A thousand ways to cook potatoes that are not French fries

The term French fries is already confusing per se. And this is because they don’t actually come from France, but from Belgium. At least, according to what is said. Here, inhabitants of small villages had the tradition to eat small fried fish that they caught from rivers. However, during the winter months, when the river froze and they couldn’t fish, they changed it for potatoes. And they cooked these in the same way as they did with fish. Years went by and this way of eating potatoes spread to other countries. It wasn’t until the 20s that this dish became popular in America. Later, it was the United Kingdom, where these chips were usually combined with fried fish, and they still are enjoyed like this in many typical restaurants. 

Potatoes are a very versatile food, rich, nutritious, and go perfectly with many meals, as a side dish or being the star of the table. Just from what is probably the most famous dish in Spain, it can be said that potatoes have a key role in Spanish gastronomy. It is true that chips (or French fries) have a great importance in the UK, but, honestly, this recipe doesn’t get the most out of potatoes. And that’s why we brought together some Spanish recipes in which potatoes are the movie star. And for those who are a bit tired of the old favourites French fries. 

Spanish omelette, the one and only

spanish omelette

Spanish omelette as a pintxo. | Shutterstock

How could we not start with Spanish omelette? It is probably the most popular dish in Spain and there are many ways to prepare it. And the most eaten and enjoyed in bars too. As a tapa or main dish, it is one of the most appreciated and typical in Spain, its landmark. 

Nothing is written about what the perfect Spanish omelette recipe must be like. More or less cooked, with or without onions (but that’s another story, of course), with the potatoes almost fried or undercooked, including more ingredients or just the classic, with more or less egg… That is why usually the first time the result is not as we expected. Making the perfect Spanish omelette takes time. Eggs, potatoes, and extra virgin olive oil to get the best result, will result in a comforting, satisfying, and delicious dish for all the family.

‘Patatas a lo pobre’, the Andalusian way

patatas a lo pobre

Patatas a lo pobre. | Shutterstock

The Spanish ‘patatas a lo pobre’ is one of the most popular ways to prepare potatoes in Spain, and also one of the tastiest. This recipe comes from the Andalusian gastronomy and has spread throughout the rest of Spain, becoming an essential side dish for many main dishes. It is really easy to make and with ingredients that we all have in the kitchen. Besides, its delicious taste makes it one of our favourite traditional recipes! You can add eggs, Serrano ham or chorizo if you want to give your dish a more special flavour. 

Cut in slices and then fried, this way of cooking them gets the best of them, and goes perfect with the recipe of ‘huevos rotos’, which is a recipe consisting of these kinds of potatoes, fried eggs, and ham or chorizo. All mixed up and… yummy!

‘Patatas bravas’, a spicy treat and the tapa that never disappoints 

patatas bravas french fries

Bravas. | Shutterstock

We talk a lot about bravas, but that is why they are very valued as tapa. This dish can be enjoyed with a little bit of alioli as well. The brava sauce is a characteristic sauce of Spanish cuisine and has a spicy taste, but it can be less or more spicy depending on what the chef wants. Among its main ingredients we find olive oil, tomato, sweet paprika and hot paprika or cayenne pepper. 

In Madrid it is very common to have a portion of bravas as a tapa with a beer. Well, in the whole country actually. This tapa never lets anyone down.

‘Patatas revolconas’ with torreznos, the perfect dish to warm up during winter

patatas revolconas

Patatas revolconas with torreznos on top. | Shutterstock

Revolconas, also known as ‘meneás’, are a fundamental part of the national gastronomy. They are very typical of Ávila, Salamanca and the north of Extremadura, especially Cáceres. A simple and tasty recipe, ideal to enjoy on colder days. It has a humble origin, because it was originally made by the peasants and goat herders who took advantage of the surpluses to prepare recipes like this one. It is a dish of mashed potatoes, seasoned with paprika. In many bars and restaurants they serve the revolconas as tapas. It is also not unusual to find them as a side dish on some meat or fish dishes.

They are usually eaten with torreznos, bacon or even sausages on top of the mashed potatoes. These ingredients give some strong flavours to the revolconas potatoes and make this dish even more appetizing and interesting to taste.

‘Patatas a la importancia’, because its ingredients make it important 

patatas a la importancia french fries

Patatas a la importancia. | Shutterstock

The recipe of ‘patatas a la importancia’ has three main characteristics. They are prepared from easy-to-find food and that we usually have in our kitchen, it is easy and delicious. Its curious name derives from the food added to the potatoes, that make simple and cheap potatoes important, upgrading them and turning them into a complex dish

Although they are very typical of the northwest provinces of Palencia and León, like most cheap and simple dishes, it has spread throughout the whole Spanish geography. This recipe of potatoes is usually accompanied by other ingredients to the taste of the consumer: ham, chorizo … However, on their own they are still a real pleasure.

Without forgetting that French fries are very tasty and can save almost any meal, we had to remember the whole variety of recipes with potatoes that we have in Spain, all of them very rich and fascinating, and perfect to escape the routine of the, sometimes boring, French fries.

About the author