Thursday, February 4, 2016

Oven Baked Potatoes a la Hasselbacken

No, I have not misspelled the quarterback's name; I am referring to a dish served at the historic, elegant, and expensive  restaurant on Djurgarden in Stockholm, Sweden.  Their tables are dressed in crisp linens and fancily folded napkins.  I have never been to Hasselbacken but I was reminded about it while reading about Magnus Nilsson, a Swedish chef and author, in a "Food and Wine" magazine.

The magazine had a recipe by Nilsson about Hasselbacken oven baked potatoes that I had only heard about.  Interestingly, this is a simple and delicious recipe and it does not take long to create.

Hasselbacken Restaurant
I love Yukon potatoes and they lend themselves very well to this kind of recipe, but so does the Russet potatoes.  Swedes like small and evenly shaped potatoes whereas we may use any kind of potatoes that we have available.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (about 220 C), grease an oven proved dish that will hold four medium sized potatoes, and peel the potatoes.

Here is the most difficult part:  thinly slice the potatoes without cutting all the way through.  The potato will look like a fan when you gently part the slices.

If you like, insert thinly sliced slivers of garlic between some of the potato slices.

I added plenty of margarine in the dish and also dabbed margarine on top of the potatoes.  I then put the potato dish into the oven and set the timer for 40 minutes, checking now and then and brushing additional margarine on the potatoes.

In the meantime, I mixed finely grated dry bread (crumbs) with powdered garlic and some (Kosher) salt.  When the potatoes were soft and ready, I generously sprinkled them with the bread crumb mixture and put the dish back into the oven for another 10 minutes.  (Parmesan cheese will also do fine for garnish.)

The potatoes actually tasted pretty good: crisp on the outside with a hint of garlic and soft on the inside.

(The Hasselbacken picture comes from their Image page.  The potato picture is by yours truly.)

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