With many of my crew preparing for the next promotional exam with eyes on moving up in the ranks and spearheading our new wave of leadership, I thought it prudent to offer an alternative to the tried and true steak and potatoes promotional dinner. Make no mistake; there is a time and place for a perfect rib eye and mashed potatoes as a thank you for the support during what can be a busy time for the hopeful. But I wanted to show that you can ‘dress up’ the standard potato in other ways so let me introduce you to the Hasselback Potato.
Technique and presentation are on display here as more surface area is created by carefully slicing transverse cuts from tip to tail exposing more tater to take flavor. Some stuff with leaves (sage or bay), cheese, and bacon, but I want these naked so that you can appreciate the craft. Much like upgrading your helmet to leather with a dope shield, it is impressive sight to behold and elevates what is a very humble tuber.
A few after the fire critiques: I’ve tried this same recipe with sweet potatoes and butternut squash to great effect so give them a try. Don’t limit yourself to just these particular tubers: carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, etc. are all great options. Topping the potatoes is another fun dive be it maple syrup with Fresno peppers, garlic butter, chipotle crema, or in this case, chimichurri. Lastly, you can consider using the broiler for the last few minutes to get the top extra crunchy.
Russet Potatoes (4 large)
Butter (2+ Tbsp.)
Pepper and Salt to taste
Chopsticks (preferably metal)
Pastry or BBQ Brush
Heat the oven to 425°F. Meanwhile, melt the butter and reserve. Carefully slice ⅛“of the bottoms of the potatoes to create a flat surface. Cut ⅛” cuts across the length of the potatoes from tip to tail ensuring not to cut all the way to the bottom.
Using the brush, lather ½ of the butter on the top of the potatoes attempting to get some in between the cuts. Place the potatoes evenly spaced on a baking sheet spray lathered with oil or butter, sprinkle salt on top, and place in middle of the oven to roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and apply the last brushes of butter. Since not all potatoes are created equal, cook in additional 5-minute increments until the desired doneness. Top with additional melted butter or olive oil, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and allow cooling for 5 minutes, then indulge!