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Patatas bravas is a popular Spanish tapa, and for good reason. Potatoes fried until perfectly crisp and served piping hot with alioli (the Spanish version of aioli) and a smoked paprika sauce (called bravas sauce) have universal appeal. To avoid having to fry the potatoes—the classic preparation—we first parcook chunked russets in the microwave, then coat them with cornstarch and finish them on a well-oiled baking sheet in a hot oven. This technique delivers fluffy-creamy interiors and ultracrisp exteriors without the hassle and mess of deep-frying.
For the potatoes:
cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin oil
01To make the potatoes, heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the middle position. Pour ⅓ cup oil onto a rimmed baking sheet and tilt to coat; set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the potatoes and ¼ cup water. Cover loosely and microwave on high until just shy of tender, about 8 minutes, stirring once about halfway through.
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