I’ll admit the only reason I made this is because it looks so cool. Like an armadillo or a fat fan or an accordion. A restaurant in Stockholm invented these and hence they took on the moniker of the restaurant. (The restaurant was called Hasslebacken!). I like fancy looking food, but I don’t really have the patience to make it look fancy. That’s why I’m always envious of pastry chefs. How many hours of practice and restraint does rolling out a perfect sugared rose take?! When you look at a hassleback potato you’re thinking it involves a fair bit of work. Well, it involves some work, but nothing more than slicing and stuffing. On a day when the whole of Bangalore was cooped indoors because of the bandh – I figured I might as well give it a go. The final product is a potato that is crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. Almost like soft crisps. (Oxymoron, I know!). Also since it’s mostly served with Sour Cream, you’ll be safe no matter how it turns out!
P.S. Yes, I’m exactly like Monica Geller in this situation – I will be friends with the foreign student if it means I get to eat sour cream everyday! (The last line is for those fools who used the TV show friends as role model behavior for most of the 90’s and 00’s – that fool includes me!)
Prep time: 10 mins
Baking time: 45 mins
What you need:
4 Med Potatoes, washed and scrubbed clean
4 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp Butter, melted
1 Tbsp Olive oil
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Sour cream and fresh Herbs to garnish
½ Cup shredded Cheddar Cheese (optional)
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Make slits in the potato that don’t go all the way through the bottom. (Think Accordion people). Slice garlic thinly and insert slices into every other slit. Place potatoes in a baking dish and pour melted butter and oil over them. (I used a pastry brush to evenly spread the same).
Bake for 45 mins. Check for doneness at 35-40 mins. Remove from oven, transfer onto a serving plate. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon sour cream and garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro or chives. It’s a wonderful accompaniment to your meat main course.
Another way to enjoy it by itself, is to sprinkle grated cheese over it in the last 5 mins of baking. When the cheese gets all bubbly and melty, remove from oven and serve as an indulgent snack. (Ahem.. if you want to give yourself a cardiac arrest, spoon some sour cream over the melted cheese – we live once … I say go ahead!)