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"Wrinkled" Potatoes with Red and Green Sauces

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Sunday, 17 July 2011
List of viewable recipes from "The Food of Spain" by Claudia Roden

(papa s arrugadas y mojos canaries- canary islands)

Recipe from The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden (Ecco, 2011)

ImageMy daughter Anna brought back a little booklet from a family holiday in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands entitled Papas Arrugadas y Mojos Canaries, which was subtitled "The Best Recipes from the Canaries." Their hotel had held a cooking demonstration of their famous "wrinkled" potatoes and the accompanying green and red sauces. Potatoes are the most popular food of the islands-they grow twenty varieties, most of them ancient varieties-and the favorite way of cooking them is to boil them in their skins with a huge amount of salt until all the water has evaporated. They come out wrinkled and covered with a white powdery film.

I ate them in an Irish pub in Seville. They had a firm but tender texture and intense potato flavor. Amazingly, they were not too salty, because the salt in the water has the effect of drawing out their juices rather than being absorbed. I cooked them at home several times-on two occasions they turned out to be inedible because too salty when the skins had been too thin, so look for potatoes with good skins. Serve them in their skins, hot or warm. They can be made ahead and reheated in the oven before serving.

You are supposed to pick up the potatoes with your hands and dip them into the traditional sauces as you take bites. The friends who ate them at my house preferred to put blobs of sauce on their plates or to spoon some onto their cut-open potatoes.

Serves 6

  • 2 pounds small to medium waxy potatoes (in their skins), washed
  • 4 tablespoons coarse sea salt

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan that holds them in one layer, and add just enough water to cover and the salt. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, over medium heat, letting the water bubble for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender and the water has evaporated. Leave them over very low heat for a few minutes, moving them and turning them over in the dry pan, until they are wrinkled and covered with a fine powder of salt. Serve hot or warm, with one or both of the sauces.

Green Sauce with Cilantro

(mojo verde de cilantro-canary islands)

This sauce is also great with fried, grilled, or poached fish. It keeps well in the refrigerator.

Serves 6

  • ½ green bell pepper, cut into large pieces
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, or to taste, crushed to a paste
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Pinch of fine sea salt, or to taste
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Blend all the ingredients except the oil to a paste in the food processor. Gradually add the oil and blend to a light creamy consistency

Spicy Red Sauce

(Mojo Picón-Canary Islands)

This mojo, a garlic and chile pepper sauce, is also called mojo colorado. In the Canaries, they make it hot or sweet with their own special dried chile peppers that they soak in boiling water, then pound with plenty of garlic. I have had it in Seville with pimentón, which makes it very simple.

Serves 6

  • 4 garlic cloves, or to taste, crushed to a paste
    ¾  teaspoon pimentón picante, chile pepper, or cayenne
    2 teaspoons pimentón dulce (or sweet paprika)
    ¼ teaspoon cumin
    6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar

Mix the garlic with the pimentón, and cumin in a bowl, then beat in the olive oil and vinegar. Add salt to taste.


Last Updated ( Sunday, 17 July 2011 )
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