Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekend Cooking: Hasselback Potatoes

This was a very good week.  I finished grading that huge stack of essays, another huge stack of annotated bibliographies, and a stack of quizzes.  What does that mean?  It means that the light is at the end of the tunnel BEFORE I hit "end of term" next Friday.  To be honest, I put in some long evenings to get it all done, so I'm a much happier teacher about now.

As you can imagine, I didn't get a lot of reading done, nor any exercising.  I swear that "dieting" or doing anything fun like reading goes out the window when you're on a deadline, so to say.  I've had a major Mexican food craving lately, so I broke my own eating out rule and picked up burritos twice last week.  I don't care.  It was all for the cause!  I'm still kind of battling that craving though, so what in the world am I lacking in my diet that I would crave HOT Mexican food so much?  I'll load up on vitamins and see if I can figure it out.

As I mentioned, this was not a good week for reading.  I had too many papers to read to actually escape into some good fiction.  I did, however, pick up and finish Les Belles Souers, a play that a book blogging Santa sent me for Christmas year before last.  I'm glad I finally had a chance to read it, because it got me warmed back up to do some more reading today.

Since I haven't really cooked in a bit, what with grading and all, I decided to try out a potato recipe.  I have this huge box of potatoes that my mom brought down from Idaho for Christmas, and although I gave a bunch of them away, I still have way too many to eat.  As an Idaho girl, I acknowledge that I'm a bit of a potato snob.  I can't stomach the dry/dehydrated versions, and I will push aside a bad mashed potato if I'm ever served one.  To be honest, I don't know that we ever had to buy potatoes, as we got them for free from people in our community. We could go to my Uncle Ralph's potato pit and pick up a huge burlap sack of potatoes  that would feed the family for most of the winter.  I just grew up on giant potatoes, cooked in every conceivable way, with almost every meal (thus my diet woes of today).  Having shared that preamble, I did find a potato recipe that we haven't ever tried--the Hasselback Potato. 

I can't even remember where I first saw these potatoes, but they have stuck in my memory and I had to try it out this weekend.  They are very simple to make, but do take a little preparation.

Potato--Russet is my choice.
Butter--1/2 Tbsp per potato
Olive Oil--1 Tbsp per potato
Sea Salt

Now, this is tough!  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Take your potato and wash it well.  Slice it in small slices about 3/4 of the way through the potato, without cutting it through completely.  Slice up several heads of garlic and place a slice between each layer in the potato.  Season the slices with salt, and then coat in melted butter mixed with olive oil and thyme.  I simply used a pastry brush and dabbed the butter and olive oil in between the slices and covered it on top with the butter & oil mixture.

Place the potatoes in the oven for 1 hour, basting near the end of cooking (at about 10 minutes left).  Take out and serve right away.  I topped mine with a touch of butter to shine it back up.  Then eat and enjoy!

These potatoes were GLORIOUS.  I love the addition of the garlic.  I've seen some recipes that put cheese on top, but I really liked the simplicity of the olive oil, butter, thyme, and garlic.  It was so tasty, and the crunchy ends and bottom were delightful.  I actually made three potatoes, so I'm going to wrap the other two (that I didn't eat) in tinfoil and reheat them over the next couple of days for dinner.  Yum!

Try these out.  They take a little time to prep, but are well worth it.  This will definitely be in my arsenal of potato dishes from now on! 

*For more weekend cooking, go to Beth Fish Reads.  You'll find all sorts of great food-related posts and recipes!  

Well, I do have a bit of grading to do today--blog posts for my Popular Fiction class, but once I'm finished I'm logging off to do a bit of reading and to watch the Kansas vs. Purdue game later tonight.  What are you doing today and how has your weekend been?


  1. These sound absolutely delicious! I've never had them before, but now I really need to try them out!

  2. Yum! I admit I'm not a huge fan of potatoes in general, but these sound awesome.

    I was reading a children's cookbook from 1913 a few weeks ago that had so many weird potato recipes in it. Nothing like this, though!

  3. I haven't made these in so long - they are delicious!