. Luckily, everyone loves it and it’s a great chance to throw some leftovers like chicken and broccoli on top for a fuller meal.

Hasselback potatoes have been around for awhile, but just recently started showing up more often in the media. But whats the allure? Why have a Hasselback potato when you can just have a baked potato? The differences are subtle, but Hasselbacks are definitely more of a spectacle. And hey – we all want to try something new and different every once in awhile, so here we go.

I wrote down a few recipes I saw online and set my oven to 425 degrees.

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Here is where my culinary adventure begins. First give them a good scrubbing and gather up your supplies while the oven warms up. Does anyone know how to make these cute little scrubbies? I just adore them and I am sure they are not too hard to make. Let me know if you know!

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Cutting the potatoes is very simple. One tip I learned was to first slice a piece off the bottom so that the potato sits flat. Once you have it steadied, place chopsticks on either side of the potato to stop your knife blade from going all the way through the potato. I used the handles of wooden spoons and I honestly think they were too thick – so go with the chopsticks. Don’t pick anything you adore because they will get scratched by the knife. Cut thin slices across the potato.

Give the potato a cool water bath – it’s a great way to remove a bit of the starchiness that keeps the slices sticking together. Now, here is the cool part – take that bottom slice and place it cut side down on the sheet pan and put your hasselback potato on top of it. This will help to fan out the potato slices so they can cook evenly. Pretty neat, huh?

Once placed, you can dress em up – I intended to do 4 types. Garlic & Paprika, Rosemary & Sea Salt, Plain and the motherload – Cheesy Bacon Hasselback Potato. The first three were fairly simple – rubbed with olive oil or melted butter and sprinkled with seasoning. The Cheesy Bacon recipe was quite troublesome. It differed from the others in that it required some microwave cooking before oven baking. But, I followed the directions like a good amateur foodie. I sliced the potato – put it on a plate and in the microwave for 12 minutes. Everything seemed normal until I opened the microwave. A plume of smoke came pouring out and was not stopping — the plate went into the sink and I turned on the faucet to stop the smoke – the plate cracked loudly and I started to laugh. Cue the smoke detectors and the open windows. And now that I am sitting here typing this, I realize I need to wash my sweatshirt too…..

And then there were 3.

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PINTEREST FAIL!

I went with my gut and simply cooked the remaining 3 potatoes for an hour just like the other recipes called for. After 30 minutes, I basted them with some melted butter making sure to get in between the slices. Once they were all done baking, I added cheddar cheese slices and cooked bacon to the plain potato and put it back into the oven for a few minutes.

Besides my odd experience with the microwave (just one more reason to stop using that thing!) baking hasselback potatoes is very easy and very rewarding. They all tasted delicious (yes, I tried each of them – don’t judge me) but I do not think I would put fresh garlic on them again as it burned quite a bit. One of the best parts about this recipe is that you can each make the kind that you want for potato dinner night.

Everyone is happy!

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