The potato is one of the greatest gastronomic treasures of
Estremadura. Of humble origin, it has been climbing the ranks and has established itself on the menus of some of the best restaurants in the region, to such an extent that several of the dishes that we are telling you about today are more than a decade old. The chefs keep them for two reasons: it is a tribute to the land and because many diners make their eyes goosebumps when they see something made with this delicious sausage.
But, before salivating a little with these dishes, we are going to remember their beginnings, linked to the town of
Malparted from Cáceres. At the end of the 19th century, before the beginning of Lent, the fifths went house to house, demanding something to take back to the herd. There was a shortage, so most families could only provide a kind of chorizo made from potatoes and pork fat, due to its simple and cheap nature.
But its simplicity does not detract from its value, since it is an exquisite and versatile snack. It is eaten sliced if it is somewhat cured, or spread if it is raw. There is sweet or spicy. A splash of honey elevates it to the clouds and they say that its best pairing is with a pitarra wine.
Jorge Galan He began to run the Las Corchuelas restaurant, located in the Hospes Los Arenales hotel, they served an appetizer based on rice with black pudding from Burgos. But the chef gave it a twist and made a hot and creamy dish, very similar to a risotto, to which he added Malpartida potatoes, which are very close to the establishment. To cook it, Jorge uses bomba or carnaroli rice, since both varieties absorb flavors well and offer a spongy texture, with the core al dente. To round off the dish, he adds a homemade apple jam to the Port on top, which adds a touch of acidity and freshness to the dish, already entrenched on the menu or on the different menus they offer. So much so that “when people see me, they tell me that they have to go try the potato rice,” says the chef.
Potato rice with apple jam. /
One of the people who knows the most about potatoes in Extremadura is
Francis Romero. She wrote the book ‘Potato. Gastronomic Elaborations’, which continues to reap success. Latest; his
distinction at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, considered the Oscars of gastronomy). In it appear, in addition to the history and evolution of this kind of black pudding, 34 own recipes with potatoes. But Francisco has already created some new creations, which can be tasted in the
Parador de Cáceres, where he works as head chef. Among them, the vague tortilla inspired by the one in the restaurant
Sasha. It is a simple dish and, as its name indicates, suitable for lazy cooks, who do not feel like turning the tortilla around. It has sweet potatoes from Malpartida, where Francisco is from, and fresh chives. Off the menu, they also prepare a potato waffle or potato taco with cottage cheese. Without a doubt, this parador is the one in which this product has the greatest presence thanks to its head chef. Only in December he has spent 30 kilos.
Víctor Corchado, owner and cook of Borona Bistró, is also from Malpartide, where, no matter how much their menus vary every week, there is never a lack of patatera crumbs with eggs from chickens raised free in the Sierra de San Pedro. Víctor uses corn bread, which has a more biscuit texture than wheat bread. “When the crumbs enter the pot, they have the same effect as a madeleine coming into contact with a glass of milk: they absorb all the flavor of the garlic, the peppers and the Malpartida potato”, comments the chef, who recommends breaking the egg , added on top, to fuse all the flavors and brush the sky with the palate.
Borona Bistró crumbs have potatoes. /
Ideal for croquettes
The tasting menu at La Meancera includes a plate of potato croquettes. But it is not about a small pass, with a small touch of flavor to get to know the product. It is a blackboard with four good croquettes. “Only Buñuel went hungry here,” he jokes
Jorge Olive, chef and one of the owners of this cozy corner of Hurdano. They coat them in breadcrumbs from the El Gasco bakery but, if the customer is celiac, they also adapt them: “we coat them in chickpea flour, pea flour, polenta… whatever we have at the time,” Jorge explains. They are plated on an arena of torreznos, which they have previously fried and crushed. And for those who like spiciness, complement the dish with a picón mojo sauce with paprika from La Vera.
Potato croquettes on torreznos sand from La Meancera. /
La Rebotica’s potato croquettes are also gluten-free (as are 100% of its gastronomic offer). They are coated in rice flour. They are accompanied by a potato mayonnaise, so they are a pure explosion of flavor.
Gluten-free potato croquettes from La Rebotica. /
At La Matilda they have offered a lollipop for adults since they opened, just over eleven years ago. They are potato lollipops, in which the sausage is in gabardine, that is, coated in orly paste. Some skewers that our review loved
Frida Carrot when he passed by. The sweetness of Las Villuercas honey contributes to this fine and crunchy bite. Because, like all good suckers, it must have a sweet touch. In addition, it brings a salad with a honey and mustard sauce as a garnish.
Potato delights at La Matilda. /
As we said at the beginning, the potato has evolved so much that even haute cuisine chefs appreciate it and want it in their restaurants. An example of this is Juanma Salgado, creator of Dromo. One of the first passes on his tasting menu is the three Iberian bites, in which he claims and places Extremadura on the national gastronomic map. Here Juanma offers a potato mochi that, with his Japanese nod, will leave you wanting to continue discovering his informal haute cuisine in particular and Extremadura gastronomy in general. Enjoy your meal!
In Dromo’s Iberian snacks there is a patatera mochi. /
Hotel Hospes Los Arenales, road N-521 Km 52.100. Cáceres. 927620490
Parador de Cáceres
C/ Ancha, 6. Cáceres. 927211759
C/ Professor Antonio Silva, 6. Cáceres. 927027033
El Gasco, 12. Nunomoral. 674189792
C/ Boticas, 12. Zafra. 924554289
Plaza de Santiago, 9. Cáceres. 647251563
Plaza de la Molineta, 8. Badajoz. 924041450
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.