The humble potato. The plain and lowly spud. These ugly, funny-shaped, brown and muddy russets needed a serious, company-worthy makeover! So Spudly got a new do! And if not wanting your potatoes doing the backstroke in a hot tub of fattening sauces, but inspired to create something delicious and pretty enough for company or a special celebration, then the classic “hasselback” potato dish is the perfect healthy choice and way to go! After thinly slicing, you can literally fill them with anything your heart desires that will fit, not over-cook and pair like peas ‘n carrots. These gorgeous potatoes can even be done in foil packets on the grill or off to the side of a low, crackling fire while camping! Whether eating by candlelight or firelight, or just wanting to serve something nice to the family, you’ll have many years of fun impressing friends and loved ones with this show-stopper of a spud!
The trick to cutting them perfectly like this, is to use thin, wooden bamboo skewers, (rather than larger handled wooden spoons), on each side while slicing so that you can get down closer to the bottom without slicing all the way through, and also slice more thinly so that the potato can actually “fan” open. Using a very sharp knife is a must, and placing everything onto a clean, lint-free towel helps to keep everything from moving around much better than a cutting board. Remember, you won’t be cutting all the way down anyways. And you can always place everything on top of a cutting board, towel and all, if you don’t trust your knife skills. Been there done this myself! Better to save your countertop from accidents. 😉
You can drizzle them with melted butter or olive oil before baking, or if wanting to save fat and calories, just simply spray them inside and out with butter-flavored cooking spray. It works extremely well and literally contains zero fat and calories. No sodium or sugars, either! Bake until tender, then the real fun begins! You can go with just plain salt and pepper, garlic and fresh herbs and they’re absolutely delicious just like that, especially with a little Greek yogurt on top for extra fun! Or, you can splurge and add extras such as Canadian or regular bacon, pepperoni, or sausage slices. If still wanting to stick to a more healthy side of the fence, try adding slices of oven-roasted broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, eggplant, pumpkin or squashes. You can add slices of these raw beforehand, halfway through, or already roasted after the potatoes are done and tender.
Fresh or dried herbs, spices and cheeses are practically limitless. *Fresh herbs and cheeses should only really be added towards the end of cooking time, though, so they don’t burn and melt to oblivion.
And creamy toppers of sour cream or Greek yogurt is the icing on the cake, of course!
You can also make these ahead or enjoy any left over that you may be lucky enough to have for quick lunches, too! Just reheat the sliced, pre-baked potatoes and top with your favorite chili, cheddar broccoli, or even that last dab of homemade beef stew, gravy of any kind, or taco meat and fixin’s! Just think of these classic hasselbacks as a “holder”, if you will, to fill with whatever you can dream up! Only limited to your own imagination! Go for it and have fun!
This recipe below is just a traditional way of making them to use as a guide, but the way I enjoy them the most. Simple, elegant and naturally beautiful! Enjoy all, and have an adventurous day! 🙂
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TRIPLE-CHEESE HASSELBACK POTATOES
4 large russet potatoes, rinsed, dried, unpeeled and sliced thinly almost all the way down
1/2 – 1 stick melted butter, *can sub butter-flavored cooking spray or 4 Tbl. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 cups shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely grated parmesano-reggiano cheese
1/2 cup sour cream, *can sub low-fat or Greek yogurt
4 Tbl. fresh minced parsley
(2 wooden bamboo skewers, easily found at grocery and “dollar” stores)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Rinse potatoes well of dirt. Pat dry. Place one potato onto lint-free towel and place a bamboo skewer on each side of base of potato. With very sharp knife, holding skewers and potato tightly against potato with one hand and knife in the other, slice crossways into very thin (1/4″ ), slices only going down as far as the skewers and not cutting all the way through. Repeat with rest of potatoes and place into sprayed baking dish or pan.
Drizzle each with melted butter, as much as desired, getting in between slices well and fanning potatoes open nicely.
In a very small finger bowl, mix salt, pepper and garlic powder until well combined. Sprinkle as much as desired evenly over and inside each potato.
Pop into preheated oven and bake 50-60 minutes until tender. (Test with a knife going through the thickest part of one of the slices. It should go through easily with no resistance.) Sprinkle and fill each evenly with cheeses and bake about 15 minutes longer or until cheeses have melted and are browned to desired doneness.
Plate and garnish with 2 Tbl. sour cream each and sprinkle with fresh minced parsley.