Extra Crispy, Extra Special
Photo and food styling by Meda Kessler
While turkey is typical for Thanksgiving, not everyone opts for the big bird.
We’ve enjoyed everything from grilled steaks to an all-vegetable feast. Instead of mashed potatoes, we like to put a spin on our spuds, preparing Hasselback potatoes as our “fancy” side. This amped-up baked potato originated in Sweden, where breadcrumbs are used to create a crust on thinly sliced and roasted potatoes. Most versions we’ve enjoyed skip the extra coating and leave the skin on. Thinly sliced, preseasoned and baked at a high temperature, the potato’s thin rims of skin brown up nicely. The insides are soft and cooked to perfection. (You can achieve the same effect with sweet potatoes.) High-starch spuds such as russets work the best; look for medium size potatoes in an elongated shape. Be sure to use a very sharp knife. And expect compliments. — Meda Kessler
Crispy Hasselback Herbed Potatoes
- 6 potatoes
- 1 stick butter or 1 cup bacon fat, melted, or olive oil
- Handful of herbs, minced (thyme, parsley, rosemary)
- Kosher salt, cracked pepper, to taste
- Grated Parmesan, to taste (optional)
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Slice a very thin portion off the bottom of the potato so it sits flat. Rub potatoes all over with butter, bacon fat or olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Place chopsticks lengthwise on either side of the potato. Make ⅛-inch-thick slices, cutting down to the chopsticks, which prevent the knife from slicing through the entire potato.
Set potatoes on the baking tray and gently fan out the slices to open up the potato a bit.
If using butter or bacon grease, melt in a small bowl; add in minced herbs. Lightly brush the potato with the mixture, dabbing in and around each slice. Season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Bake for 30 minutes, baste with herb mixture and return the tray to the oven for an additional 20 minutes. Brush with remaining butter and sprinkle with more kosher salt, cracked pepper and cheese, to taste.