The Simple Safety Hack That Makes Slicing Sweet Potatoes So Much Easier

This Food Network Kitchen class showed me how to keep my fingers out of harm’s way and make the most delicious sweet potatoes, to boot.

November 26, 2019
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Hasselback sweet potatoes beauty, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Photo by: Rob Pryce

Rob Pryce

In this series, we're showing off some of the coolest recipes, tips and tricks we've learned from chefs in the all-new Food Network Kitchen app.

My mother-in-law makes the sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving. She is definitely Team Marshmallow, so it’s hard not to go back for a second third helping. Honestly, some years I feel like it’s all I can do not to put my whole face right into the bowl.

Suffice it to say, Thanksgiving always leaves me wanting more, more, more sweet potatoes. So, when I saw that Vivian Chan was teaching a live class on the new Food Network Kitchen app about how to make Hasselbacksweet potatoes, I had to watch.

A Hasselback sweet potato is one that has been thinly sliced several times (but not all the way through) so that it cooks up with a fancy, fanned-out appearance. Vivian bastes hers with butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt and tops them with chopped pecan halves.

“You get little ridges. It’s the best of all potato worlds,” Vivian says in the class on the app. “There are crispy edges like a French fry, but it’s still soft inside, like mashed potatoes. And all those little crevices give a pop of flavor to every bite. It’s absolutely amazing.”

I’m sold — and swooning. But Vivian says safety is a real concern when you’re working with a sharp knife and a rolly potato, cautioning that the technique, if not done correctly, can put fingers in danger. So how do you (safely) make these magical potatoes at home? Vivian has a hack for that!

“When you’re dealing with something that’s super wobbly...trim a little sliver to create a base. Just like that,” Vivian says, taking a thin slice off one side of the potato to make a flat edge. “No rolling around."

Genius! With the flat side down, the potato is stable and you can make your cuts. (A chopstick on each side of the potato will help you stop short of cutting all the way through the potato.)

“The important thing is, take your time and ... protect your fingers,” she says.

And I couldn’t agree more because you’ll need them later to shovel this amazing-looking sweet potato directly into your mouth. (Sorry, when it comes to sweet potatoes, I have no dignity!)

Want to give it a try and make Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Vivian? You can find the recorded versions of her live class on the all-new Food Network Kitchen app. Sign up now and you’ll be able to drop in on (and cook along with) all of her classes.

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