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pedro

Spain & Portugal culinary library.

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Not out yet. The local government department in charge ran out of money, or so it seems, and it was delayed. May be out for Christmas.

The Quijote book was finally presented yesterday in Toledo.

Vserna, what is the actual title of the book? Have you had a chance to look through it at all?

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Thank you for some titles becaiuse as few people have metioned here my bookshellves except for few book in Spanish that I have been able to get here are not well stocked

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I hope nobody minds me resurrecting an old (but obviously valuable) thread with my own contribution.

My absolute favourite is

La Cocina Gitana de Matilde Amaya

Link here to some of the recipes (have to admit that some of the least 'appetising' recipes have been chosen to represent the book, the only ones I'm fond of are the Pestiños & the Asparagus dish)

http://www.el-mundo.es/magazine/2002/142/1024040757.html

- amongst the many which aren't featured is one for a salt cod and orange salad which is divine

A more descriptive link here: http://www.elmundo.es/elmundolibro/2002/11...1038230132.html

Thankfully, a good deal of the recipes don't feature lard (I don't eat lard or pork so I neither use, nor can recommend, any of the books in my mum's extensive collection). The recipes in Matilde Amaya's book do pretty much sum up the kind of Spanish food that was cooked for me by my grandmother (who doesn't come from a gypsy background) and which I most love to eat.

Alas, I've never found a book for potajes and guisos which even touches on the recipes I get from a Murcian friend of mine who inherited and adapted them.

As a rule of thumb for anyone trying to decide if a Spanish recipe book is 'authentic', just turn to the recipe for Paella.

If the main ingredients are meat OR seafood, fine, but a paella should never have seafood AND meat together. The other telling detail is whether the 'paella' features onion (or chorizo/sausage). When it does, I put the book down and move on. Any trust I might have in the book's authenticity as a source for properly researched and genuine Spanish recipes is completely lost.

http://recipes.egullet.org/recipes/r1784.html is a classic example of something that is probably a very nice rice dish yet which isn't a paella.

I've looked through lots of Spanish recipe books in English at bookstores over the years, pretty much all of them feature a recipe for paella that includes onion. Even Gordon Ramsay calls his risotto style seafood dish 'paella' in his book "Passion For Seafood" (he also calls a sauce made with sieved cherry tomatoes and cream 'gazpacho' sauce... :sad: He seems to know about French cooking, he neither knows nor cares about Spanish food.) There's a bit of a Tokyo theme in this thread, only times I've eaten decent paellas outside of the Valencia region was on Christmas day once in Kamakura, and at the Ginza Espero which has since won a respectable second place in Sueca's 2007 'Best Paella in the World (including Valencia)' contest. There seems to be a bit of a Tapas 'boom' going on in Tokyo right now, and they're doing a much better job at replicating them than London has.

fung jiao bao mentioned the Culinaria book's recipes not being accurate. I can testify to that. It's an interesting read, but the recipes themselves get a huge thumbs down from me. My mother has a copy that was given to her and she asked me to use it to make ajo blanco. The result was a pasty sludge rather than a refreshing soup. Nasty.

---

Is Japanese rice an acceptable substitute for paella? Afraid not, not at all. But it's not a bad substitute for any number of alternative Spanish rice dishes.

For instance, a classic simple dish served to children in the late afternoon is

Arroz con ajo

Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil, add two chopped cloves of garlic and cook until the garlic starts to become golden. Add 1 cup of rice and stir briefly (20-30 seconds is fine), then add two cups of water or stock, cover and leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes. At 10 minutes, add a couple of pinches of salt, and leave for another 10 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside for a few minutes. Serve with fried tomato sauce and a fried egg.

The Japonica rice may need less water than the Spanish kinds (try initially with 1.25 or 1.50 cups), but even Spanish grains vary (bomba rice is particularly thirsty)


Edited by MoGa (log)

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Thank you, everyone, for some great references/recommendations. I only speak a little spanish and thus only have the following books, in english.

1080 Recipes by Simone & Ines Ortega

Classic Spanish Cooking by Elisabeth Luard

I'll certainly look up some of the suggested titles

Take care all, :biggrin:

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As a rule of thumb for anyone trying to decide if a Spanish recipe book is 'authentic', just turn to the recipe for Paella.

If the main ingredients are meat OR seafood, fine, but a paella should never have seafood AND meat together. The other telling detail is whether the 'paella' features onion (or chorizo/sausage). When it does, I put the book down and move on. Any trust I might have in the book's authenticity as a source for properly researched and genuine Spanish recipes is completely lost.

http://recipes.egullet.org/recipes/r1784.html is a classic example of something that is probably a very nice rice dish yet which isn't a paella.

But what about Paella Mixta?

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There are two books from Australia-based Frank Camorra that I believe are very good for translating good Spanish dishes into kitchens of English-speaking nations. It may be a bit Australian in focus at times, but still very good:

1. MoVida: Spanish Culinary Adventures http://www.amazon.co.uk/MoVida-Frank-Camorra-Richard-Cornish/dp/1921259396

2. MoVida Rustica http://www.amazon.co.uk/MoVida-Rustica-Frank-Camorra/dp/1741964695

Another one that I like is Teresa Barrenechea's The Cuisines of Spain ( paperback edition: http://www.amazon.com/Cuisines-Spain-Exploring-Regional-Cooking/dp/158008835X ).

Anya von Bremzen's The New Spanish Table has a good mix of cutting edge molecular or creative New Spanish dishes in a mix with old favourites, but in general I find the ingredients a bit bizarre for the standard dishes like gazpacho (using water to soak the bread pieces instead of olive oil), and the layouts are a little confusing.

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I love Portuguese food. There are some good Portuguese cookbooks with easy to follow Portuguese recipes. And you don’t have to be an executive chef to make the food. Some are even cheap prices and available for download for your kindle or computer.

There is one called Everyday Portuguese by Kevin Cordeiro which I think I'm going to give a try.

Amazon has a good list of the top Portuguese cookbooks, updated hourly.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/digital-text/156232011/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_kstore_1_7_last

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