I thought I'd begin our week of tapas from The Book of Tapas by Simone and Inés Ortega with one of the most well-known and loved tapas dishes around, Patatas Bravas. Preparation of patatas bravas varies widely—some versions are fried while other are boiled, sauces are tomato or vinegar-based, and sometimes the patatas are topped with chorizo, chicken, or fish. A garlicky aioli usually finds its way into the mix, either on the side or drizzled on top.
This recipe is closest to a Catalonian or Valencian version, with boiled waxy potatoes tossed in a vinegar and oil-based sauce with paprika, garlic, and either chili powder or Worcestershire sauce. I used all three for a sauce that was smoky, slightly spicy and had a slight richness from the Worcestershire. These patatas are wonderful on their own and pair perfectly with a cold beer or a glass of white wine but if you have an extra few minutes to whip up a batch of aioli it certainly wouldn't hurt.
- 12 small potatoes, unpeeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 pinch hot paprika
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon chili powder or Worcestershire sauce
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender but not falling apart. Drain and let cool, then peel and slice or dice. Transfer to a plate or tray. Mix together the oil, vinegar, paprika, garlic, and the chili powder or Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Pour the mixture over the potatoes and serve hot.