I’m a sucker for tapas. Give me several small, shareable plates of delicious food over one full meal any damn day. Patatas bravas is probably one of the most popular and well-known tapas dishes out there, and for good reason. I mean, who can resist fried potatoes and an incredibly flavorful sauce? Patatas bravas was the first tapa I ever had and I have to resist licking the plate clean every time I order it. The sauce. It’s just unreal. And turns out it’s actually super simple, consisting of only a few ingredients. And you know how I feel about simple, delicious food.
I was in the mood for tacos recently and had a hankering for some sort of sweet-potato-and-black-bean combo because, well, that’s what I had on hand. I was trying to figure out a good sauce to go with everything when patatas brava popped in my head. Sweet potato bravas tacos? It seemed like the perfect flavor combination to me, so I decided to give it a try.
The sweet potatoes are nontraditional, obviously, as is the use of tomato paste in the sauce. But I was hoping to thicken the sauce without resorting to flour and tomato paste seemed like the easiest way to go. I also only had sweet smoked paprika, so I used cayenne pepper in place of the hot smoked paprika. Luckily, the non-traditional tweaks still turned out utterly tasty. To complete the sweet potato bravas tacos, I tossed some shredded cabbage with lime juice for a nice acidic contract to the rich, slightly-spicy sauce. It all turned out even better than I’d hoped. These babies are officially going into my Taco Tuesday rotation.
Grilled Sweet Potato Bravas Tacos
- 1 medium sweet potato, white flesh
- 1 tbsp avocado oil, plus extra for brushing grill
- 1 can black beans
- 2 tbsp bravas sauce (recipe below)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 corn tortillas
- Lime wedges, cilantro, shredded cabbage, and extra bravas sauce, for serving
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp smoked paprika (sweet)
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup vegetable stock (can sub chicken stock if not vegetarian/vegan)
- Salt, to taste
- Peel and slice sweet potato into wedges. Place potato wedges in a bowl full of cold water and let soak for 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry. You want the potatoes really dry before moving on. Now’s a good time to preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- While potatoes are drying and grill is heating, make the bravas sauce. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add smoked paprika and cayenne pepper and stir. Let cook for a minute or two until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Whisk in the chicken stock, starting with ½ cup, until sauce is smooth and bring to a simmer. Let simmer a few minutes to let the flavors combine. Add salt to taste. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more stock. If it’s too thin, let it simmer uncovered for a few more minutes until it thickens up.
- While the sauce simmers, drain and rinse the black beans. Remove all but a couple tablespoons of sauce from the pan and set aside. Then add in the black beans and toss to coat. Reduce heat to low and let beans heat through.
- Toss dry sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon avocado oil. Brush grill grates with a bit of avocado oil before grilling the sweet potatoes to make sure they don’t stick. Place the sweet potato wedges on the grill and let cook for 3-5 minutes. Turn and cook for 3-5 minutes more, until cooked through. Turn down heat if the outside is charring before they cook all the way through. Remove from heat and toss with salt and pepper.
- I like to brush my corn tortillas with a bit of avocado oil and heat them up on the grill for a few minutes. Wrap them in a damp towel once done until ready to use. You can also just heat them in the microwave for a few seconds wrapped in a damp towel, too.
- To serve, top each corn tortilla with cabbage, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, black beans, sweet potato, and more bravas sauce.