Monday, May 31, 2010


Gossip mags lay on the coffee table in the lobby of my Language School. An old issue of Hola! headlines the scoundrel Jesse James on its front cover, lamenting "Sandra Bullock sospechaba que yo le era infiel y sabia que algun dia me pillaria!"

Sounds better than "Yeah, she knew I was cheatin' and that someday I'd get bagged!", right?

I imagine the "Spanish-speaking" Jesse morphing into an Enrique Iglesias look-alike, his lustrous black hair pulled back into a slick ponytail, in designer jeans and a fresh, white shirt, exuding macho sophistication as he grants the interview. The Spanish language is so emotional, crisp and fiery that a change in personality happens when it is spoken (even if only in my imagination). As a Czech proverb says, Speak a new language and get a new soul.

At our last session, we pumped up an otherwise serious class with a lesson on superlatives: Guapisimo! Divertidisimo! Rapidisimo! A quick coffee break, and we pushed on with Cansadisimo! and even Dificilisimo!

In the mood for some Patatas Bravas, then? According to, Patatas Bravas is one of the most demanded tapas in any bar in Spain, along with the Spanish Omelette. Serve this tangy version with chilled white wine or a pitcher of Sangria!

Patatas Bravas
Crisp Spiced Potatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 large Russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons minced onion

2 cloves minced garlic

salt and pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons Spanish paprika

1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 cup Ketchup

1/4 cup mayonnaise

chopped parsley

1 cup olive oil for frying

In a saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft. Turn off the heat, and add paprika, tabasco sauce and thyme, stirring well. Transfer to a bowl and add the ketchup and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Sprinkle the potatoes lightly with salt and pepper. In a large skillet fry the potatoes in 1 cup olive oil until cooked through and golden brown. Take care when adding the potatoes to the pan because the oil will splatter due to the salt. Drain on paper towels.

Mix the potatoes with the sauce immediately before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve warm.


  1. love the new look of your blog page! and of course, love your anecdotes as usual! bravisimo!!! ;)

  2. Hubby loves potatoes so I'm always looking for different ways to cook them. Thanks for sharing