I’ve been feeling the hasselback potatoes lately. They are just so simple to prepare that they have fitted in marvellously to the laid back feel of the bank holiday weekend we’ve had here this week. It’s been lovely to have had plenty of time to spend in the kitchen, revelling having the back door open onto the garden again, allowing the sunshine and fresh spring breeze to drift on through. May has brought with it the warmer temperatures from the continent and banished the flurry of snow and hail storms we had last week. April really couldn’t make its mind up what it wanted to do so good riddance and hello May!
At the weekend I was wanting an alternative to my usual roast potatoes for the Sunday roast so made these herby hasselback’s. The only way to improve a hasselback potato is to load it full of cheese and crispy bacon, so it had to be done, resulting in a rather fancy version of a good ol’ baked potato. Decadent, satisfying, delicious. These fully loaded taters can be eaten on their own or as an accompaniment to a meat course.
To make 4 of these posh baked potatoes you’ll need:
4 large sized potatoes
100g extra-mature Cheddar cheese cut into thin slices (plus a little extra to grate on top)
100g Red Leicester cheese cut into thin slices (plus a little extra to grate on top)
150g smoked streaky bacon
2 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat your oven to 180C/360F.
Wash and dry the potatoes.
Cut slits into the potatoes – Grab a wooden spoon (or large serving spoon) and rest your potato on it, using the spoon as a guide as to how far down the potato to cut. Once your knife reaches the sides of the spoon then you know you’re as deep as you want to slice. You want to stop when you’re about 3/4 of the way through so that the slices stay connected to the bottom of the potato. Continue slicing down every 1/2 cm or so until the whole potato is done, then move on to the next one and repeat.
Place the potatoes into a baking dish and pour over the olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper.
Put the baking dish in the oven for 40 minutes. At the end of this time, remove from the oven. The layers will have started to fan out (as in the image above). Get a spoon and use it to pour any oil at the bottom of the dish back over the potatoes and then slide slices of cheese between the layers.
Put back in the oven again and bake for another 20 minutes.
While the potatoes are in the oven, stick a frying pan on a low heat, cut the bacon into thin strips and cook slowly until cooked but not browned.
Remove the potatoes from the oven, sprinkle with a little grated Cheddar and Red Leicester and then top with the bacon bits. Place back in the oven for a further 10 minutes.
When finished cooking, take out the oven and serve immediately.