Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Una Cena Española: Patatas Bravas

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Welcome to the third installment of fooDCrave's Tiny Dinner Parties!  When my mom was in a town a few weeks ago, I decided that she should get the full fooDCrave experience.  Plus, she loves helping to cook and being featured in the blog.  What can I say, she's easily thrilled :)

For this Tiny Dinner Party we decided to feature Spanish foods.  The menu consisted of: 

First Course

Patatas Bravas

Second Course

Espinaca con Garbanzos

Third Course

Tortilla Espanola
Fourth Course

Gambas al Ajillo

We will be sharing all of the recipes with you this week.  Unlike the Italian Tiny Dinner Party, where each dinner guest brought a dish to share,  Liz and I prepared and cooked all four dishes along with the help of my mom and our friend Jackie. 

Spanish food holds a very special place in my heart as I studied, lived, and most importantly, dined in Sevilla, Spain for 6 months during 2008.  I grew to love their Mediterranean diet and eating schedule, which consisted of a small meal for breakfast, large meal for lunch in the late afternoon, and then a smaller meal for dinner anywhere from 8 pm - 10 pm.  
My favorite restaurant in Sevilla was a place called Taberna Coloniales.  Every time I think about it my mouth begins to water. Cliche, but true.  One of my favorite dishes they served was the Patatas Bravas (or Papas a la Brava).  Essentially, these are potatoes that are roasted and then generously covered in either a spicy tomato sauce or a creamy aoli sauce.  We went with the former. 

For this recipe you will need:  
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika   
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
First, thoroughly wash the potatoes.  Cut them into 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Peel and chop your onion and garlic.

Next, spread the potatoes over the bottom of a baking pan and toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Lightly salt the potatoes.  Make sure the potatoes are arranged in a thin layer across the baking pan for even cooking.  Another tip: I would suggest spraying the bottom of your pan with cooking spray before tossing the potatoes with the olive oil.  We had some stick issues--nothing major, but I will definitely use cooking spray in the future.  Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, or until browned.

When the potatoes have about 30 minutes of cooking time remaining, begin preparing the sauce.  First, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute for 4-5 minutes.  Then, add the garlic and continue cooking for another 2 minutes.

When the onions have begun to brown and the garlic is potent, add the wine to the pot and turn the heat up to high.  Boil the liquid until it is reduced by half.  Then, add the tomato paste and stir to combine.  

Next, add the crushed tomatoes, hot sauce (optional), salt, sugar, and smoked paprika.  Stir the sauce and reduce the heat to low. Allow it to simmer while the potatoes continue to roast.  

When the potatoes have a golden brown crust, mix the sauce into the potatoes in the baking pan, coating evenly.  Return the baking pan to the oven and allow the sauce to caramelize on the potatoes.

This dish was a hit!  It is very simple and cost effective to make and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.  

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