Spring is almost here!
After experiencing two whole winters in a row, I'm absolutely ecstatic at the prospect of Spring being on the horizon. I mistakenly thought that it had arrived last week when temperatures reached a peak of 10˚C, but the weekend decided to bring a fresh snowfall and rather chilly weather. I have hope though that from here on out Spring will arrive and the weather will slowly but surely get a bit warmer here in London (although I know I won't quite be able to compare it to Spring back home in sunny South Africa).
This month's Recipe ReDux prompt focused on favourite family recipes for Springtime celebrations. In South Africa Springtime means warmer weather for time spent outdoors and weekend braais, which more often than not involve roast potatoes of some kind, so I decided to give regular old baked potatoes and roasted potato wedges a twist in my recipe. These Hasselback potatoes are just delicious, crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and infused with fragrant fresh herbs like rosemary, sage, and thyme.
Some Hasselback history
This recipe turns regular old potatoes into a work of art. Hasselbackspotatis, as they're known in Swedish, originate from Stockholm where they were first created by chef Leif Elisson who was a trainee chef at restaurant Hasselbacken at the time. To make the perfect Hasselback potatoes you will need to cut the potatoes into thin, crosswise slices about 2/3 of the way through. This is the tricky part because cutting right through the potatoes pretty much ruins the idea of having a whole potato with crispy, crunchy slices. I find the following trick to be very helpful.
- Find yourself a wooden spoon or chopping board, and use it as a 'guide' to stop your knife from being able to cut all the way through the potato. Ideally, you want the top of it to be in line with the bottom third of your potatoes.
- Grab a sharp knife. This is pretty important. Ideally, you want to have a good quality chef's knife that has been sharpened and will easily cut through the potatoes to make even, thin slices.
- Place your potato next to the wooden spoon/chopping board and slice it horizontally from one end, moving to the other end to create perfect thin slices.
Fragrant Hasselback Potatoes
- 8 medium red-skinned (or normal) potatoes
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- Mixed fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage)
- 2-3 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Line a baking dish or tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Wash, scrub, and dry the potatoes. Cut thin, crosswise slices into each potato, taking care not to slice down more than 2/3 of the way through. Place the potatoes on the lined baking dish or tray.
- Thinly slice the garlic cloves, and place them between odd slices in each of the potatoes. Place sprigs of rosemary, thyme, and/or sage between the slices of the potatoes.
- Mix together the olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Drizzle over the potatoes, trying to get as much into each nook and cranny of the sliced potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, checking on the potatoes every now and then to ensure that they don’t burn. When done they should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly and enjoy.
Make sure to click on the image above to see what some of the other Recipe ReDux members have come up with. There are some absolutely DELICIOUS recipes that I've spotted over there this month!