Patatas Bravas

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patatas bravas

Patatas Bravas are a favorite form of tapas, or small snacks served with alcohol. Tapas originated in Spain, though there are at least half a dozen theories as to how they evolved and where they got their name. “The Joy of Cooking” explains that tapas started out as slices of bread placed atop sherry glasses in Andalusian taverns to keep the fruit flies from falling into the sweet sherry commonly served. Slices of salted meat were added to the bread when tavern owners figured out that salty snacks encourage thirst, which means more drinks being sold. This theory makes sense given that the word, tapas is a form of the Spanish word, tapar, which means, “to cover.”

Whatever its origins, tapas has evolved into a sophisticated cuisine that includes Patatas Bravas, or diced, fried potatoes in a tangy sauce. Patatas Bravas aren`t complicated to make, but it`s important not to skip the parboiling step. This helps remove the starch, giving the potatoes the delicate crispness the dish is known for. Patatas Bravas are typically served with either a dark red brava sauce or a garlicky allioli, which is similar to flavored mayonnaise.

Whichever sauce you choose, make it before frying the potatoes, because they are best when served hot and crisp, right out of the pan.


2 tbsp white vinegar
Kosher salt
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
Olive oil (a good one is essential for a good result!)
Green onions, chopped

Add the vinegar and a dash of kosher salt to a pot of water and bring it to a boil.
Add the potatoes and parboil them for 7 minutes, until tender. Drain them.
Coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and heat it over medium heat.
Add the potatoes and cook them until they are crisp and golden brown.
Scoop the potatoes out onto a plate lined with paper towels and season them with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
Place the potatoes into a bowl and drizzle them with brava sauce garnished with chopped, fresh parsley, or allioli and a sprinkle of green onions. Serve extra sauce for dipping.

Brava Sauce:

3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp Spanish paprika
1/4 tsp Tabasco Sauce
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 ketchup
1/2 mayonnaise
Parsley, chopped for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat until it starts to shimmer and you can smell it.
Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are soft.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the paprika, Tabasco sauce and thyme.
Pour the mixture into a bowl and whisk in the ketchup and mayonnaise. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.


2 egg yolks
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, grated
2 tsp water
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 olive oil
2 tsp hot smoked paprika
Green onions, chopped for garnish

Place egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, garlic and water in a blender or food processor. Blend at lowest setting for 5 seconds or so, until they are well mixed.
Slowly add the canola oil without turning off the machine except to scrape down the sides. When the sauce has thickened, pour it into a large bowl.
Whisk the olive oil into the allioli by hand, adding it a little at a time.
Season the allioli with salt and black pepper, adding a little more lemon juice if it isn`t tart enough.

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About Shelly

I'm a full time mom and a part-time blogger. I write about what i like and what i do everyday, cooking. hope you enjoy all my recipes!

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