How to Make Hasselback Potatoes

How to Make Hasselback Potatoes

Maybe the rest of the world has known about them for ages, but I just stumbled upon Hasselback potatoes. With thin slits made most, but not all of the way through (so they hold together at the bottom), they fan out during baking. Elegant and fun, without being much more trouble than an “ordinary” baked or roasted potatoes, I've fallen in love with them.

You can make Hasselbacks simply or load them up with lots of extras. Either way, the general directions for the potato are the same. (The recipe or technique was invented at  the Hasselbacken Hotel in Stockholm, hence the name.)

After checking numerous recipes and making several Hasselbacks myself, here's my take on this amazing potato dish:

5 Tips for Making Hasselback Potatoes

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Moroccan-Style Acorn Squash

Moroccan-Style Acorn Squash

This recipe began when I "discovered" an acorn squash hiding among my produce. Although squash lasts a long time and doesn’t come with a “use by” date, I needed to use it sooner rather than later. In my book, wasting food is practically criminal. 

So off I went to find a recipe that would be something other than the tried-and-true roasted or baked squash. I do love to stuff acorn squash with apples and onions and there is nothing wrong with simply dusting the cavity with spices or cutting it up in chunks, but I was in the mood to improvise.

Using the inspiration of a beautiful post from The Bitten Word, I took the theme of squash with spices, nuts, and raisins and went in a rather different direction. Instead of a meat and bulgur mixture that included much of the flesh from the squash, I left the squash intact and filled it with rice and kale.

We’ll have to consult my friend Amanda, an American expat living in Marrakech, to find out if this dish bears any resemblance to real Moroccan food. In any event, we liked it. My husband and chief taste-tester, ever on the lookout for a snack, approved the dish even before it was served; when he spied leftover filling sitting in the pan as the squash heated in the oven, he grabbed a spoon and made quick work of it.

Moroccan-Style Vegetarian Stuffed Squash

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Kasha Varnishkes - Buckwheat and Bowties

Kasha Varnishkes - Buckwheat and Bowties

Kasha varnishkes is comfort food, plain and simple. Roasted buckwheat groats with bowtie noodles, and of course, onions and garlic. Serve it to me with Jewish-style brisket and I’m in comfort food heaven.

I recognize that for those who didn’t grow up with Eastern European (Askenazic) Jewish food, the combination may seem odd. But trust me, it’s really delicious and goes well with simple roast or baked chicken as well as brisket or other braised or stewed meat. When I visited food stores in the Russian emigrant neighborhood of Bright Beach Brooklyn, I found kasha prominently displayed because it is a favorite of Eastern Europeans generally, not just Jews from that area.

When I searched for ways to describe buckwheat, the closest I could come up with was wild rice. Both are seeds, and the taste and slight chewiness of wild rice does bear a similarity to kasha. (Kasha is Yiddish for buckwheat and “varnishkes” refers to the bowtie noodles.) Roasting the buckwheat intensifies its flavor and the other ingredients add a depth to the dish that has to be tasted to be truly appreciated.

Kasha Varnishkes

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