The Spanish tourism ministry has declared the third Thursday in June to be World Tapas Day. We’re going to celebrate with a famous tapa from Castilla y Léon called Patatas a la Importancia in which the humble potato is elevated to the star of the plate.
Thickly sliced potatoes are dipped in egg and fried until browned. Then, after removing the potatoes to a tray, a savory pan gravy is made in the same pan. The potatoes are returned to the sauce to finish cooking. It’s a simple dish with great flavors.
You’ll need two large potatoes for every three or four people you plan to serve. After you slice them you’ll have a better idea if you need to add another potato. We find one large potato per person is a little too much, even with a second serving.
The sauce is broth based. You can use vegetable, chicken or beef broth as desired. The most common seems to be chicken broth which gives a nice golden color. White wine is a nice addition to the broth, but can be omitted. We made a thick sauce because that’s the way our favorite restaurant serves it, but we’ve been served patatas a la importancia in a lighter, more broth like sauce.
We use olive oil to make this as the oil is used to flavor the sauce. If you only have extra virgin olive oil available that’s fine, but watch the heat when you’re frying the potatoes.
- 2 large potatoes sliced into long, thick pieces (peel if thick skinned)
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 egg beaten plus 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ cup chopped onions (1/2 medium onion)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 cups chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil for frying
- Set up a breading station with the egg and flour.
- Cover the bottom of a large dutch oven or skillet with oil and heat.
- Dip the sliced potatoes into the flour, then the egg. Reserve the leftover flour
- Working in batches, fry the potatoes for 1 - 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Carefully remove to a plate to avoid tearing the batter.
- In the remaining oil, saute the onions and garlic until softened. Add the leftover flour and cook for a couple minutes.
- Add the broth, white wine, parsley, salt and pepper. Allow to thicken slightly before returning the potatoes to the sauce.
- Simmer for another 20 - 30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.
To serve, spoon some of the broth onto a plate, then arrange the patatas a la importancia on top of the broth. Garnish with more fresh parsley and serve with crusty bread. They’re filling on their own, but go well with a salad for a light meal.
You’ll find more recipes to help you celebrate World Tapas Day here.