Thursday, March 01, 2007

Jihva for Potato

Vaishahi from Happy Burp is hosting this month's Jihva for Ingredient and decided to feature that uber tuber Potato.

I don't need to find any excuses to cook up some potatoes and I must admit that when I saw this recipe's photograph in the latest Delicious magazine I just had to make it - I will be lighting a candle to Jared Ingersoll from Sydney's Danks Street Depot for creating such a decadent potato offering.

nicola potato© by haalo

The potatoes I've used are called Nicola Potatoes - they are generally oval shaped and have a yellow flesh and skin. They are a waxy potato, so if you can't find Nicola's just substitute another waxy variety.

The recipe I'll be making is a luxurious version of Hasselback potatoes that are topped with camembert that melts and oozes into the thin slices of potato and if that wasn't enough, a generous garnish of sautéed garlic and hazelnuts is scattered over them.

hasselback potatoes with camembert and hazelnut dressing© by haalo

Hasselback Potatoes with Camembert and Hazelnut Dressing

4 medium sized Nicola potatoes, washed and dried, skin left on
softened butter
freshly ground pepper

Hazelnut Dressing
50 grams roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 small garlic clove, thinly sliced
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F.

The most important part and the most difficult part is slicing the potatoes. There are a few tricks but the most important part is to use a sharp knife and take your time.

Place the potato on a board and find out the side in which it will lay the flattest. You can take a thin slice off the bottom to make the base flat and more sturdy. Make a series of cuts running the width of the potato, from end to end, 1-2 mm apart - you don't want to cut all the way through to the base, stop about 2/3rds of the way down.

Repeat the process with the remaining potatoes.

Rub each potato generously in softened butter, then season with freshly ground pepper. Put them on a baking paper lined tray and place in the oven.

Let them cook for 30 minutes then remove them and brush over with the butter that has collected on the paper, making sure it drizzles into the opening cuts. Return to the oven and continue cooking until they are golden on the outside and soft in the centre when tested with a skewer.

When cooked place them on your serving dish and position a piece of camembert on top of each then drizzle over with the hazelnut dressing. The heat of the potatoes will cause the cheese to melt so serve them straight away.

hasselback potatoes with camembert and hazelnut dressing© by haalo

To make the dressing:

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and then add the garlic and hazelnuts. Sauté until the garlic is golden and the hazelnuts are crispy. Let this cool to room temperature before using.

The original recipe also calls for lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar to be added to taste to the cooled garlic hazelnut mixture - the intention is to make it more like a vinaigrette.

hasselback potatoes with camembert and hazelnut dressing© by haalo

Yes, this is quite a rich dish and one medium sized potato will be enough per person.

hasselback potatoes with camembert and hazelnut dressing© by haalo


  1. These potatoes are so beautiful, Haalo!

    I have a hasselback potato recipe (Nigella's) but have never made it.

    Yours are better, I love the look and also the combination of flavors!

  2. absolutely gorgeous.

  3. *drools*

    I have no words, except that I feel really really hungry...

  4. Those look absolutely amazing!

  5. What food is all about. If only we could smell the potatoes as well as see them and imagine eating them. It's everything I want to do in life.

  6. they look glorious. what a wonderful combination!

    i think that rockmelon soup might be the prettiest i've ever seen.

  7. Every day you seem to have something utterly tempting. I will have to make these.....the other day I found Gorgonzola at my local (Wangaratta) Safeway. Couldn't believe it, and I think some of that melted over them instead of the sauce you mention could be a great alternative.

  8. I didn't think potatoes could look so tantalizingly delicious. You proved they can! Thanks for an innovative potato recipe. I can't wait to try it!

  9. Thanks Patricia - I only wish people could taste these rather than just look at the pictures, they are that good.

    Thanks Bee!

    Ellie - just think you can make this and have it all for yourself!

    Thanks Brilynn!

    Trig - what we need is for someone to invent the smellernet.

    Thanks Truffle that's very kind of you - the garlic hazelnuts are a real surprise and are just a perfect foil.

    Thanks Pietro - gorgonzola would be perfect in this, i think it would even go well with the hazelnuts.

    Thanks Susan - Even as a potato devotee I am so pleased with this dish and I hope you enjoy it too!

  10. THOSE are po-TA-toes? They look like dessert -- I can't wait to try them.

  11. Thanks CC - hope you enjoy them!

  12. Having never heard of them before a couple of weeks ago, I have been dreaming about Hasselbak potatoes ever since reading about them on Jeanne's (Cook Sister!) site. And now you make this amazing variation! They look fabulous!

    I'm curious; what did you serve these with?


    P.S. Oooooh, gorgonzola!! Good idea, Pietro!

  13. Thanks Elizabeth - actually I served these with sirloin steak, they are a great match to beef.

  14. Haalo, the potatoes are absolutely gorgeous! And hats off to your patience for slicing them so thin and so perfectly. I will try this one soon...

  15. Thanks Chandrika - a good sharp knife makes all the difference. I hope you enjoy making them!

  16. holycow! what a creative and truly unique way to cook potatos. i would never think to put these flavors together and it looks *awesome*!

  17. Thanks Aria - even without the cheese and hazelnuts, hasselback potatoes are delicious but this just puts them on a different level.

  18. Hello Haalo, I've never seen nor heard of hasselback potatoes. Sounds like a decadent dish indeed, and your photos are lovely!

  19. Thanks Linda - hasselback potatoes are sort of an old-fashioned dish, though this version certainly gives them a modern appeal.

  20. hi there,
    Wonderful recipe...i first thought they r Pasta shells(guess was not wearing my spectacles)...
    Too good...will try soon for next party...
    Happy cooking
    food lovers

  21. Thanks Foodlovers - I hope you enjoy making them!

  22. Very nice combination ;)
    Sorry for the late comment - i found your recipe through a recommendation by a friend of mine. I've been slicing potatoes too just like you did, but i filled the slots with slices of garlic and rosemary (well, you have plenty of other possibilities for sure ;) ). The potatoes are a lot easier to cut and stop just 1-2mm-s before cutting through if you put your potatoes on a spoon. The spoon will stop your knife just before you cut your slices off. And by the way using a spoon you don't need to look for a flat side on the potatoes. Just a simple trick to make life more easy ;)


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