Hasselback Baked Potato
Somewhat of a showstopper when baked potato is on the menu, this baked potato’s uniqueness is totally derived from the manner in which it is prepared, and the way it looks once baked. Named for it’s place of origin, the Hotell Hasselbacken in Stockholm, the potato lends itself to all sorts of dressing up in the form of toppings, (see below). Your guests will take note the first time you serve them a Hasselback baked potato, adding depth to their fond memory of dinner at your place.
The classic method of preparing is to place your potato between the handles of two wooden spoons and cutting downward. The wooden spoons keep your knife from cutting all the way through the potato as you cut down from the top. An advantage is that you have total control over the number and spacing of cuts.
An easier alternative, especially if you have several potatoes to do, is a slicing guide that both holds the potato and has guides for uniform slicing. A quick down cut is easiest.
Once cut, bake the potato however you want; I usually go 1 hr 10 minutes at 410 degrees for a medium size potato.
For a plain side, coat the potato lightly with olive oil, then run a bead of salt, salt and pepper, or herbed salt blend down the length of the potato. As it cooks, the potato opens fanlike; the individual slices are each flavored, and blessedly bite size, with a surround of crisp skin. I’ve done this when serving a Hasselback with breakfast, usually only one half a potato for each serving.
Spoon a rich sauce over the length of the potato prior to serving. A mushroom sauce or ragu makes for a great taste and presentation; likewise for a rich cheese sauce, maybe even with crumbled bacon or crisp pancetta.
Place very thin slices of mushroom between the slices of the potato prior to baking, then top it with a complementary sauce prior to serving – this makes for a light main course when accompanied by a salad.