>> Sunday, April 25, 2010
Spring is here. At last. Warm weather. This year I thought winter would never end. And I was on the verge of hibernating. I mean it. Around here fair weather goes necessarily together with having some tapas in a sunny bar terrasse, sipping a beer or a wine in good company. I was so much in need of it already... Patatas con salsa brava are a really good choice then, deep-fried potatoes bathed in a tomato-based spicy sauce, a very popular tapa. This post goes to this month's challenge by Ben at México Sabroso, on homemade sauces and condiments.
And I will reveal something private here (enjoy it): patatas bravas have a kind of sentimental value for me and a special place in my (culinary) heart. When my partner and I were something more than friends, we used to go out every evening for a short visit to a nearby café (both our families lived in the same neighborhood). We always ordered some patatas bravas with our drinks. Yes, the same thing day after day. A glimpse of our future. I think that sauce was store-bought... but never mind, it's the memory that counts... And if I look back I believe I've hardly had patatas bravas ever since, I don't know why because I still love them (my subconscious trying to tell me something?). So I'm presenting here one of the endless varieties of salsa brava, adapted from this one.
Salsa brava is spicy for Spanish standards, but Spanish food is not spicy at all in general terms. We do like a slight tickle every now and then... but that's all. And see below for an explanation on roasted garlic puree, for the non-initiated.
Those who dislike the strong taste of raw garlic can try roasted garlic instead. It's a great invention, the taste is softened to a great extent, as well as the effect on your... breath. If you try it, you'll find yourself thinking: "I thought I didn't like garlic!". I promise. After I first heard about roasted garlic puree, some 16 years ago, I found the pretty "garlic oven" in the photo below. I bought it then and I admit I had never ever used it... ahem. Till now. For a good cause. Let me patiently explain you how to prepare this delicious roasted garlic puree, at least to those who've never tried it.
Roasted garlic puree
Fine, now that you have your spicy salsa brava, you need some potatoes to use it, don't you? Take 2 plump potatoes, cut them into chunks (not too big), fry them in olive oil till thoroughly cooked, but not crispy. Serve them in a beautiful cazuela and pour the sauce on top. There you have an excellent tapa for a Sunday brunch or aperitivo... Pour yourself your favourite drink and imagine you're on a terrasse under the April sun. Or just don't imagine anything, because maybe you feel so much at ease at home as I do at my own.
And if you want to see a wonderful deconstruction of this popular tapa, visit this.