Crispy Potato Wedges in a Spanish Chili Tomato Sauce (Patatas Bravas)

Crispy Potato Slices in a Spanish Chili Tomato Sauce

If asked to choose a favorite vegetable, I do believe potatoes would be high on the list of many people's preferences. For me, I find them especially satisfying during the cold winter months when more substantial food is often preferred. What I especially like about potatoes is their versatility. There are so many ways to prepare and showcase them. Appetizers and little bites, soups and salads, mains, sides and even in desserts. The title of Raghavan Iyer's most recent book celebrating the mighty spud as it is enjoyed throughout the world certainly has it right - Smashed, Mashed, Boiled, and Baked--and Fried, Too!.

Patatas Bravas is a Spanish side dish, or small plate that is a popular feature of tapas restaurants around the world. It's best served hot so the potatoes maintain their crispness when smothered with the silky, spicy and somewhat smoky sauce. The vinegar adds a tartness to the zesty tomatoes along with the heat from the chilies. Personally, sometimes I enjoy an entire tapas-style meal featuring small plates, but this makes a lovely side to fill out a meal.

I've fried the potatoes, but they could also be roasted if desired. Either way, this is a popular dish for a reason.

Crispy Potato Wedges in a Spanish Chili Tomato SauceCrispy Potato Slices in a Spanish Chili Tomato Sauce
Recipe by
Adapted from Smashed, Mashed, Boiled, and Baked--and Fried, Too!: A Celebration of Potatoes in 75 Irresistible Recipes
Cuisine: Spanish
Published on November 27, 2018

Crispy fried potato slices tossed in a zesty Spanish chili and tomato sauce

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

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  • 1 1/2 lbs (675 g) fingerling or baby potatoes, preferred assorted colors
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 to 2 fresh red chilies, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri or other chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon raw cane sugar, to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce, to taste (I used Tabasco)
  • Cut the potatoes into 3/4 inch slices. Transfer to a medium-large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, immediately reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are just partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Drain in a strainer and shake the potatoes around to get rid of any excess water.

  • Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the potatoes and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the sea salt. Cook the potatoes uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover the pan with a lid, and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are golden brown on the outside and soft and tender in the middle. Be careful when flipping the potatoes so they do not break apart.

  • While the potatoes are cooking, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion to the pan and sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and chilies and continue to sauté until the contents of the pan begin to brown.

  • Now stir in the paprika, chili powder, turmeric, oregano and thyme. Stir for a minute and then add the tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, hot sauce and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Lower the heat to medium and gently simmer the sauce uncovered until it begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

  • Using an immersion blender, purée the sauce until fairly smooth. Or you can transfer the mixture to a blender and process until smooth.

  • Pour the sauce into a serving dish and then add the potatoes and gently toss to coat. This dish is best served hot so that the potatoes keep their crunch.

Makes 4 servings

Spanish Potato Slices

Other potato dishes to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Potato Patties Stuffed with Spiced Green Peas (Aloo Matar Tikki)
Quinoa Potato Patties
Scalloped Potatoes with Best-Ever Mushroom Sauce
Aloo Gobi (Curried Cauliflower and Potatoes)

On the top of the reading stack: Lavender & Lovage: A culinary notebook of memories & recipes from home & abroad by Karen Burn-Booth

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