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1080 Recipes Hardcover – October 1, 2007
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From the publishers of The Silver Spoon, Spain's best-loved cookbook, available for the first time in English.
1080 Recipes is the definitive book on traditional and authentic Spanish home cooking, trusted throughout Spain for over thirty years. Written by Spain's best-loved food authorities, it showcases the fastest growing cuisine in popularity, with Spanish restaurants and tapas bars opening in cities all over the world. A bestseller since publication, 1080 Recipes has sold millions of copies in Spain. It contains 1080 recipes from all Spanish regions, covering everything from appetizers to stews, from vegetables to desserts. 1080 Recipes is designed by Javier Mariscal, the famous Spanish graphic designer and illustrator, and it includes over 200 illustrations he has created exclusively for this edition along with 100 specially commissioned photographs.
One out of 1080: A Sample Recipe from 1080 Recipes
Potatoes with chorizo and bacon
Patatas con chorizo y bacon
--3 tablespoons butter or 4 tablespoons lard
--5 tablespoons sunflower oil
--2 ounces chorizo sausage, peeled and thinly sliced
--3 ½ ounces thickly sliced bacon, cut into ½ inch wide strips
--3 ¼ pounds small potatoes, preferably new potatoes, unpeeled
--1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
--1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Melt the butter or lard with the oil in a pan or large skillet. (It needs to be big enough to hold the potatoes in a single layer.) Add the chorizo and bacon and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for a few minutes then add the potatoes. Season with salt and cook covered over low heat, shaking the pan occasionally, for 45-60 minutes, until the potatoes are evenly browned. Just before serving, sprinkle with parsley and garlic and stir for a few minutes more. Transfer to a warm serving dish and serve immediately.
Note: Some types of chorizo become hard with prolonged cooking. To prevent this, cook the slices with the bacon, then remove and set aside. About 10 minutes before serving, return the slices of chorizo to the pan.
'would cheer up any kitchen.' Sunday Times 'the best Spanish cookbook ... ever! ... truly comprehensive, with clear explanations to help non-natives cook' Observer Food Monthly 'This bible of Spanish cookery is a real classic' Gordon Ramsey, Delicious
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First, a few words about the presentation. It would have been nice, in light of Spain's tremendous regional diversity, if the geographical provenance of each recipe had been identified. Too often outsiders have a monolithic view of Spain, its culture and cuisine. Spain is not just the land of paella and sangria - and the best Spanish cookbooks illuminate this culinary mosaic. Certainly, Ortega offers a sweeping itinerary, but she's not much of a tour guide. For that matter, it's always nice when cookbook authors introduce their recipes with brief blurbs that pique both the appetite and the imagination. Casas' The Foods and Wines of Spain, Mendel's Cooking from the Heart of Spain, and Von Bremzen's The New Spanish Table all do a great job with this - but it's entirely lacking here. If you're like me and like stories to go with your food, you'll be disappointed. In fact, there's nothing artful or romantic about Ortega's style. This probably reflects 1080's original purpose as a ready-reference for busy housewives. Very much a no-nonsense, "Joy of Cooking" approach. Ortega's recipes are just that - simply recipes. She doesn't even bother to offer side dish or wine pairing suggestions.
My second and major complaint is that Castilian cuisine is so woefully underrepresented. Inexplicably, such cherished and delectable staples as gallina en pepitoria, pollo al ajillo, cochifrito, judiones, caldereta, patatas revolconas, patatas a la riojana, huevos rotos, migas, and sopa castellana are all missing. Most puzzling of all is the omission of cocido, one of Spain's greatest and most truly "national" dishes. What could Sra. Ortega have been thinking?! (If you'd like to cook these dishes, you can find recipes in Casas' volume cited above. For more on Castilian food, see Mendel's book, which provides excellent coverage of southern Castile ("La Mancha"); northern Castilian cooking is still awaiting treatment in English, but if you can read Spanish, Cocina y gastronomia de Castilla y León is a good source.)
All in all, though, this book is recommended for the serious Spanish cook and fills - literally and figuratively - a wide gap on the shelf. Despite the glaring absence of some recipes, many others are here that are available nowhere else in English. Even if it's not the last word, this is a valuable reference worth owning. That said, for the reasons given above I think there are much better books for newcomers to Spanish cooking. If I had to pick one in English, it would be Casas' - the first in English, and still the best.
Too bad, I was really excited to own this, now I'm selling it. Any takers?
A couple weeks later, I purchased a copy of the book in Salamanca. In the three years since my return home, I have carefully steered myself through many rewarding home cooking experiences equipped with 1080 Recetas in one hand and a Spanish-English dictionary in the other. The results are always delightful.
I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this translated version of the book for several months now. I finally received my copy yesterday, and I am happy to report that it does not disappoint! At first sight the gorgeous cover took my breath away. When I opened it I discovered all my favorite recipes inside, lovingly translated to English and converted to U.S. customary units of measurement, beautifully complemented by the vibrant illustrations of Javier Mariscal.
The book does cover everything -- tapas, condiments, sauces, fresh vegetables, quick dishes, and savory meats. The recipes are well written and easy to follow.
To echo Maribel: You must get a copy of this book!