i'm pretty sure i've eaten potatoes every which way. that is until the accordion potato, or as some people refer to it: hasselback potatoes. accordion potatoes are a swedish tradition dating back to the 18th century. i never knew about them until i saw a picture of them on instagram. since that day i have been obsessed with getting them perfect - tender and mushy on the inside, and crispy and crunchy on the outside. it took many attempts and caused quite a bit of frustration...first, i tried covering them with foil for the first 40 minutes, then uncovering them and bumping up the heat for the last 20 minutes. the second time i tried keeping them uncovered at a steady temperature for a little under an hour - this yielded dry and unevenly cooked potatoes, yuck. the third time i kept them uncovered, at a steady temp, and i checked on them every 20 minutes to turn them and coat them with olive oil - this yielded some pretty amazing accordions!
the thing i didn't think about was the fact that these are essentially a baked potato, but by cutting the slits in them you're exposing them to air (duh), and therefore they are much more prone to drying out during the baking process. so, the trick is to coat them with a generous slather of olive oil before baking, and to continually re-coat them with olive oil while they are baking. i chose to stuff these little guys with thinly sliced garlic. similarly, you can stuff them with shallots, onions, or herbs. the only piece of advise i have is to slice the stuffings thin enough so that they fit in the potato slices. in this recipe i use white yams, they tend to take longer to cook so i chose to slice them in 1/8" slices - if you're using a regular potato i would probably use 1/4" slices.
*non-vegans, you can totally use melted butter in conjunction with the olive oil. just melt a tablespoon or 2 (depending on how many potatoes you are using) in a microwave safe bowl, and slather all over the potatoes.
thank you, frank for taking these lovely photos. couldn't have done it without you
bake time: 60 minutes
pre heat oven to 400°
prepare a baking dish with a thin layer of olive oil
3 medium sized yams
3 large cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil (decrease amount of oil if using butter as well)
prepare a small bowl with a 1/4 cup of olive oil
scrub potatoes clean
while the potatoes are drying, thinly slice the garlic (i used 3 cloves because i love garlic, if you're not such a lover reduce the amount)
slice the potatoes 3/4 of the way down being careful not to slice them all the way through. repeat with the other potatoes
take your garlic slices; one at a time insert them into the potato slices (like i mentioned, i love garlic so i put a slice in each potato slit. likewise, you can do every other slit or every third slit)
using a pastry brush, brush the potatoes with the olive oil making sure to get in between each potato slit - repeat with remaining potatoes. use the leftover oil and drizzle it around the bottom of the baking dish (this will be used when you re-coat the potatoes as they are baking)
season with salt place in the middle of your oven - set a timer for 20 minutes. after 20 minutes take the potatoes out. using your pastry brush re-coat the potatoes with the oil at the bottom of the baking dish, trying to get in between each slit. place back in oven and set timer for another 20 minutes - repeat when buzzer goes off. set for an additional 20 minutes - when the buzzer goes off your potatoes should be cooked through. if you like a crisp skin, keep them in the oven and turn the heat up to 500° or broil, for 5 minutes to get them really crispy. serve, and enjoy