Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

January 9, 2015

When I was in primary school the number one chip flavour was Light & Tangy. Everyone was mad for it. We’d crumple the packet and eat tiny, severely seasoned chip flakes by the handful, usually chasing it all with a swig of a Torquay soft drink. It was awesome. And, on reflection, awful.

Come high school I went for a more classic chip, favouring plain or lightly salted, which I’d invariably stuff into a plain, soft, buttered roll. Try it and thank me later. If not eating chip rolls, my friends and I would engage in a truly odd activity, for which I have no explanation other than we were teenagers and liked to live on the edge (?? perhaps??)…we’d buy salt and vinegar popcorn from the Tuck Shop, shake the bag, bring it to our mouths and inhale sharply. Vinegar pains, straight to the lungs. Why? Who knows. For kicks. Kind of like that classic sleepover dare of eating a spoonful of cinnamon (which I do NOT encourage you to try)… but slightly more odd because what was the point? To laugh and cry and laugh and eat popcorn, I suppose. These days I still favour plain or lightly salted chips, passing on the vinegar inhalation and eating them like a regular person.

When making potatoes in my kitchen, something I do often, I’ll occasionally venture away from steaming (for my Sicilian potato salad) or the classic roasted spud, 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. And I have spoken of these potatoes before, and made them on numerous occasions. But I only recently perfected the method and I’m super excited to share it with you today.

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 aioli, caper tartare sauce or pesto on hand to smother over the fish, well, you’re laughing.

Next up, Light and Tangy Potatoes?


Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

Adapted from Heidi Swanson on 101 Cookbooks

Serves 3-4 as a side dish.

3 large Dutch Cream Potatoes*
Enough White Vinegar to cover the sliced potatoes (~3 cups)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper

1. Scrub your potatoes with a vegetable brush to remove any dirt. Peel them if you wish, though I don’t peel my potatoes.
2. Slice the potatoes into 0.75cm – 1cm 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.
3. Place the potato coins in a saucepan and cover with vinegar. Sometimes if I’m low on vinegar I’ll use 2/3 vinegar, 1/3 water, which, though clearly doesn’t provide as intense a vinegar bath as pure vinegar, still works well. 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 the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line a large baking tray (or two) with baking paper.
4. After 30 minutes, drain the potatoes then add them back to the saucepan and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Place the potatoes on the baking tray in an even layer, not overlapping (which is why you might need two trays). Season generously with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, plus another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if it looks like it needs it. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden, then remove the pan(s) 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 heat, potato variety etc. 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.

Heidi xo

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  • Emma @ Emma's Garden Grows January 9, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Light and Tangy were/are still my number one fav too!

    And yes I have fond memories of eating the crushed up little bits at the bottom with a wet finger and slurping down a glib of portello once I’d done! Ahhhhh growing up in the 80s/90’s eh?

    Love the sound of these potatoes – will have to give them a try

    • Heidi January 16, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Just googled portello!! Yes the 80s/90s were hands down, the best. In fashion & snack food. Faded denim and light & tangy x

  • Miss Polkadot January 9, 2015 at 10:28 am

    One of the best chip flavours in an even better way [because thick, starchier potato slices win over chips]? Yes, please. These sound super intriguing and if I wasn’t going to move soon and had a million ingredients to use up still I’d go out and buy white vinegar right away to try these.

    • Heidi January 16, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      Good luck with the move!! & thicker/starchier all the way x

  • Cindy January 9, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Like Emma, I still haven’t really grown out of the light’n’tangy chip thing! But there’s room in my life for roasting and vinegar too.

    • Heidi January 16, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      I might have to give light & tangy another go 😉 x

  • RC January 9, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    We made these tonight and they were excellent with (the last of the) Christmas ham, mustard and lots of green goodies. Excellent recipe.

    • Heidi January 16, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      Thank you so much, RC. That sounds delicious! x

  • Hannah January 10, 2015 at 10:44 am

    One of the first snacks I bought myself upon returning to Australia was Lays’ Light and Tangy. Doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world, don’t really know what the flavour is meant to be, and it was exactly like I remember but also far less enjoyable than I remember. Does growing up mean you start preferring plain/lightly salted chips to all the other flavours?

    I need to make these potatoes, also. Definitely.

    • Heidi January 16, 2015 at 7:26 pm

      Yes, what IS the flavour supposed to be? x

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  • Piper January 12, 2015 at 8:31 am

    What a flashback! Light n Tangy chips, crushed into smithereens & Torquay softdrinks! I had very nearly forgotten about all of those things!

    Will definitely be giving this a try soon, salt & vinegar is one of my favourite chip flavours (second only to plain salted).

    • Heidi January 16, 2015 at 7:26 pm

      So pleased I gave you a 90s flashback 🙂 x

  • Bec January 12, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Salt and vinegar chips is an ultimate, all time favourite. SO making these, they look just lovely. I also totally get what you mean about ship sandwiches. I grew up eating plain salted chips & vegemite sandwiches on a soft white roll, bliss. x

    • Heidi January 16, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      Chips AND vegemite in a roll. You’re so cool x

  • laurasmess January 13, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    These look AMAZING. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of making salt and vinegar roasted potatoes before?! Absolutely beautiful, golden, crisp and satisfying. I want to eat the screen.

    And YES, chip butties!! I mostly ate hot chips in a buttered roll as a child (a hangover from my English roots) but I remember one of my girlfriends showing me the wonder of potato crisps in white bread at the age of about 12. Glorious. You’ve inspired me to revisit those crunchy mouthfuls… possibly tonight?! xx

    • Heidi January 16, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      Chip butties forever and ever x

  • Lynn January 14, 2015 at 6:58 am

    We LOVE salt & vinegar potato chips. Can’t wait to make these!

    • Heidi January 16, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      Yay! Hope you like them x

  • Nicole- Champagne and Chips January 16, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Wowee. What a thing! Light & Tangy was all the rage in Casino, where I grew up as well. As was chips on a vegemite sandwich (SO MUCH SALT). I only really got into salt and vinegar chips as an adult but I have gotten into them in a big way. I’m going to give these a go with some baked salmon on the weekend. Yum!

    • Heidi January 16, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      They’d be great with baked salmon! yum x ps that’s two for chips & vegemite together!

  • Mariam January 19, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Oh Heidi, these are outrageous! I followed the par boiling and steeping in vinegar stage then cut them into thick cut chips and chucked them in the air fryer because I wasn’t bothered having the oven on in the heat! New fave, thank you!

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