This morning I decided to include Potatoes Picante on my Sunday brunch menu. This spicy Spanish red sauce on top of crispy potatoes is on FIRE with the addition of cayenne pepper. It can be as spicy as you like it depending on how much cayenne pepper you add…and a tiny pinch of this spice goes a long way!
For the Picante Sauce:
2 large tomatoes (preferably fresh out of the garden for the best flavor)
12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, chopped into very small pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 pinches cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Smoked Spanish Paprika
2 tablespoons butter
For the potatoes:
3 Russet potatoes, peeled.
2 cups Vegetable oil
To prepare the sauce: Cut the tomatoes in half. Place a box grater in a bowl. Grate the cut side of each tomato so that the tomato pulp falls into the bowl. Discard the tomato skin.
Place the olive oil in a pan and warm it gently over low heat. Add the tomato pulp, chopped red peppers, sugar, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper to the olive oil. Stir to combine all ingredients. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add butter. Stir until butter is melted. Place in blender container and blend until smooth. Return sauce to pan and keep warm over very low heat while preparing the potatoes.
Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut each half in half again, making 4 strips of potato. Cut each strip into 4 pieces which will make cubes of approximately one inch. Put the vegetable oil in a deep frypan and heat until sizzling. Carefully add potatoes in one layer and fry over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Check to make sure the potatoes are tender and continue to fry for 5 more minutes until potatoes are crispy and lightly browned. Remove potatoes from oil with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the oil off the potatoes. Sprinkle with a little salt if desired.
Serve warm potatoes on small plates drizzled with the picante sauce. Buen Provecho!
I paired the potatoes with Charles Bove Sparkling Wine…tiny bubbles dancing in the flute, the pairing tasted “buttery” to me which was quite pleasing to the palate. The bubbles are created by long-aging on its yeast via methode traditionnelle practice of secondary fermentation in the bottle. This dry and festive wine is made from grapes primarily grown in he superb white chalk soils of the central Loire Valley. Nothing fancy, just light and refreshing. $15 range.
Later I will quench the summer heat at Blue Cow Ice Cream Shop. Homemade ice cream in Roanoke Virginia! bluecowicecream.com
Blue Cow Ice Cream Flight…flavors (front to back) Chocolate Cayenne, Peanut Butter Fudge Swirl, Peach Ginger, Banana Pudding.