6.005 Patatas Bravas with Bacalao

Cycle 6 – Item 5

10 (Sat) January 2015

Patatas Bravas with Bacalao


by me

in my apartment

-Ermita, Manila-


Patatas bravas is a Spanish dish.  Consists of cubed potatoes, deep-fried, served with tomato sauce, often a bit spicy – simple and obvious yet satisfying.  Classic tapa.

Wanting to eat more than just potatoes for dinner, I was looking around the supermarket for some kind of seafood to bolster the dish into a stand-alone main course, when I came across frozen bacalao (salted cod), described on the label as a “traditional” Spanish ingredient–I actually pantomimed pulling the one-arm bandit and said “cha-CHING.”

Tapas Step-by-Step is a Spanish cookbook.  Published by UK-based Parragon, part of its LOVE FOOD series that showcases various cuisines from around the world.   I bought it at local book shop in Barcelona, almost exactly 9 years ago (see generally 5.202 Sepia Plancha) – would’ve preferred a more authentic publication (e.g., penned by a renowned Spanish chef), but it was the only one in English that they had.

Generally, I avoid generic cookbooks that aren’t attributed to an author…

Patatas bravas seemed an easy entry point.  Improvised with chats, hoping to emulate the roasted ones I’d experienced in Melbourne (see generally 5.340 Fried Cauliflower, Chilli, Coriander), but didn’t maintain the proper temperature and ended up burning them a bit.  The sauce was okay, if predictable, enhanced with some anchovies.  The bacalao, whatever.  Oh well.

…but I like that every recipe features starts with a photo of all the ingredients laid out, giving an initial glimpse of how easy/difficult the process will be.

Even though the dish didn’t turn out so great this time, I’ll keep the idea in the back of my mind for a dinner party appetizer someday.


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