Monday, June 23, 2014

Kirsten's Hassleback Potatoes

A quick way to really spice up a potato!

I have been sitting on this port for an embarrassingly long time. I actually made this neat Swedish side dish about two months ago, but every time I sit down to try and put my thoughts on paper (or on the computer, as it were), I just didn't feel like it. Don't get me wrong, these were a tasty side dish I definitely wouldn't mind making again, but the magic was kind of missing, here.

Admittedly, that might have to do with the fact that our microwave broke in the middle of making it - don't worry, it's since been replaced - so the final touch was sort of missing from this particular culinary adventure. For all this and more, keep reading!

I feel like I'd heard of Hassleback potatoes before, but I'm fairly certain I've never had one before. They're pretty distinctive, so it'll either stand out as something you've tried or they won't. They got their start in Stockholm, Sweden, where they were first served during the 1700s at the Hasselbacken Hotel. (You see where they got the name.) The recipe I used can be found here if you want to give them a try yourself! I promise they're not that hard.

They definitely start off easy enough: you peel the skin off your potatoes, and cut about a half an inch of meat off the bottom to give them a nice flat surface to rest on.

Then, you cut one fourth of an inch slices in the potato, using chopsticks held firmly against the potato's sides to prevent you from slicing through the whole potato. This was a little trickier than I thought it was going to be because my potatoes kept slipping, but for the most part, my cuts came out clean. I think I made them a little too fat, though, because the potatoes really didn't want to fan out at all.

They get thoroughly washed to get rid of excess starch and then put in a bowl of cold water so they won't get discolored on you while you make the topping.

The topping is really what makes this special. Butter, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and paprika all get mixed together - you're supposed to use a food processor, but mine is still terrible, so I just mixed it with a fork.

You brush melted butter on the potatoes (trying to get some in between the slices) and then coat each one with the topping.

This then goes in the oven and cooks for what feels like forever. I definitely didn't time this well, so it was more like an after dinner snack than a side dish by the time the potatoes were done. It was just really difficult to tell when they were actually cooked. Mine still felt kind of tough and under done, but I think that's the texture you're more or less supposed to be going for? It seemed the right consistency for other potato dishes I've had before.

Now, it was at this point we realized our microwave was broken, because when we went to melt more butter to drizzle it over the top as per instructions... the butter didn't melt. And so then we realized the sensor was busted, and we were without a microwave for a couple days.

Our arteries are probably happy about this, but as tasty as the topping was on its own and even considering I never can say no to a potato, I definitely think it needs the little extra something. Without it, the potato was pretty dry, even if it was super flavorful, and the topping is really a knock out! So while this might not be the healthiest way to eat a potato, I can definitely see why this might be one of the tastiest.

But then again, I'm not picky. I really love potatoes.

Maybe enough time's gone by to give them another shot!


  1. Oh wow these look great! Another for the to-make list!

    1. If you do, let me know how the texture works out! I'm not sure when I'll have time to make them again - my schedule's pretty full in the next couple weeks!

  2. *From Julie's doll mom:*

    Here's a tip. As a person who cheats making baked potatoes in the microwave, (told you I wasn't much of a cook), to avoid toughness and an underdone potato, microwave it one 1 side for 4 minutes, put your topping on and continue for an additional 4 minutes.

    1. Oh I almost always microwave potatoes rather than baking them in the oven, but since the microwave was broken, that wasn't really an option. xD Next time though, I'll totally be helping that along!

  3. Sorry about the microwave! Maybe it would be worth another go sometime? They sure look tasty.

    1. I'd definitely like to try it again! Maybe for Fourth of July weekend!