If you have an air fryer, you know that it makes bomb potatoes. The super hot air whipping around inside the tabletop convection oven makes short order of a wide variety of spuds: fresh, frozen, and leftover (yes, even leftover fries).
All potatoes are beautiful in my eyes, but bite-sized hasselback fingerlings (“hasselbackspotatis” if you’re Swedish) are my current spud obsession. I’ve started calling them “tiny hassles” and “lil’ hassle-backs,” because they are wee and cute and mildly tedious to prepare, but no more so than regular-sized hasselback potatoes.
The key to good hasselback potatoes lies in making super thin slices about three quarters of the way through the tuber before cooking. This is only a hassle if you’re try to wing it, relying solely on your knife skills to stop the blade from going all the way through to the cutting board. If you are capable of this, amazing. I’m very impressed. But most people are not, and for those people (myself included), I recommend using chopsticks.
Placing a chopstick on either side of the potato keeps the knife from slicing all the way through. You don’t even need the chopsticks to stay right next to the potato — as long as they are positioned somewhere in the knife’s path, you’re good. Slice with a paring knife (I found my big knife unwieldy when working with these little guys), letting the chopsticks stop the blade at just the right spot.
Once your spuds are hasselbacked, toss them in some fat and season heavily with salt (or anything else you desire). I’m currently into a combination of bacon fat, garlic salt, and MSG. There’s no need to measure your oil or grease; drizzle it on, toss in a bowl to coat, and leave the excess behind (in the bowl).
Once greased and seasoned, place the potatoes in an air fryer set to 200 degrees Celsius for 15-17 minutes, until they are browned and crispy. (If all you have is a normal-sized oven — your poor thing! — add about 15 minutes to the cook time.) Remove the crunchy, textured, bite-sized wonders and dip them in things. The golden not-quite-slices grip and grab sauces while providing superb textural contrast. Try them hot out of the air fryer, but don’t fret if they cool down a bit — they make a great room-temp, tapas-style snack.