I love salt and vinegar chips. The lip-puckering flavour combination makes my mouth water just thinking about it. I can polish off a large bag of Kettle’s salt and vinegar chips all on my own, no assistance needed! Sometimes, when no one is around, I scarf ‘em down so fast that the encounter leaves the roof of my mouth raw. (Neither sophisticated nor mature for someone my age, but cravings.. also, only when I’m alone.)
I got some lovely baby potatoes from a farm last week, and I wanted to do something fun with them. (I love you, Kashmiri dum aloo, but we’ll keep our kitchen date another time.)
Smashed potatoes are nothing new. I’ve seen them on blogs and restaurant menus quite a bit, but I never considered making them – I thought they were better on a platter prepared by someone else!
And just like that, they were relegated to the back of my mind and stayed there. Until I stumbled upon Ashley Alexander’s (Gather & Feast) video for it during one of those late-night scrolling sessions, which consisted of steamed and baked potatoes dressed with garlic oil, feta and fresh herbs.
And I thought to myself: warm, cooked potatoes are a great vehicle for a whole host of flavours, from earthy cumin to cilantro and mint, so why not hit it with some salt and acid and make a healthier version of my beloved potato chip?
What I find really satisfying about making this recipe is the smashing – I used a clean surface and squashed the potatoes with my hand for maximum craggly-ness. When there’s more surface area and cracks in the potatoes, there’s more room for crisp edges
You can use any kind of salt you want and I’m sure that flaky sea salt or Pink Himalayan salt would add a nice flavour and crunch – but don’t think even for a minute that these smashed potatoes are above good old table salt, because they’re not. They work just as well.
SALT & VINEGAR SMASHED POTATOES
500 g baby potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt (more or less to taste if you’re using flaky salt)
4 tsp vinegar (not balsamic)
Preheat your oven to 200 C
First, wash your baby potatoes well and get rid of any dirt and grit on the skins.
You’re going to make these with the skin on, so they need to be clean.
Boil your potatoes in water until they are fork tender.
Cool until they are comfortable enough to handle.
Using the bottom of a mug, glass or katori, press down on the potatoes one at a time so they get flat and spread out. Don’t push so hard that they break – we just want them flattened with the appearance of being “smashed,” with craggy edges.
Place the potatoes on a baking tray or dish. Drizzle the olive oil over it, sprinkle over the salt and vinegar.
Bake at 200 c for 40 mins (or longer if you want crisper edges).