If you aren’t familiar with the hasselback potato, you should really get to know it. It’s a marvel of nature. It’s something that’s crispy and tender in the same bite, while also bursting with flavor. I just got finished preparing this dish and all I have to say is “wow.” Boy, that was good.
The idea behind the hasselback potato is to have a potato with multiple textures cooked to perfection. Also, because of all the slices along the potato, there are an insane number of places to hide salts, peppers, herbs and spices. If you’ve ever dived into a baked potato, only to be disappointed because all the flavor disappeared way too fast, you’re in luck. Consider this your new baked potato. The flavor doesn’t disappear. It continues all the way through.
For this recipe, I used giant russet potatoes. I looked for the largest ones I could find in the market because I knew I was going to be slicing them many, many times. If pieces were the tasty parts of this dish, I wanted a lot of them. Times two. I bought two of these things.
The preparation and cooking of these potatoes took about an hour and ten minutes. I’d say I prepped for the ten minutes and then cooked for the hour. It was all oven work with a few interruptions by me. In general, it’s a hands off recipe. I’ll get into what I did below.
2 Large Russet Potatoes
Pure Olive Oil
Regular Table Salt
Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Tarragon
1 Teaspoon Seasoned Salt
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
Like I mentioned above, most of the work with this recipe comes with the prep. The rest of it is waiting for the oven to do it’s thing.
Preheat the Oven
Before I even began working with the potatoes, I turned the oven on to 425 degrees so it could preheat. I put the rack in the lower-middle position.
Wash & Slice the Potatoes
The very first thing I did with my potatoes was to wash and dry them. Of course, they appeared clean from the store, but since I was going to be eating their skins as well, I had no idea how many other shoppers had them in their hands. It’s always a good idea to wash fruit and veggies.
Next, I put the potatoes on a cutting board and then rested one of my bamboo wooden spoons right along side them, one at a time. With the wooden spoon acting as a blocker, I cut thin (about 1/2 inch) slices all the way down the potato, until my knife hit the wooden spoon. The idea is to make slices in the potato that almost reach the bottom. You want the bottom to be intact.
Oil, Salt & Pepper the Potatoes
For this recipe, I used pure, or refined, olive oil. You don’t want to use extra-virgin. If you did, with its low smoke point, you’d be in for a world of hurt once the potatoes heated up and began burning off that oil. Pure olive oil has a much higher smoke point than extra-virgin.
Since all my cuts were finished, I folded up two pieces of aluminum foil and placed them under the potatoes to act as a center lift. This way, when the potatoes began to heat up in the oven, they would naturally have a simpler time opening up. Please see the photo below. After that, I brushed each potato liberally with the olive oil. I made sure to cover every nook and cranny, including the bottoms. I also coated each potato with salt and pepper. If you know potatoes, you know that they love to suck up flavor, so be generous if you want to taste anything.
Bake the Potatoes
Once the oven was warmed up and ready to go, I placed the potatoes that were on my sweet cast iron pizza pan into the oven. I let them bake for 30 minutes.
While the potatoes were baking, I put together my flavoring. For this, I mixed the 2 cloves of minced garlic, the 1 tablespoon of dried tarragon, the 1 teaspoon of seasoned salt, about 1 teaspoon of regular salt and I’d say 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I mixed everything well in a small bowl and set aside to come together. I really wanted all that flavor to absorb into the oil.
Remove Potatoes & Oil
After 30 minutes was up, I pulled the potatoes out of the oven and brushed them once again with the oil. This time though, I made sure to get the oil inside each of the crevices. I wanted to coat every single surface of the potatoes.
As you can see from the photo above, each of the spaces is getting larger as the potato cooks in the oven.
After I was finished with this round of oil, I put the tray back in the over for another 30 minutes. I knew when the potatoes were done when I could easily slide a knife through one of the pieces.
Add Garlic, Herb & Oil Mixture
After about 30 minutes, I once again pulled the tray from the oven. This time though, I spread the garlic, herb, salt and oil mixture all over the potatoes, making sure to push as much as I could down into each crack. You can’t really see it from this photo, but everything that was in my bowl is inside the potatoes. To accomplish this, I used my brush and a butter knife. Also, I once again covered the potatoes with oil by brushing it on after the mixtures was set.
Bake For Final 10 Minutes
Since eating raw garlic is never fun, I returned the potatoes to the oven for a final 10 minutes. This was enough time to soften the garlic, but not overcook it. When that was over, I pulled the tray from the oven one last time.
Now, at this point, there was some garlic and herb infused olive oil puddled up on my pizza tray. Since I had it, I brushed it on the potatoes once more. This is optional. I did it because it was there.
The Final Product
This actually wasn’t in the plan, but since I had leftover Parmesan, I decided to grate some on top of the potatoes. It only added to the flavor.
These potatoes are really good. I would definitely make them again. I also saw a recipe floating around where you can put this type of potato into a casserole and smother it with all different types of cheeses. I may tackle that soon as well.
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