80ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra if needed
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
3 long red chillies, sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp smoked paprika
10 small chat potatoes, skin on, par-boiled
light olive oil, for shallow-frying
2.5 tbsp aioli
finely chopped chives, to serve
1 Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until soft but not coloured.
2 Add the tomato and cook for 5 minutes or until it begins to caramelise. Add the chilli and garlic and cook for another minute or so until fragrant.
3Transfer to a blender, add vinegar, salt, paprika and remaining oil and blend until smooth. Add more olive oil if needed to loosen the mixture.
4Scoop out centre of cooked potatoes reserving the soft potato scoops. Pour a generous amount of the light olive oil into a large frying pan, add the potatoes and reserved scoops and fry over high heat for 3–4 minutes or until golden brown.
5Fill the potato shells with the sauce, top with a teaspoon of aioli and garnish with chives. Serve hot with the crispy scoops on the side.
In this recipe, Maestre takes a sophisticated approach to this everyday tapa, his tiny chat potatoes brimful of paprika-laden tomato and equally brash aioli. Maestre reminds us that ‘bravas’ means brave and a little bravery is needed to pop these hot, spicy balls in your mouth. A palate-calming wine is called for – be it either a Spanish rosado or this Aussie take, made with Spain’s hero grape, tempranillo. The wine’s fresh raspberry flavours and citrus fresh acidity cleanse the mouth for another tapa. Be brave.