My friend Cindy called me the other day to ask if I had a good recipe for patatas bravas, the Spanish fried potato dish doused in a tomato-paprika sauce. That’s good stuff. And, in fact, I did have a recipe. The one she gave me. From the tapas cookbook she owns. She didn’t know what I was talking about.
I don’t hold it against her because she’s pregnant. And rumor is, pregnancy makes you a little bit, um…forgetful. Okay, fine. Stupid. I can attest that this is true, having been pregnant two times too many. Of course, the argument could be made that I was stupid before the first pregnancy occurred, and probably it was a continuation of this same stupidity that caused the pregnancy in the first place, but you must never, ever tell this to a pregnant woman if you value your life. They are supernaturally strong.
Delivering the baby doesn’t seem to help matters in the intelligence department. Neither do your attempts to raise the child, which you stupidly thought you were well-equipped to do. In fact, your feeble efforts make you realize that, contrary to what the liberal arts colleges teach you, stupidness can be a full-time job.
I hope they never scientifically prove that having kids lowers your IQ, because the Women’s Movement worked too hard to gain the vote and equal pay minus 30%.
Although you can totally deep-fry these potatoes, I have personal issues with frying something and then soggifying it with sauce, as you can see in one of my very first blog posts. Oven-roasting is the next best thing.
2 lb. small red-skinned potatoes
2 Tbsp. Spanish extra-virgin olive oil, plus 4 Tbsp. for the sauce
Sea salt to taste
1 Tbsp. tomato purée*
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. chili sauce (I use my Asian chili garlic sauce I’ve had inside my fridge door since the beginning of time)
2 tsp. paprika
Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut each potato into six wedges. Toss onto baking sheet with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and sea salt. Mix well and arrange in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, then flip and roast for 10 minutes more or until crisp and browned. Dump into a large bowl.
Meanwhile, whisk 4 Tbsp. olive oil with the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until hot. Pour over potatoes, season to taste, and serve.
*If you don’t have tomato purée on hand, you can substitute 2 Tbsp. of ketchup for the tomato purée and red wine vinegar, though you’ll still want to add a few dashes of the vinegar to cut the sweetness. It wouldn’t be the first time in history that ketchup and potatoes shacked up together.
Source: Adapted from Bite-Sized Spain by Louise Pickford, one of the better tapas cookbooks I’ve seen.