The Patatas Bravas Experiment

Moving off campus is often considered the greatest thing on earth after living in the dorms, and off-campus home kitchens could be the greatest thing ever to happen to your food life — don’t let them go to waste. Cooking can be one of the most entertaining and satisfying things to do in your own place that you can’t do in the dorms.

A great way to utilize your personal kitchen is to try a new recipe. This takes time and effort, but is ultimately less expensive than going out to eat and healthier than surviving solely on ramen, which can only sustain you for so long without a supplementary meal plan.

If you enjoy a challenge, duplicating a dish from a restaurant is an excellent choice. This week, my roommates and I made patatas bravas, which are basically fried potatoes in tomato aioli sauce.

Over the Tapas who makes an excellent version of this dish inspired us to try it. However, we used a recipe from called “Patatas Bravas Home Fries with Roasted Tomato Aioli.” Following the recipe was time-consuming, but totally worth it.

The recipe is fairly simple. First, we made aioli sauce from onion, garlic, paprika, mayonnaise, tomato, hot pepper sauce and vinegar. While that was cooling in the refrigerator, we parboiled (partially cooked), fried and baked four cubed potatoes until they were crispy. Then, we drizzled the aioli sauce over the finished potatoes. They turned out beautifully, although next time we might use a little less paprika and mayonnaise.

Cooking together was a fun way to spend a Sunday night, and the upside to cooking something new is that even if the dish turns out terribly, the least you can get out of it is a good story.

Patatas Bravas Ingredients

Olive oil
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
3/4 cup prepared mayonnaise
1 large plum tomato, halved, seeded and roasted until soft
Few dashes hot pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
Splash aged sherry vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large Russet potatoes, parboiled (partially cooked), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
Flat-leaf parsley leaves