Thursday, August 2, 2012

Salt and Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

Looly will have you know she does not like potatoes. I believe it's a texture thing but she argues that potatoes are just disgusting. Despite a few Ruffles here and there, the ubiquitous tubers are off limits to her. No baked potatoes, hash browns, french fries (I don't know what's the matter with her. Maybe I should have her tested), tater tots, and don't even think about mashing or smashing them. Gag city.

As far as I know no one else in the family is quite so averse to potatoes, but we still don't eat many. No one's big on the mashed variety, myself included. I like to chew my food. Unless it's ice cream. And most of the time potatoes are a waste of carbs for Mufasa who has a family history rife with diabetes. He'd rather save up his carbohydrate allowance for a generously buttered buttermilk biscuit.
When we do eat potatoes they tend to be cubed, roasted, and lightly salted. In other words, b-o-r-i-n-g. Roo and Bean like them that way, but trust me, that recipe is not winning any contests for creativity. I've tried jazzing them up in the past and you should hear the hysteria that ensues.

Kid: "Why are there red things in here?"
Mom: "They're poisonous sea urchins (roasted red peppers) because I'm trying to kill you. Obviously."

Kid: "Somebody put dirt on my potatoes! I'm not eating dirt." (That's black pepper, by the way, for those of you unfamiliar with the I'm not eating this dirt defense)

Kid: "What are those onions for? Because I don't want them in any of my stuff."

Ahh, yes, the majesty of parenthood.

But with a little help from the Olympics, I've found a winner. Tangy, salty, malt vinegar sauce seems decidedly British, so I primed the kids with an enthusiastic description of Olympic synchronized diving and water polo followed by a quick lesson on British pub fare. Basically I convinced them they'd be supporting the Olympic athletes by partaking in a potato and vinegar dip feast. What? It's not like it's not helping the Olympians if they eat a few potatoes. Bear with me here.
Salt and Vinegar Roasted Potatoes
adapted from Vegetarian Times

1-1/2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 head of garlic, peeled and sectioned into cloves
2 tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup malt vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar

1. Soak the cubed potatoes in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the dry potatoes and garlic cloves in the oil and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally to promote even browning. Season with salt and pepper (use white pepper instead of black if your kids don't like "dirt" on their food)
3. Meanwhile, combine vinegar and sugar in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half. Serve sauce as a dip alongside the potatoes and garlic or drizzle it right over the top. The drizzle is great for adults but I don't recommend it for kids. They like to control their own destiny. Give them the dip on the side and see what happens.

Good stuff! Even if you don't like potatoes like Looly, make this just so you can dip the roasted garlic cloves. Crazy delicious. For the record Looly did try a potato, sans dip. She didn't like it. But she tried it. Roo was a fan and Bean's favorite "potato" was actually a roasted garlic clove. That girl has a refined palate.


  1. Yummy! Malt vinegar is sooo good! And I know other little kids who like it too. It's all about the tang :)

    1. I love vinegar in just about any form! Bean likes strong flavors - pickles, olives, vinegar, mustard, and Roo loves cheese, the sharper the better. Just need to get Looly on board now.

  2. Kieran is in the I hate potatoes club - maybe a texture thing, but definitely gags on them even if they are the only thing between him and dessert! I'll have to try this version on him, though I'm not holding my breath :) Loved this post!

    1. Maybe he and Looly should start a club!

  3. hmmm... what kind of pan do you roast in? I have trouble getting that crispy brown stuff, even at high temps.

    1. I use the oldest, cruddiest, stained baking sheet we own. Maybe that's the secret? Actually, often I line it with foil since the potatoes tend to stick, and I'm not afraid to sacrifice a few burnt potatoes for a good crispy brown on the majority.