One Good Recipe: Fussing over a Hasselback Potato is well worth it

When a recipe becomes a viral hit on the Internet, well, I just have to make it to see what all the fuss is about. Hasselback Potatoes are worth the fuss.

Even though they are simply baked Idaho potatoes, the cosmetic slicing combined with the savory seasoning makes a knockout and delicious presentation of a homespun spud.

The trick is to cut almost, but not quite through the potatoes, so the potato remains intact. For best results, use two wooden chopsticks or ¼-inch dowel sticks lined up train-track fashion with the potato snug between them before slicing.

The Hasselback Potato is named for the hotel in Stockholm where the slicing treatment was invented in the 1950s. The original recipe wrapped the spud in bacon. This version gets its smoky flavor and reddish-brown color from smoked paprika. Most supermarkets carry it.

Overachievers can experiment with wannabe versions: Idahoes with a dusting of parmesan cheese; sweet potatoes topped with yogurt; or cored apples brushed with butter and cinnamon sugar and topped with streusel.

Hasselback Potatoes

PG tested

4 to 8 Idaho or other large russet potatoes of similar size

About 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 to 4 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and left whole

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

Kosher or other coarse salt

Place whole unpeeled potatoes in a pot. Cover with cold water by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, cook the potatoes for 10 minutes, no longer. Drain, cover with cold water and let cool to room temperature. (This can be done up to one day ahead. Do not refrigerate.)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine oil, garlic and paprika in a cup or small bowl. Get out a pastry brush.

Place a potato on a cutting board in between two chopsticks or dowel sticks. (This will prevent the knife blade from going too far down.) Use a sharp knife to make 1/8- to 1/4-inch slices in the potato crosswise, without cutting through the bottom so the potato remains intact. Repeat with remaining potatoes.

Place potatoes on a piece of foil and brush generously with the flavored oil. Use your fingers to separate slices and let the oil drip down. Sprinkle with salt, making sure that it gets between the slices.

Place on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and brush again with oil. Use oven mitts to gently squeeze potato and open up the slices. Sprinkle again with salt. Bake 10 to 12 minutes more, until potatoes are cooked through. Serve whole or half potatoes.

—  New York Times

Marlene Parrish: or 412-481-1620.


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