If you are looking for that rustic, elegant and tasty side dish, hasselback potatoes are the go-to choice. In this version, blue cheese and bacon give the potatoes an extra kick and make for a perfect accompaniment to fish, lamb, pork or steak. Pair with a glass of 2013 San Silvestro Domina Barbera d'Alba and you have yourself a dish that wows your family and guests. Let's get cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 new white potatoes (try to keep them the same size)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 slices of bacon, fried and 2 tablespoons of bacon grease reserved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 ounces blue cheese
  • Chives, finely chopped for garnish

Preheat oven to 450° F.

Thinly slice each potato, about 1/4 inch apart, careful not to slice all the way through. One of the easiest tips I've picked up for slicing is to rest the potato in the well of a large spoon, which acts as a knife barrier and provides perfect cutting guidance. Slice down until the edges of the spoon stop the knife.

Coat the potatoes with the olive oil and bacon grease in an oven-proof dish. Top with garlic, salt and pepper, then roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and re-coat the potatoes with drippings from the pan. Return to the oven for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the crumbled blue cheese with the bacon.

Remove the potatoes from the oven, coating again with the drippings. Add the blue cheese and bacon crumbles to the dish, making sure that some of the toppings get into the rings of the potatoes. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt.

Top the potatoes with chives and serve alongside your main course. Be sure to scoop up any bacon and cheese bits from the bottom of the dish to top each potato as it is served.