In January, I had the pleasure of dining in my first Latin Fusion restaurant. The food was phenomenal. Two of my favorite dishes, which I immediately came home to make, were the Tostones with Blackened Shrimp and Guacamole and Ropa Vieja. I had also been itching to prepare my favorite tapas, Patatas Bravas. To my surprise, while scrolling through Instagram one day, I saw a picture of them posted by America’s Test Kitchen. Imagine my excitement.
For the most part, I followed the recipe exactly, except for a few tweaks of my own. Definitely needed more sweet smoked paprika, and the addition of the garlic aioli sent this recipe to a whole new level!
HOW TO PREPARE PATATAS BRAVAS
There are a number of steps involved in this recipe. The garlic aioli can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge. Prep the potatoes for frying before creating the bravas sauce.
FOR THE GARLIC AIOLI
Aioli is basically a Mediterranean mayo, and the perfect compliment to this dish. In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients for the garlic aioli, except for the oils. Start processing while slowly pouring the oil in from the top. Process until a nice thick sauce has formed. Just about a minute. Store in fridge.
FOR THE POTATOES
Cutting the potatoes, in my opinion, is going to be a matter of size preference. Diced small was my way, but feel free to create larger chunks. Boil a large pot of water with the baking soda and tablespoon of salt. Once at the boiling stage, add in the potatoes. Allow to come back to a boil, and boil for just a minute.
Drain. Place potatoes back in the pot. Set pot back on stove at a low heat. Allow any moisture to cook off. Do this for just under a minute. Remove from heat. Gently, using a spatula, stir in the remaining teaspoon of kosher salt. You will notice the potatoes have a starch-like consistency, but still hold their shape. This is exactly what you are looking for.
Grab a baking sheet, place potatoes in a single layer to cool.
Heat up enough canola oil in a deep pot or large dutch oven to just cover the potatoes. I used this Lodge cast iron pot. Temperature should be around 375 degrees. Add in the cooled potatoes and allow to fry until golden brown. Stir the pot often with a slotted spoon. Once potatoes are brown and crispy, remove from pot with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined cooling rack. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
FOR THE BRAVAS SAUCE
As the potatoes are frying, prepare the bravas sauce. On medium-low heat, heat up the olive oil. Toss in the garlic, paprika, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook for just under a minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 30 seconds. Whisk in the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until the sauce thickens. This will take about three to four minutes. Pour sauce into a bowl, stir in the vinegar, and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, whisk in the mayo.
TO SERVE THE PATATAS BRAVAS
You can the patatas bravas family-style, or in individual servings. Spoon a touch of the bravas sauce onto a plate or in a bowl. Place potatoes. Drizzle with more bravas sauce. Garnish with the garlic aioli and chopped parsley. Enjoy this fabulous tapas prepared in your very own home!