Catalonia’s got my back. The northeasternmost province of Spain, that chunk of land bordered by France and the Med, is obsessed with the same ingredients as I am- tomatoes, peppers (both hot and sweet), cured pork products and the propensity for charring anything over an open flame.
What’s not to love?
Even though this region is home to the most forward-thinking chefs in the world, the food is honest, simple and approachable– the perfect food to make at home.
Two nights ago, Brooke and I followed the sunset as far west as we could go to teach a private couples cooking lesson. (We think there are much worse places to work than in a beautiful apartment sandwiched between Pastis and the Hudson River…) They wanted a simple but different way to fix one of their favorite comfort veggies, potatoes. With fall and football season and ‘guy eats’ on the brain, I jumped straight to patas bravas. The simply roasted potatoes- maybe we could call them Spanish Home Fries?- are brilliant with a side bowl of smoky, spicy, garlicky mayo.
3 idaho potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic finely grated or minced (about 2 cloves)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
Spiced Spanish Mayo
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic, finely grated or minced (1 small clove)
1/2 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
preheat oven to 375˚ (400˚ if you oven is a little weak)
Cut the potatoes in half through their width. Stand piece of potato on it’s (flat) cut side and cut like a pie, forming 8 equal wedges. Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl; add the olive oil garlic and salt. Mix thoroughly and immediately transfer the seasoned potatoes to a baking sheet and arrange so they lie neatly in a single layer. No stacking or crowding or the potatoes won’t get crisp- use two pans if necessary. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown and crisp, about 25 minutes.
When the potatoes are done baking, remove from the oven and cook on the baking sheets, 5-10 minutes before removing.
To make the sauce, combine the lemon juice, garlic, sriracha and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside for 5 minutes. Add the olive oil and whisk to combine. Whisk in the mayonnaise; when the mixture s smooth, add the salt. Stores refrigerated up to 2 weeks.