Brace yourself for an unpopular opinion:
I think Hasselback Potatoes are overrated.
Now if you’ve somehow managed to dodge them in their Pinterest-flooding prime, Hasselback Potatoes are baked potatoes, but with thin slits cut into the top. The slits shouldn’t go all the way through — you want the potato to stay attached at the bottom– and butter is added in between each crevice to crisp the slices to the texture of french fries. People often add garlic and herbs or breadcrumbs, and after an hour of baking, the potatoes are supposed to be crispy on the top, creamy in the middle, and gorgeously fanned.
Supposed to be. But in my experience, that’s not exactly what happens.
In my experience, they don’t really wind up crisp on the top, nor soft in the center. It’s really more of a “dried out old potato” texture, if they ever wind up cooking fully through at all. And honestly, they’re not usually very flavorful for something that takes so much effort.
But in spite of all of that, I still was all geared up to make a twist on Hasselback Potatoes last week. I believed that by using sweet potatoes and a flavor-loaded butter, they would wind up tasty and well worth the time. And speaking of time, I figured that microwaving the potatoes until softened would cut out a lot of the waiting and create a more even texture, so that crisping up the tops in the oven would be quick and easy.
But as I meticulously sliced my sweet potatoes (with a few goof-ups in the process), I had a thought. If I’m truly trying to save time and get the potatoes to cook through evenly, why don’t I use my mandolin to cut the potatoes? They’ll be thinly and evenly sliced, and I can fly through the process in seconds. Stacked vertically into a small baking dish, they’ll crisp on the top and be creamy on the bottom all the same. Plus, I’ll still be able to stick slivers of garlic and jalapeno in between the slices, and let the hot honey garlic butter drip down into the cracks. The Hot Honey Garlic Sweet Potato Bake will be like all of the good parts of Hasselback Potatoes, but a million times better.
And not to toot my own horn or anything, but I was right.
The Hot Honey Garlic Sweet Potato Bake wound up looking beautiful enough for a fancy meal, but was simple enough for an everyday side dish. And the flavor? Thanks to the generous brush of a combination of honey, jalapeno, garlic, butter, and apple cider vinegar, it were absolutely addictive. James and I could not stop eating forkfuls of potatoes.
I especially loved how they seemed to just melt in my mouth, but with the slightest crunch around the edges.
Maaan, those sweet potatoes were good.
If sweet potatoes are your thing, this Hot Honey Garlic Sweet Potato Bake is one recipe you’ve got to try. And when you do, don’t forget to take a picture and tag #hostthetoast on Instagram to show your glistening potatoes off before you gobble them down.
And if you forget to do that the first time around, don’t worry. This is one recipe you’ll be making again, for sure.
- 5 medium sweet potatoes
- 5 cloves garlic. sliced thin
- 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced thin and seeds removed
- ¼ cup honey
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 3 chives chopped, to top
- Spray a small baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Using a mandolin, thinly slice the sweet potatoes into rounds. Arrange the potato slices vertically in the prepared baking dish. Microwave the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes to soften the sweet potatoes and reduce the overall baking time.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F
- Place a sliver of garlic between every few slices of sweet potato, reserving about a clove's worth for later. Do the same with the jalapeno slices, reserving about a quarter of them for later. For less heat, use less jalapeno slices.
- Roughly chop the remaining garlic and jalapeno. Place them in a small bowl with the honey and unsalted butter. Cover loosely and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the butter is fully melted and the mixture is well-combined. Mix in the apple cider vinegar and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Brush the sweet potatoes liberally with the honey-butter mixture. Once glistening, sprinkle with additional salt and pepper, and transfer the sweet potatoes to the oven. Bake until lightly crisped around the edges, about 30-35 minutes.
- Drizzle lightly with additional honey butter if the sweet potatoes have dried out. Top with chopped chives and serve warm.
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