Food & Drink

Hasselback potatoes are worth a little hassle

Crispy and delicious, the Hasselback potato hails from Stockholm but demands your culinary attention.
Crispy and delicious, the Hasselback potato hails from Stockholm but demands your culinary attention. TNS

Being clued in to social media can be a blessing and a curse. The blessing: One learns about new and amazing crafts and recipes that one must try. The curse: One learns about new and amazing crafts and recipes that one must try. My “must do” list now stretches into next January, while my budget limps along back in July somewhere.

Luckily, one of the nifty items on my list was the Hasselback potato – that beautiful, fanned-out baked potato making constant appearances on my Facebook timeline. I run into a gorgeous photo of these delicious-looking spuds every few days, usually at my most ravenous moments.

Apparently a Swedish dish, the Hasselback is a thinly sliced, fanlike baked potato that – much like virtually any other type of baked potato – can be topped with any number of delicious items. This recipe does call for butter and Parmesan cheese, but it also requires no peeling and keeps all the nutrients that linger beneath the skin intact.

The sad sorry truth is, I’m not a huge potato maker. For years, low-carb diets have been the trend. But the high-starch, carbohydrate-laden potato is delicious. Before dieters permanently write off these beloved tubers, know that they have roughly 4 grams of protein and plenty of fiber.

“In addition,” says Prevention Magazine, “one medium baked potato (including the skin) provides 20 percent of your daily potassium, a known hyper-tension fighter.” Granted, I prefer my hypertension fighter drenched in butter, sour cream and bacon, but the potato can be consumed in other delectable, less-fatty ways.

Hasselback Potatoes

4 baking potatoes, scrubbed

4 tablespoons melted butter

4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs (or other dry breadcrumbs)

Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place a washed potato on your cutting board, and set a wooden spoon handle next to it, running along the length of the potato’s base. With a sharp knife, begin making thin (1/8 inch to 1/4 inch) slices across the potato’s width. As you cut down, use the spoon’s handle to act as your cutting guide so you don’t slice down all the way through the potato. Prepare all 4 potatoes in this way.

Place the cut potatoes in a baking dish. Spread 2 tablespoons of butter atop the prepared potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and bake for 40 minutes.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and top each with the panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and the remaining butter. Re-season with salt and pepper and bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer.

Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.

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