I buy my mayo in a jar.
I know how to make aioli and have made it many times. And I brag and brag about how I make everything from scratch. But I still buy jarred mayo. It is so easy to make it work and not stress out about spinning the oil into the egg yolks in the wrong direction a couple of times when you are distracted and ruining the just-made-from-scratch mayo/aioli creation! And it’s not like we eat that much of it or that often. We don’t… but we do use it on this Patatas Bravas recipe that comes (mostly) from this Jose Andrés book.
Here is the thing- these are basically a swanky way to dress a fry and feel… Spanish. Let’s be real- they are fries- cut differently and decked out with two delicious sauces, the brava sauce and the aioli, but they are still a fry. Nothing against the fry! Everyone loves them and these ones are outstanding.
Handy tools, etc- a grater, garlic press, a nice big non-stick pan- the deeper the better.
Three steps to make this recipe- brava sauce, aioli, potatoe.
Ingredients: 2 -3 ripe tomatoes (Roma tomatoes work fine); 2 tablespoons olive oil; 1 teaspoon sugar; 1 bay leaf, ½ teaspoon Sweet (Smoked) Spanish Paprika- pimentón; 1 pinch cayenne pepper; 1 teaspoon Sherry vinegar (see- this is the second recipe just on this site so far that you will need the Sherry vinegar for- it’s worth having!); salt to taste.
Cut your tomatoes in halves lengthwise. Get your grater and place it over a bowl. Grate the open side of the tomatoes into the bowl. This is a brilliant way of getting everything all of the tomato pulp out without the peel.
Pour the olive oil in a small sauce pan warm it over low heat and add everything besides the salt and Sherry vinegar.Raise the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes until the tomato liquid reduces by a quarter and becomes a deep red color. Remove from the heat, add vinegar and salt to taste and set aside.
Aioli Sauce – yeah yeah…I could make this from scratch and I don’t- that’s what the confession was so let’s move on. Here is what I do- I take 3-4 tablespoons of mayo. I add 3 large garlic cloves that pressed through the (Bourdain-hated) garlic press anda pinch of salt. I stir in with a fork, in a sort of whisking motion about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. The olive oil makes the jarred mayo smoother and it gives it a much better taste. That’s it for this one. Easy!
Hopefully you time this so your sauces are ready at least a tad before the potatoes. Cold fried potatoes are not particularly appealing especially if you put the aioli on them.
Ingredients: olive oil for frying (about a cup- enough on the bottom of your heavy bottomed pan), 1 lbs Idaho potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes- the more even you get these, the better the final result- they can cook and get golden brown evenly and they look so much better on your plate. Maybe you will need to trim a couple of potato slices to be able to get the cubes even. Do it. It is worth it.
Now, heat the olive oil in your nice big non-stick pan over medium heat. Place the potatoes in the pan an poach them, frying slowly until soft (8 to 10 min- but do watch it to be safe). Test your potatoes for softness with a fork or toothpick. Increase the temperature to medium-high an fry until crisp and golden brown.
Remove from a pan an onto a paper towel to drain the olive oil out. Sprinkle with salt and top with the brava sauce and the aioli.
They are now ready to serve with your favorite Spanish-inspired meats or veggies. The roasted peppers from last week are a great compliment and so is a simple roasted chicken.
That said, please pardon my jarred-mayo transgressions and visit soon!
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