Make good choices. This is what I tell my husband every time he has to make a food decision when I’m not around. Like a cute little angel on his shoulder, I like to be a constant reminder that the pantry can be the devil sometimes. To him a balanced meal is holding the bag of M & M’s in one hand while shoving cookies in his mouth with the other one.

I’m no saint when it comes to pantry temptations.  The only difference is that he goes for sweet treats and I go for salty. My biggest weakness is potato chips. I like everything from the crunch to the saltiness to the “poof” the bag makes when you open it.

How can you not love all the variety in flavors, shapes and textures? It is like a magical mystery tour every time your rummage your hand around in the bag. Will this one be all curled up? (My mom had dibs on those.) Will it be seasoned heavier than the others? Maybe I will find two chips fused together that look like a biblical character or Elvis? It is just that exciting to me!

Now personally, I do not think eating a portion of potato chips is a bad thing. Everything in moderation, right? My problem is that I really can’t eat a small portion….I want the whole bag.

It is like I have a lapse of consciousness after I open the bag and when I wake up…the bag is empty. The only proof that I was the culprit is that I have greasy fingers, salt on my chin and usually a remnant or two in my bra. (It is like the gift that keeps on giving…the chip…not what is in my bra!)

So I’ve tried all sorts of methods to make good choices. My first was not to buy any at all but that didn’t work. We had some company over who I thought might chips with their lunch…they didn’t. (Because we weren’t home for lunch but that is just a minor detail.)

Next I thought I’d buy some of those little bags at a big box store. My rationale was that I could eat one a day and be happy with that cute little portion…..nope….I still bought a big bag….because it was on sale…ate it….and then had my one little bag.

Finally, tonight, I think I have found the solution. I’ll make some roasted potatoes and season them like salt and vinegar chips. This way I can satisfy part of my craving by getting some of that flavor in AND if I cooked them right….I might even get some crunch.

I would NEVER eat a whole pan of potatoes like I would a whole bag of chips. Yep, this is the way I can make good choices!

Before I went into the kitchen and started this project, I did a little research on the best way to achieve my goal. (Hmmm, how did that empty bag of chips end up beside me while I was reading?)  I’ve tried this before but never was able to get a fully satisfying potato chip craving alternative. I’ve tried different mixtures of salts and vinegars. I’ve cooked all sort of types of potatoes and even cooked them in vinegar. It just wasn’t right.

Apparently the devil is the details….it wasn’t how I was cooking them, it was a couple little nuances in the end seasoning…THAT WAS IT!!!

All the details will be in the recipe below but I’ll tell you something….I think the skies parted. I took a bite of the first one and had that same wonderful euphoria I have each time I eat a chip. It was amazing.

The only problem was that they were so good that I almost ate the whole pan! (I think the angel on my shoulder is no longer helping me make good decisions!)

Salt and Vinegar Roasted Potatoes
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound cute little yellow baby potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • ¼ cup malt vinegar
  • Good crumbly sea salt flakes(or malt vinegar sea salt...you can find it at Williams Sonoma)
  • A couple tablespoons chives
Instructions
  1. Oven 425
  2. Bring a medium large pot of water to boil.
  3. Add potatoes
  4. Cook, covered for about 20 minutes. (You want them tender enough to poke a fork in them.)
  5. Prepare a large, shallow rimmed baking pan with a piece of parchment paper.
  6. When the potatoes are done, drain them well. (I gave mine a little time to sit there and then bounced them on a towel to get any extra moisture off.)
  7. Toss in a tablespoon or two of olive oil. (You want them a little shiny but not greasy)
  8. Place them in a single layer on your pan.
  9. Give them a slight smash with your meat tenderizer or the end of clean can.
  10. Roast them in the oven for about 30 minutes.
  11. Turn heat up to 450 and cook them another 10 minutes. (They should have some nice brownies on the bottom.)
  12. In big bowl, toss the hot potatoes with the malt vinegar, some chives and a generous pinch of sea salt flakes.
  13. Eat one portion....if you can.