Monday, 23 January 2017

Papas (Patatas) Bravas

I'm a little embarrassed by the degree to which this seems to be developing into the winter of the root vegetable but, hey, themes happen.

These are not exactly low-cal but close your eyes and pretend you are at a tapas bar in Spain, the original home of this spicy potato dish and a much nicer place than slushy Ontario at the moment. I have to say I never had them in Spain but my Spanish bar experience usually consisted of staggering into the nearest one I could find open at 10:00 am and ordering a tortilla bocadito for second breakfast. (First Spanish breakfast leaves much to be desired, especially to someone who expects to walk 25 kilometres that day.)

The spicy sauce is not dissimilar to the one that usually accompanies sweet potato fries in North America, and I would totally make it to go with sweet potatoes roasted in the same way as these potatoes. Either way, a very simple but tasty dish.

4 servings
1 hour - 30 minutes prep time

Spanish Potatoes with a Spicy Sauce

Roast the Potatoes:
500 grams (1 generous pound) potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
a sprinkling of salt

Wash and trim the potatoes (peel them if you like) and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Put them in a pot of water to cover, bring them to a boil, and boil them for 10 minutes. Drain well.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Toss the potatoes with the oil in a roasting pan that will hold them in a single layer - I used my 8" x 10" lasagne pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes until nicely browned; stir them once or twice during that time.

Make the Sauce:
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
2 large shallots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon smoked sweet or hot Spanish paprika
a little cayenne to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise (light is fine)

Start the sauce about 15 or 20 minutes before the potatoes are done. 

Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and mince the shallots. Heat the oil in a medium sized skillet and heat over medium-high heat; add the shallots and cook them gently for about 5 minutes until softened and reduced, and perhaps very slightly browned.

Mix the paprikas, cayenne, and salt in a small bowl. Add the garlic to the pan of shallots and sprinkle the seasoning over it. Mix well and cook gently for another minute or two. Add the tomato sauce and vinegar, and continue to cook gently for a few more minutes until the sauce is well amalgamated and slightly thickened. Remove it from the heat and allow to cool for 5 or 10 minutes until just warm.

Mix in the mayonnaise and transfer the sauce to a serving bowl or drizzle it over the roasted potatoes.

Last year at this time I made Rutabaga with Bacon, Mushrooms, & Onions.

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