Patatas Bravas

Adapted from Jose Andres: Tapas a Taste of Spain in America

Serves 4


  •     4 ripe tomatoes
  •     2 tablespoons Spanish extra virgin olive oil
  •     1 teaspoon sugar
  •     1 bay leaf
  •     1/2 teaspoon of Spanish sweet paprika
  •     1 pinch cayenne pepper
  •     1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  •     salt to taste

For the potatoes

  •     2 cups Spanish extra virgin olive oil
  •     1 pound Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  •     Salt to taste

For the allioli

  •     1 small egg
  •     1 cup Spanish extra virgin olive oil
  •     1 garlic clove, peeled
  •     1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  •     salt to taste


Step 1: For the allioli:  Break the egg into a small mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic clove, and the vinegar or lemon juice.

Step 2: Using a hand held mixer or food processor, mix at high speed until the garlic is fully pureed into a loose paste.


Step 3: Then little by little, add the remaining olive oil as you continue blending at high speed.  If the mixture appears too thick when you begin adding the oil, add 1 teaspoon water to loosen the sauce. Continue adding the oil and blending until you have a rich, creamy allioli. The sauce will be lovely yellow color. Add salt to taste.

Step 4: For the brava sauce: Cut each tomato in half lengthwise.  Place a grater over a bowl and grate the open side of the tomatoes into the bowl.

Step 5: Strain the grated flesh through a sieve to produce 1 1/2 cups of tomato puree.

Step 6: Pour the olive olive oil into a small pan and warm it over a low flame. Add the tomato puree, sugar, bay leaf, paprika, and cayenne.  Raise the heat to medium and cook until the mixture reduces by one-fourth and becomes a deep red color, about 10 minutes. 

Step 7: Remove from heat. Add the vinegar and salt to taste, and reserve.

Step 8: Prepare the potatoes: Pour olive oil into a deep saucepan and heat it to 275 degrees. Place the potatoes in the oil and poach them, frying them slowly until soft, which normally takes between 8 to 10 minutes. The potatoes won't change color but they will soften all the way through. You can test for softness by inserting a toothpick; if it comes out easily, the potatoes are done. Remove them from the pan and drain. Set aside.

Step 9:  Raise the temperature of the olive oil to 350 degrees. Return the potatoes to the pan. Fry until they are crisp and brown, about 6 minutes. Drain, and sprinkle with salt to taste.

Step 10: Drizzle the brava sauce on a serving plate. Top with the potatoes and the allioli, and sprinkle with chives.  Place some toothpicks on the side of the dish for serving.

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