As the lucky recipient of Mr. Chef’s iterations of Hasselback potatoes, we couldn’t wait to share the deliciousness of this recipe. Beware: you may be used to our quick, delicious, and nutritious options and this is not how Mr. Chef operates; he pours a half-hour into making a salad and a few hours of labor and slow-cooking for a curry soup. What can we say? Opposites attract. If you have the patience of a saint or an oyster, give it a try. The pearl is worth it.
Russet (or other) Potato – one per customer
Olive oil (or butter, for non-vegan customers)
Herbs – rosemary or thyme preferred – to taste
Vegan feta OR goats cheese (again, that would be non-vegan)
Oregano – a must in my mind
1. Make an oil/butter infusion: low temp heat oil/butter with herbs for as long as you can bear
2. While that’s going,
a) put a potato on a cutting board, put chop sticks (or some other “stop” on the cutting board along its longest dimension
b) Slice along the longest dimension to make a flat surface for the potato to stand firm while
c) begin cutting at 1/8″ or 1/16″ intervals straight down (the thinner the better!). The chop sticks prevent cutting it into separate slices. The goal is to slice downward finely but not to cut the potato into slices – keep it whole.
d) This will represent a lot of slices – as always, prep is the labor-intensive part. Be careful to keep the blade perfectly perpendicular to the cutting board as you slice. This might tax your knife skills a bit. It’s worth it. Carry on.
3. Cover potato(es) with oil/butter infusion, place in pre-heated oven at ~430 degrees Fahrenheit. A parchment paper-covered flat baking sheet is best.
4. Wait an excruciatingly long time, like an hour or perhaps more depending on the volume of potato(es).
5. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, apply vegan or anti-vegan cheese. Cover in oregano. Try to sort of “push” herb topping into the crevices formed by slicing. Serve.
The outside should be crispy, with a circular gradation into the center becoming almost as smooth and soft as mashed potatoes. While eating, the layers should fold into interesting patterns as the knife/fork scoop them up.
I’d never eaten one but discovered it while researching thanksgiving sides. I am somewhat obsessed now. It won’t be on the menu this year because it takes so long and requires a cooking temperature way over what’s recommended for a turkey. Maybe save this for a quiet night in when time is no object. But do it!