Patatas Bravas

It’s obviously the low and lean season for craftsmen or tradesmen like me. It’s cold and windy outside. The leaves that just turned miraculously yellow and red from green and bloomed to a beautiful splendor as Fall and September rushed in and school started have begun drying up. These stunning colours of Fall waves farewell by shedding-off (falling) and being blown away by the wind’s howling gust of about 50 km/h this month; just a week after Thanksgiving.  It’s definitely the cold season and during these coming months, I have expected, year-in and year-out  that my work will be sporadic. And for all the burns and cuts I endured through late Spring and throughout the Summer, I don’t mind this social seclusion; this ‘solitary confinement’ of almost absolute peace and quiet in my apartment.  There are highs and lows in the economic cycle.  I feel so free and normal; so to speak, and I am not being tormented by customers (mostly unsupervised teens) or restaurant owners (back in early Spring) who has nothing else to do, but complain or take advantage of people around them. Oh, these annoying, disturbing and sometimes obnoxious customers come in throngs and batches here, and from experience, I can pinpoint the group or individual who will create trouble.  That was the summer that was as it always has been, and the start of the season that has been relatively peaceful. I like it.

As night falls and the day ends, I contemplate on the’ things-to-do’ from my imaginary to-do-list. Although I have an actual stuff to do, they are in so far, as I look at them, insignificant. I can always postpone or ‘buy’ them anytime. Again, my basic reasoning is that it’s just cold outside, and the weather is pushing me back into my apartment-sheer laziness caused by exhaustion and stress that piled months before that.  I’d prefer this though as against bearing down and suffering under the humidity and dry heat that emanates during summer.  That’s added torture to the already hot environment I work in.

This relative isolation made me create the food I really enjoy eating. I really haven’t gotten over my ‘Tapas’ experience and adventure yet, and with my recent trip to the bookstore, I saw more books specifically dedicated to this culture. I posted a couple of ‘Tapas’ on my Facebook page last week and this is one of them: Bravas. They have become a part of my meals, too, and I’d never run out of potatoes in my fridge. This is their version of French fries or Poutine (for Canadians) and almost all bars I saw had served or featured them one way or another. The ingredients are very straightforward and simple. It’s the sauce (which almost resembles Catsup) that made it all the more wonderful.

Ingredients:

  • Yellow Petite Potatoes or Yukon Gold, peeled and/or quartered
  • Pimiento-Picante
  • Olive Oil
  • Beef Stock
  • Flour
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • White Wine/Balsamic/Sherry Vinegar
  • Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper

Boil the potatoes in salted water to the point that it’s fully cooked, but still firm inside.  Let them cool and set aside.

Start preparing a roux with the olive oil and the flour. Slowly incorporate the beef stock, crushed tomatoes, and Vinegar into the sauce pan. Adjust the seasoning and consistency of the sauce to your liking.

Deep-fry or pan-fry the potatoes until golden and season to taste. Drizzle the sauce all over or serve it on the side.

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