A search on Trader Joe’s web site this week yielded zero search results for “hasselback,” meaning I couldn’t find hide nor hair about their popular-during-the-winter-holidays 2020 hasselback potatoes on their site. Some people are crazy for this product, and I wondered why because it’s a frozen baked potato seasoned with two of the most basic potato ingredients ever—butter and salt.
I did a little research and experimentation of my own. Turns out, the cut of the potato makes it a Hasselback. According to John Duxbury of SwedishFood.com, Hasselback potatoes originated in a restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden, in the 1940s or 1950s. Now, most people probably use Russet potatoes for this roasted recipe, but I bought a very large red potato and decided to Hasselback it.
I struggle to finish most dishes with potatoes, feeling they are too starchy or heavy. While potatoes may be boring to some, they contain some valuable nutrients including potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, and fiber, so they have their place. Red potatoes have less carbs than Russet potatoes. Because potatoes are a blank slate, you can either upgrade your potato dish by adding nutrients and cooking them certain ways, or you can negate their nutritional value depending on how you cook them and what you add to them. One should leave the skin on potatoes whenever possible since the minerals concentrate in the skin.
Cutting the potato Hasselback-style is the tricky part because you have to be careful not to cut the potato all the way through. I placed a set of tongs in front of my potato so that when I cut it the tongs blocked my hand from cutting all the way down. More so, they acted as a reminder to me with each slice I made. I don’t swear by the tong method, though, because the tongs prevented me from cutting down enough. I should have cut my potato probably a half inch deeper to really allow airflow. Some resources suggest placing one’s potato in a flat wooden spoon to cut it. (I happen to be sans wooden spoon at the moment.) By cutting the potato Hasselback style, it fans out when it’s roasting in the oven, getting each piece crispy if you do it right!
I coated the potato with olive oil, then roasted my potato on parchment paper for about 70 minutes at 420 degrees F. (This would be an ideal application for olive oil spray.) As I was making it, I remembered why I don’t bake or roast potatoes often—they take a long time in the oven which uses a lot of energy. I was so hungry by the time the potato was done that I took some of the crispiest outside pieces, placed them in a dish, and just totally smothered them with TJ’s Green Goddess dressing and some fresh chopped cilantro. (Don’t judge--I like cilantro stems and see no reason to eat only the leaves.) TJ’s Green Goddess dressing has avocado, green onion, basil, parsley, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar—all the good stuff and none of the bad.
The next morning, I enjoyed another 1/3 of the potato. (It was a big potato!) I happened to have some marinated roasted pork tenderloin on hand, so I cut some slices of cooked pork, placed them between the potato slices, and heated it all up the microwave. I topped it again with Green Goddess, cilantro, and a dash of sea salt. A nice breakfast! Now, what to do with the last third of the potato?
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