snack / streetfood Spanish

Patatas Bravas with Spicy Tomato Sauce, Spanish Tapas

Saturday, July 18, 2015Enz F

Foodies+ is one of the most active food communities in G+ and being a member of the group for more than a year now, I am very happy and pleased to have met brilliant and ingenious bunch of people from all over the world, all seven continents well-represented. It is a little corner of the virtual world where like-minded individuals gather together and get to celebrate the rich, colorful and delightful cultures and cuisines of the different countries they embody, so amazing and so wonderful in their own unique ways. As summer season is already up in many parts of the globe and to keep everyone into their gastronomic feet following the successful barbecue party last June, we have dedicated the month of July as the Spanish Tapas Month at Foodies+.

The word “tapas” came from the Spanish tapar, which means “to cover”.
Tapas are wide selection of appetizers, snacks or finger foods that are meant to be served either cold or hot in bite-sizes or little plates. They are believed to have originated in Spain and form an integral part of Spanish culture and social scene. The word “tapas” came from the Spanish tapar, which means “to cover”. Some historians believe that first tapas were slices of bread topped with pieces of meat or cheese used by sherry drinkers in Andalusian taverns as covering to their glasses to keep the insects and dirt away from their beverages. Another popular folklore accounted that the practice started when King Alfonso X, el Sabio or “the Wise One,” ordered that Castilian taverns should be served with wine accompanied by something to fill the stomach to slow down the effects of alcohol and to prevent the person from drinking too much. 

Tapas are believed to have originated in Spain.
Nowadays, tapas are served all day in every café and tapas bar in Spain, some provinces like Granada even serve them as complimentary for each batch of purchased drinks. In the Philippines, we have our own version known as “pulutan”. Similarly, pulutan are finger foods or small portions of dishes usually served along with an ice-cold bottle of beer.

"Fierce Potatoes!"
As my contribution for the Foodies+ Tapas Month, here is my own rendition of Patatas Bravas with Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce. Patatas bravas when literally translated means "angry potatoes", “fierce potatoes” or “potatoes for the brave". It is commonly served in almost every bar in Spain such as in big cities like Barcelona. In fact, it has become a mainstay in the menu in smaller bars in the rural villages. The dish also comes in other names such as papas bravas or patatas a la brava. It is basically composed of potatoes served with spicy and tangy sauce. The cooking method for the potatoes varies which can be anything from boiled, fried or baked. In this particular recipe, I used our locally grown baby potatoes or marble potatoes. I browned the potatoes in little oil to achieve that slightly crispy texture from the outside, complementing its natural creaminess from the inside. I wanted my sauce to be as fierce and as spicy as it could possibly be so I got a little help from our local red hot chili pepper accompanied by powdered spices available in my cupboard such as smoked paprika, ground black pepper, dried chili flakes and cayenne. The tanginess of calamansi lime combined with tomato sauce is just perfect! The sauce is more than enough for the potatoes so you have the option to either double the quantity of potatoes or save the extra sauce for your pasta. Patatas bravas are wonderful addition to finger food parties and based on personal experience, they are surefire never to last long on the plate! So, what do you think of this, folks? How do you want your patatas bravas? Do you want them baked or fried? Spicy sauce or otherwise? Kindly leave your thoughts below.

Patatas Bravas with Spicy Tomato Sauce, Spanish Tapas
Number of Servings: 3 to 4

  • 1 lb. baby creamer potatoes/ marble potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • water for boiling
  • ¼ cup olive oil or any cooking for frying
For the spicy tomato sauce and toppings
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 pcs. red hot chili pepper or red Thai chili, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tbsps. calamansi lime juice
  • 1 tsp. dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil or any cooking oil

Parboil and fry the potatoes
  1. In a cooking pot, boil water with 1 tsp. of salt. Add the potatoes and cooked for about 10 to 15 minutes or until they can be pierced with the tip of a fork. Transfer the potatoes in a colander to drain the liquid. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Fry the potatoes in batches for about 5 to 8 minutes per batch or until the potatoes turn light brown. Transfer the potatoes on paper towel to drain the excess oil. 
  3. Transfer the potatoes on a serving dish. Toss in the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Drizzle with spicy tomato sauce and then sprinkle with chili flakes and minced parsley. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Prepare the spicy tomato sauce
  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Sauté the garlic and onion until fragrant and translucent. Add tomato sauce and water. Stir the mixture and bring to a light simmer.
  2. Add chili, cayenne, paprika, ground pepper, salt and calamansi juice. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the flavors are well-blended. Adjust the seasonings as needed.
  3. Remove from heat and pour the sauce on the cooked baby potatoes.

  1. Add more toppings like cheese and other fresh herbs and spices.
  2. Other varieties of potatoes can also be used.
  3. The spicy sauce can be served as a dip to other dishes or as toppings to favorite pasta. It will keep in the refrigerator for a week.

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  1. We love patatas bravas and always seem to have to order it when we go out for tapas! :D

    1. We love it too! Specially the super spicy sauce.. Thanks for dropping by. :)


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