Side dishes don’t necessarily get a lot of love from people when it comes to the meal, especially during the week when you may be in a bit more of a rush to get a meal on the table for dinner. It’s really easy to just throw a few potatoes in the microwave or use some instant or quick rice and frozen vegetables to complete your meal. I very often use frozen vegetables myself because they are quick, easy and can very often taste just as good as fresh for certain things. When it comes to having some type of starch with a meal though, I want to go beyond the basic baked potato, instant rice or french fries. That is why making this dish can be the perfect compromise. Hasselback potatoes seem all the rage over the last year or so and you can find lots of different recipes and variations on them, but this one I found at Food52 seemed to be the right one for me.
Hasselback Potato Skillet Bake
6 to 8 baby Yukon Gold potatoes (any long and narrow waxy heirloom will work), based on the skillet size you use
8 tablespoons butter, melted
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons finely minced herbs (I used parsley and thyme.)
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Scrub the potatoes thoroughly and remove all the hard bits from the skin since the skins will be left on.
Slice one thin layer off each potato, along the length, then set it aside. This serves as a solid base to rest on while you slice the potatoes. Place a potato flat side-down and use a sharp knife to make slices that are about 1/8-inch apart; slice into the potato but not completely through it — the slices should stay connected at the bottom. (Tip: Place a chopstick on either side of the potato so that you hit the chopstick before slicing all the way through.) Carefully fan out the sliced pieces without breaking them apart. Repeat with each potato.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, garlic, and minced herbs. Set the mixture aside.
Using a pastry brush, brush the bottom and the sides of a cast iron skillet and each potato with the garlic-herb butter mixture. Brush the potatoes generously, making sure to get in-between each slice. Reserve 1/3 of the garlic-herb butter for basting. Nestle the potatoes into the skillet. Sprinkle the potatoes with Parmesan cheese, if using, and salt and pepper, to taste.
Bake for 1 hour — basting the potatoes every 15 minutes with the remaining garlic-herb butter — or until the potatoes are tender on the inside and crisp on the outside.
They are very easy to make whenever you might want them. It might take a little practice in cutting through the potatoes to make sure you don’t go all the way through so you can get that nice, fanned look from the potatoes and they cook well on the inside. You get a really great, crisp outside of the potatoes while still having the creamy potato center you like. I have found these can go well with any type of main dish – steak, pork chops, chicken, lamb – and you can pop them in the oven alongside of whatever protein you are making and they will be done at around the same time. If you have any leftovers, slice them all the way through and you can have great potatoes to have with a breakfast of eggs, sausage and bacon or some hash.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!