It’s very important to me that I begin this post by acknowledging that these potatoes are not really patatas bravas and this ailoi definitely isn’t aioli. These are just roasted potatoes with a sauce that complements them.
Why don’t these potatoes qualify as patatas bravas? Well, patatas bravas are cooked several times; first lightly fried, then cooled, and then baked or fried at a higher temperature. I’ve read some recipes that call for the potatoes to be cooked three times. Why spend all the time and effort to cook and cool and cook again? Retrogradation. As the cooked potatoes cool, the starches rearrange and when cooked again, the rearranged starches develop that crispy, crunchy texture on the surface of the potatoes.
And why isn’t this sauce technically an aioli? Traditionally, aioli is garlic and oil. It could also have lemon as well. The creamy garlic sauce that most Americans like me are familiar with is really just flavored mayonnaise. This sauce doesn’t have oil and it doesn’t have eggs to make it recognizable as the mayo based condiment that I know.
Nonetheless, I stand behind this recipe despite it not being traditional and instead being my take on it. I think it’s important to acknowledge and give credit to the traditions that cultures have established and to clearly define where I depart from them. Anyway, let’s get to the recipe.
|1.5 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes*||1 C Oat Milk||1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika|
|1 Lemon||3/4 C Cashews||Kosher Salt|
|2 Tbsp Chili Garlic Sauce||Black Pepper|
I recommend getting ahead on your completion of step 1 as far in advance as you can. For me, if I’m making this recipe for dinner, the earliest I would get started on it would be that morning. However, even just a couple of hours before you’re ready to cook would work as well.
1. Prepare the potatoes
Cut the potatoes into cubes or rectangles, your choice, as long as they’re smaller than 1 sq. inch. Add the potatoes to a pot and cover with cold water. Generously salt the water, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Let potatoes boil for about 7 minutes, until the edges begin to look translucent and the potatoes begin to soften. Drain the potatoes into a colander and rinse with cool water. Pat the potatoes dry with a towel and arrange a single layer of potatoes on a towel-lined sheet tray to dry. Place sheet tray in the refrigerator and allow to dry out for as long as possible.
2. Preheat the oven to 400° F
3. Make the aioli
Combine the 1 C oat milk, 3/4 C cashews, 2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 Tbsp salt, and the juice a lemon to a blender. Blend into a smooth puree.
4. Roast the potatoes
In a mixing bowl, generously coat the potatoes in a neutral oil, such as vegetable oil. Salt the potatoes again and give them a few cracks of black pepper. Return the potatoes to a sheet tray and place in the oven to bake for ~50 minutes. Agitate the potatoes every 10 minutes to ensure even browning.
5. Serve ’em up
Once the potatoes are just past golden brown, they’re ready to be eaten. Serve with the aioli drizzled on top of the potatoes or as a dipping sauce on the side.
ALTERNATE COOKING METHODS
I’m a huge advocate of the air fryer. The internal fan circulates hot air and helps develop a nice crispy layer on all sides of the potatoes. If you have one, I would recommend using it in this recipe. It’ll speed up the cooking time and you won’t heat up your entire kitchen with your oven.
What does this song have to do with tapas? Nothing. But it’s a vibe.