If you’ve been to the Canary Islands there’s a strong chance that you’re familiar with Papas Arrugadas. They’re little potatoes with grey-brown skins and a light crust that comes from cooking them in very salty water. The name translates as “wrinky potatoes” – though I have to admit that in my experience they’ve never been that wrinkly…

They almost always come to the table alongside two sauces. The wonderfully vibrant green Mojo Verde and its equally bright and spicier red cousin, Mojo Rojo. Both pack quite a punch despite their relatively spartan ingredient lists. Which is a trait they share with a lot of Spanish food.

The verdant colour of Mojo Verde comes from a generous amount of coriander and parsley in addition to fresh green peppers. A little seasoning and some added sharpness from cider or wine vingear help keep everything fresh and punchy. It’s a similar story with the deep earthy colours of the Mojo Rojo, which is made with fresh red peppers and almost stale bread, brought together with a generous glug of olive oil. A bit of garlic and a hint of chilli pull the flavours together here, again helped by the sharpness of vinegar.

Papas Arrugadas and the two mojos are generally served as an accompaniment to griddled meat or fish. In my experience a lot of regional Spanish food follows the same approach, whereby good quality local meat or fish is served with a decent sauce and some potatoes. The ingredients are the star of the meal and the produce matters, not the process in the kitchen. Simplicity is key sometimes. Which is why I served my Papas Arrugadas with some griddled pork loin steaks covered with a garlic butter.

With that in mind, these would also be the perfect partners to any summer barbecue. Just make sure you mix up a generous batch of each as they won’t last long. But you don’t have to wait – why not enjoy them on a cold wintry evening when you’re desperate for a little hint of that warm summer sun.


Papas Arrugadas

Papas Arrugadas

These potatoes are cooked in very salty water, which gives them a powdery crust and slightly wrinkled skin when you serve them. The flavour is wonderful and trust me when I say they are unbelievably addictive…
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Side Dishes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 500 g Small (Baby) Potatoes
  • 75 g Sea Salt

Instructions

  • Wash the potatoes then put into a large saucepan. Cover with cold water then add the sea salt. Bring to the boil, then simmer until tender.

  • When cooked, drain the water then return the pan to a low heat until all surface moisture has evaporated and left a slightly salty layer on the surface.
  • Serve immediately.

Mojo Rojo

Mojo Rojo

This bright and vibrant red sauce brings with a warm spicy flavour to any meal. Perfect drizzled over meat, fish and vegetables, or equally good on its own with a decent chunk of bread.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Sauces, Side Dishes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 slices White Bread dried or slightly stale
  • 4 Roasted Red Peppers from a jar 250g-300g drained weight
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 Red Chilli remove the seeds if you don’t want it too spicy
  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Cider or Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • ½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Break the bread into rough chunks and put into a food processor along with the peppers, garlic and chilli. Blitz until finely chopped and well combined. Whilst still mixing slowly pour in the oil and vinger until you have sauce with a thick “dropping” consistency.. Season to taste.

Mojo Verde

Mojo Verde

This bright green sauce is fresh with the flavours of parsley, coriander and garlic – perfect for meat, fish and, well, pretty much anything else to be honest!
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Sauces, Side Dishes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Fresh Coriander
  • ½ bunch Fresh Parsley
  • 3 cloves Garlic peeled and chopped
  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Cider or Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • ½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Put the herbs and garlic into a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add in the oil and vinger and mix again to combine – you want a slightly running, “dropping” consistency, so you may not need all of it or may need a little more depending on the moisture from the other ingredients. Season to taste.

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