Karen Wright: A trip to Sweden inspires a tasty Scandinavian favourite
This was the case recently when I was telling my mum that my youngest daughter was going on holiday to Sweden and was staying at the Hasselbacken Hotel, which is where they say Hasselback potatoes were invented. This was when I discovered that mum had never come across this method of preparing and cooking potatoes.
The Hasselback potato is similar to a roast potato, but it has been sliced into thin slivers without cutting right through to the bottom before being cooked. I find it easier to cut these slices by putting the potato in a wooden spoon and cutting it in there, the curve of the spoon prevents the knife from slicing right through. Then it is just a case of massaging some oil and salt into the potato and slightly fanning the slices apart. Really it is just a way to create more surface area for flavours to nestle in and become tasty and very crispy. I quite often rub some crushed garlic and rosemary or thyme into the potatoes too. I have used the same technique on carrots, and they were very scrumptious indeed.
When I think of Swedish food the first thing that comes into my head are meatballs, apart from these gorgeous potatoes of course, but in fact fish is very popular in Sweden. Not surprising as the sea is all around. I like to serve salmon when I make the Hasselback. Salmon is such a beautiful colour and is one of the oily fish that we are all recommended to consume more of. I normally remove the skin before cooking and I either gently pan fry in a knob of butter or I bake in the oven alongside some cherry tomatoes that are still on the vine. All the salmon needs is a grind of salt and a squeeze of lemon, scrumptious!
One of the things I love to do is a bit of research about food and recipes if I am going anywhere new, especially if I am on holiday, to me it is all part of the experience. This summer I am heading off to Europe for a month, I will be travelling in a motorhome through France, into Italy and back via Switzerland and eastern France. I will be blogging the trip and gathering content to share online and who knows I may even write a book about my adventures, watch this space!