Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hasselback Baked Potatoes

                                                                     
                 
As I've mentioned before, I have a hubby whose a steak and potatoes kind of guy. It therefore goes without saying that I cook steak and potatoes a lot. Actually at least once a week. I had exhausted the different ways of cooking this meal. Not so much the beef part, but the accompanying potatoes. The potato part of the meal needed a serious makeover. The kind of makeover that would warrant a second take on the plate. You know-a paparazzi-worthy makeover. I looked through an old cook book that I hadn't touched in years and ran into this recipe. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you the Hasselback baked potato. 

                                                   
This is not your hum-drum potato. Go ahead-I'll wait as you take in her beauty. Her golden crusted top, ridged back and deep crevices make her something of an enigma. She would give any potato a serious complex. If she were a celebrity, she would be the Beyonce of potatoes. The Hasselback potato (also known as the accordion potatoes) was named after the Stockholm restaurant that first introduced them. If I told you that you could turn any potato in your kitchen into this beauty, you may find it hard to believe. But trust me, it can be done. Here's how.

SERVING SIZE: Feeds 4 sufficiently.

EQUIPMENT:
-Cutting board.
-Sharp knife.
-2 spatulas or 2 cooking spoons of the same size.
-Baking sheet or 9x13 baking pan.
-Vegetable peeler.
-Paper towel or clean kitchen cloth.
-Pastry brush for applying the seasoned oil.
-Small mixing bowl.

                                                

INGREDIENTS:
-1/4 cup olive oil.

-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

-1 teaspoon salt  and 1/4 teaspoon for sprinkling over potatoes (I use kosher salt).
-1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro (coriander leaves).
-1 teaspoon dry rosemary.
-1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper.
-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
-1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (I used black cumin seeds).
-zest of one lemon.
-1/2 teaspoon of basil.
-1/2 teaspoon of thyme.
-1/2 teaspoon herbs De Provence (optional).
-1/2 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning.

                                               

**PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 425 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT**

INSTRUCTIONS:
-In a small mixing bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of salt, chili powder, lemon zest and herbs. Mix well with a fork.

                                                     
-Using the peeler or a knife, peel the potatoes, wash and dry them with a paper towel or clean kitchen cloth.
-Flatten one end of the potato (that will prevent it from rolling around as you cut it.

                                                      
-On your cutting board, place your two spatulas or cooking spoons as shown below. 
-Place your peeled potato (flat side down) between the two spatulas/ spoons as shown below.
-Use your knife to cut thin slices (about 1/4 inch apart from each other) across the back of the potato (the part facing up), but do not cut all the way through. The spoons/spatulas that you've placed on either side of the potato should prevent the knife from cutting all the way through the potato.

                                                     
-Dip your pastry brush in the seasoned oil and apply it all over the surface of the potato (the bottom too). Squeeze the sides of the potato and that will widen the slices on the potato, enabling the seasoned oil to get into the crevices (you want the potato to be well seasoned, even in the crevices). Repeat this on all the potatoes.

                                                     
-Once you're done brushing the potatoes with the seasoned oil, sprinkle the 1/4 teaspoon of salt on the surfaces of all the potatoes.
-Place the potatoes in your baking sheet or baking pan leaving spaces between them to allow them to properly cook.
-Place in the middle rack of the oven for 45mins-1 hr. Check back occasionally to make sure that the potato is cooked all the way through.

Your potato should now be done. I served mine up with some beef curry and peanut creamed spinach. The combination was delectable! The presentation impressive. Now that's what we call a win-win situation :-)

                                                   



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