Fierce Potatoes

Inspired by Matthew’s Gastrokid A-Z entry on Pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika), I roasted up some yukon golds with the stuff last night and, man, were they good. My daughter is a lifelong pimenton freak; when she first tasted chorizo at 3 years of age, she identified pimenton as an ingredient, unprompted. Indeed one of my proudest moments as a foodie father. And she almost didn’t go to bed after she saw me sprinkling it on the diced raw potatoes after dressing them in olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. I’m not kidding. She said she wanted to stay up and have another dinner with me and my wife (I’d worked late; they’d eaten early; sadly not every night can be a family meal, especially with my early risers). Lucky for Violet these reheat quite nicely in a hot oven.

Pimenton Potatoes
This is a variation on Spanish Patatas Bravas (which translates as Fierce Potatoes). Traditionally, Patatas Bravas are fried potatoes served with a spicy aioli. This version reverses it, spicing the potatoes themselves, which are then served with just good old American jarred mayo (Hellman’s or Best Foods, naturally).

4 cups diced yukon golds (don’t bother peeling them)
a few tablespoons olive oil
a couple tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
a tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
teaspoon or so pimenton de la vera (i got mine at Whole Foods. I use the sweet version. there’s also a picante/hot version, which isn’t as versatile. Check out this nifty 3 pack at LaTienda.com. It’s got the sweet, bittersweet, and hot versions. Go nuts)
a couple of pinches red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

Toss it all up. Spread it on a baking sheet. Roast at 425 until the potatoes are browned and crisped in places and tender on the inside. Serve hot with some mayo one the side to dip them in.

We aren’t shy with the red pepper flakes, because my daughter loves mildly spicy food. My guess is because we introduced her to it at an early age (but then again my son doesn’t seem to like anything with any flavor whatsoever, regardless of our efforts).
—Hugh

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