Spicy Cilantro Hasselback Potatoes

I’ve always admired the beautiful specimen that is a Hasselback potato. It is both fancy and homey, both elegant and comforting, both something you may find at a top-notch restaurant or in your mother’s kitchen.

I admire it…for I don’t have the patience to make my own. Ha!

The gorgeous sliced effect of the Hasselbeck potato takes a bit of effort and patience, and though I try to stay calm, my mind always runs at about a mile a minute. Sometimes, it takes wicked amounts discipline for me to complete more ornate cooking and baking tasks. Pie crusts? I smush them down with my fingers, because I don’t care if it’s pretty! I just want it to taste good! However, when it comes to food styling, I flip on a dime and get more zen and careful. Go figure.

Well, I took the time to slice some taters, and the result was worth the care and time put into it. Pretty lil’ babies, aren’t they?

This recipe can certainly be adjusted if you want to add butter; since I’m still on my dairy-free diet, I’m going a strict oil route here. I’m not complaining, because I’m a gal that loves her olive oil! (Vengo dall’eredità italiana!) I recently discovered a new brand, The Blue Olive, and I got a bottle of their Baklouti Green Chili Fused Extra Virgin Olive Oil.It’s…got a kick, to say the least! My bland palate got an education. Ha! But when you mix it with some cilantro and bake it into the potatoes, the heat is slow and low, leaving a lovely little tingle in the back of your mouth. It’s an amazingly comforting winter dish, perfect for these brick winter days…or even for these milder winter days that are a complete 180° turn from last weekend! (Hello, 50°F! Goodbye 10°F!) Even better, The Blue Olive has their main store up in Pawling – perfect for those north of NYC! It’s literally across the street from that town’s MetroNorth station. Shop local, y’all!

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NOTE: Thank you to Bryce from The Blue Olive for providing me with this olive oil for testing purposes!

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Spicy Cilantro Hasselback Potatoes
(Makes two large potatoes; serves 2 – 4)

Ingredients:

– 2 large Ruseet potatoes, skins scrubbed
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 1/8 cup Baklouti Green Chili Fused Extra Virgin Olive Oil (See Before We Get Started…)
– 1/4 cup cilantro, cleaned and minced
– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1/4 teaspoon salt

Before We Get Started…

– If you do not have this specific brand of olive oil – substitute a spicy olive oil of your choice or add 1/4 teaspoon chili powder to 1/2 cup regular olive oil and thoroughly blend.

– The method I use to slice the potatoes is listed in Step #2. For other ways to slice potatoes, please look here!

– If desired, substitute regular olive oil with 1/4 cup melted butter; I am currently eating dairy-free as of the time of this recipe’s development, so please indulge, as I can not. Ha!

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.) To slice potatoes, place potato on a firm surface and place two chopsticks on either side. Use a large sharp knife to slowly and carefully slice down into the potato until the knife’s blade reaches the chopstick. This insures that the potato is sliced but the bottom remains in tact, allowing for the “fan” effect of the hasselback potato. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet or roasting pan and set aside.

3.) Whisk together both types of olive oil, cilantro, garlic powder, and salt until thoroughly combined. Using a food brush, carefully dab between each potato slice with the oil mixture. If necessary, add more oil and / or cilantro if you start to run low. Drizzle any remaining oil mixture on top of potatoes.

4.) Bake for 60 minutes; at the 30 minute mark, check on potatoes and baste / brush with any extra oil in the bottom of the pan.

5.) Remove from oven, top with additional cilantro, if desired, and serve immediately! If there are leftovers, refrigerate; to reheat, drizzle with a glug of olive oil and place in a 350°F degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes until warmed through and slightly crispy on top.

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