Monday, May 26, 2014

Cumin and Thyme Hasselback Potatoes – they’re no hassle !

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After 3 shows, involving 200 children, with 450 costumes to organize, and later to wash (the costumes, not the kids), my sister wasn’t lying in bed whimpering, with the covers pulled over her head. She was slicing about a million spuds to make hassle-free Hasselback potatoes for a family dinner at my parent’s house. “You know what, Hester? You should make these on your blog,” she said.


16 down, 434 to go... (Photo, laundry and recipe inspiration by Catherine Casey)

My heart sinks just a tiny little bit when I hear the words “You know what, Hester? You should make … x,y,z … on your blog” helpfully suggested by friend or family. Often it comes with an implied deadline of “very soon”. I really, really do appreciate the suggestions, and please keep them coming but … it’s not up to me what appears, and when, on Alchemy.
The problem is that I have discovered that I don’t actually write my blog. Alchemy writes itself and it is a TOTAL DIVA. If the moment is wrong for a particular recipe, then no amount of coaxing, cajoling, threats or bribes will make the words flow or the photos pop.
Luckily it was onboard with Hasselback potatoes - very onboard - probably clued in by my eating about five of them.
They are a very pretty (and lower fat) alternative to roast potatoes, are a lovely BBQ side, and are simplicity itself to make.
You know what? You should make them! And add extra if you are inviting me around to dinner.

For hassle-free hasselbacks, you will need…
2 – 3 small potatoes, skin on, per person (about the size and shape of an egg is ideal)
a little melted butter or extra virgin olive oil
a little sea salt (Maldon, or similar, looks beautiful)
cumin, freshly ground if possible (wonderful with potatoes)
fresh or dried thyme
Method
Wash the potatoes and remove any blemishes – no need to peel. Place each potato in turn on a wooden spoon and with a sharp knife cut almost all the way through in slices of between 3mm and 5mm thick. The wooden spoon helps prevent the knife going all the way through.
Drop into a bowl of cold water until ready to cook. The water helps remove some of the starch and helps the potatoes fan out a little better. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200°C while you drain the potatoes and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Brush with a little melted butter or olive oil, getting the brush between the slices (also helps them fan out a little better).
 
We're brilliant at BBQs!
Sit the potatoes into a baking dish or roasting tin, joined side down, and sprinkle with a little salt, ground cumin and thyme. This is not an exact science. How much of each is up to you.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 50 minutes or until golden and cooked through – they should be easily pierced with a fork.
Marvel at just how pretty a spud can be before serving to an appreciative audience.
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9 comments:

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

I really like hasselback potatoes but I've never added the spices. I will next time. Your sister had a very good idea! Give her our thanks. :)

I think it's cute that your blog writes itself. I do understand.

Liz Berg said...

I need to shake up my hasselback potato recipe...yours are a delicious inspiration! I can't wait to see what Alchemy comes up with next for your blog :)

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Dear Hester, now there is a hassle-free recipe for those lovely potatoes - they look so very pretty and I know I will make them and my family will love them! But what I like almost better than the photo of these pretty potatoes is the photo of the ballet dresses on that clothesline, drying in the wind - love it!
Have a great Tuesday, my dear!

Hester said...

@ Andrea, isn't it a pretty picture! My sister had to commandeer all the neighbours' washing lines as 450 wet costumes take up quite a lot of space.

Francesca Catanuso said...

Ok your sister has got some serious stamina! Good on her.

And these look delicious.

Guru Uru said...

A big fan of your delicious recipe! I think it is so sweet that everyone loves to contribute ideas for your blog :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Every time I see hasselback potatoes, I say I've got to make them. Your photo looks so good, perhaps this will be the push I need to prepare them. Speaking os photos, I love the colorful costumes drying in the breeze…lovely.

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

I made these for the first time over the winter and we enjoyed them a lot. I like the spices you've used on yours - they look really good.

Purabi Naha | Cosmopolitan Currymania said...

Wow, really pretty spuds! I love hasselbach potatoes, which you made hassle-free. YUM!!