Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Side Board ~ Garlic Butter and Parsley Hasselback Potatoes

I know. I'm coming in pretty late in the game to the whole hasselback thing. You're probably thinking "been there, done that", but I'll be honest with you... when I first saw them popping up all over Pinterest, I just couldn't figure out what the big deal was. Don't get me wrong. I'm all over a good potato. I mean, I am Irish, after all. And sure, the pictures were gorgeous. And yes, people were raving about them and pinning them like crazy... but it wasn't really a new concept to me. I was the one thinking, "been there, done that".

Believe me, I'm not averse to trying some of the "trendy" recipes that pop up all over the blogosphere and on Pinterest, but I've been making a slightly different version of these potatoes for years. I don't want to give it away right now, because I'm sure I'll be posting about it at some point over the summer. But, I will say that it's a method that I learned from Hubby's mom, long before she ever became my mother-in-law.

That being said, I had some good looking russets on hand that looked like they'd be perfect candidates for these hasselbacks and I thought, "what the heck... why not"? And now? Well, now I'm thinking, "what in the world took me so long"!

So, here's my our contribution to the hasselback craze. I say "our" because Hubby did 99% of the work on these bad boys, while I was marinating steak and making my creamy avocado dressing. After all, I have to give credit where credit is due! (Plus, I didn't want you thinking that those were my big ol' "man hands", when you saw some of the photos. LOL)

We went with a very basic preparation, because as luscious as all of those cheese stuffed, bacon topped adaptations on Pinterest look, I've made my share of over the top, loaded types of potatoes in some of my recent posts, like sour cream and garlic mashed, lyonnaise, etc. and I wanted to keep these simple.

Garlic Butter and Parsley Hasselback Potatoes

  • 4 Lg Russet or Idaho Potatoes, scrubbed and patted dry
  • 3-4 Cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 8 Tbls Butter (1 Stick), softened to room temperature
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Hubby's favorite knife in the block. A razor sharp 10" Henkles chef's knife. I usually only touch that thing to wash it, because he's got some pretty awesome knife skills and well, let's just say...I keep my band-aids in the kitchen.
Preheat your oven to 425 Degrees

Scrub the potatoes under cold water with a good vegetable brush and pat them dry with a clean tea towel or paper towels.

Using a sharp knife, slice the potatoes about 1/8 inch apart and only 3/4 of the way down, being careful not to cut through the bottom. If you do make a boo-boo and cut all the way through, don't panic. You'll just have an "extra" (maybe smaller) potato. If the boo-boo is at the end of the potato, just discard the smaller piece. I've heard that squirrels really like potatoes. ;~)

In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, the crushed (or pressed) garlic and the chopped parsley. If you have another fresh herb that you'd like to use, you can substitute that. Chives, thyme, dill or very finely chopped rosemary would be pretty tasty.

Dried herbs would probably be okay, but if you do decide to use them, I'd prepare the butter mixture earlier to give them a little time to "rehydrate" from the natural moisture in the butter and garlic. Dried herbs tend to burn more easily in a hot oven and that can make them bitter. If you don't have time to mix it up early, just omit them altogether. Your finished potatoes will still be delicious. :~)

Brush about 1/3 of the butter mixture all over the potatoes, making sure to get plenty of it down in between the slices. Set the other 2/3 aside for later.

We love the silicone brushes (for so many reasons), but any good pastry brush would work too. If you don't have either of these available, just use your impeccably clean hands! It's a little messy, but as the saying goes, they're "the best God-given tools we have".

Line a large baking sheet with heavy duty foil (for easy clean-up) and if you have a bit of the butter mixture left on your brush, use it to grease the pan. No point in wasting good garlic butter, right? You could also use a bit of light olive or vegetable oil instead. Either one will help to keep the potatoes from sticking to the pan (or foil) and will also make the bottoms extra crispy! Win/Win!!!!

Season the potatoes liberally with salt and pepper...

Bake them in your preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes. But, we're not done yet...

After 15 minutes, take them out of the oven and baste them with the second 1/3 of the garlic butter.

Put the potatoes back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Then, after that time has passed...

Take them out again and baste them with the remaining 1/3 of the butter, before putting them back in for the final 15 to maybe 20 minutes, or until they're fork tender on the inside and the skin is golden and crispy.

We had a bit of the garlic butter left in the bowl and on the brush, so we gave them a final "blessing" when they came out of the oven.

This step is certainly optional, but if you want to do it and you don't have any of the garlic butter left, you could always use a little plain butter or olive oil. It's totally up to you.

Serve them with a little sour cream, if you like. As you can see, we like. :~)

We had these with a delicious, perfectly medium rare, (thanks again, to my Hubby, the grill master) sirloin steak and a simple green salad with my homemade avocado dressing. It was our first time using the grill this year, so that made it kinda extra special!

OK, this is totally off the subject of food, but are any of you watching the TV show Scandal? I won't throw any spoilers out there, in case you DVR it and aren't caught up, but ~ O-M-G!!! ~ I'm seriously on the edge of my seat! I rarely get this way about TV shows, but this one is an exception. It's one of the shows that Hubbs and I watch together and as much as he'll want to wring my neck for saying it, we're both addicted. It's created and written by Shonda Rhimes (of Gray's Anatomy fame) and let's just say that the words drama and suspense don't even come close!

FYI... it's season finale time this Thursday and they're doing the last five minutes "live" so if you haven't done so already, you might want to catch up quickly. (By the way, I totally nailed the big shocker at the end of last week's episode. Just sayin'.)

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  1. OK, I'm apparently out of the loop completely. I had never even heard of hasselback potatoes! I have seen this cut in a lot of photos, but had no idea what that was! They look and sound really good! Now that the weather has warmed up so dramatically, I won't be wanting to turn on my oven for awhile, but I can surely store this recipe for fall when we're back to more moderate temps. (We're expecting a record-breaking high of 91 degrees today...after a frost Saturday night!!!) Hmmmm....wonder if this can be done on the grill?

    I just very recently hopped on the "Scandal" bandwagon, and I got hooked pretty fast. Ramon had the episodes all on DVR, so I'm pretty much up-to-date and only missed out on a few of the earlier ones. We've not yet watched the one from last week, but looking forward to it!!! My husband is TOTALLY and unashamedly hooked!!!!

    1. LOL! No, you're not out of the loop. I only recently started looking at the recipes that were linked to those pics on Pinterest myself. But... I'm gonna give away a little part of that secret that I mentioned in the post, but for you... I'll make an exception any old time. :~) I'll be sharing something in the next couple of weeks, for something similar to this and it IS done on the grill. So, stay tuned!

      About Scandal... I hope you'll be able to watch last week's episode before Thursday, because if the show up to this point is any indication of what we'll get in those final 5 minutes, it oughta be a doozie!


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