Valentina’s Cocina: Patatas Bravas

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of announcing the publication of Roots: Where Food Comes From & Where It Takes Us. Today I bring you the second of my recipes from the famed Senora Valentina. This simple recipe is delicious for veg*ns and meat eaters alike. It can be served as a tapas with toothpicks for spearing or as a nice side dish.

Ingredients:

Spanish Olive Oil

1 finely chopped onion

2 crushed garlic cloves

Salt to taste

1/2 cup Spanish Sherry (dry white wine will also work)

4 tomatoes, chopped and seeded (or 1 14 ounce can)

2 tsp red wine vinegar

2 tsp crushed dried chilis

2 tsp Spanish paprika

2 lbs. potatoes

Preparation:

  1. Heat about 1 TBS of olive oil in the pan until smoking and then add the onions, cooking roughly 5 minutes. When the onions are soft, but not browned, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, stirring continuously.
  2. Add the wine and slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. Then add the tomatoes, chiles, paprika, salt, and vinegar, reducing the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for roughly 10 minutes. Your sauce should have a thick consistency. OPTIONAL: Put the sauce in a food processor and pulse until smooth. (Valentina would smack you with her cane for this, but some people don’t care for a chunky texture.)
  3. Cut the potatoes into rough chunks. In a skillet, heat about 1 inch of olive oil. Add the potatoes and cook on medium-high for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are a pretty golden brown. Make sure to turn the pieces several times to cook evenly.
  4. Remove the potatoes using a slotted spoon and drain them on a paper towel, blotting gently to remove excess oil. Sprinkle with a little salt.
  5. Warm up the sauce and combine with the potatoes.

Senora Valentina Tip: Prepare the sauce the morning before you plan to serve it (you can actually make it up to 24 hours in advance). Allow it to sit, either covered on the stove, or in the refrigerator, until you have finished the potatoes. This will give the sauce stronger, more melded flavor.

For a healthier version, check out this recipe test from Robin Robertson’s Vegan Fire and Spice.

XO

A

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