Friday, February 27, 2009

Patatas Bravas.

Yum yum. Wasn't that the first thing that popped in your head? Perhaps its nature's way of comforting us during these chilly winter months, but potatoes have recently become a problem in my house. Well, not that an intervention is necessary, at least not now....but....I made this traditional Spanish tapas dish the other night. It was my meal. Yes, I ate potatoes for dinner, so sue me. (I also ate sweet potato fries in LA for dinner too). I've had this lovely book called Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America by Jose Andres (well known Spanish chef in the D.C. area) and with my recent addiction to the PBS series, Spain: On the Road Again, I pulled this from my dusty shelves in hopes of introducing some of Spain's tapas dishes. This was the first recipe I was drawn to make mainly because of the potatoes. These potatoes are poached in oil (to cook them) and then fried in the same oil a second time to get all nice, brown, and crispy. The tomato based sauce simmered on the stovetop with garlic, bay leaf, some olive oil and the classic, pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika). This is one of those instances where regular paprika will not suffice, go out and spend the money on some good pimenton, it's absolutely worth it. And you can use it in a variety of other dishes that call for paprika. Patatas bravas is also paired with the classic aioli (garlic mayonnaise) - here's another confession, the last couple of times I've attempted to make aioli, I have failed miderably. I doomed myself as "aioli illiterate" (though I made it before successfully). However, I managed to redeem myself with Jose Andre's modern aioli recipe in this book, I'm sticking with this one! Jose Andres also has a PBS series called Made in Spain, I recently rented the first disc from Season 1 and love it! His enthusiasm is infectious and his creativity is mind boggling. I want to book a trip to Spain so bad as a result of it. One day, I day. Until then I can recreate some of Spain's delicious dishes here at home.


  1. OH! potatoes..yum...and the paprika, never heard of anything beyond "regular" - I learn something everytime I come here!!

    oooooh, suggestion: (unasked for!- lol) make a collage about Spain - about your desire to go there..full of lovely pics of food, places..and dream into it - i've read more than once about such a thing creating reality..and it's fun to do regardless..

  2. I can't wait till u move close by and I get to try!! yum, I love aioli, made it once and thought it was greattt! but maybe it sucked? hmmm.