The quandry is that I have lots of teeny tiny potatoes that I dug up from my TPS (True Poato Seed), and I’ve been trying to decide how best to cook them. And for some inexplicable reason I hit on Patatas Bravas.
Having searched my own books I couldn’t find a recipe, so online I go. And it is here that I discover a great article in the Guardian and their Word of Mouth Blog on how to cook the perfect Patats Bravas. Like the writer of the article I rarely order them as part of a Tapas meal, the gloopy over-sweet tomato sauce and unintersteing fried potatoes just don’t do it for me. Nor had I realised that Patats Bravas appear to be more of an Anglo-American invention.
In the Guardian blog they refer to José Andès, and how he makes a tomato sauce, puts the fried potatoes on top and then adds some garlic aoli. As a few of you will have gathered by now I love garlic, so how could I not try this as well! Which is a bit of a challenge as I’ve never made fresh mayonnaise (aoli). Andrès’ “modern allioli” is made by beating together olive oil, garlic, sherry vinegar and a whole egg using a hand blender. ”
How could I resist?
Patats Bravas ~
As per normal I ended up playing around with the quantities and flavours! Serves 4 hungry people
- 500g waxy potatoes – I used my TPS, but any good roasting poatoes will do.
- Olive oil for roasting
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes or a dozen fresh tomatoes chopped.
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut the potatoes into rough 2cm chunks. Put a roasting tray with 2 tbsp olive oil into the oven and leave to heat for 5 minutes, then take out, toss the potatoes in the hot oil, and bake for about 45 minutes until crisp and golden.
- Meanwhile, make the sauces. Put 2 tbsp oil into a heavy-bottomed pan on a medium heat, and cook the onion for about 5 minutes until golden and soft.
- Put in the chilli, and cook for another couple of minutes,
- Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt and smoked paprika and stir well.
- Bring to the boil, and then turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until thick and dark.
- Take off the heat, add 1 tbsp sherry vinegar, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. I added another 1/4 tsp of paprika at this stage.
Garlic Aoli ~
- Put the egg, a clove of chopped garlic and a tablespoon of vinegar (I didn’t have Sherry Vinegar so white wine vinegar was substituted) into a mixing bowl along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- I mixed, and I mixed with a hand blender.
- And then I started to add more olive oil, gently and slowly, a bit at a time while the beater was still going.
- Taste for seasoning, I added a pinch of rock salt.
- And then I mixed, and I mixed and I beat and I beat. And after a loooong time the mixture came together.
- A beautiful deep yellow, creamy, thick mayonnaise.
Cooking Note ~ I found that if I placed a tea-towel under the mixing bowl, and angled the bowl towards me, and kind of wedged it a bit, I could pour the oil and mix at the same time.
To Serve ~
- Take the potatoes out of the oven and sprinkle with a little salt. Spread the tomato sauce on to the plates, put the potatoes on top, then add a dollop of allioli and a sprinkle of chives, and serve immediately.
Gardening notes ~
I used the TPS Howie Mandel that I grew from Tom Wagner.
Question ~ how many ways can you spell Aoli / Allioli ?