Spice up your new potatoes!

Enjoy some spicy tapas this summer

Enjoy some spicy tapas this summer

When the kids were little we would often go to the Canaries for a bit of winter sunshine. They loved eating tapas and would often try and replicate some of the small, tasty dishes we had when we were back home. One tapas style dish I like to serve for a buffet lunch or barbeque is this potato one. It’s equally good hot or cold and can be eaten on its own or served with all sorts of meats or quiches.

Be careful though as the name translates to mean fierce potatoes!

Patatas Bravas

Serves 4 as tapas, 2 as a side dish

Takes about 30 minutes

400g small new potatoes, scrubbed clean

Couple of glugs of oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1-2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

1 red pepper, sliced fairly small

200g can chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato puree

1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Good grinding of salt and pepper

  •  Bring a large pan of water to the boil and drop in the washed but unpeeled potatoes. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are only just tender. Drain and put to one side to cool. Cut in half (quarters if larger than small bite size).
Add paprika to the spicy sauce

Add paprika to the spicy sauce

  • Heat the oil in a large, lidded frying pan and add the onion, chilli, pepper and garlic and cook over a low heat for about 6 minutes until softened. Add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, vinegar and paprika and stir well to combine. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce is soft and thickened.
Add new potatoes to the sauce

Add new potatoes to the sauce

  • Add the potato halves and make sure they are well covered in the tomato sauce. Pop the lid on and simmer very gently for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are soft and tender.
  • Check the seasoning. Add a dash of chilli powder if it’s not hot enough, some more tomatoes and a spoon of sugar if it’s a bit too spicy!

For an extra twist try serving with chunks of chorizo or the meat from chicken thighs roasted with chilli. Add a bowl of allioli (a garlic mayonnaise ) to serve alongside the potatoes.Use new potatoes for some other tapas dishes. Cook a Spanish style omelette or tortilla, adding small chunks of new potato, roasted red pepper and courgette and chop into bite size pieces.

For a second tapas dish with new potatoes try frying cooked halves of potato in oil until crispy and browned then add some pieces of Parma ham, fry until crispy then throw over a handful of chopped parsley.