Patatas bravas with grilled chicken and mini chorizos

A bit of a tapas-influenced meal last night.

The mini chorizos are worth buying. They can be either baked in the oven or fried in olive oil and are really rather nice. These were fried in olive oil.

The chicken was simply a breast, sliced into two thinner fillets, seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil and griddled until cooked but still juicy.

The patatas bravas were peeled Charlotte potatoes, deep-fried and served on top of a thick and spicy tomato, leek, garlic and red pepper salsa, flavoured with smoked pimenton and some red chilli and finished off with a splash of sherry vinegar.

The potatoes were finished off with a dollop of garlic mayonnaise and some of the pickled pink oinions I made last week.

Some lettuce and a sprinkling of chopped parsley and there was dinner. The meats were there for flavour and interest, but for me the real stars were the potatoes.

You really need a full-bodied Spanish red wine to go with this, or maybe some nicely-chilled Spanish lager.

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Saturday night tapas

Tonight I made a kind of mixed tapas-style meal, with several small plates of food; a crusty baguette, Serrano ham, Manchego cheese, olives, a salad of cubes of galia melon, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and mint, dressed with olive oil (more Greek than Spanish really, but nice all the same), pork meatballs in a spicy tomato and red pepper sauce, grilled mini chorizo sausages and wedges of a potato tortilla or Spanish omelette. There was enough of everything to leave some leftovers for office lunches next week.

With this we drank a lovely Spanish red, the 2006 Raimat Abadia from Oddbins, who are really coming back strong after a few years in the doldrums.

Abadia is a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 25% Tempranillo and 5% Syrah and is really rich and full-bodied and wiith gorgeous spicy fruits on the palate. It would be fantastic with roast lamb. It is interesting that the most prominent grape on the nose is the Tempranillo, the perfume is incredible and it is pretty forward on the palate too. If you tasted this blind and thought it was a Crianza Rioja it wouldn’t be a disgrace to be proven wrong.

Earlier, before we ate, we had a couple of glasses of lovely, well-chilled fino sherry, the Waitrose Solera Jerezana Fino del Puerto Sherry which is a classic Fino, dry and nutty and perfect with a few olives and salted roasted almonds.