Did someone say New Hampshire?! (or why are we eating Spanish food?)

It’s Tuesday, and I would love to say “Welcome to another week of 50 States of New Recipe Tuesday”, but alas, all has gone awry this week. You see, my son Josh is performing in his high school’s musical ‘Footloose’ (he has a lead… Reverend Shaw!) and opening night is this Thursday. That translated means dress rehearsals until 8:00p or later all week, and grabbing whatever you can to eat between costume and scene changes. And for me, that means spending countless volunteer hours up at school, because that is just what I do.

So, sorry New Hampshire, you will have to wait until next week.

But I don’t want to leave you all hanging. On top of all the stresses of “show week”, that pesky thing called regular school still exists and that includes a full blown Spanish video project that involves researching, preparing and presenting a food from Spain. Since this project involved my assistance, and the result was pretty yummy, I am presenting the dish we made as my stand in for New Recipe Tuesday, Spanish style.

IMG_0887
Patatas Bravas. A delicious Spanish tapas dish.

Spain is known as the creator of tapas, small dishes eaten at bars and restaurants all over the country. When we visited Marbella a couple years ago, we were first introduced to a yummy potato dish called Patatas Bravas, which translated means spicy potatoes. These diced, seasoned and fried spuds are served with a spicy mayo and are delicious. I found a recipe that had the dipping sauce just right, and by par cooking then frying the potatoes, they get very crispy, with a soft and pillowy middle. They came out great and were well worth the 90 minutes it took to make them.

So, sorry about the slight interruption in our US food journey. I will do my best to get back on track next week (I think NH had a lot to do with what we eat for turkey day!). Enjoy and see you next time!

Recipe (adapted from allrecipes.com)

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle peppers
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste

Spice Blend:

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle peppers

Potatoes:

  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  1. Prepare dipping sauce. Combine garlic, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, and a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle or food processor; process until smooth. Mix in mayonnaise, sherry vinegar, tomato paste, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, and cayenne pepper until combined. Cover and refrigerate dipping sauce.
  2. Prepare spice blend. Mix 1 tablespoon salt, black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder together in a small bowl. Set spice blend aside.
  3. For the potatoes, pour water into a large saucepan and stir 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, cumin, and bay leaves into water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover; simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir potatoes into water-paprika mixture; bring to a boil, and simmer until potatoes are tender but not fully cooked, 4 to 5 minutes. The tip of a paring knife should easily insert into the center of a potato cube. Drain potatoes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 45 minutes. You can also put them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to speed up the cooling process.
  5. Heat vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven to 350 degrees F. Add cooled potato cubes and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes.

    IMG_0885
    Fry the potatoes until golden brown
  6. Transfer potatoes to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to cool slightly. Toss in a bowl with some of the spice blend (add a little and taste, it can get too salty if you use all of it) and serve with dipping sauce.

    IMG_0886
    Use the spice blend sparingly! Too much will make your potatoes too salty.

 

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