Patatas Very Bravas

Tuesday 29/3/2005

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Diary and Notes


It's fiesta time today, the sun is shining and I'm cooking for chums who like nothing better than to eat, drink, clear away the tables to make space for the dancing and partying until dawn. Actually it's been raining ceaselessly for the last 24 hours and it's grey and unpleasant - but that's no reason not to have a little party and pretend we're on the Costa del something or other.

You guessed it folks, it's Spanish night and everyone's invited.

I don't think I've had much Spanish food on my blog so far, I did a fritata and Basque style chicken, but apart from that, nada - so it's time to make amends.

It wasn't one of those twenty different tapas extravaganzas, more a few specially selected dishes that I think are more central Spanish than coastal (i.e. no fish). For a simple evening's meal with a glass or two of rioja I'd recommend this any day. I shall visit Spain one day and try out the real food, until then I'll have to go on pretending.

Hasta mañana amigos


A note on the food:

All these dishes are standard things served in tapas bars in Britain - I'm not sure how authentically Spanish they are as I've never been to Spain. It's all pretty simple to make but as a meal quite delicious. I will give special mention to that classic tapas dish patatas bravas which I've had loads of times and are usually pretty dire. I like my potatoes crispy and pouring runny sauce all over them really messes up the texture. Also, the sauce served in tapas bars is usually pretty dull, just some tomato sauce with added vinegar. Make a good spicy sauce and do the meal justice. I had some of the tomato sauce from yesterday's duck that I'd deliberately made extra of and saved - though any good home made tomato sauce will fit the bill.

Cake Blog

Croissants with Butter and Jam: I think this is the first time I've had croissants in over five months - excellent for breakfast.


  • Chicken with Paprika, Cream and Mushrooms
  • Chorizo in Red Wine
  • Patatas Bravas
  • Salad (Tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, cucumber, olives, lemon juice etc...)
  • Bread


    Chicken with Paprika
    1 Large Chicken
    Olive Oil
    2 Tbsp Paprika
    3 Cloves Garlic
    1 Onion
    1 Lemon
    150g Mushrooms
    200ml Single Cream
    Fresh Parsley
    Black Pepper
    Chorizo in Wine
    200g Corizo Sausage
    1/2 Bottle Cheap Red Wine
    Fresh Parsley
    Patatas Bravas
    Tomato Sauce (from Yesterday see above)
    Olive Oil
    1 Onion
    3 Green Chillis
    2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
    Salt & Pepper
    500g Potatoes
    Vegetable Oil


  • Chicken: Joint the chicken then brown the individual pieces in a little olive oil (do this in the roasting tin you'll be cooking them in to save washing up and moving things about). Sprinkle liberally with 1/2 the paprika and put in the oven to roast. After 15 minutes add the minced garlic, the rest of the paprika, the diced onion and the juice of the lemon and mix the chicken all around the get and even coating. Roast for a further 30 mins or so. When the chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove and leave somewhere warm. Put the roasting tin on a hotplate or burner and reduce the juices by 1/2. Next add the mushrooms - when these are soft stir in the cream, season and add loads of fresh chopped parsley. Pour over the chicken and eat.
  • Chorizo: Slice the chorizo into quite thick slices. Place in a pan, pour over the wine and boil until the wine has all evaporated. Remove the chorizo from the oil left in the pan (which comes out of the sausage - you don't need to add oil to this dish) and garnish with some fresh chopped parsley. Simple but delicious.
  • Patatas Bravas: Peel the potatoes, chop into chunks and boil in a little water for a minute or so. Drain and fry in a deep fat fryer until crisp. While the potatoes are frying make the sauce. Fry a diced onion in a little oil with some chopped chilli. When soft, add the tomato sauce and the wine vinegar. Simmer gently - don't add water as the sauce should be quite thick - when the potatoes are done, season the sauce and pour over the crispy potatoes.

    *All quantities are very approximate and for four people