So the first time I ever heard of these things my initial response was “What?? Why in the world would they name a potato after that Baywatch guy, David Hasselhoff???” I know.. it doesn’t take much to amuse me *cheesy grin*.
It was about 8 or 9 years ago and I was at this fancy schmancy restaurant and they brought out this potato that was cut so funky (accordian-like) and it just perplexed me as to how they got it to do that. I tried asking the waiter but he was so stuck up and could not be bothered with us ‘peasant folk’ that he blew me off multiple times. Yeah, sorry about the no-tip jaggoff. Okay no, I’m not really. I hate rude people. Any who I called the restaurant a few days later (pre-opening time) and asked to talk with the chef. I said who I was and the issue I had with the waiter and just had a basic question. He then sat on the phone with me for a good 45 minutes explaining this thing to me and how you can take something so simplistic and let’s face it, BORING, as a potato and turn it into well… a work of art!
That night I set out to make them. Now I’m not going to lie. They are SUPER easy to make … that is, once you get the cutting technique down right. I went through about 5 potatoes that night trying to get the cut right. See the trick with these is to have a VERY sharp knife (non-serrated) and patience. A LOT of patience!
When you cut these, the cuts are about a 1/4″ apart from one another BUT you only cut them about 90% through. So when you make the cut, you cut all the way down to the bottom but you do NOT cut all the way through! You want the bottom (say about 1/4″-1/3″) connected. You want the potato to fan out when it bakes but remain intact.
Here’s a trick if you’re unsure… get 2 chopsticks or wooden spoons and lay the potato between them. When you cut down, your knife will be stopped by the chopsticks/wooden spoons and never hit the bottom of the potato. This way you’re sure not to cut all the way through.
Got it? Good!
Remember.. PATIENCE 🙂
Now with the recipe below, the sky’s the limit as to how you want to season these. I just went simple with Parmesan Cheese and chives. You could do a chili spice, bacon stuffed, loaded, garlic and so forth…
What flavors will you use?
- 4 medium potatoes, cleaned
- 1 Tbl garlic, minced
- 4 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 ccup + 1 Tbl cup grated Parmesan (have some additional for sprinkling as a garnish)
- chopped chives
- sour cream, optional
- butter, optional
- Preheat oven to 425˚F with rack in the middle of the oven.
- Lay potatoes between wooden spoons flat on cutting board and starting from one end of the potato, make slits about 3-4mm apart.
- Cut to about 1/4 inch from the base of the potato. Be careful not to slice all the way through. The potato will fan out a bit as it bakes.
- Combine olive oil, 1 Tbl Parmesan Cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and paprika in a small bowl.
- Carefully spoon each slit of the potatoes with the mixture
- Rub potatoes with remaining oil.
- Arrange potatoes on baking sheet and if you want, drizzle a little more olive oil on top.
- Bake for about 40-45 minutes.
- The inside should be cooked through and the outside of the potato should be crispy.
- Top with remaining Parmesan cheese and chives.