I am recently very influenced with the Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat.It’s not a recipe book but a cooking book.This book teaches you the tricks of trade which are very rarely found in the modern-day recipe books.This book teaches you about real cooking, the art and science behind everything it.Reading this book I have realised that I want to help people cook and not just share a recipe and that’s the reason you might find my latest blog posts a tad bit more verbose than the ones before.
I want to give as much detail as possible to help you make the magic in kitchen which I find comes not only from following the recipe, but also knowing smaller things like why something cooks the way it does.
Let’s talk about potatoes today.I love them! They have been bad mouthed all my life..for being fattening..Like bananas.They are probably the first “indulgence” people do away with when on a diet but today I want to demystify that.First,Potatoes contain a lot more nutrient that you think.
Look at the label below.What do you see?A medium potato is only 110 calories and has Zero fat,3 g protein and tonnes of iron,potassium,vitamin C and B6.So why shy away from it?
In turn you should embrace it because it makes you feel fuller.
There are a lot of tubers but potato is by far the most beloved,atleast mine.I can’t say where it originally came from but its one vegetable that’s revered with same fervour across continents and civilisations.I don’t know anyone who loves yam or radish or carrot more than potatoes.I can probably live my life on them.Apparently so can astronauts living in space.
Which is your favourite potato dish?Mine is this spicy potato curry ,made in the northern part of india using spices,potatoes and tomatoes,usually eaten with deep fried pooris.
My Second favourite is French Fries,but I hate frying anything.That’s one medium of cooking I totally shy away from.I like baking my fries but then baked hasselback potatoes are even better than baking the fries.
This dish is a confluence of all things indulgent.It has potatoes, cheese and butter.There is a little chance of it not being awesome.Obviously!
The cutting of the potato can be tricky but after a lot of research the Tasty people have declared using two chopsticks to anchor the potato and slicing with a sharp knife the best way to make clean, even cuts on the potato.
Type of Potato to make Hasselback Potatoes
In India,its not very common to find varieties of potato, so my suggestion is just to find big clean potatoes which don’t have any bruises or growth on them.
If you are abroad and can find them, then try using russet potatoes.
Taste and Texture of Hasselback Potatoes
Baking the potatoes with their skin, at a high temperature makes sure that they are ,If done right ,crisp on the edges and melty buttery inside.When the knife is inserted in the potato, it should slide through like it would in room temperature butter.
Top the potatoes with some melty cheese such as gruyere or Gauda and broil for 5 minutes before serving for an extra indulgent affair.
Tips to make the best Hasselback Potatoes
This dish can end up flat if not seasoned properly.The potato doesn’t have a taste of its own and hence if it’s not salted appropritately it can end up being very bland.
My suggestion is to sprinkle some salt from a height on the potato so that the salt goes inside the grooves.Keep in mind that you are using three sources of salt in this dish-table salt, butter and parmesan.Parmesan and butter can have varying amounts of salt depending on the region they are from and if the salt from them is not accounted from the dish can be over salted.
Cutting the potato Hasselback
The cutting of the potato can be tricky but after a lot of research the Tasty people have declared using two chopsticks to anchor the potato and slicing with a sharp knife the best way to make clean, even cuts of potato.
Variations of Hasselback Potato
This is more of a technique than a recipe and hasselback will work on any root vegetable-Sweet potato and Butternut pumpkin are my second favourites after potato.
I have also seen videos of people cutting a chicken breast thus and deep frying it.I have not tried it yet though.
Coming to this recipe-I have used parmesan cheese here-You can omit it completely for a healthier version or add some gouda or cheddar in the last 5 minutes instead for the dramatic melty cheese effect.
Also try the same recipe with some peri peri or indian garam masala.
Healthy, Dairy Free and Vegan Version
For a diary free version brush the sliced potato with olive oil instead.Leave out the cheese and experiment with vegan pesto or sprinkle some chat masala on top.
Before you dive into the recipe, I want to have a quick word about the cast iron skillet I am using.A cast iron skillet is a life time investment as opposed to the teflon coated non stick pans.With adequate love and care it can last your and your kids lifetime.But the real reason to use this is to avoid the harmful plastic coating entering your food.
Have no doubt that teflon coated pans are toxic as are those plastic boxes to store food.I am slowly but steadily moving away from all things plastic.
The pan I use is Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet.It’s pre seasoned and can be used on stove top, induction stove and in the oven.I have been using this for the past 1 year and I couldn’t be happier with my choice.
Serves: 5 Servings
- 5 Large Potato
- ½ Cup grated Parmesan
- ¼ Cup Bread Crumbs
- 3 tbsp Butter-Melted
- 1 tsp Mixed Dried Herbs
- 1 tsp Minced Garlic or Garlic Powder
- Salt To taste
- Cut the Potatoes using a sharp knife as shown in the picture.Sprinkle a pinch salt from the top on each potato.
- Mix the herbs, garlic,parmesana and bread crumbs.Keep in a bowl.
- Brush the potatoes generously with butter.Make sure some butter goes inside too.
- Dip the buttered potato in the parm-bread crumbs mix.
- Bake at 220 C or 430 F for 30-40 min till the tops are golden and a knife slides through the potato.