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Catalan Cuisine: Europe's Last Great Culinary Secret Paperback – December, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press (December 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558321543
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558321540
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,347,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Colman Andrews is the editor of Saveur magazine and an internationally acclaimed authority on the food and culture of Spain's Catalonia region. A restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Times, a food and travel writer, and a cookbook author, Andrews has written for many leading publications. He is the author of two cookbooks, Catalan Cuisine and Flavors of the Riviera. Colman Andrews is listed in Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America, is a James Beard Foundation Awards Judge, and the recipient of a 1998 James Beard Foundation M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Gambes amb All Confit Shrimp with Baked Garlic serves 4 This is a recipe from the La Sardinal restaurant in Banylus, just north of the Spanish border in the Roussillon. The basic idea is purely Catalan, but the recipe is a French refinement, created by Le Sardinals chef, Jean-Marie Patrouix

2 heads garlic, separated into cloves but unpeeled 16-20 very large shrimp, heads on 2 cups heavy cream Olive oil Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees; then bake the garlic cloves on a lightly oiled baking sheet or in a lightly oiled skillet for 20-30 minutes or until soft but not creamy. Cool the garlic, then slip it from its skins, setting aside as many cloves as there are shrimp. Remove the shrimp heads and mash the remaining garlic. Pour the cream into a sauce pan, add the shrimp heads and the mashed garlic, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain the cream and return it to the saucepan, them add salt and pepper to taste. Keep the sauce warm. Devein the shrimp, and saut them slowly in a small amount of oil until just cooked but not browned. Divide half the sauce among the centers of four warm serving plates; then arrange the shrimp extending out from the centers like the spokes of a wheel, with one whole garlic clove between every two shrimp. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the shrimp and garlic, thinning it slightly with more cream if necessary.

Panellets Catalan Marzipan Cookies Makes 24 cookies Panellets, which are traditionally served on the holiday of Tots Sants or All Saints, November 1, are perhaps the most popular single confection in Catalonia. There are countless versions of this specialty, which invariably has a marzipan or almond paste base, but the most common one is made with pine nuts. Crushed hazelnuts also work very nicely, so I have split the recipe into two parts, one for each of the two kinds of nuts. If you want to use all one variety or the other, of course, you may do so.

1/2 pound Idaho or other baking potatoes, peeled and quartered 2 1/4 cups almonds, blanched and roasted 2 cups sugar 2 egg yolks 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind 1/3 - 1/2 cup flour 2 egg whites, lightly beaten 1 1/2 cups pine nuts (not toasted) 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts (not toasted), coarsely crushed Butter or shortening

Boil the potatoes until soft; then drain, and put through a ricer. Preheat the oven to 475. Pulverize the almonds in a food mill, or crush them fine with a mortar and pestle. In a large bowl, mix the potatoes, almonds, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon rind. Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour onto a pastry board, and transfer the potato mixture to it; then knead flour and potato mixture together well. (The finished dough should have the consistency of marzipan; depending upon the moisture content of the potatoes, it might be necessary to add more flour.) Shape the dough into balls 1-1 1/2 inches in diameter, flattening the bottoms slightly. Dip the balls into beaten egg whites, roll half of them in pine nuts and half in hazelnuts; then bake on a lightly buttered cookie sheet for about 20 minutes or until the nuts have turned golden-brown. Cool before serving.

Customer Reviews

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Excellent for lovers of Spanish food and foodies in general.
B. Marold
He says that one very unusual -- indeed unique -- feature of Catalan cuisine is its habit of mixing olive oil and lard together, in the same dish, as a cooking oil.
"petersonreviews"
In Catalan Cuisine, Colman Andrews draws upon the great cooking traditions of Spain's Catalonia region.
Midwest Book Review

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on June 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
`Catalan Cuisine, Vivid Flavors from Spain's Mediterranean Coast' by the very notable culinary journalist and editor, Colman Andrews, contributes to Spain's cuisine's being the third best documented European cuisine, after Italy and France. Andrews is an important figure in culinary reporting less from his books than from his position as editor of the excellent `Saveur' magazine which, with `Cooks Illustrated', should be one of the two magazines a foodie really should be reading.

`Catalan Cuisine' is as good or better than Andrews other ethno-culinary volume, `Flavors from the Riviera'. Like the earlier volume, its strengths lie primarily in history and a focus on ethnographic accuracy (without loosing too much in the way of practical cookery). For example, Andrews' recipe for the Catalan version of `tortilla espagnole' (potato frittata or omelet) is different from every other recipe I have seen from Spanish culinary experts such as Penelope Casas and Janet Mendel in that it contains no onion. This omission makes the dish a lot less interesting to me as food, but it reveals something which sets Catalan cooking apart from the rest of Spain.

In `Delicioso', Ms. Casas identifies Catalonia as the land of the casseroles. On first blush, there is little evidence of this attribution in Mr. Andrews' book. `Casserole' doesn't even appear in his index. But then, we recall a paragraph early in the book where Andrews identifies the most important cooking utensils in Catalonia. After the ubiquitous paella pan, there is the `cassola' (in Catalan, or `cazuela' in Castilian), an earthenware dish with deeper, straighter sides than a paella and an inside glaze. I really regret that Mr.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
In Catalan Cuisine, Colman Andrews draws upon the great cooking traditions of Spain's Catalonia region. This superb collection of regional dishes showcases the simple and vibrant flavors in hundreds of Catalonia's best and beloved recipes ranging from Valencian Paella with Shellfish; Eggplant Flan; and Sweet Red Peppers Stuffed with Duck, to Salt Cod with Garlic and Paprika; Pork-Stuffed Apples, and Cinnamon Ice Cream with Warm Strawberry Coulis. The recipes are "kitchen cook friendly" and will turn any family meal into a celebration of taste and delight.
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27 of 36 people found the following review helpful By LOLA ALONSO-PEREZ on December 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am a Catalan person living abroad, and sometimes it is difficult to explain friends that Catalan food is something different to what everybody knows as Mediterranean food, since being totally Mediterranean, it is not Italian nor French. This books discovers the authentic taste of Catalan food, that, as the author says, HAS TO BE DISCOVERED. Try it and enjoy your meals. I can say that CATALAN FOOD IS ONE MILLION BETTER THAN ITALIAN AND FRENCH. It keeps simple and accentuated flavors with simple raw materials, but obtaining an PERFECT COMBINATION.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE AUTHOR, and please continue plublishing thousands of more recipes of Catalan food.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "petersonreviews" on May 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Catalan cuisine is ancient. It earliest roots go all the way back to the Romans who occupied northeastern Spain.
It uses many of the same ingredients as other Mediterranean cuisines -- tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, beans, pasta and all kinds of meat -- but it combines them in unexpected ways.
Who would expect salt cod with honey, for example? Catalan cuisine has it, and Colman Andrews presents its recipe here. And who would expect a restaurant which specializes in salt cod? Andrews tells us that Barcelona has one.
He says that one very unusual -- indeed unique -- feature of Catalan cuisine is its habit of mixing olive oil and lard together, in the same dish, as a cooking oil. Catalans also use butter as a cooking fat, making for rich, nourishing, tasty dishes.
Catalonia has both mountains and seashore. So one may find spiny lobster stew (Civet de Llogosta) on the one hand and Andorran-style trout (Truita de Riu Andorrana) on the other.
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More About the Author

Colman Andrews' first cookbook, "Catalan Cuisine", originally published in 1988, was recently named one of the "50 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by the Observer Food Monthly; his most recent one, "The Country Cooking of Ireland", was honored as Best International Cookbook by the James Beard Foundation in 2010 and beat out all other entries in all categories as foundation's Cookbook of the Year, then went on to win the 2011 Best International Cookbook prize from the International Association of Cooking Professionals. Andrews was a co-founder of Saveur, and its editor-in-chief from 2002 to 2006. After leaving the magazine, he became the restaurant columnist for Gourmet, serving in that capacity until its untimely demise. A native of Los Angeles with degrees in history and philosophy from UCLA, he was a restaurant reviewer and restaurant news columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and for three years edited "Traveling in Style", the Times travel magazine. Throughout the 1980s, he was wine and spirits columnist for Los Angeles Magazine, and published widely as a freelance writer, covering food, wine, travel, music, art, architecture, design, and the entertainment industry. The recipient of eight James Beard awards, Andrews is the co-author and co-editor of three Saveur cookbooks and six of his own books on food: "Everything on the Table"; "Flavors of the Riviera"; "Catalan Cuisine" (which introduced the now-trendy cooking of Spain's Catalonia region to America); "The Country Cooking of Ireland"; "Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food" (a biography of Catalan superchef Ferran Adrià, also available in Spanish, French, and Italian translations); and "The Country Cooking of Italy". His next book, "The Taste of America", will be published in the fall of 2013. Andrews is now editorial director of The Daily Meal, a food and wine mega-site (www.thedailymeal.com), and has recently completed writing the first-ever Spanish Culinary curriculum, in partnership with José Andrés, for New York's International Culinary Center. In 2012, Andrews was awarded the Creu de Sant Jordi, the highest civil honor granted by the government of Catalonia, in recognition of his services in popularizing Catalan cuisine around the world.