Divas on a Dime: What the heck is a Hassleback potato?

“What did that potato ever do to you?” That’s what my son said when he saw me slicing that poor potato into skinny slices.

Hassleback Potato or Potato à la Hasselbacken is a technique of preparing a potato where the potatoes are cut a bit more than halfway through, like a fan.

Then butter, herbs, spices, breadcrumbs and/or nuts are added in between the slices (and on top, OMG) and baked, thus creating the uber super tuber. Do you want to take the inexpensive humble potato or sweet potato up a giant sophisticated notch? Do this.

This technique is wonderful for white potatoes but this time of year we all crave the richer flavor of the sweet potato. So, here’s a spectacular sweet potato side dish perfect for autumn.

In this recipe, you’ll find all the flavors in the butter are absorbed into the potato and the crunch of the oatmeal cookie crumble adds beautiful texture. Surprisingly, it’s not overly sweet. Perfect with a pork roast or with Thanksgiving dinner. Or add some crumbled bacon and call it dinner.

Maple Pecan Hassleback Sweet Potatoes with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble

What You’ll Need:

4 sweet potatoes

For the compound butter:

¼ cup butter - softened

1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar

¼ teaspoon maple flavoring

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons pecans, minced

For the crumble:

2/3 cups old fashioned oats

½ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

¼ cup butter - softened

2 tablespoons pecans, chopped

Here’s How:

Start by making the compound butter. In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Drop the butter onto a piece of wax paper and form into a log. Refrigerate or freeze until firm enough to slice.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish, set side. Place a sweet potato between two wooden spoon handles or chopsticks. Use the handles for stability and to guide the knife ensuring you don’t accidentally cut completely through the potato. Slice every eighth of an inch along the length of the potato. Repeat with the other potatoes. This took me about 10 minutes and an entire glass of wine. Cover and set aside.

Make the crumble. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients, mixing well. Add the butter and using your fingertips mix until the whole thing is moist. Set aside.

Slice very thin slices of the butter. Gently pull the potato slices apart and place pieces of butter between every few slices of potato. Divide the crumble between the potatoes, place on top, pressing gently to adhere. Bake covered with foil for 25 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes, depending on size. To test for doneness, pierce with a fork or skewer. You should feel little resistance.

Why maple flavoring instead of maple syrup? I’m glad you asked.

When I was experimenting with this recipe the amount of syrup needed to get the maple flavor I wanted added too much liquid making the butter way too soft. But the concentrated flavoring gave great maple flavor without turning the potatoes into soup. Divalicious!

Fabulous Food contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Website and blog - www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.