In Spain, when you go for a drink at a bar, you get a tapa. It's a nibble to keep you going, because we have dinner quite late. This is my favourite tapa: Golden potato with a tomato, garlicky spicy sauce. Once you try this, you will never have a French fry again!
- 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes (see Note)
- ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup (250 ml) chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 small dried red chilies, chopped
- 1 cup (250 ml) tomato sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1½ tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Pinch dried oregano
- Pinch dried thyme
- Frying oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time: 15 minutes
1. To remove some of the starch from the potatoes, soak potatoes in cold water for 15 minutes. While the potatoes soak, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until onions start to soften.
2. Stir in chicken stock, bay leaves and dried chillies. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add tomato sauce, oregano, thyme, sugar, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes.
4. To cook the potatoes, bring frying oil to 375°F (190°C) degrees in a deep pot (you’ll need the oil to be at least 2-3 cm deep).
5. Drain and rinse potatoes and pat dry. Transfer potatoes to the hot oil and fry for 8-10 minutes, or until crispy and golden on the outside, but still tender on the inside. Remove potatoes from oil and place on a paper towel to drain.
6. Season potatoes with coarse salt and top with warm sauce and chopped parsley.
• A waxy yellow-fleshed potato works best here. Try Yukon gold, Dutch cream, bintje or similar varieties.