Hasselback Potatoes

It’s only fair to finally post a recipe about potatoes. They are the reason for the name of this blog, and they are also my most beloved food. In any form, they are absolutely satisfying. They are versatile, mild and earthy. Baked potatoes, french fries, potato bread, I could never choose which I like the best. I’m still learning about all the preparations, but this one is beautiful. It’s eye catching and pretty, and the flavors all go really well together. It’s a traditional dish that is basically a baked potato in the classiest form.

The method and final product falls somewhere between baked and roasted, and the toppings are sophisticated. Hasselback potatoes are quintessential German food, and they go well as a side dish with to a roast or a hearty dinner salad. That’s the thing about potatoes: they can go with game meats such as buffalo or venison, but they are equally appealing with poultry or steak. I also really like these with bone-in braised chicken thighs and a spicy salad, something with arugula or dandelion greens.

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Hasselback Potatoes
Serves 2
Preheat oven to 425ºF

Ingredients:
4 small-medium red potatoes, washed and dried, skin on
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 slices bacon, sliced into very thin shreds
1 large clove garlic, crushed in a garlic press
2 teaspoons minced shallot
salt and pepper, as needed
1-2 Tablespoons chives or scallions, minced

Directions:
Place a potato in a shallow wooden spoon. Using a sharp knife, make cuts about 1/4″ apart, not slicing all the way through – the spoon should keep the knife from going through to the bottom of the potato, leaving all of the slices connected at one side of the potato. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.

Whisk the olive oil with the white vinegar just until it’s combined, then drizzle over the potatoes. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Bake for about 35 minutes. Meanwhile, in a dry skillet, saute the bread crumbs over medium heat until they’re just a little bit toasted. Remove them from the pan and reserve.

Add the bacon to the warm pan, cook until browned and crispy. Add the garlic and the shallots, saute for about 30 seconds. Remove from the pan, adding the mixture to the bread crumbs. Stir well to combine.  Salt the potatoes again, and test one slice in the center of each potato with a fork to see if the potatoes are each tender. If they are not, bake at 10 minute intervals until they are slightly tender, almost fully cooked.

Sprinkle each potato with the bread crumb mixture, taking care to distribute it between the slices as well. Bake for 10 minutes more. Serve hot, garnished with the fresh chives/scallions.

These really are some of my very favorite potatoes. I hope you cook them for a loved one and enjoy them in good company, but only if you can convince yourself to relinquish them from your own grip after you’ve witnessed them in all their glory.

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