My vegetarian kids fell in love with patatas bravas after two summer trips to Barcelona. The land of many tapas, most unrecognizable to your average American kid. Even young ‘uns with a mom who loves to cook and feed them different stuff. But ahoy! In the sea of weird foods stood something approachable and vaguely familiar to them – patatas bravas. Fried potatoes with a creamy, smoky tomato sauce.
I got a wild hair last week to make some when I saw a jar of patatas bravas sauce while cruising through Cost Plus with my favorite sidekick. Yum, but $5 for a teeny jar?! I sprung for it anyway since we were soon off to the coast for a mini vacation and I was planning on spending some serious time in the kitchen cooking up some love for my loves.
They turned out great. The kids were in heaven. We had fun reminiscing about Spain and planning our next trip. But $5 a jar seemed silly to continue, so I committed myself to making my own.
Anyone who knows me, understands that I see recipes as merely a suggestion. I often read several and then cobble together my own thing. I keep a pretty well-stocked kitchen and I love condiments, but there were a couple of things I would need to buy in order to make my version of this dish so that it would still ring the same bells. Smoked Parpika – that sounds interesting and I can already think of a couple of other things I might do with that. Tomato paste – an excuse to buy one of those cute tubes, yay! I can’t stand those silly little cans. You use one or two tablespoons out of it and then what are you supposed to do with the rest?! I usually put the remainder in a baggie, stick it in the freezer and promptly forget about it along with all of the other previously canned items that met the same fate. Soon I have a collection of orphaned mystery items lurking in there until I either toss them all or make a soup out of them if I am feeling particularly thrifty and/or creative. But what’s this? Sherry vinegar?! WTF. I currently have 5 types of vinegar in my house, do I really need another one? No senor. Time to improvise!