I have been all over Spanish cookery websites, but am still none the wiser as to why these potatoes are called patatas a la importancia (importance potatoes). Could anyone out there shed some light on the matter?
This is, on the face of it, a rather curious preparation. It’s a fried potato stew! The potatoes are nicely coated flour and egg, fried in olive oil until exquisitely golden-brown and crisp, at which point they are thrown in water to stew for half an hour! Recipe for disaster? Not likely! The classics rarely disappoint.Try for yourself…
I genuinely love this spot on the hill, one kilometre outside Nava del Rey in Castilla y León, northern Spain. I’ve stayed here once before, a few years ago, and remember very well the kindness of the people running the chapel bar. Then, as now, I have been made to feel not only welcome, but spoilt by their kindness.
The observant will notice that in the video there was no parsley. Apologies for this!
Ingredients for four people
800 g potatoes
2 eggs, beaten,
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
2 closes garlic, finely chopped
100 ml white wine
700 ml chicken or other light meat stock
Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 cm rounds. Season them with salt on both sides. Cut them into 1cm slices and season. Beat eggs in a bowl. Spread the four on a plate. Pass the potatoes in the flour to give a light coating on all over and then pass through the egg to cover. Deep-fry them in a pan with olive oil, in batches if necessary, until they are golden and then drain on a plate lined with absorbent paper towels.
Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Put a tablespoon of oil in a pan and gently fry the onions over low heat until they soften and start to colour just a little. Add the garlic, cook a minute longer and then add the saffron. Sprinkle over a tablespoon of flour and cook for a minute, stirring all the while and making sure it does not burn. Now pour in the wine and stir until the mixture is smooth. Place the reserved potatoes back in the pan and add the stock to barely cover them. Sprinkle over a little parsley. Simmer for about 25 minutes and serve the potatoes in their sauce, and a little extra parsley.