Lady Baby had good times with her paternal grandfather on this trip. A little cooking got accomplished while she read books with him or showed how she could climb the steps of her little slide and whoosh down (instructing him that he needn’t put his hand on the railing by gently removing it each time he rested it there).
Mrs. Hughes suggested a potato recipe she found (and I refound by Googling “potatoes slits olive oil”) – Hasselback Potatoes, named by the Hasselbacken Hotel in Stockholm. I learned they are also popular in Ireland, known there as accordion potatoes. The blog “Seasaltwithfood” has a precise recipe (here).
One of the big advantages to these potatoes is you can flavor them as you choose – it’s the way they are cut that makes them special. They are accordion-like in their fanned out way, but to me when they come out of the oven, they look like croissants – and share certain flakey delicious characteristics!
Mrs. Hughes is really good with her hands (you can always tell by the presentation who has prepared what). We didn’t peel the potatoes, just scrubbed them well. Then, starting at one end, Mrs. Hughes cut careful slits in four potatoes, more than the width of a potato chip but less than quarter-inch, nearly through each potato (on the Internet I read suggestions to place wooden chopsticks or spoons along the sides of the potato to keep you from cutting all the way through).
She slivered two or three cloves of garlic and inserted it into the fanned-out slits. The original recipe called for olive oil and butter, but we used just olive oil and drizzled it over the potatoes, topping with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. We chopped and sprinkled some of rosemary I brought from my garden. A simple version and utterly perfect. (More elaborate versions suggest options: Italian seasoning, paprika, dried breadcrumbs on peeled potatoes, with cheese, herbs, vegetables, or bacon.)
There is so little to this recipe, you have to try it to see how pretty the potatoes look when they come out of the oven (40 minutes at 425°). The potatoes are both tender and crispy – beautiful and delicious.
We served them with a frittata stuffed with kale and chard – and had a feast!