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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hasselback Potatoes: Make Potatoes Pretty!

I was thinking about a tasty new potato dish to try and I had Mario's of Detroit stuck in my head. I remember a sliced-up buttery delicious potato with a crisp bottom (though looking back at my post and the pictures, maybe this was in a dream?), so I tried doing a search for such a thing. I'm not sure if it's the same, but nonetheless, I came across recipes for Hasselback Potatoes. It just had a nice ring to it and I decided to take what I learned from 3 or 4 recipes and try it out for myself.

I think these potatoes are very tasty, zippy, and very attractive - so they'd be a nice match-up with a steak for a fancy dinner, or for entertaining.

Hasselback Potatoes
(without the breadcrumbs and cheese.. so if those are required, then call these "pretty fan potatoes")

8 potatoes (can use russet or I used golds that you didn't have to peel)
4 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp onion soup powder / boullion
4 tbsp of chicken stock
2 tsp paprika
3 cloves of garlic

If you use russets, peel the potatoes. You may want to keep the potatoes in a bowl of cold water to keep them from browning, as you're slicing the other potatoes. Since I used the golds that didn't need peeling, I skipped this step!

Working with 1 potato at a time, cut a thin slice on the "bottom" of it so it will rest flat on your cutting board. This is the most time consuming part, but what makes them so pretty: Cut potato crosswise into 1/8th inch or-so cuts, making sure not to cut all the way through. I used the chopstick method but you can also use spoons - lay one chopstick on each side of the potato, and as you cut, your knife will stop at the height of the chopstick. You just have to be extra careful at the ends of the potato which angle up from the counter. I thought of taking a picture of this process, but was too lazy, to tell you the truth.

Grease the inside of a baking pan with butter, and then melt 2 tablespoons of butter and brush on to each potato, on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste (I was VERY generous with my pepper grinder), and sprinkle with the onion boullion/soup base, and paprika. Splash the chicken stock into the bottom of the pan.

Cover tightly with foil and bake until just tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until browned to your liking.

Take another two tablespoons of butter and melt in the microwave and stir in 3 pressed garlic cloves. Spoon this garlic butter over your finished potatoes right when they come out of the oven which will lightly cook the garlic with their heat. This make for a zingy strong garlic flavor, which was delicious. If you have some juice in the bottom of your pan, spoon over the potatoes before serving. These potatoes were good reheated the next day and would've been excellent with eggs in the morning!

Hasselbacks must be in the air.. check out Orangette's recent post on her frilly potatoes! It's almost like showing up to a dance with the same dress!

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