Patatas Bravas

One of my favorite tapas is patatas bravas.  They are like spicy, delicious Spanish french fries.  They serve as a perfect late night bite, side dish, or even as a breakfast.  And they combine so many things I love all in one dish: spice,  fried potatoes, and scallions–not to mention the mayo.  How can you resist?

Patatas Bravas
Serves 3-4

Ingredients:
Salt
6 medium Idaho potatoes
canola oil for frying
1/4 cup Tapatio
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Italian pepper, minced with seeds included
mayonnaise
3 scallions

Fill a medium sized stock pot 3/4 full with salted cold water.  Next, peel and dice your potatoes.  Immediately throwing them into the salted water.  Once all potatoes are cut, turn the heat to high and cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes until the pot is just starting to boil.  Strain immediately and allow to steam dry.

Next, fill a frying pan 1 inch high with canola oil and bring to high heat so that as potatoes are added they will instantly start frying.  (I like to test with one potato slice first–if the oil starts to bubble around it as you throw it into the pan you have reached the correct temperature– but make sure the pan doesn’t start to smoke).

Fry the potatoes in batches, to avoid overcrowding.  Cook each batch about 8-10 minutes- turning from time to time until an medium-brown crust has formed.  Once potatoes are fully fried, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.

As you finish frying, start making the sauce.  In a large bowl, combine Tapatio, tomato sauce, paprika, garlic, and minced pepper.  Mix thoroughly with a fork.  Once all potatoes are cooked and seasoned, toss them in the bowl with the sauce and immediately plate.  Drizzle with mayonnaise (I used a pastry bag to create a latticed look) and top with scallions.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

 

Chicken Pasta Salad (published in Chile Pepper Magazine)

Fiery Chicken Pasta Salad with Basil Aioli

(published in Chile Pepper Magazine)

Zest Factor: Medium * Yield: 4 servings

 

1 large chicken breast, cut into cubes

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon cayenne

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cups cooked rotini pasta (I like tri-color for extra color)

1 head broccoli florets, steamed

¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced

1 64g (2.25 oz) can sliced black olives

1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in ¼’s

½ cup pepperoncini, sliced

1 cup mayonnaise

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup fresh basil leaves

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves

4 cloves garlic, pressed

1 tablespoon lemon

1 green chile pepper, minced (I used an Anaheim pepper)

3 tablespoons olive oil

In a small bowl coat chicken pieces with smoked paprika, chili powder, and cayenne. In a medium sauté pan over high heat, add olive oil and cook chicken about 3 minutes then add lemon juice and salt and pepper to your taste. Cook about 2 more minutes until fully cooked. Transfer chicken to a large bowl and add pasta, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, cherry tomatoes and pepperoncini.

In a blender combine mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, basil, cilantro, garlic, lemon, minced chile pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse and drizzle in olive oil till a smooth consistency is reached. Dress pasta salad with basil mayonnaise (you may have extra basil mayonnaise so coat to your taste and reserve the remainder for a sandwich spread or later use). Chill and serve your chicken pasta salad. Enjoy!

Zesty Pickled Green Beans (published in Chile Pepper Magazine)

Zesty Pickled Green Beans

Zest Factor: Hot * Yield: 4 servings

 

As presents or a simple snack these pickled green beans are bold enough to stand alone.  Irresistibly crunchy and spicy you’ll be surprised how fast they vanish from your plate.

 

4 large handfuls of green beans, steamed

2 cup rice vinegar

2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

4 teaspoons jolokia hot sauce

2 tablespoon dried dill

8 garlic cloves, crushed

2 long red chile peppers, cut lengthwise, keep seeds (I used Bangalore Torpedo chiles)

In a medium saucepan over high heat bring rice vinegar, water, sugar, hot sauce, dill, garlic and red chiles to a boil. Pour over green beans covering them thoroughly. Place bean/pickling mixture into 2 pint containers and chill for later use. Use after 2 hours or reserve for the next day or jar for gifts. Enjoy:  zesty pickled green beans!