A Year Of... interesting things

Cycle 2 - Europe - Patatas Bravas

For the second two-week cycle I have picked the European region and the first dish comes from Spain: Patatas Bravas or Fierced Potatoes.

The hands-on time is short at only 20 minutes, but it takes a few hours between soaking potatoes for 2 hours in ice-cold water and baking them in the oven for some 45 minutes.

I think I messed something in the recipe because it didn’t come out spicy at all. As a matter of fact some of the tasters complained that the sauce was too sweet.

The recipe calls for ground red pepper and not having those I used cayenne powder, which in my mind should’ve make it even spicier.

I liked them - the rest of my tribe not so much.

Patatas Bravas - Fierce Potatoes

Shown here with chicken because it felt as if it needed some protein.

I might try it again and maybe up the dosage on all the spicy stuff?


Hands-on time: 20 min; Total time: 3 hr 30 min.


  • 2 pounds baking potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, finely crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 bottled roasted piquillo peppers or 1 bottled roasted red bell pepper, drained and chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1.5 cups unsalted tomato puree (fresh or canned)
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


  1. Soak whole potatoes in ice water in refrigerator 2 hours; drain. Cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
    Steam potatoes, covered, 9 minutes or until just tender.
    Rinse with cold water; drain and pat dry;
  2. Preheat oven to 450F;
  3. Combine 1.5 tablespoons olive oil and saffron in the center of a jelly-roll pan (I used a tin-foil wrapped regular baking pan).
    Bake at 450F for 3 to 4 minutes to bloom saffron.
    Scrape oil and saffron into a medium bowl using a rubber spatula.
    Return pan to oven. Add potatoes and 1/3 teaspoon salt to saffron oil, tossing to coat.
  4. Spread potatoes on preheated pan; bake at 450F for 45 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, stirring twice.
  5. While potatoes cook, heat a small saucepan over medium heat.
    Add remaining 1.5 tablespoons oil to pan; swirl to coat.
    Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender.
    Add garlic and bay leaf; sauté 1 minute.
    Add roasted pepper, tomato puree, paprika, and ground red pepper; bring to a boil over high heat.
    Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.
    (*I didn’t do these blending steps - it was smooth enough from cooking). Place pepper mixture, remaining 1/4 tea- spoon salt, and vinegar in a blender.
    Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender.
    Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters).
    Blend until smooth.
    Spoon sauce on o plates or a platter.
    Top with potatoes, and sprinkle with chives.
    Serves 8 (serving size: 2/3 cup potatoes and 1/4 cup sauce)

Calories: 165

  • Protein 37g;
  • Carbs 27.4g;
  • Fiber 39g;
  • Cholesterol: 9mg;
  • Fat 54g (Sat 0.8g, Mono 3.7g, Poly 0.7g);
  • Iron: 2.2mg
  • Sodium 275mg;
  • Calcium 29mg
So what did you think about this post? Liked it? Hated it? Thought it was stupid? Thought I was stupid? Deemed it to be informative? Found mistakes or misinformation? Want to lavish excessive praise or cast fiery insults? Contact me and have at it.