Friday, May 3, 2013

Pretty potatoes

 I've been buying bags of big fat dirt-covered Agria potatoes lately. Apparently potatoes keep better when they're still covered in dirt (and they tend to be cheaper than nicely washed ones). Usually I peel Agrias, but every so often I want to bake them with their skins on. Last year I bought a handy little book called Splendid Spuds, and in it was a recipe I've been wanting to try for a while, for Hasselback Potatoes. Named after the venerable Stockholm restaurant, Hasselbacken, that first served them in the 1940s, they're a traditional favourite in the USA. They look and taste wonderful, but they're very simple to make. Here's the Huffington Post raving about them recently:
"What emerges is a bit of a cooking miracle - LOTS of crispy edges, soft interior, toppings in every bite. Our only concern is that we haven't made more of these in our lifetime."

Hasselback potatoes (adapted from Splendid Spuds)
This serves four people with 1 potato per person - if you want more potatoes, just use more butter, and they might also take a little longer to cook..

4 smooth oval medium-size Agria potatoes, scrubbed clean but not peeled
1 Tbsp soft butter (approx. - a bit more does no harm)
salt and pepper

Set oven to 230C (or 220C fan forced).
Cut each potato in even 5cm slashes, almost through to the bottom but not quite. 
(The Huffington Post has an excellent tip: line up the handle of a long wooden spoon alongside each potato as you cut, so that the knife won't go right through. It helps to use a longer knife rather than a short vege knife.)
Pat tops of potatoes dry with paper towel and arrange them cut side up in an oiled metal baking dish.
Spread potatoes with half of the butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, then spread with remaining butter and bake for another 15-20 minutes. 

We gobbled ours up before I remembered to take a photo, and anyway by then it was night time and my dinner photos rarely come out well. 
But for once mine looked exactly like the picture in the book.

No comments: