D and I had a Spanish night earlier in this week. He didn’t come to Madrid with me last weekend and I wanted to share some of the food ideas I had picked up. In particular patatas bravas and clara.
The latter is a shandy made from light Spanish lager and cloudy lemonade rather than the standard clear lemonade – very simple but wonderfully refreshing. The former dish is one of my favourite tapas – fried potatoes topped with a picante tomato sauce.
Traditionally the potatoes in this dish are poached in olive oil before being fried over a high heat but I just couldn’t bring myself to use all that fat. Instead, I blanched the unpeeled potatoes in water before roasting them with a mere brushing of oil. It worked very well, I thought.
Note: The following recipe makes a lot of sauce. We used half of it over two nights on potatoes and the rest was diluted with stock and cream to make a rather tasty soup.
Patatas Bravas (sauce adapted from Moro)
(Tapas for 4)
500g small, waxy potatoes – halved
1 onion, chopped finely
1 green pepper, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tspn chilli flakes
Glass of white wine
400g tin plum tomatoes
1 tspn sugar
1/2 tspn smoked paprika
Cayenne pepper (optional)
- Parboil the potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and layout on baking tray. Brush thoroughly with olive oil and sprinkly with salt and paprika. Roast in a 200oC over for 30 minutes until crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Fry the onion and pepper in a little olive oil until soft (medium heat).
- Add the garlic, chilli flakes and bay and fry for another 2 minutes.
- Add the wine. Turn up the heat and reduce the liquid by half.
- Add the tomatoes and sugar and mash down to a pulp. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Blend until smooth.
- Add seasoning and cayenne to taste.
- Serve potatoes in a heated dish with the sauce spooned over the top.