Chistorra is a great Spanish product. Similar to chorizo but thinner (because it was normally made with the tripes of lambs) It comes from the North of Spain and it is difficult to find it in the UK, but Brindisa is now selling it (as well as 'presa iberica' which is truly delicious iberico pork meat). All you need to do is to heat a pan (with no oil), cut the chistorra in 2 cms chuncks and fry it for 2-3 minutes until it is crispy on all sides. Just eat it with bread (crusty is best). Serve it as a snack or as an appetiser with drinks or on the side of fried eggs. It is always a success.
This is a very typical Spanish tapa. The name means 'brave potatoes' and it consists of fried potatoes with a hot sauce. Children normally like this because it is hot but not outrageously so. It is meant to be eaten at around 13.00 or so with a cold little beer ('un cortito' ) just to stretch yourself until lunch at around 14.00… or 14.30… or even 15.00… Crazy, I know: when Spanish people finish lunch some British people start their tea.
Whether you add tomato sauce or not to the 'bravas' is a matter for national debate in Spain - half Spain does and half does not. Just as half adds onion to the 'tortilla' and half does not; half prefer Cola-Cao and half Nesquik, half of us were brought up with Nocilla, and the other half with Tulicrem…people in a country disagreeing about trivial things is part of life - and it is also very healthy indeed!
- half a potato per person
- lots of olive oil
- an onion ( dice thinly)
- a teaspoon of sweet paprika
- a teaspoon of hot paprika
- 2 tablespoons of plain flour
- 500 ml of chicken, beef or vegetable stock
- I normally add 5 tablespoons of tomato sauce,just because in my view tomato sauce with any simple carbohydrate is one of the very best pleasures in life. But try the sauce with and without the tomato and make up your own mind…
Cut the potatoes in chunks. Put them on a dish in the microwave for 3 minutes. Then add a bit of salt.
Separately fry the onion over low heat on a couple to tablespoons of olive oil. Wait for 8 minutes until the onion is soft. Increase the heat, Add the paprika (both sweet and hot), then add the flour, stir well for a minute or so and add the stock. Let it all simmer for 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat). Add the salt and the tomato sauce (if using it) and blend it all (with a hand blender is best)
Heat well a very generous amount of olive oil in a deep pan. Fry the microwaved potatoes for two to three minutes so that they get crispy. Pour over the sauce - or serve it separately as a dip. And enjoy.