Patatas Bravas with Toasted Garlic and Tomato Purée
Toasted Garlic and Tomato Sauce
6 tablespoons/90 ml olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
Artisanal sea salt
1/2 green chile such as Anaheim or Hatch (New Mexico), halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon sweet or hot smoked Spanish paprika
1 (14-oz/440-g) can organic whole tomatoes, with the juice
1 extra-large egg yolk from a very fresh egg, at room temperature
1 large clove garlic
Small pinch of artisanal sea salt
1/2 cup/125 ml extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh lemon juice for seasoning
Very small pinch of cayenne pepper
3 lb/1.5 kg waxy potatoes, in a mix of varieties and colors
1 cup/250 ml expeller-pressed oil, such as sunflower or grapeseed
Artisanal sea salt
Sweet smoked Spanish paprika for garnish
To make the sauce, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm together the olive oil and garlic and cook the garlic, stirring gently, until just slightly golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and, using a slotted spoon, quickly scoop the garlic from the oil onto a paper towel. Season the garlic “chips” with salt and set aside.
Return the pan with the garlic-infused oil to medium heat and toss in the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Once the herbs crackle in the hot oil, add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the chile and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes longer.
Scoop the tomatoes into the pan and cook at a lively simmer, breaking them up with a wooden spoon, until a sauce with a “jammy” consistency forms, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Remove and discard the thyme and bay, then transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor or blender and purée to a smooth consistency, taking care to cover the machine lid with a thick kitchen towel to avoid getting burned. Alternatively, pass the sauce through a food mill fitted with the fine disk. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed. Set aside and keep warm.
To make the aïoli, place the egg yolk in a bowl. Using a Microplane or other fine-rasp grater, grate the garlic over the egg yolk, then add the salt. Using a whisk, break up the yolk, briefly incorporating the garlic and salt. Pour the oil into a liquid measuring cup. Whisking in a slow, steady whipping-stirring motion with one hand, with your other hand start dribbling the olive oil, a few drops at a time, into the yolk mixture. You are starting an emulsion of the oil into the yolks, and if you go too fast at the beginning, you run the risk of the aïoli separating, leaving it greasy and unappealing. As you continue, you’ll see that the emulsion is succeeding and the aïoli will begin to become thick and creamy. At this point, you can start whisking in the oil more quickly and continue until all the oil has been incorporated. Whisk in a squeeze of lemon juice and the cayenne, then taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and lemon juice if needed. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature if using within 1 hour; otherwise, refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
To prepare the potatoes, separate the different varieties, then peel and cut into pieces about 1 inch/2.5 cm square. Line a sheet pan with a few layers of paper towels. Scoop each potato variety into its own small saucepan, add water to cover, and generously season with kosher salt. Each potato variety will have its own cooking time, hence all the fuss here with the separate pans. Bring the potatoes to a lively simmer over medium heat and cook until tender, 10–15 minutes. The potatoes must be thoroughly cooked so they will develop a crisp and delicate crust when fried. If they are not simmered long enough, they will form a tough, soggy crust when fried. Drain the cooked potatoes gently but thoroughly, then place them in a single layer on the sheet pan and set aside.
Select a cast-iron or enameled cast-iron frying pan large enough to hold the potatoes in a single layer. (If you don’t have a pan large enough, fry the potatoes in two batches, using half the oil for each batch.) Line a sheet pan with a few layers of paper towels. Place the frying pan over medium-high heat, pour in the vegetable oil, and heat until a piece of potato dropped into the oil sizzles on contact. Add the potatoes and stir gently so they settle evenly in the pan. Continue to fry the potatoes, stirring frequently, until golden brown and quite crispy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or wire skimmer, carefully scoop the fried potatoes onto the sheet pan. Season with salt and top with a generous pinch of paprika.
To serve, spoon the warm tomato sauce onto a serving platter. Mound the potatoes on the sauce, then spoon dollops of aïoli randomly on top. Garnish the potatoes with the reserved garlic chips and add a final dusting of paprika.
— Stone Edge Farm Kitchen Larder Cookbook