Patatas bravas is a basic, traditional tapa as popular in elegant big-city establishments as it is in the more modest village hostelries. As with most tapas, each bar and household will have its own recipe, naturally believed to the best! Savor this mildly tangy version of patatas bravas with a chilled white wine.
In a saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft. Turn off the heat, and add the 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 black pepper. In a large skillet fry the potatoes in 1 cup (8 fl. oz) olive oil until cooked through and golden-brown, stirring occasionally. (Take care when adding the potatoes to the saucepan because the oil will splatter due to the salt). Drain the potatoes on paper towels, check the seasoning, add more salt if necessary, and set it aside.
Mix the potatoes with the sauce inmediately before serving to ensure that the potatos retain their crispness. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve warm.
Tapas are Spain's greatest food invention. "Eat when you drink, drink when you eat" is the philosophy. Spanish men traditionally drink outside the home and rarely alone. They are not meant to be a meal (although a ración is a substantial portion). One tapa per person and a different one with each drink is the idea, then everyone enjoys tasting and sharing.