Looking for a fancy way to doll up everyone’s favourite side dish? Pretty much any form of hot, crispy potato chips and tomato sauce is just heavenly. Now, I found a way to kick it up a notch after a visit to a local restaurant (which has sadly changed their recipe), where I fell in love with the traditional, classic Spanish tapas dish, and went home to try and make it! And I got it pretty spot on, actually. Here’s a super simple recipe for my best comfort food: Patatas Bravas.
Currently, as most people know by know – because it’s being broadcast internationally – our home city, Cape Town, is facing a very, very serious #watercrisis after a 3-year long drought. Although, #WaterWise and #WaterConscience, this meal does require a few extra’s that possibly the pro’s may be able to shake off. So check out the little extra #WaterWise tips through the recipe to help keep your water usage down while making this dish.
I almost feel that I should start this blog series with a disclaimer… I’m not a chef, nor a nutritionist, nor professional water saver – I have just found the balance of healthy and happy foods (and have some tips to share about keep things environmentally friendly in the kitchen) and I really want to share them!
A great Vegetarian Dinner for 2 (with left overs) or Side Dish for 4
Usually served as a side dish or tapas plate along with other meals, but we like it just as it is!
Pairs well with a Shiraz or Pinotage Wine
This meal uses around 2.5l of water to prepare (which can be used as grey water if saved)
4 to 6 Large ‘Chip’ Potatoes. This will depend on how hungry you are or if this is THE meal, or just a side dish, I usually work on 2 nice sized potatoes per person as a meal.
1 Large White Onion (chopped)
1 Tin of Whole Cherry Tomatoes
1 Tin of Tomato Puree
1 Vegetable Stock Cube (Optional)
150ml Fresh Milk
2 Tablespoons of Butter or solid Coconut Oil
1 Teaspoon of Chopped Garlic in Olive Oil
Have an oil of your choice, soya sauce, a sugar or xylitol and seasoning on hand
Spanish Salted Potato ‘Chips’
Cut the potatoes in half and then cube. Try to get the pieces roughly the same size to make even cooking easy.
Find a large pot, add in 2L of water, throw in 1 teaspoon of salt (important to the dish, it’s traditional!) and bring the water to a rolling boil before dropping the potato cubes in.
Boil potatoes until soft, and drain off into a bucket using a colander. Once cool, this water can be used to wash out recycling products and then used to water some outdoor plants. Side note – I actually wouldn’t ever recommend reusing food water in the loos or for house work.
Set in a COLD deep dish baking pan, season a dash (and you can add a small sprinkling of that beautiful Smoked Paprika on the potatoes) and drizzle with oil of your choice (I like to use olive oil as it as a flavour of it’s own, but feel free to use coconut oil as a healthier alternative or even butter if you’re wanting a richer dish)
Throw into a HOT oven, and bake for 20 – 30 minutes (until golden brown) at 180 C. Don’t forget to take them out every 10 minutes or so to give them a toss around to distribute the oils.
Beautiful Smoky Tomato Sauce
Fry your chopped onion in 2 table spoons of oil, with a couple of dashes of soya sauce, liquid smoke, the smoked paprika and some seasoning.
Sprinkle either a teaspoon of brown sugar or xylitol over the coking onions to enhance their natural flavours, and combine the sweet and smoky from everything else.
Once cooking nicely at a fast bubble, add 50 – 100ml of water to help simmer. Stir constantly to distribute the water through the pot.
You can also add in a pinch of cinnamon and dried chili flakes at this stage should you wish, it does give it a little extra lift.
Add in the tin of Whole Cherry Tomatoes and the Tomato Puree and turn down the heat. Use your potato water to wash out the containers before throwing them into recycling.
Let simmer for 10 minutes and stir. Do this every 10 minutes for between 30 & 45 minutes (Cooking time will depend on your stove, the heat level used and own personal taste)
At this stage, if you’re feeling the sauce needs a lift, stir in the veg stock cube or pot. I also like to press out the tomatoes so they cook away into the sauce, rather than having the chunky bits in the dish.
Sauce is cooked when you can taste the sweetness tomato and the smokiness from the condiments. Cook for longer if you desire a thicker sauce.
If you’re feeling there isn’t enough smokiness, or you feel it could do with a bit more flavour, add in another 2 teaspoons of Liquid Smoke and a dash more Smoked Paprika.
Creamy Garlic Sauce
Make a normal bechamal, white sauce (enough for a drizzle over the dish), and allow to boil.
Stir down and add in 1 teaspoon of garlic and 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
Cook for around 5 – 10 minutes to draw out all the flavours of the garlic
The sauce should be pourable, but hold it’s own. If it’s too watery, cook a little longer.
Pile the now golden brown Potatoes onto a pretty plate or low bowl, spoon a good amount of the Smoky Tomato Sauce over them and drizzle the delicious Creamy Garlic Sauce over the whole dish.
You can sprinkle a bit of fresh basil or parsley over the top if you want to go extra fancy.
Have you tried this recipe out? Let us know! Use the hashtag #thesocialneediaeats to show us how it turned out – we LOVE seeing what you’re up to in the kitchen. Don’t forget to tag us in your post.