Sonal from Simply Vegetarian777 has a very active facebook following and sometimes she will tag us with a challenge. The other day I received notification that Sonal had done just that. She asked everyone to create or post a recipe using potatoes as an appetizer or side, no curries, it must be vegetarian and the potatoes should be in pieces not mashed or smashed. I immediately thought of one of my favorite potato dishes when I go for Tapas, Patatas Bravas, crispy pieces of potato, deep fried and dipped in a spicy aioli. It really doesn’t get better than this. I found this recipe on America’s Test Kitchen and have to say their recipes are almost always spot on. I love the simple aioli using already prepared mayonnaise. I cut the recipe in half, it’s just me and I don’t need all of those potatoes.
2 tsp neutral oil like vegetable or grapeseed
1 tsp garlic smashed to a paste (I used 1 large clove)
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1/4 tsp kosher salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tbs tomato paste
1/4 cup water
2 tsp sherry vinegar
2 generous tbs mayonaise
Heat oil in small saucepan over medium low heat. Add the garlic. paprika, salt and cayenne and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook another 30 seconds. Add water and whisk on high heat until it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until it is slightly thickened. Pour sauce into a bowl, add vinegar and let cool completely. When cooled whisk in the mayonaise. Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, bring to room temperature before serving.
1 1/2 lbs russet or yukon gold potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes.
1/4 tsp baking soda
oil to fry
Bring large pot of water to a rolling boil, add the potatoes and baking soda. When they start boiling again cook for 1 minute. Drain the potatoes.
Return potatoes to the pan and cook over low heat shaking occasionally for another minute or until the water has evaporated. Remove from heat and add about 3/4 tsp of salt, stir with a rubber spatula until the potatoes are coated with a thick starchy paste. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet to cool, they can stand at room temperature up to 2 hours.
Heat about 2 1/2 cups of oil in large dutch oven to 375 degree’s. Add all the potatoes, they should be submerged in the oil. Cook stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon or spyder until golden brown and crispy, approximately 20-25 minutes.
Transfer potatoes to a paper towel lined wire rack on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. To serve spoon some sauce on the bottom of a platter. Arrange the potatoes on top and serve the remaining sauce on the side.