New Recipe-Hasselback Potatoes Gratin à la Serious Eat’s J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

I intended to look up a scalloped potato recipe for tonight’s dinner with the whole fam-bamily, but got sidetracked by Facebook… Uh oh? No! The first things I came across was a New York Times Food link to one of one of my favorite food site people- J. Kenji Lopez-Alt from

Hasselback Potato Gratin (“These Might Be the Best Potatoes Ever”)
Look at this glorious photo and click on it to link to recipe (or click here: SeriousEats.comHasselbackPotatoGratin)

These were easy to put together with the cheese grating delegated to The Girl and potato peeling to The Husband. All I needed was my super-sharp chef’s knife (recently sharpened by my dad, thanks, dad!) to get super thin slices from my russets. Then I tossed them in the cream, salt, pepper, thyme, and garlic.

Here they are, half cooked at 400 degrees for thirty minutes, before they got shoved in a box and carted up to one of the in-law’s house:

(pretend that this is a picture of the half baked potatoes, use your imagination)

And here’s the nearly gone and mostly empty dish, the only pic I could snap of the potatoes that could net the least amount of ridicule from extended family:

These were DELICIOUS! These were unbelievably easy to prepare, travelled well half-cooked (unlike my extended family, LOLOLOL!!) and were gluten-free for the family members with Celiac to whom we wanted to show some kitchen love.

Put this recipe for Hasselback Potato Gratin on you list of new things to try next year.

New Menu Monday- Potato Tacos!

I disagree with The Mom-in-Law, I think shredded beef tacos are the ultimate taco goodness. She prefers ground beef. Gotta admit, her ground beef tacos are the best I’ve ever had. Her secret? Simmer the ground beef for a while in a little water after browning with onions and garlic. This turns the beef into a tender, flavorful taco stuffing that is far from any fast food ground beef taco.

But, I like my shredded beef tacos better, and they are quicker. My trick is using leftover roast beef- my roast is more of a tender, falling apart braise than a rare, prime rib style roast beef. It is pretty much shredded when done… that’s how to tell it is done. Does it shred into tender pieces? Yes? Then take it out. A  3lb. chuck roast takes about 3 hours in the oven at 275-300 degrees (here’s a beautiful tip- a frozen roast at 275 degrees and 4.5 hours later it’s happy dinner time).

But, I gave up meat for Lent. So. How about copying our favorite Mexican joint’s potato tacos? We LOVE the So. Cal restaurant El Ranchito… I’ve never had better refried beans. We discovered the potato tacos last year and I loved them, too. Tonight I made a big batch of what we call Camp Potatoes (sliced potatoes fried in butter and oil with sliced onions, garlic, salt and pepper), and fried up a mess of corn tortillas. Cast iron pans are the best, aren’t they? The Husband stuffed them, we cheesed them and after about 15 minutes in the oven, we had a great dinner. We are soooooo making these again.

Onions up, potatoes in the line up...
Onions up, potatoes on deck…
Onions and potatoes frying... Yum.
Onions and potatoes frying… Yum.
Time to stuff the torts.
Time to stuff the torts- potatoes and shredded cheddar.
Tortillas in the oil, onions and potatoes almost finished.
Tortillas in the oil, potatoes almost finished.