Hasselback Potatoes: They are worth the hassle

Herb and cheesy hasselback potatoes.

I can’t think of a better way to prepare a potato than Hasselback-style. You may have seen Hasselback potatoes, with their distinctive accordion pattern. Thinly sliced but still intact, the flesh is exposed while creating a cascade of ridges and edges ready to crisp. As the potato cooks, a flavorful basting sauce dribbles into the potato, flavoring the interior while hastening the browning of the skin. Apparently, you can have your baked potato and your crisps and eat them as one.

Russet potatoes and large Yukon Gold potatoes are fair game for Hasselback-style. The key to the prep is to first thinly slice a piece of each potato base lengthwise to stabilize them, so they won’t wobble or tilt while baking. Then cut thin slices crosswise, 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick, nearly to the bottom without cutting through the base. A trick to doing this is to lay two chopsticks or two thin cutting boards lengthwise on either side of the potato to act as buffers for the knife as it cuts through the potato, and prevent it from reaching the work surface.

Then, brush the potato all over and in the crevices with a melted butter basting sauce, and continue to baste the potato once or twice while it bakes. About halfway through the baking process, you can gently fan the slices to spread the potato farther open to expose the interior. If some of the slices break off, no worries! They will be delicious chips on the side.

Herb and Cheesy

Hasselback Potatoes

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

4 large russet or Yukon Gold potatoes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for finishing

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for finishing

1/4 cup finely grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, mint and/or chives

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut a very thin slice lengthwise from the bottom of each potato to stabilize the bottom. Cut each potato crosswise, as thinly as possible, 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick, to about 1/4-inch from the bottom, without piercing the base. Place in a baking pan or cast iron pan.

Melt the butter with the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the garlic, salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Brush the potatoes all over and in the crevices with some of the butter mixture.

Transfer to the oven and bake until the potatoes are tender and beginning to crisp, 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the potatoes, basting once or twice with the butter. In the last 10 minutes or so of cooking, sprinkle with the cheese and continue to bake until the cheese is melted.

Remove from the oven and immediately brush all over with the remaining butter. Season with additional salt and black pepper and sprinkle with the herbs.

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