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Salsa brava... on some potatoes

>> Sunday, April 25, 2010

Salsa brava 3

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.

Salsa brava 5

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 2

Salsa brava

  • 400g crashed or pureed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic or 2 tbsp roasted garlic puree
  • 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sweet Spanish pimentón
  • 1/2 tbsp hot Spanish pimentón (add more if you like it really spicy)
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.
  1. I made the salsa in my Thermomix, but a regular frying pan can be used. Pour the olive oil in the pan and add the garlic, either the mashed raw garlic or the roasted puree. Fry till the garlic is toasted (softer in the case of the puree).
  2. Then add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and cook on low heat for around 10 minutes, or as needed for the sauce to thicken. In Thermomix, 100ºC and speed 1.
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.

Salsa brava 1

Roasted garlic puree
  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC. If you're not a clever person with a gnome-sized garlic oven like me (¿?), wrap 2 garlic heads in aluminum foil and put them into the oven when it's hot. Cook for one hour.
  2. When done, you'll find the garlic cloves have turned into a soft, fragrant and caramelized mass, that can be squeezed out just by pressing the clove's peel. Just open one end of the peel and squeeze the flesh out. Empty all the garlic flesh into a bowl, then mash it with a fork to make the puree. And that's it. Good for boosting the flavor of a lot of dishes without the aggresive taste and smell of raw garlic. And delicious on toast too.
Salsa brava 6

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.

Salsa brava 4

And if you want to see a wonderful deconstruction of this popular tapa, visit this.

20 comentarios:

Lazaro Cooks April 25, 2010 at 10:28 PM  

Great potato dish. Love the garlic puree. Cheers!

My Little Space April 26, 2010 at 5:05 AM  

The sauce looks fantastic! I think it goes well with anything.
Have a great day!
Regards, Kristy

Cristina (TeenieCakes) April 26, 2010 at 5:29 AM  

I have that very same garlic roaster dish...I love it! I know I would like the Patatas con salsa brava. Sounds delicious with the roasted garlic.

penny aka jeroxie April 26, 2010 at 1:53 PM  

Yum! looks really really good.

Emily Malloy April 26, 2010 at 2:42 PM  

Delicious! And simple! Can't go wrong with a recipe like that :-)

Isabelle April 26, 2010 at 5:35 PM  

I looooove patatas con salsa brava. Unfortunately, the potatoes here in Canada don't quite match up to the ones I had in Spain, but your recipe sounds so delicious I might have to try it out anyways. :)

Mjosé April 26, 2010 at 6:33 PM  

Buenísimas las bravas !!!
Ahora que empieza el buen tiempo apetecen mas.

Lori April 26, 2010 at 6:56 PM  

That is one tempting sauce. The color is so rich and beautfiul.

bunkycooks April 27, 2010 at 12:29 AM  

I can imagine that the flavors in this are incredible! I am sure that it goes with so many foods.

Heidi Leon Monges April 27, 2010 at 3:15 PM  

Miriam. you have no idea how much I love patatas bravas!. Estas se ven buenisimas!

oh, and congrats on making it to Foodbuzz top9!

Belinda @zomppa April 27, 2010 at 3:35 PM  

Yay to your #1! Well deserved - what a fabulous recipe - great for spring picnics.

Juc April 27, 2010 at 5:15 PM  

Beautiful salsa. And I bet it tastes wonderful on potatoes. I wonder where I could buy a garlic roaster like that?! It´s not common in Estonia

Stella April 27, 2010 at 8:18 PM  

Hey Miriam, this is one of the best posts I've seen of yours yet! I love this sauce and I had no idea that it's so simple. I remember this sauce being served with potatoes when I lived in Spain (I think??)...
Que tengas un muy buen dia.
Un Beso,

we are never full April 27, 2010 at 11:01 PM  

i think that salsa brava is one of the most basterdized recipes on the web. thank you so much for telling us all how it should be made!

lisaiscooking April 28, 2010 at 1:10 AM  

Your salsa sounds fantastic with the roasted garlic. I have to try this!

Ben April 28, 2010 at 3:08 AM  

Hmmm que delicia! Thank you Miriam for sharing this delicious recipe, and your memories, with us. Now I am in the mood for some tapas, cerveza and vino!

Sarah April 28, 2010 at 3:47 PM  

This is a beautiful sauce.

Simones Kitchen May 4, 2010 at 3:20 PM  

Whenever we have tapas there is bound to be some patatas bravas with that and this salsa brava seems to be perfect for it!

Miriam May 5, 2010 at 1:45 PM  

Lazaro: thanks!
MLS: thanks!
Cristina: haha, I had never used it! Can you believe it?
Penny: thanks!
Emily: thank you!
Isabelle: it's easy! I'm sure you'll find good potatoes one day or another.
Mjose´: sí, con un buen vinito... mmmm.
Lori: thanks!
Bunky: it does!
Heidi: thanks!
Belinda: thank you!
Juc: well, I don't see it here too often either...
Stella: es fácil, cualquiera puede hacerla!
WANF: you're welcome ;-)
Lisa: thanks!
Ben: haha, me too...
AOFP: thanks!
Simone: sure!

Tasty Trix May 6, 2010 at 9:44 PM  

"A glimpse of our future ..." You are hilarious. I have seen those cute little garlic ovens, and I really want one (though I don't fear raw garlic believe me!) This potato dish looks so good.


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