When I think of the Canary islands, I think back to one of my favourite family holidays in Tenerife. The glorious weather and endless swimming, the views from up the mountain and walks along the coast…and lots of food! Eating it, prepping, barbecuing it; especially the eating of it. One evening we had dinner high up in the hills, at a restaurant nicknamed Garlic Chicken. We tucked into a heaping plate of fried chicken and, at the time, what I thought was an odd but simple addition of plain potatoes. Every table had them! Bowls of potatoes and red and green sauce- or mojo. Wrinkly potatoes and mojo are dinner table staples all over the Canary islands and are called Papas Arrugadas.
This was one of the first dishes I thought of when I was asked if I’d like to cook up a Lanzarote dish for Thomas Cook Airlines, with the help of a fancy Lava Rock to cook it on. Lava rocks plus Tenerife nostalgia…of course, I said yes please. As a nod to my holiday, I couldn’t wait to create my own Papas Arrugadas and home made Mojo, served with deliciously thick tuna steaks to accompany it all.
Before you start, preheat your oven to 220 degrees and place your Lava Rock inside to heat up for at least 40 minutes.
(if you don’t have a hot stone to cook with, by all means, just searing the tuna in a pan will be fine too…however using a Lava Rock feels very profesh!)
Add the sea salt to a pot of boiling water and allow the baby new potatoes to bubble away until soft and tender. Once cooked through, drain the water away and cover the pot with a lid. The steam trapped inside the pot will help shrivel the potato skins to give it that nice wrinkly look we’re after.
Leave the potatoes to warm and wrinkle, and move onto preparing the sauces.
This is the easiest step of them all, and probably the most satisfying!
You take all the ingredients and blitz them around in a blender.
…I don’t have a blender, but I did use our Ninja Bullet instead (it did the job just fine)
I only added three chillies to my red Mojo sauce, but if you want it spicier- throw in more!
I also love coriander, so threw in a few more sprigs of it into the green Mojo sauce.
Basically, its all to your taste- less garlic, more herbs, more spice, whatever makes your tastebuds happier. But don’t skip the bread, because the slice of bread thickens the mixture into that nice thick texture to drizzle over those little wrinkly potatoes.
With the sauces blitzed and ready to go, it’s time to get the Lava Rock out of the oven.
Don your finest pair of oven gloves and carefully take the hot stone out of the oven and place it onto the hob.
Season the tuna steak with olive oil, salt and pepper and then…
Let it sizzle away for about 3 minutes per side. I usually like my tuna rare in the middle, but as these had been frozen, I decided to cook it through just in case.
The Lava Rock is seriously very hot and very heavy! So much so, I didn’t want to risk carrying it onto the lovely serving tray it came with. Instead, I plated up the tuna straight onto the metal plate. Rules, schmules.
We ate these straight off the serving tray, spearing off flakes of tuna and dipping whole potatoes into the Mojo.
The Mojo was fresh and tangy, with the red one delivering a fiery kick and with the contrasting herby green one cooling it down.
It is a really simple meal to put together and I have enough leftover sauce to last at least two more meals! It’s the kind of meal that encourages everyone to get stuck in and share, and to mop up with crusty bread afterwards. Try it- you’ll love it.
This recipe will be up on the Thomas Cook Airlines blog very soon- where you can vote for your favourite recipe where the winning entry will be sent on a trip to Lanzarote! I’ll add the details when it goes live. Watch out on my Twitter feed!
Thank you Thomas Cook Airlines for gifting me the Lava Rock and helping me to recreate this at home!