Here is chef Camila Loew’s recipe for patatas bravas, a year-round Spanish favorite. This version yields piping hot, crispy potatoes dressed with a zippy, vinaigrette-style brava sauce, ready to dip into unctuous homemade aioli (garlicky mayonnaise).
Though purple potatoes are lovely to behold, you may have trouble sourcing them in these #quarantinekitchen times. Not to worry - any color potato will do just fine, and we also heartily support you in substituting any variety of sweet potato you can find. Here are some more potato pointers for recipe success:
Pan-frying, also known as shallow-frying, calls for heating a moderate amount of oil in a pan that has a depth of at least 2 inches, then adding the food and allowing it to cook, undisturbed, for a few minutes to promote browning and crust formation. Pan-frying differs from sautéing, which calls for less oil, a shallower pan, and more movement of the food. It also differs from deep frying, for which more oil is needed so the food may be completely submerged during cooking.
To successfully pan-fry your potatoes (or almost any food), maintain the oil temperature at about 365℉. If you lack a thermometer, add a small drop of water to the hot oil; if it fizzes and evaporates quickly, it’s ready. The well-dried potato wedges should sizzle as they hit the pan. Leave an inch or so of space between the pieces, and resist the temptation to move them around. When the speed of the bubbles and sound of frying subside noticeably, it’s time to turn them - carefully but confidently - with a spatula or tongs, further cooking them until they’re nicely golden brown. If the oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot. Don’t panic, just reduce the temperature.
If, even after all that advice, any kind of frying feels like a bridge too far right now,
You could also roast your potatoes in the oven
. Follow these guidelines to achieve the crackly outer layer that makes these potatoes so irresistible:
- Cut the potatoes while you heat the oven to 400℉.
- Pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil into the middle of a sheet pan or other shallow oven-safe pan. Then, place it into the oven to heat for 5 minutes. Take it out, carefully toss the potatoes in the hot oil, and roast them until crisp and golden, about 45 minutes.
- For optimal results, place the potato wedges cut side down on the pan, and turn them over once after 20 minutes in the oven.
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