Sunday, August 12, 2012

Notes From Nikki-Spanish Roasted Potatoes in Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Spanish Roasted Potatoes in Heirloom Tomato Sauce

The following dish is both sweet and smokey, bright and earthy; the sweetness coming from the Vidalia onion and heirloom tomatoes, the smokiness from the bacon and/or smoked paprika, the fresh herbs brightening the medley, and the potatoes and saffron bringing it all right back down to earth. A serious party in your mouth. Don't skimp on the paprika and saffron, and feel free to add more red pepper flakes for added heat... you could also substitute the flakes with a fresh chopped jalapeno or two. I served this with grilled lemon/rosemary chicken, and roasted local corn on the cob, a winning combo for sure. The recipe can easily be halved. Enjoy!


18 small-medium new potatoes, cut into bite-sized quarters or eighths (or sixteenths)
Glug of extra virgin olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped (any sweet yellow onion variety with do)
3-4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
1/4-1/2 lb of bacon, finely chopped (optional, but be sure to use smoked paprika and/or smoked sea salt if you decide to omit it)
6 large heirloom tomatoes, cored and chopped
A few sprigs of thyme, oregano, and/or rosemary, left whole (I used all three)
A generous pinch or two of saffron, crushed
Plenty of smoked paprika (you can use unsmoked sweet or hot paprika if you are using bacon)
Red pepper flakes to taste (you can also use hot paprika, and/or a fresh, chopped jalapeno pepper)
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper (optional)
Sour cream for topping
Fresh parsley for garnishing

1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Drizzle olive oil over a roasting pan and spread the potatoes in a single layer over top. Season with sea salt, pepper (if using), and plenty of paprika. Give the pan a good shake to distribute the oil more evenly under the potatoes so they don't stick.
3. Put the potatoes in the oven and roast until tender and golden.
4. While the potatoes are roasting, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered. Add in the onion, garlic, a generous dash or two (or three) of paprika, the saffron, a bit of sea salt, and the red pepper flakes (or jalapeno). Saute until the bacon crisps up a bit and the onions begin to caramelize.
5. Add in the tomatoes and the herbs.
6. Simmer uncovered until the tomatoes completely break down and the sauce thickens.
7. Once the potatoes are finished roasting, add them to the thickened tomato sauce, and taste and adjust the seasoning.
8. Fish out the herb stems and serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of parsley.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

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