Salt and Vinegar Potatoes
After posting the delicious Cornell chicken a couple weeks ago, I got a call on Twitter to elaborate on the char speckled spuds seen resting next to the bird. I'm all to happy to oblige and delve into the nuances of those taters, which I gave a salt and vinegar treatment to specifically compliment the tangy chicken they were served with.
I had the idea for salt and vinegar potatoes to go with the chicken, but I wasn't quite sure on how to achieve this. Luckily, Martha Stewart came to my rescue and let me in on the idea of boiling the spuds in vinegar prior to grilling. To do this, I started with waxy white potatoes. I choose waxy because they retain a little more of their structural integrity than starchy potatoes, which prefer to crumble after being boiled in preparation for some good old fashioned mashing.
The potatoes were cut into 1/4-inch slices then boiled in white wine vinegar until they just started to become tender. The original recipe called for white vinegar, but I thought white wine vinegar would give it a better flavor overall—it's not as harsh as plain vinegar. I haven't done any testing on this, so it may very well be that there is little difference and white vinegar is just as good and save you some bucks.
After boiled, the potatoes got the standard oil, salt, and pepper treatment. If there's any secret to tasty spuds, it's you don't want to be shy with the seasoning. On their own, potatoes are pretty lackluster, just vessels laying in wait for the salt that, when paired with the crisp exterior and creamy innards, turns them into the tasty bites that are irresistible.
Since the spuds are partially precooked by boiling—a method I often employ—the grill is merely a means to finish them up. Over high heat, this is a quick proposition, just cook them long enough until they start to brown, char, and crisp, which only takes about three to five minutes per side.
These tubers were loaded with flavor. The vinegar fully penetrated each potato slice, making sure no bite went without that sharp vinegar bite that pairs so well with a heavy dose of salt. Lackluster they weren't; in fact the only drawback was after a few too many of them, the pile up of vinegar between the chicken and potatoes started to overwhelm my tastebuds, but I guess that's what I get for eating a double portion.
Salt and Vinegar Potatoes
- Yield 4 servings
- Prep 10 Minutes
- Inactive 30 Minutes
- Cook 10 Minutes
- Total 50 Minutes
- 1 pound waxy potatoes, such as white or fingerling, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 2 cups white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Place potatoes and vinegar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let potatoes cool in vinegar for 30 minutes. Drain potatoes and gently toss with oil, salt, and pepper.
- Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Grill potatoes until browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from grill, sprinkle with more salt to taste, and serve.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
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Chris Alexis, a huge fan of salt and vinegar chips, will absolutely love these as a side or a snack.