Haven’t made Hasselback potatoes in years. And the last time I made them with new potatoes and didn’t like them much as they were far too crunchy. This time around I’ve gone with medium sized white potatoes and I’m not sure if they’re the best to use. Especially as one of them nearly split in half. I’ve just checked online and the BBC’s recipe suggested roasting potatoes. Hmm, but they don’t say which type to use. This site has lots of info on differing potatoes, if anybody’s interested. Anyway, they tasted great with leftover tuna fishcakes. As for the parsley sauce, this is a fairly quick version compared to my other recipe on here. With far fewer ingredients as I didn’t have much to hand. Pleased to say that using a firm stalk or stem of a Calabrese broccoli that was lurking in my cupboard worked out really well. At last I now know what to do with them as I dislike chucking all of that flavour and nutrition in the bin.
A little bit of an update: as I made the parsley sauce again this time I went the lazier route of having it with sautéed potatoes and Bavarian smoked ham. I did have a side of pan-fried broccoli, courgette/zucchini, green beans, shallots and garlic (the latter two poached in the stock). Regardless of how delicious sautéed potatoes are they’re not exactly the healthiest. Because of that I refuse to pan-fry them on more than moderate heat – which invariably means they take ages to get them nicely golden, as in the photos. Worth it, though.
Hasselback Potatoes and a Quick Parsley Sauce
For the parsley sauce:
- 200ml (0.42 US pt lqd) x water
- 1/2 x organic very low salt vegetable stock cube
- 1 x dried bay leaf, ripped
- 1 x Calabrese broccoli stem or stalk, trimmed and washed and split in half
- 2 x small round shallots, trimmed and peeled
- 2 x garlic cloves, peeled, trimmed and split in half
- 1 x tablespoon olive oil
- 1 x tablespoon plain (all purpose) flour
- single/light cream
- seasoning, especially freshly ground black pepper
- fresh parsley, about 1 tablespoon, rinsed and either snipped or finely chopped, more to personal taste
For the hasselback potatoes:
- olive oil and butter
- 2 or more x medium long white potatoes (oval in shape) per person, scrubbed, peeled, rinsed, sliced crossways to slightly more than 2/3 of the way through, about 4mm (05⁄32 in) apart (see photo below). If using organic it’s not essential to peel them.
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
For the parsley sauce:
- Add the water and bay leaf to a large saucepan. Put on electric heat No 4 (out of 6), add the half stock cube and the other ingredients and bring to boiling point with a lid on pan. Reduce heat to No 2 and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the stem of broccoli is soft when pierced with a fork. Take off heat.
- Remove and discard the stem. Keep the shallots as a side. Either mash the garlic into the stock or keep for something else (I used mine in the tuna fishcakes).
- In a different saucepan add the olive oil, a little butter and the flour. Put on lowest heat setting and stir through. Any signs of bubbling take off heat and allow to cool before putting it back on heat. The flour must not burn or turn brown. Cook out the flour for up to 5 minutes, then take off heat.
- When stock is ready either pour that into the runny roux or vice versa. I’m so used to doing this that I know of how much to use. If making this for the first time it might be best to add some of the roux in batches. Either way, put the stock back on heat No 3 or 4 stirring pretty much constantly until the sauce starts to thicken. Reduce heat to low, add cream to achieve the consistency needed. Add a little freshly ground black pepper, to personal taste.
- If storing overnight do not add the parsley. Just before serving sprinkle the parsley either into the sauce or on the plate.
For the Hasselback potatoes:
- Preheat oven to 200°C, 400°F or Gas 6.
- Try to use potatoes of even size as otherwise they will roast to differing levels. Simply brush them as evenly as possible with olive oil, then layer a thin slice of butter on top. Place in a suitable roasting tin or tray and roast for up to one hour. Halfway through baste them with the oil and butter. Check occasionally, and if they’re nicely golden they should be cooked. With my oven it took an hour.
For sautéed potatoes (as in the photo directly above):
- Use about 3 medium long white potatoes per person.
- Keep them in their skins, and after scrubbing them place in a saucepan with enough lightly salted cold water to cover and place on a lid. Put on electric heat No 4 (out of 6) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to No 2 and simmer for 5 – 7 minutes, depending on their size. They should just about pierce if a fork is lightly pushed into them. Drain, allow steam to evaporate and when cool enough to handle peel off any rough skin or knobbly bits. Cut into slices or slice in half lengthways, put a heavy-based pan/skillet on heat No 3. When pan is hot add a little olive oil, place in the potatoes. Grab them underneath with a fish slice to prevent them from sticking. Turn them over when nicely golden. Reduce heat to No 2 and add a small knob of butter. Continue to cook whilst preparing the sauce. If they’re ready before the sauce take off heat and cover with a lid.
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