When making potatoes in my kitchen, something I do often, I’ll occasionally venture away from steaming and reach for a bottle of vinegar (which I swear is solely for wholesome seasoning or stain-removing purposes) and make my own salt and vinegar chips. They’re outrageously scrumptious and severely satisfying, and I think you’re going to love them. I first came across this method of sincerely infusing potatoes with vinegar (by boiling them in the good stuff) on Heidi Swanson’s blog, 101 Cookbooks. I only recently perfected the method and I’m super excited to share it with you.
- 3 large Dutch cream potatoes (see Note)
- 3 cups white vinegar (or enough to cover the potatoes)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time 30 minutes
Scrub your potatoes with a vegetable brush to remove any dirt. Peel them if you wish, though I don’t peel my potatoes.
Slice the potatoes into 0.75 cm – 1 cm thick coins, trying as hard as you can to get even slices (thin parts will burn and make your job that much more difficult). You can use a mandolin or efficient slicer, but I find most cut the potatoes too thin and you’ll end up with burnt wafers.
Place the potato coins in a saucepan and cover with vinegar. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes until a skewer inserted into a potato just goes in easily. You don’t want well-cooked potatoes, you just need to take the raw edge off them. You’re after al dente potatoes. When skewer-friendly, turn the heat off, cover the potatoes with a lid and let them sit in the vinegar bath for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C and line a large baking tray (or 2) with baking paper.
Drain the potatoes then place them on the baking tray in an even layer, not overlapping (you might need 2 trays). Season generously with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and, using tongs, turn each potato coin so that each side gets golden (crispness takes dedication, friends). Place back into the oven and cook for a further 10-20 minutes, depending on your thickness, oven, and potato variety. Keep an eye on the potatoes in the oven, especially in the last 10 minutes, and remove any potatoes that are done (to avoid burning!). Remove from the oven when all potatoes are cooked and serve.
• I’ve tried this recipe with many different varieties of potatoes. And while it works well with most, I am suggesting Dutch cream as they are my favourite for both flavour and texture; the creaminess providing a lovely contrast to the sharp vinegar flavour.
• Sometimes, if I’m low on vinegar, I’ll use ⅔ vinegar, ⅓ water, which, though clearly doesn’t provide as intense a vinegar bath as pure vinegar, still works well.
• I like to serve these potatoes with grilled, steamed or baked fish and some sort of vegetable. Buttery, garlicky spinach, roasted cabbage or a fresh salad is lovely. And if you have a good aïoli, caper tartare sauce or pesto on hand to smother over the fish? Well, you’re laughing.
Recipe from Apples Under My Bed by Heidi Sze, with photographs by Heidi Sze.