When you go to a bar, it’s more than likely that you’ll order a basket of fries. In Spain, you’ll order patatas bravas: traditional tapas fair in Spanish bars, fried pieces of potato are drizzled with aioli or a spicy tomato sauce. Soft and creamy on the inside with a fried, golden brown exterior, they almost resemble your neighborhood diner’s home fries.

This method for “frying” the potatoes is easy and painless, uses less than 1/3 cup of oil, and they still come out deliciously crispy. Pre-heating the oiled sheet pan in the oven helps build that crispy edge on the cut-side of the potatoes, while quickly boiling them beforehand will give you that soft and creamy interior, without drying them out in the oven.

A dish like patatas bravas is nothing without a delicious sauce: a creamy aioli is perfect, and I’ve made two variations here garlic cilantro and spicy curry. Aioli is much easier to make than you think; all you need is a bowl and a whisk, and you’re all set for your next dinner party!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4-6 appetizers

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Ingredients:

For the Patatas Bravas
680 g (1 ½ lb) fingerling potatoes
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt

2 Tbsp chopped chives

For the Garlic Cilantro Aioli
1 fresh egg yolk
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

For the Curry Aioli
1 fresh egg yolk
1 clove garlic, very finely minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup grape seed oil or other neutral oil
½ tsp curry powder
Paprika for garnish

Directions:

For the Patatas Bravas

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F.

2. Place the fingerling potatoes in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat.

3. Boil for 4-5 minutes until the potatoes have slightly softened. Drain and allow to cool.

4. Prepare a sheet pan (or baking sheet with rim) by spreading ¼ cup of olive oil over it and spreading it to the edges.

5. Pre-heat the pan in the oven for 10-12 minutes until hot.

6. While the pan pre-heats, slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil and salt.

7. Carefully, take the pan out of the oven and place the potatoes cut side down in the oil. The potatoes should sizzle.

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8. Return the pan to the oven and roast for 30-35 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through and golden brown around the edges. Don’t move the potatoes around during the roasting process! This will ensure they really develop a nice crust on that cut side.

9. Before serving, toss with the chopped chives.

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For the Cilantro Garlic Aioli

1. Place the egg yolk, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a medium to large bowl and whisk until combined.

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2. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Whisk hard! It will emulsify.

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3. Add in the chopped cilantro and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.

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For the Curry Aioli

1. Place the egg yolk, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a medium to large bowl and whisk until combined.

2. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and then the grape seed oil. Whisk hard! It will emulsify.

3. Add in the curry powder and whisk to combine. Taste, adjust seasoning, and after plating, garnish with paprika.

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