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My Kitchen in Spain: 225 Authentic Regional Recipes Hardcover – May 28, 2002
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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
From Publishers Weekly
An American living in Spain since 1966, Mendel (Traditional Spanish Cooking) is a teacher and advocate of her adopted cuisine, which, she says, never quite caught on like other ethnic food in the U.S. because Spanish emigrants tended to settle south of our border. Continuing to fill this void, Mendel prepares a new panoply of dishes gathered from around the country, nearly all within easy grasp of American home cooks. She has seven versions of Gazpacho. Tapas include Crispy Potatoes with Hot Sauce and Moorish Kebabs, which are Moorish only in the spicing since they are made with pork. Bread is a frequent ingredient as in Jan Style Spinach with Crispy Croutons and Tender Lamb Chops Sauted with Garlic, where it serves as a sauce thickener. Mendel frequently calls for sweet pimenton, Spanish paprika, as a vital seasoning, but most ingredients are commonly found in the U.S. From Galicia she offers Savory Scallop Pie, a double-crusted enticement baked in a 12-inch pie or paella pan. Duck Braised with Olives is a specialty of the wetlands below Seville. Summer bounty lifts Chicken Sauted with Fresh Tomato to rapturous heights of taste. Spain is bullfighting territory, of course, and the macho appetite for bravery is fed with Bull's Testicles, a dish that Mendel concedes can be made instead with sweetbreads. Mendel's convincing crusade on behalf of Spanish fare will undoubtedly win more converts to her cause.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Recommended as a supplement to Casas!