Chips and Dips are an American classic. Easy to make at home with unlimited possibilities, we present the classic in a contemporary recipe with waffle-cut chips. Have a UK Pub Party at home with our Salt and Vinegar Waffle Chips with Tartare Sauce.
Fries and Tartar Sauce-
When I first moved to Spokane back in the early 1990s, I was introduced to something new-fries served with tartar sauce. I quickly learned it's a tradition dating back years, but not something I had ever found living in Portland. But fries with tartar sauce make perfect sense. Creamy yet tangy, not sweet like ketchup and the perfect counter to rich fries. Thus I began the tradition in my home kitchen.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are the home of America’s top two potato-producing states, Idaho and Washington. The legendary Russet potato is number one in America on the potato chart. Idaho is known for the King of the Baker’s-The Russet Potato. The Russet is best for baking, but it also makes a deliciously crispy French fry, tater tot or hash browns.Jump to Recipe
"Tartar" sauce as we call it in America, is typically only thought of as something we serve with fried fish, as in fish and chips. And while fried seafood is the main co-star of tartar sauce, it's actually a versatile sauce that goes with any number of dishes-like a dip for chips.
I have a close friend in England and we often joke about the differences between the names of recipes between our countries. In the UK, the home country of fish and chips, the sauce is spelled with an "e" on the end, as in "tartare" sauce. In the UK they add chopped hard-cooked eggs to the sauce and it makes perfect sense. The chopped egg accents the flavors of the mayonnaise base, adding additional creaminess and soft texture.
For our recipe, we referred to Tom Kerridge, the first British Chef to gain a Michelin star for his pub food. We added some of our own ingredients and seasonings to the recipe.
We use store-bought mayonnaise in our recipe, (Hellman's is the best), but you can also make homemade mayonnaise in your blender using our recipe. Fresh mayonnaise is a bright yellow color and you can add herbs, spices and try different oils to create different flavors of mayonnaise.
For the chips, we borrowed an idea from our friends in the UK. In a "chippery," you'll always find a bottle of malt vinegar on the table. A few drops on your fish and chips add a tangy, malty flavor that cuts through the richness of the food. So we used that flavor profile to brine our potatoes before frying.
For this recipe, we cut waffle-style fries using a French mandoline slicer. The French mandoline is best because it's made of sturdy stainless steel and won't slip while slicing. Peel potatoes, (the russet is the best variety), then using the instructions, thinly slice the potato using the waffle blade. Turn the potato ¼ turn, slice again and there you have a little potato waffle.
At this point, soak the potato slices overnight in a container of water, white vinegar, and salt. The vinegar acts as a flavoring and also results in crispy potatoes when you fry them.
The fries end up with a slight vinegar taste which is delicious. One note on oil. We use canola oil for it's clean, bland flavor. If you really want to go old-school, try beef tallow. It's rendered beef fat and gives you the classic flavor of chips. Serve your Salt and Vinegar Chips in classic American diner baskets.
Salt and Vinegar Waffle Chips with Tartare Sauce
Chips and Dips, an American classic. Easy to make at home and with unlimited possibilities, we present the classic in a contemporary recipe with waffle-cut chips and a "tartare" style sauce.
For the Waffle Fries-
- 1 large russet potato, peeled
- 2 cups cold water
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 tbsp. Kosher salt
- Canola oil for frying
- Kosher salt for seasoning
For the UK-style Tartare Sauce-
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 ½ tbsp. finely chopped red onion
- 1 tbsp. dill relish
- 1 tbsp. capers and juice
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. snipped chives
- salt and pepper
- paprika for garnish
For the Waffle Fries-
Peel the potato. Using a mandoline slicer and waffle cutter blade, thinly slice the potatoes, rotating with each slice to make the "waffle." The slices should be very thin.
Pour the water and vinegar into a container and stir in the salt to dissolve. Add the potato slices and cover the container. Place in the fridge and let the potatoes soak in the brine overnight. Make the tartare sauce.
When you're ready to serve, heat canola oil in a deep stockpot or deep-fryer to 365. The oil should be about 3" deep. If you're using a deep stockpot, use a thermometer to check the oil temperature.
Drain the potato slices and place on a kitchen towel. Place another towel over the potato slices and gently press out any water.
Add some of the potato slices to the oil and fry, about 4 minutes, until they turn golden brown. Drain the potato slices on a rack over a cookie sheet and season with Kosher salt while they are hot.
For the UK-style Tartare Sauce-
Spoon the mayonnaise in a bowl and add the hard-boiled egg, red onion, dill relish, capers, lemon juice and chives and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. You can make the tartare sauce a day ahead and keep it covered in the fridge until ready to serve.
Spoon some of the tartare sauce into a small bowl and sprinkle with paprika. Place the waffle chips in a serving bowl and serve the tartare sauce on the side.
Canola oil is best for frying because it doesn't have flavor. Some people like peanut oil because it fries at a high temperature, but it does have a strong flavor. Others use duck fat or beef tallow, which are both very rich and flavorful.