Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Patatas Bravas with Citrusy Sangria

'The Shadow of the wind' by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a thrilling novel that takes you back to civil war infested Spain,the streets of Barcelona and tells you the intriguing story of an author Julian Carax,his books and how they influence a small boy Daniel Sempere who later grows up and tries to unravel the mystery surrounding Carax.

Foodwise,you get bits of food thrown here and there-cinnamon shake,sponge cake ,fried potatoes,meat based stews & soups etc.I went for the easiest thing 'fried potatoes' or patatas bravas.

Tapas or appetizers are an important part of Spanish cuisine.There are several of tapas like marinated olives,fried potatoes with fiery/hot/brava sauce or several meat based appetizers.These are usually served with alcohol most popular of which is Sangria.

Patatas bravas are basically fried potato cubes with hot sauce.Potatoes which are peeled and cubed and optionally parboiled are deep fried or as in modern times roated/shallow fried.These are served with fiery brava sauce which is made using tomatoes and hot dried chillies. I adapted the recipe from here

For the Patatas
Potatoes: atleast 3 big
Olive oil : for deep frying

Brava sauce
Tomatoes: 2 big
Tomato Paste: 1 tbsp
Onion: 1 medium
Garlic: 1 clove
Dry Red Chilly: 2-3
Paprika: as per taste
Sugar: a pinch
Salt: as per taste
Flour: 1-3 tsp

Peel the potatoes,chop them into bite sized cubes.Parboil them in salted boiling water for 5-7 minutes.This is optional but I did it.If parboiled,drain them and them allow them to cool a little bit.

Heat olive oil in a pan and them deep fry the potato cubes to golden brown in batches if needed.Drain on paper towels.

Brava Sauce:
Heat olive oil in a small pan.Add garlic,dry chillies and chopped onion and saute till the onion gets transparent.Add chopped tomatoes,paprika,sugar,salt, tomato paste/puree and chopped tomato .Instead of paste,you can add chopped tomatoes itself.Continue sauteeing for a few more minutes adding few tbsps of water if necessary.

Once the tomatoes get cooked,add around 1/4 cup of water to which 2 tsp of flour has been added. and mixed well.Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes till the sauce thickens.Cool and blend the mixture.Strain through the strainer and serve warm/hot/cold with patatas adjusting the salt.

If using tomato paste,then no need to add the flour as it would be already thick.Check for the required sauciness and add flour.Mine looks too thick than a flowing sauce.

Normally Sangria is based on redwine and has fruits,sweetners and alcohol.I made a simple citrusy sangria from here using red grape juice as a base.You can use pomegranate juice as a base as well.Then I added other citrus juices like lemon,lime and orange juices and cubed fruits and served it adding ice cubes.

Red Grape Juice: 1.5 cups
Lemon Juice: 1 small lemon
Sweet Lime Juice: 2-3 medium size sweet limes
Orange Juice: 2 small oranges
Sugar,ice cubes: as per taste
Mixed fruit cubes: Apple and oranges

In a big bowl,mix together all the juices,check for sweetness or your preferred taste and add sugar,chilled water/ice cubes and then chill until serving time.
In a mug/glass,put ice cubes,fruit cubes and little sugar if needed ,pour the drink and serve along with your favourite tapas -'Patatas Bravas'

The blend of juices without sugar or chilled water is too citrusy.If you prefer tangy or sweet sour taste you serve as such adding just ice cubes and pinch of sugar.I wanted it to be slightly sweet so added more sugar.

The entire combo was good.Only thing I felt was Sangria was citrusy without water.So adjust the juices and sugar as per you taste.Patatas obviously are well loved an the brava sauce is spicy and okay with the Indian palate.There are several versions of the brava sauce some with mayo as well.

This delectable combo being made for Carax and Daniel, is also going to FIC:Delectable combinations, hosted by Kamalika and started by Sunny SunshineMom.The multiple colours are perfect combo as well.

Now,lets check out what other members have comeup with for this months bookclub.Simran made delicious Swiss Hot Chocolate.Lets wait for others as well.Meanwhile enjoy the patatas and the sangria.


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