How Chopsticks Can Help You Make Potatoes

Potatoes are an extremely versatile food. From mashed potatoes for your holiday dinner to baked potatoes for your summer barbecue to thinly sliced chips for a light snack, these root vegetables are a great comfort food. Idahoan states that potatoes potatoes are nutrient-dense and made from complex carbohydrates, making them a hearty, filling food.

But if you've never made hasselback potatoes, this cooking method might seem a little daunting. To achieve the perfect bake, you need to make sure the slices of the potato are consistent and be careful not to slice all the way through. There are fancy guides you can use to get a perfect outcome every time, but these tools might only have one function, and they'll take up precious space in your kitchen.

Fortunately, there's an easy trick to getting a perfect cut every time using an inexpensive tool that might already be in your kitchen.

Chopsticks can be your guide

Hasselback potatoes are similar to baked potatoes, explains Cooking Classy. The major difference is that instead of one long slice down the middle of the potato, hasselback potatoes are made with smaller, thinner slices that are spread out. It's important to keep the bottom of the potato intact while slicing — otherwise, you could end up with homemade potato chips instead.

If you have leftover chopsticks from your last takeout dinner, they could be exactly the tool you need to make the perfect hasselback potatoes. Williams-Sonoma recommends resting a set of chopsticks on either side of the potato. When you slice through the potato, the knife blade will hit the chopsticks instead of the counter, ensuring that the bottom of the potato is left intact. 

This method will also give your potatoes perfectly even slice depth, ensuring that every part of the potato is cooked evenly.

This dish combines several potato textures

Hasselback potato recipes combine the best elements from all your favorite potato dishes. They're crispy on the outer edges, like French fries, while maintaining a creamy interior, akin to that of mashed potatoes. Once the potatoes are sliced, you can add butter, oil, cheese, or your favorite seasonings to dress them up before baking them.

As with many popular comfort food dishes, the origin of hasselback potatoes is contested. One story states that the dish was invented in 1953 by a chef at the Hasselbacken restaurant, according to Swedish Spoon. Another account states that a 1934 cookbook had a recipe for the potatoes. And in 1948, a recipe for the side dish showed up in a Swedish newspaper.

Whatever the origin, this fancified version of a baked potato is a great way to enjoy all of your favorite potato textures in one tasty bite.