Hasselback potatoes are one of those recipes that take some patience and effort to make but are totally worth it in the end. It's essentially a fancy baked potato that comes with a crispy edge and creamy inside. You can serve it as the main dish, side dish, or even canapes. Hasselback potatoes have a characteristic presentation that will wow your guest, both with their look and taste.
Hasselback potatoes require a unique cutting technique that demands tremendous control over the knife. It's expected to have difficulties or failures where you cut the potato all the way down when making Hasselback potatoes for the first time. Don't look further if you have frustrations nailing the ideal cuts. This article will guide on how to cut Hasselback potatoes perfectly.
Here is a step-by-step explanation of cutting and making Hasselback potatoes.
Before making a single cut, you need to clean the potatoes thoroughly to remove dirt. Run the potatoes under cold water and rub the surface of each potato. If they're particularly dirty, you can use a scrub brush. Just make sure to go in circular motions and use the brush itself rather than force to avoid tearing the peel. You want to scrub the potatoes clean, not peel them.
Note that a fist-sized potato is a recommendation per person though you can use larger or smaller ones. The type of potato doesn't matter as much as the size, but Yukon Golds are favorable due to the creamy texture, making them perfect for baking.
All you need is a chef's knife and a cutting board to cut Hasselback potatoes. You can also use a paring knife with a suitable blade size to make the right cuts.
Due to the nature of the task, you might find it demanding to stop at the right spot. If your slices don't end evenly, it can result in the potato breaking. If you accidentally slice it completely, which is the concern for people who try it for the first time, the same happens. Utilize the trick below to make sure this doesn't happen to you.
Step-by-step instructions on cutting Hasselback potatoes
The trick to cutting Hasselback potatoes is to place something on both sides to make your knife stop cutting. This can be a chopstick or wooden spoon. Anything that will allow you to see how far to cut without damaging the edge of your knife
If you're planning on cutting plenty of potatoes, you can use a slicing rack or a dedicated kitchen tool for this purpose. Here is the step-by-step guide after cleaning the potato thoroughly:
Step 1. Lay the potato flat on your cutting board. Then place two chopsticks or wooden spoons on each side of the potato.
Step 2. Start slicing the potato into even, thin slices without going all the way down to the bottom. Leave about 1/4 to 1/3 inch of the potato untouched in a straight line.
Cutting Hasselback potatoes is as simple as that - at least on paper. When you get to cutting Hasselback potatoes, it's completely normal to mess up as it's something that is unique to it. It's not like you'd see this cutting method in plenty of other recipes. If you feel overwhelmed or want some assistance, you can use household objects to guide your slices.
How to make Hasselback potatoes
Now that you know how to cut Hasselback potatoes, the only thing left to do is cook them. Here is how to bake Hasselback potatoes.
What you'll need:
- 5 fist-sized Yukon Gold potatoes
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 medium-sized garlic cloves
- Fresh thyme and herbs
- Filter (strainer)
- Basting brush
- Parchment paper
Preparing the Hasselback potato
Step 1: Cut the potatoes according to the instructions above.
Step 2: Set aside the potatoes. Add butter, olive oil, fresh thyme, and four smashed garlic cloves in a medium-sized pot and bring it to low heat.
Step 3: Melt the butter and cook everything on low heat for four to five minutes. Transfer the melted butter to a bowl using a filter.
Step 4: Line up the parchment paper on the baking tray and brush the potatoes with the butter. Make sure to go in between the slices. You can use your fingers to open them up and distribute the butter evenly. Only use half of the butter as you'll need it for later.
Step 5: Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper. You can be generous with salt and pepper but don't add any herbs yet as they'll end up burnt, losing all of their flavors.
Step 6: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the potatoes for 30 minutes. You can reduce the initial cooking time depending on the size of the potatoes. The larger the potato, the more it will take to cook, and vice versa.
Step 7: Take the potatoes from the oven and sprinkle them with the herbs of your choice.
Step 8: Brush the potatoes with the rest of the butter and sprinkle them with even more herbs.
Step 9: Bake the potatoes for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until the edges are crisp. Once cooked, you can serve Hasselback potatoes with fresh parsley on top and dipping bread on the side to mop up the butter.
Where does the Hasselback potato get its name?
A cooking student named Leif Elisson invented the Hasselback potatoes while attending the Hasselbacken restaurant's school in Stockholm, Sweden. She came up with the Hasselback potatoes in 1953, and it quickly became an internationally recognized way to bake potatoes.
What else can I use the Hasselback cutting technique?
This cutting technique isn't limited to potatoes. There are other suitable vegetables and fruits that you can Hasselback and cook in various ways. You can use avocado, eggplant, pumpkin, eggs, or any other edible that you can think of and experiment with - the possibilities are endless.
Can I add cheese to Hasselback potatoes?
There isn't a strict rule for Hasselback potatoes or any other dish for that matter. You can get creative with it and add any topping you want, whether cheese, olives, or bacon. Mind the cooking time and add whatever you're going to add to the potatoes accordingly.
Hasselback potatoes indeed take time and effort, but it's a special way to turn bland baked potatoes into very fancy ones. Plus, you can serve them in any way you see fit for the event. It's a perfect side dish to have with steaks and chicken at family gatherings. We highly recommend giving it a try despite the difficulties you might face.
For more cutting tips and knife handling guides, read more on our blog.