By Henry Gould – April 16th, 2019
Sometimes simple is best. “Patatas Bravas” – the tapas bar favorite of fried potatoes with a smoked paprika sauce and mayonnaise – is one of those simple classics.
Some tapas bars put on too much sauce (or toss the potatoes in it, so they get soggy). Other don’t put enough sauce. I like it with the paprika sauce on the bottom of the plate, mayo drizzled on top (gotta be Hellmann’s), with a final sprinkling of paprika at the end. Try to find a good quality “pimenton” smoked paprika from Spain.
If you want to skip the mayo, go right ahead. If you’re one of those people who mixes all the Slurpee flavors together, and you want to mix the paprika sauce into the mayonnaise to create one sauce instead of two, that’s totally fine.
And if you want to get REALLY crazy, a fried sunny side egg on top of the potatoes would be **chef’s kiss**
Spanish “Patatas Bravas” w/ Smoked Paprika Sauce and Mayonnaise
- Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (1 per person)
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- Spanish smoked paprika, “pimenton”
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- Pinch of cumin seeds or ground cumin
- Pinch of dried chili flakes
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Sherry vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Hellmann’s mayonnaise, ideally in the squeeze bottle
Get a pot of water boiling, then drop the cubed potatoes in and boil for 5-7 minutes until they’re quite soft. Drain and allow to cool.
Turn your broiler on high and put the oven rack nearest to the top. Get a frying pan that can go in the oven and heat up on the stove. Pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil then add the potatoes. Toss them so they all get coated in the oil. Season lightly with salt (no pepper) then stick the pan under the broiler. Every few minutes pull the pan out, give the potatoes a toss, then stick back under. This technique gives the closest result to deep frying.
To make the sauce, heat a pot with some olive oil, then add the garlic, cumin and chili flakes and fry for a minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, a few dashes of sherry vinegar, a generous spoonful of smoked paprika and some water. Turn the heat on high, stir around for a few minutes, then lower the heat and put a lid on. Simmer for 30+ minutes until the tomatoes break down and it starts to come together a little more; like a chunky ketchup. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more paprika if necessary. It should be nicely garlicky and smokey, with a little zing from the vinegar. If you want it smoother, you can always zap it in the blender.
Continue cooking the potatoes until nicely browned and crispy. Get a plate and put some of the tomato / paprika sauce on the bottom, then pile the potatoes on top. Drizzle with mayonnaise and another little dusting of smoked paprika.