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Monday, March 12, 2012

Loaded Hasselback Potatoes


The story of the origin of Hasselback Potatoes goes that this was a specialty item at a restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden situated in what is called "Hasselbacken" (Hazel hill).  This is more of a technique than a recipe, in that you are essentially turning the potatoes into little accordions.  This means faster cooking time and increased surface area for all the goodies!  They turn out crispy on the edges, soft in the middle.  They are festive and appropriate for all types of palates... kid friendly to romantic meal for two.

Tonight, I'm making this for only two - my sweet husband and I have an evening with no kids, so we will be cooking together. - a little wine, a little music, and both of us working together around the chopping block!

Click here for Printable Recipe
Ingredients:  (for two)
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peelings left on
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 3 slices smoked bacon
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • kosher salt
  • cracked black pepper
Method:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and dry the skins of the potatoes.  We will NOT be peeling them.  Cut the bacon into 1" pieces. Cook them in a pan to render the bacon grease.  We will use this to flavor and crisp our potatoes.  Drain the crisp bacon on paper towels, but keep the grease!
Cut the potatoes into thin slices, but do NOT go all the way through.  If you put the potatoes on a curved spoon, etc., the curved edge will serve as a guide to keep your knife from going too deep.  You can always go back and cut the slices a little farther down if necessary.  Insert a thin slice of garlic in between the slices.  This will keep the slices slightly open and allow the air to circulate in between the slices... not to mention adding tons of flavor by roasting the garlic.  Put the potatoes into a baking pan.  Drizzle the warm bacon grease over the potatoes, then season with salt and pepper.

Bake the potatoes about 45 - 60 min, depending on how large the potatoes are.... until crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.  This takes a while, so put them on first.  - but they are worth it.  After removing the potatoes from the oven, I sprinkled them with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, chopped thyme leaves, and the crisped bacon that I crumbled. 

Step-by-step
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Wash and dry the skins of the potatoes.  We will NOT be peeling them.
Cut the bacon into lardons (1" pieces). Cook them in a pan to render the bacon grease.  We will use this to flavor and crisp our potatoes. 

 Drain the crisp bacon on paper towels, but keep the grease!
Cut the potatoes into thin slices, but do NOT go all the way through.  If you put the potatoes on a curved spoon, etc., the curved edge will serve as a guide to keep your knife from going too deep.  You can always go back and cut the slices a little farther down if necessary.







Insert a thin slice of garlic in between the slices.  This will keep the slices slightly open and allow the air to circulate in between the slices... not to mention adding tons of flavor by roasting the garlic.

 
Put the potatoes into a baking pan.  Drizzle the warm bacon grease over the potatoes, then season with salt and pepper.

Bake the potatoes about 45 - 60 min, depending on how large the potatoes are.... until crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.  This takes a while, so put them on first.  - but they are worth it.


The traditional Hasselback potatoes are seasoned with butter, olive oil, salt and pepper, and bread crumbs.  If you want traditional, you can go with that formula.  I wanted a little bit more excitement on our potatoes... and that is the cool thing about these.  They lend themselves to almost any topping under the sun.  You could very well add a big spoon of chili, some mexican seasonings, and cheddar if you wanted that flavor profile.  Play with them!


After removing the potatoes from the oven, I sprinkled them with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, chopped thyme leaves, and the crisped bacon that I crumbled.

You could easily prep these ahead of time up to the point of putting them in the oven.  Just wrap them individually in plastic wrap in the fridge.  When you are ready, unwrap them, throw them into a baking pan, and pop them in the oven.



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