Besides the obvious language barrier, eating extremely late dinners was one of the hardest things I had to adjust to while studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Seconds after finishing my small lunch, I wondered how I could possibly survive another 8 hours until my next meal (Spaniards start dinner between 9-11PM, and sometimes as late as midnight).
Thankfully, I was introduced to the Spanish tradition of tapas . The Spaniards had this ingenious idea to “bar hop” at tapas restaurants between the end of their work day and having dinner. From Tortilla Española (Spanish Omelet) to Jamón, Queso, y Chorizo con Pan (Ham, Cheese, and Spanish Sausage with Bread), the Spaniards know how to satisfy their hunger until dinner with hot or cold dishes.
Since returning to the United States, I have not enjoyed these tasty Spanish appetizers, but a few weekends ago I spotted an authentic Spanish Tapas Restaurant at Baltimore´s Inner Harbor. I’m excited to see that tapas are starting to make their way across the Atlantic Ocean and I have decided to share with you a favorite from Barcelona. ¡Buen Provecho! (Enjoy your meal!)
PATATAS BRAVAS – Serves 4
Cube the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Fill the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil. Fry the potatoes for about ten minutes or until they are cooked through and golden-brown. Once the potatoes are fried, remove them and set them aside to drain on a paper towel, using a slotted spoon or spatula.
Heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Sauté garlic and onion until the onion is soft. Turn off heat and add Tabasco sauce, paprika, and thyme. Stir well, and then add to a bowl. Add ketchup and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Putting It All Together