Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

Potatoes!  Yes, I eat potatoes even though they are one of the dreaded "white foods"  that we have all been told we should not eat.  I personally think potatoes get a bad rap.  They are delicious, you can eat them exactly the way they come from nature, are inexpensive, and full of nutrients.   

I do agree that "white foods"  like  fluffy, processed white bread, packaged cakes, cookies, and crackers are all highly processed, contain  few nutrients, and really offer your body little other than convenience. I aspire to more general rules when deciding what to eat.  

A few of my rules are:

  1. Does the food look like it does when it comes from the plant or animal?  (I don't eat animals but for those of you that do, this applies to processed foods like hot dogs, lunch meats, etc.) 
  2. Does it spoil if you leave it on the counter?  (Processed food doesn't spoil…read this scary article and this one ). 
  3. Can I make the food myself at home? (french fries = yes, cheetos = no!)
Veggies at the market in Paris

Veggies at the market in Paris

I also don't worry much about what nutrients are in foods that make them good for us.  Do we really need to know it has vitamin C, calcium, magensium, etc?  My belief is if you eat a variety of plant-based foods, and fruit and vegetables that are in season, you will get the nutrients that you need.  If you are someone who wants the details, this is good site for information about the dreaded potato!  

Potatoes are part of the nightshade family, foods that don't agree with some people.  

Image from:   http://glutenfreebooty.blogspot.com/2012/01/nightshades.html

Image from:   http://glutenfreebooty.blogspot.com/2012/01/nightshades.html

Some people have trouble digesting nightshades which leads to bloating, gas, indigestion.  People with joint pain and swelling, arthritis, muscle pain, poor healing, insomnia, in fact a whole host of issues, may actually be sensitive to nigthshades.  More information is here. If you have these kinds of symptoms eliminating nightshades may be beneficial.   (Try eliminating all nightshades for about three weeks, evaluate your symptoms for improvement.  Then add in nightshades to see what happens….worse, better, no difference?  Really tuning into what you eat and how your body reacts is some of the best experimenting you can do!)

Potatoes meet my food rules and agree with me when eaten in a moderate quantity.  A big baked potato leaves me shaky and starving in a few hours, so I try to eat smaller quantities and always pair it with a good protein.  I don't think anyone needs to eat a baked potato as big as their head loaded with butter, cheese, sour cream, bacon and barbecue.  Nor are processed, previously frozen french fries, fried in questionable oil a good choice. However,  these crunchy, tart potatoes are easy to make and are a great side dish for whatever else you might be having for dinner.  They are reminscent of salt and vinegar potato chips or fish and chips at the local Brisitsh pub.  The key is using a large pan so they have lots of room to get nice and crispy.  I hope you like them! 

Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

by Catherine Craig

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Keywords: side vegetarian potatoes

Ingredients (2 - 3 servings)

  • 1 lb potatoes, any variety
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tsps. kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 Tbsp butter or oil of your choice
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp malt vinegar

Instructions

Wash the potatoes and trim off any eyes or discolored spots. Cut into 1 inch chunks. If using baby potatoes you may leave whole or cut in half. If using fingerlings, cut each into one or two pieces. Try to keep all pieces uniform in size.

Put the potatoes, white vinegar and 2 tsp salt into a medium saucepan. Add water to cover all potatoes by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Insert a knife into a potato to check for doneness. Start checking at 20 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. (your skillet should be large enough to hold all potatoes with a little bit of room to spare. You don't want them crowded or they will steam.) Add potatoes. Cook, stirring frequently, until potatoes are brown and crispy on all sides. (If your potatoes are in cubes it helps to use tongs and turn them onto each side.) This will take about 10 minutes. Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper. Drizzle the potatoes all over with the malt vinegar. ( I eyeballed this, using the shaker top that comes on the vinegar to just drizzle some on each potato.) Taste for seasoning and add more salt, vinegar or pepper to your liking.

You can double this recipe, just be sure your pan is large enough.

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