Put the Hassle Back into Potatoes

The impressive Hasselback Yukon Gold Potato is by far the most imaginative spud to have the honor of calling itself a side dish. Yes indeed, a true potato dream all in one with the crispy edges of your favorite french fries, but with interiors as creamy as mashed potatoes — plus the added bonus of being, essentially, wholesome baked potatoes in clever disguise.

And to top it all off, despite their frilly fancy-pants appearance, they take just a bit more time and effort than your average baked potato, but nowhere near that of a gratin. As the potatoes cook, the slices fan out slightly for a show-stopping presentation. They are as beautiful as they are wonderful to eat.

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This particular style of potato, also known as Accordion Potatoes or Pillbug Potatoes was popularized as the namesake dish of the restaurant at the Hasselbacken Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden in the 1700s. But whatever you call them, the result is the same: a single potato, sliced into thin wafers, left joined at the bottom, and baked until the layers fan out into heavenly slits of crispy euphoria. (I hear the angels singing!)

They are fabulous with just a sprinkling of sea salt and a dash of chives. However, if you want to amp it up a notch or three, fill the crevices with some sour cream, crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, chopped herbs and/or spices like paprika. In fact, I can see any number of favorite baked potato toppings making their way into this dish… let me know which ones you add…

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Hasselback Yukon Gold Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 12 medium (about 3-inches in length) Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 bay leaves per potato
  • Fresh chopped rosemary, thyme or chives

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Put the spud between two wooden skewers or spatulas to stop you from cutting all the way through.

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After drizzling the oil and seasoning with salt an pepper, insert 3 bay leaves per potato.

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Every 15 or 20 minutes, baste each potato with the melted butter and herbs of choice.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sided baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut each potato crosswise into 1/8-inch slices, cutting only three-fourths of the way through the potatoes so they stay intact. It helps if you set the potato between two thick wooden skewers about 3 inches apart and parallel to each other. The skewers stop your knife from slicing all the way through.
  3. Place the potatoes, sliced side up, on the prepared baking sheet and fan the slices slightly so they are not completely touching. Drizzle with the oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Insert 3 bay leaves into various slots in each potato.
  4. Transfer to the oven and roast. Meanwhile, mix together the melted butter with herbs of choice (we used fresh thyme). After potatoes roast 15 minutes, baste with the melted butter.
  5. Continue roasting and basting occasionally with the melted butter, until the potatoes are browned on the outside and tender in the center, about 1 1/4 hours, depending on the size of the potatoes. (It took us the full 1 1/4 hours to obtain the crispy outer edges.)
  6. Garnish the potatoes with additional herbs, if desired, before serving.

NOTE: Since I was only making this for the two of us, I baked just three potatoes and cut back on the other ingredients.

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