Hasselback potatoes look impressive but are very easy! These Spanish-style potatoes are seasoned with paprika and garlic, and stuffed with manchego cheese and serrano ham.
When most people meal-plan, they choose the main part of the meal. Maybe some choose side dishes as well, but I think most of us are guilty of just making them an afterthought. This meal was the first time I built the meal around the side dish.
This actually came about because I had a package of three Spanish charcuterie meats. I made one of my favorite pizzas, manchego chorizo. But I still had serrano ham and salchichon in the package to ... do what with?
I remembered reading about Hasselback potatoes on a cooking forum on which I participate. They're a Swedish version of baked potatoes. They're supposed to combine the creamy flesh of baked potatoes with the crispy edges of oven-baked fries. Some simply brush them in herbed oil and bake, while others load them up with enough toppings to be a meal unto themselves.
So, I served my Swedish baked potatoes Spanish-style. "A la Mancha" means "in the style of La Mancha," a region southeast of Madrid, Spain, from where we get Manchego cheese and Don Quixote. After baking the potatoes drizzled with paprika-garlic oil, I stuffed them with strips of serrano ham and piled on the manchego cheese. I served them with a whole roasted chicken. Feedback from the family? "Why serve them any other way??" (translation: they were awesome).
- 4 medium russet potatoes
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 ounces manchego cheese, grated
- 4 slices serrano ham, cut into strips
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with tinfoil, spray with nonstick spray.
- Place two butter knives, chopsticks or ¼-inch dowels on a cutting board. Cut a small sliver from one side of each potato, so they lay flat.
- Place one potato between the butter knives (or chopsticks or dowels). Using a very sharp chef's knife, cut slits every ⅛th of an inch crosswise down the length of the potato. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
- In a measuring cup, combine the olive oil, paprika and salt. Use a microplane to grate the garlic into the measuring cup. Stir to combine. Use a pastry brush to brush the oil mixture all over each potato, letting the oil seep into the cuts.
- Bake the potatoes for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Gently and carefully fan out the potatoes. Place a strip of serrano ham in each cut. Stuff some cheese into the cuts and mound on top of each potato.
- Bake another 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.
An original recipe by The Redhead Baker