No, I did NOT get this recipe from that annoying woman on The View – or that equally annoying guy from Baywatch reruns – Hasselback Potatoes are named for the Stockholm restaurant that first served them back in the 1700’s.
Also called Accordian Potatoes, I never thought to make them because of all the fuss I thought involved – boy was I wrong! These were a snap to put together, thanks to using small red potatoes that didn’t need peeling, and thanks to a cool trick I learned from Nigella Lawson (Domestic Goddess of the first rank, in my not-so-humble opinion) about slicing through the potatoes JUST enough without cutting through the little buggers. The secret? A simple, wooden spoon. Rest your potato comfortably in the bowl of the spoon and slice away – the rim of the spoon will keep you from turning your Hasselback into chips. Obviously, you have to be a bit careful at the ends – and if you have an especially lumpy potato you might want to do some pre-emptive sculpting – but this worked a treat for me, and in no time at all, I add more than enough little fans o’ spuds for a simple dinner for the two of us. If you’d like to use larger baking potatoes, you’ll want to use a larger spoon, and you won’t need to prepare as many – a nice thought if you’re planning for a crowd. One recipe I found mentioned keeping the peeled potatoes in water until you plan to fan and cook them, to prevent them turning brown; so if you’re planning on peeling, hold that thought as well.
The ingredient amounts I’m listing are for an admittedly small batch using red-skinned golden potatoes, which was more than enough for two to four people; adjust amounts as you will for your potato of choice and number of folk at the dinner table – based on the pic, you may think I went a bit crazy with the salt, but they came out perfectly seasoned.
Wash your potatoes (and peel them if you must – but then remember to stash ‘em in that bowl of water until you’re ready for them so they don’t discolor).
NOTE: Nigella used a pan that was safe for use on the stove top as well as the oven; I didn’t, but can see how that might have added a nice bit of sumpin’ sumpin’ to the finished dish, so I’m including that step:
Heat the butter and oil in your baking pan on top of the stove until sizzling and place the potatoes, cut side down in the butter and oil mixture (I melted my butter and mixed it with the oil in the baking pan by placing the pan over the vent burner while the oven was preheating; it worked, but there was no sizzling action).
Flip the potatoes over, spoon some of the butter and oil mixture over all and sprinkle well with sea salt.
Bake for forty minutes – by a happy coincidence, the same amount of time it took to cook the oven-fried chicken (hmmmm – I see I haven’t included that recipe yet – coming soon!) I was having as the main course.
Simple, no? And OH! So tasty.