‘Brave Potatoes’ were one of the first tapas I tried once I moved to Spain. Since everything was foreign to me, I stayed with the familiar at first. I ate only salmon, calamari and patatas bravas. I was scared of everything, everyone and every food. To be fair, I was only twenty and had never been anywhere outside the states. At that point, I had only been to New York once and that was the extent of my travels. I grew up on macaroni and cheese, chicken strips and spaghettios. I had no idea what real food was.
That being said, though I have tried alligator, kangaroo, monkfish and octopus (and love them all), I always go back to my ‘comfort food’, Patatas Bravas.
There are quite a few versions of brava sauce, many which include alioli, which I also love. This one though, is a classic spicy tomato sauce. It has heat, sweetness, and lots of flavor. The key, is to chop the potatoes in squares, trying to keep them all the same shape so they fry evenly. The recipe is quite easy, and super delicious.
1 cup EVOO
2 tbsp chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
2 tsp sherry vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Cook the potatoes on the stove to soften them, for about 12-15 minutes before frying.
Then, warm up the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add in the onion and and garlic and simmer until softened and light brown, for about five minutes.
Once cooked, stir in the paprika, sugar, thyme, tomatoes and red pepper and simmer for three additional minutes.Then add in the vinegar. Remove from heat and add salt, pepper and a bit of EVOO.
Next, season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining oil in a pan and fry the potatoes until crisp and lightly golden. Keep an eye on them so they don’t get overdone.
Place on power towels to drain.
Add the sauce to the potatoes just before you are ready to serve and garnish with the parsley. If I don’t want the salsa too chunky, I would put it through a hand mixer or the food processor to thicken and smooth it out, either way works well!
These took me about twenty-five minutes to make so they aren’t very time consuming. I had my husband taste test and he gave it two enthusiastic Spanish thumbs-up! Try and pair these with my Tortilla de Patata, which also goes well with either tomato sauce or romesco! This weekend, Barcelona is playing against Italy in the Champions League, so these would be a great addition to a watch party!
As they say in Catalunya, Bon Profit!