Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On Hasselback Potatoes

Everybody needs another recipe for potatoes. Let's face it, pedestrian as they may seem, potatoes are inexpensive, healthy, potassium-laden, and most people enjoy and expect them with certain meals. Slicing them almost all the way through and baking with butter and salt offers a much more glamorous presentation of the humble baked potato.

(Click here for printable recipe.)

4-6 russet potatoes
3 tablespoons melted butter
salt and pepper

1. Place scrubbed potatoes in between two dowels/knife handles on a cutting board. Slice across the potato the short way 1/4 inch apart. The point of the dowels or knife handles ensures that you slice through the potato down to the dowels, not through the bottom of the potato. The handles or dowels just help give you perfect spacing.

2. Place potatoes on a baking sheet, paint with melted butter, salt and pepper, dash of cayenne or red pepper flakes if you're so inclined. Remember, this is just a potato. It needs flavor!

3. Bake for 35-40 minutes until slices spread open and it really starts looking like a baked potato. Re-baste as you like. Foods need oil to help brown. Lay a few sprigs of fresh thyme (nearly free if you grow it yourself) over the top when you pull it from the oven and they will fragrance the whole spud.

Optional: Mix Parmesan cheese and seasoned bread crumbs together, mix in a little more melted butter and stir until combined. Add this topping at about 30 minutes into the cooking time and cook for another 20 minutes or so or until browned.

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