Monday, October 24, 2011

Fancy Hasselback Potatoes

Elegant. Fancy. Downright classy.

No, I'm not describing the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

What's with all of these horrible Jersey shows anyway? I lived there for the first 18 years of my life and never met people who looked or acted like any of those broads! (For the record, I shamelessly DVR RHONJ each week.) Okay, and Jerseylicious too. Ahem.

By now you may have guessed that I was describing Hasselback Potatoes. These hot little numbers fulfill the potato's role as a reliable side dish, but also add a little panache to your plate. They're crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and full of flavor.

But don't thank me for this one. Thank the Swedes instead! Apparently this is an old Swedish recipe — their version of the baked potato. Leave it to the Swedes to gussy up a starch.

And they're a piece of cake to make!
Step 1: Cut a layer off of the bottom of each potato — just enough so they don't roll.

Step 2: Cut slits across the potatoes, going about 80% through the potato, taking care not to cut through the bottom. My slits were between 1/4" and 1/8" apart. Then carefully shove some garlic in! 

Step 3: Now we add the love. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes, give a generous sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper, top with a pad of butter, and toss those puppies in the oven. 

Step 4: An hour and a few basting sessions later, you've got something fabulous going on.

These potatoes smell amazing while they're cooking, since you're essentially roasting the garlic inside the potato. And the garlic gets sweet and delicious — though you may still offend someone if you intend to smooch post-dinner. Just a little warning.

Finally. The potato that will impress your friends. I see this being a great side dish for a dinner party or holiday meal perhaps.

Now go make some taters, mm'kay?

Fancy Hasselback Potatoes (makes as many potatoes as you want!)

Oval-shaped potatoes (I used Russet; Yukon would work but would have a less rustic flavor)
Garlic, thinly sliced (about 1 clove per potato)
Olive oil (about 1-2 tsp. per potato)
Butter (about 1/2 tbsp. pad per potato)
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Scrub your potatoes until clean, and let them air dry for a few minutes.

Cut a thin layer off of the bottom of the potatoes — just enough so they don't roll while baking. Then, using a sharp knife, cut slits across the potatoes, about 80% of the way through but keeping the bottoms in tact. Carefully insert thin slices of garlic between the sections of potato (I did one slice per slit — use more or less to your taste).

Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (be sure the baking sheet has sides to catch the juices). Drizzle the tops of the potatoes with olive oil and top with a generous sprinkle of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Then place a pad of butter on top of each potato.

Place the baking sheet into the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Baste the potatoes about every 15 minutes with the oil/butter in the pan.

Remove from the oven and serve. Feel free to garnish with any number of things: a homemade pesto, herb sour cream, chopped herbs (rosemary is a nice choice!), etc. Get creative!


  1. YUM! I just had something similar at a swanky hotel in LA and I'm TOTALLY going to try this! I had assumed the taters we ordered had been deep fried... but basted and baked? BRILLIANT! Thanks so much for the inspiration!


  2. I love how these look . . . I can only imagine how good they taste! :)

  3. Sounds delicious! I have a similar recipe called Accordion Potatoes rhat omits the garlic and calls for Parmesan sprinkled on top. Fun and pretty!

  4. It's fabulous to know that these potatoes would stand up to a swanky LA hotel! So easy too... :)

    Melissa, I should have known that you would have already had this one up your sleeve. So wise!

  5. I just made these last weekend- such a cool way to serve potatoes. :)

  6. ohh just butter. That ought do the trick :) YUM!

  7. Jesica - A little butter never hurt any recipe!! :)


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