I often think of the weekend trip I took to Spain with a good friend. It was fantastic. The architecture, the people,the cuisine..ooh the cuisine. It was divine to say the least.
Good food, socializing and conversation are an inherent part of the Spanish experience and we thoroughly enjoyed our visits to various bars in Spain where we
never encountered a dull moment. One classic dish served in bars all over Spain and which I absolutely love is the TAPAS.
Tapas have their origin ingrained into the history of Spain where the story goes that people put pieces of bread over their glass of sherry to keep the dust and flies out. This bread was often topped with ham, sausage or cheese and eventually these pieces of bread-snacks gained popularity and the rest, as they say, is history. According to another legend the credit for the origin of this popular snack goes to Castile’s king the wise Alfonso X. Apparently he owed his recovery from an illness to eating small snacks alongside his drink.But whatever the story the fact remains that tapas are delicious , economical and wholesome food. Any food is susceptible of becoming a tapa and there are innumerable varieties of this simple flexible dish- Boquerones en Escabeche, Patatas bravas, boquerones en vinagre, gallinejas, entresijos, mollejas and callos amongst other limitless varieties and combinations.
These mini-meals may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or warm (such as puntillitas( fried baby squid).Today I have prepared the common, yet deliciously spicy “Patatas Bravas” or Fierce Potatoes as they are so often and rightly known as. This tomato sauce based recipe is simple ,quick and flexible. You can easily adjust the quantity of chilli according to your taste and even convert these lip-smaking miniature morsels into a whole meal.
FOR THE SAUCE
3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion , chopped
3 garlic cloves , chopped
240 g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
¼ tsp chilli powder
Sugar a pinch
chopped fresh parsley , to garnish
FOR THE POTATOEScut into even cubes evenly
2 tbsp olive oil
Preparation and cooking times
Prep 30 35 mins
In a saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft.. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, chilli powder, sugar and salt and bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer for 15 minutes until soft and pulpy.
Keep this aside.
Toss the potatoes with the seasoning. Roll the potatoes in the oil until well coated, Place in a roasting tin and roast in a preheated oven at 180 C for 1 hour or until crisp and golden. Alternatively you may also fry the potatoes in olive oil until crisp. I chose the baking method for obvious reasons.
Mix the potatoes with the sauce immediately before serving to ensure that the potatoes retain their crispness. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve warm.