My Kitchen in Spain: 225 Authentic Regional Recipes

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9780060195267: My Kitchen in Spain: 225 Authentic Regional Recipes

From the sun-drenched Spanish countryside to the seaside villages to the bustling city tapa bars, one thing unites all of Spain: its varied and satisfying food. In this Mediterranean land of beauty and bounty, good food is a pleasure everyone shares. Spanish cuisine has flourished for centuries, inspired by luscious fruits and vegetables, fresh seafood and game, artisanal cheeses, cured meats, and renowned local wines. The influence of North African spices adds variety and unique flavors to the diverse cooking of this fascinating country.

My Kitchen in Spain celebrates the rich flavors and regional traditions of Spanish cooking. Janet Mendel has made her home in Spain for more than thirty years, collecting recipes from friends and neighbors, housewives and Sherry barons, olive farmers and restaurant chefs. From the far western province of Extremadura to the Moorish towns of Seville and Granada to the world-famous Basque region in the north, Janet Mendel discovers and chronicles the tastes and techniques of this remarkable country. Now experience the authentic flavors of Spain with favorites both classic and contemporary: Almond Gazpacho with Grapes, Sea Bass in Saffron Sauce, Fiesta Paella with Chicken and Shellfish. With a comprehensive chapter on tapas, Spain's enticing "little dishes," and 225 tempting recipes -- for every course from soup to dessert -- My Kitchen in Spain will bring the food delights of Spain home to your table.

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Review:

Spanish food is, sadly, often overlooked by cooks who find themselves more immediately drawn to Italian and French cuisine. With any luck, Janet Mendel's My Kitchen in Spain will reverse the trend. A collection of 225 authentic regional Spanish recipes, the book offers a wide range of classic dishes with origins ranging from seaside villages to metropolitan tapas bars. Andalusia-based Mendel bills herself a "food foreign correspondent" and does in fact bring a keen reportorial eye, as well as a cook's discrimination, to the task of translating Spanish food for her readers. Savory recipes for the likes of Chicken in Almond Sauce, Moorish Lamb Stew with Prunes, and Orange-Glazed Pork Tenderloins reveal her ability to provide authoritative yet approachable versions of delicious regional fare.

Following a scene-setting discussion of life in her "home" village, Mendel proceeds to tapas, including wine-bar staples like Fried Stuffed Mussels, Sizzling Shrimp with Garlic, and Crispy Potatoes with Hot Sauce. A standout chapter on gazpacho and other soups introduces White Gazpacho with Grapes and a hot winter gazpacho flavored with bitter orange--dishes that reveal the flexible character of this largely unexplored dish. Paella, a much bastardized dish, receives its due with authentic versions, including one made with pasta in place of the usual rice; and seafood, including Spain's much-beloved salt cod, is treated enticingly in dishes like Mackerel in Oregano Marinade and Sea Bass with Saffron Sauce. Country breads and sweets, including convent specialties like the meringues called Nun's Sighs, are also present. With informative sidebars, cooking tips, and evocative notes, My Kitchen in Spain is the place to begin a true Spanish culinary conquest. --Arthur Boehm

About the Author:

Janet Mendel is an American-born freelance journalist who has lived in southern Spain for forty years. She writes about food, travel, and personalities for newspapers and magazines worldwide. She is the author of My Kitchen in Spain and other books about Spanish cuisine.

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