Sweet potatoes are a staple on our Thanksgiving table, candied sweet potatoes to be exact. But this year I wanted to try something different. I’ve been experimenting some stuffed Hasselback sweet potatoes. A Hasselback potato is one that’s thinly sliced, topped with bread crumbs and herbs, and then roasted. Traditionally, it made with russet potatoes but I’m fond of tweaking tradition a little so I went with sweet potatoes instead. Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods and considered to be a “superfood” on all of those “foods you should eat” lists. Then, there’s also the fact that I’m allergic to all other potatoes. I was curious about the origins of the name and from what I’ve read, Hasselback potatoes came from the restaurant of the Hasselbacken Hotel in Stockholm Sweden some time in the 1940’s.
Start by choosing some evenly shaped sweet potatoes, they’re easier to slice.
Next, you want to peel them, at least the top 3/4 and leave the peel on the bottom part that sits on the pan. The trick to slicing the potatoes almost all of the way through is to lay two chopsticks on either side, that way you won’t accidentally cut them too far.
Once you’ve cut them, carefully rub them with some olive oil and put them in an oiled roasting dish or pan. For easier clean up I recommend lining your pan with some parchment paper. I didn’t do this the first time but I will next time, the pan had to soak awhile to come clean. Preheat your oven to 400°
I stuffed my sweet potatoes with a combination of apples, cranberries and pecans. I mixed them with some Earth Balance butter substitute, maple syrup, applesauce and cinnamon to create a sauce to “glue” it all together. Feel free to make substitutions here. You can use walnuts instead of pecans, or leave out the nuts altogether. (That’s for you TC) You could also substitute pears instead of apples and use raisins or chopped figs in place of the cranberries. You could also use some agave or honey in place of the maple syrup. Lots of room for creativity.
I recommend that you finely dice the peeled apples, these were a little too chunky and made it difficult to stuff them between the slices.
Carefully push some of the stuffing between the slices of potato. The rest you can pile on the top. Drizzle any remaining liquid over them as well.
Cover the dish with foil and bake them in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the topping so it doesn’t burn. After they’re done you may want to drizzle a little more maple syrup over them if they seem dry. If you going to serve these for Thanksgiving, I would recommend cutting each one in half.
Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
Serves 2-4 - Use organic ingredients whenever possible
2 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter substitute (chopped in little pieces)
2 tablespoons applesauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup peeled and finely diced apple
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch salt
Preheat oven to 400
Wash and peel the sweet potatoes 3/4 of the way, leaving some peel on the bottom of the potato.
Lay wooden chop sticks on each side of the potato and slice as thinly as you can.
Rub them with a little olive oil.
Oil a baking dish or line it with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients.
Carefully try to push some of the stuffing mixture between the slices.
Pile the remaining stuffing on top of each potato.
Drizzle any remaining liquid over the potatoes.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes, being careful not to burn the topping.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.