Friday, October 30, 2009
Patatas Bravas - Foodie Friday
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...There are many versions of this classic Spanish tapa. This one comes from Valencia and it's made with olive oil and a special paste of chilies, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika and vinegar. Patatas Bravas are as popular in Spain as potato skins are here. The name means "fierce potatoes." Bravas suggests the dish is very hot and that it's macho to eat it. This is one of the tapa that I regularly prepare for our supper and because I can control the quantity being made I don't have to deal with leftovers. I also happen to love these potatoes and will make them for myself when I'm alone for dinner. When served hot and crisp from the skillet with a perfectly fried egg, there is almost nothing I'd rather have to eat. It's important to remember you can control the amount of heat in this dish. The chilies that are used in Spain are not available in my area so I worked around the problem by using cayenne pepper or red chili flakes. If you like fiery food, use one-eighth to one-half teaspoon cayenne pepper in the paste you use to coat the potatoes. The Spaniards use Choricero, Nora, and Guindilla chilies. If you can find them, by all means use them. Just remember that size is inversely proportional to the heat a chili generates. Some small chilies will send you straight to perdition. The recipe begins with potatoes that are almost tender. You can steam, microwave or boil the potatoes to get them to that point. I prefer to microwave mine on HIGH power for 10 minutes. You may peel them if you wish. I don't bother, because I think the potatoes hold up better with the skin on. They are then fried in a small amount of oil until crisp and golden. Just before serving they are tossed with the seasoning paste. While these are sometimes served at room temperature, I advise you to eat them while they're hot. Sitting around doesn't improve the taste of anything that been fried. Donuts are the only exception. I like to serve these with an aioli. These are a real taste treat. I hope you'll try them.
Patatas Bravas...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1-1/2 pounds small new potatoes (I use Yukon Gold)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
3 dried chilies, seeded and chopped or 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
Coarse sea salt
1) Scrub potatoes. Steam, boil or microwave until just tender. Cool slightly. Peel if desired. Cut small potatoes in half.
2) Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, turning frequently until golden and crisp.
3) Meanwhile mash garlic, cayenne, cumin, paprika using back of a spoon or a mortar and pestle. Stir in vinegar. Add to potatoes with sliced bell pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes longer. Sprinkle with sea salt. Serve hot with aioli. Yield: 4 servings.
This recipe is being linked to:
Designs By Gollum - Foodie Friday