A few weeks ago, I needed a dish to take to a gathering. Potatoes seemed to fit with the overall plan, so I decided to try something using the Hasselback method – slicing potatoes really thin, coating them with cream, and baking them.
Normally, a true Hasselback is only sliced part-way through, making a sort of fan-shaped potato. Then you place them in the dish with the sliced edges vertical. This gives you nice crispy edges and soft, baked centers. But that is just a hell of a lot of work for as many as I was going to need. So I tried something different. I simply sliced the potatoes completely using my mouli-style slicer (or you could use a food processor or mandoline) It turned out perfectly and everyone loved them. You will to. And it was easy – here’s how.
Hasselback Potato Gruyere
- 3 oz grated Gruyere cheese
- 2 oz grated Parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbl fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and Pepper
- 3 to 3 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled
- 2 Tbl butter
- Milk, if necessary
Preheat oven to 400 F
Using a 2 quart baking dish, lay out your potatoes in the dish to make sure you have enough to TIGHTLY pack the dish. If you’re short, peel a few more.
Grease the baking dish (if you have a Le Creuset covered casserole, this is the time to use it – it’s perfect.)
Using a slicer or food processor, slice the potatoes uniformly, about 1/8″ wide. Place the potatoes in a very large bowl – the biggest you have.
Combine cheeses, setting aside 1/3 of the mixture in a small bowl for later.
Add cream, garlic and thyme to cheese mixture. Add 1/4 tsp pepper and 1 tsp salt – or more to taste.
Add cream mixture to your large bowl of potatoes. Set the casserole close by. Toss all the potato slices until every surface is coated with the cream mixture. Separate the slices with your fingers to make sure.
Pick up a handful of slices and straighten them like you would a deck of cards. Gently press them vertically into the dish. The cream will help them stick together. Keep adding slices by the handful, starting at one end and working toward the other, packing them tightly in the dish. By the end, you’ll be stuffing the slices in! Pull out any wayward pieces.
When you get to the little ragged bits, pour the remainder over the middle of the dish.
If needed, add a little milk to bring the liquid up to just under halfway on the baking dish.
Cover tightly with a lid or foil and back for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 30 minutes. Pull out the dish and sprinkle the reserved cheese mixture of the top and transfer back to the oven for another 20 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Let rest for about 10 minutes and serve.