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The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe's Western Coast Hardcover – August 18, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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"A modern classic cookbook."
—Dana Dickey, Bon Appétit
"Iberian gem. The New Portuguese Table by David Leite, a prolific food journalist who founded the website LeitesCulinaria.com, is the best book on the subject of Portuguese cooking in years. Leite, whose parents emigrated to the U.S. from Portugal, is captivated by the way cooks there have pointed their under appreciated cuisine in new directions. He dutifully catalogs Portugal's iconic wines and traditional foods--we learn how to make clams and chouriço in a copper cataplana--but we also get decidedly new-school preparations like cheese-stuffed pork tenderloins and Filet-o-Fish-inspired salt cod sandwiches. Trad or mod, this is some winning home cooking."
"Beautifully illustrated, The New Portuguese Table is a smart, delicious and highly personal travelogue through both memory and terrain."
—Maricel E. Presilla, MiamiHerald.com
"In Leite's The New Portuguese Table, the author performs a multitude of feats: first, he provides [a] culinary travel guide to the country of his ancestors...introduces, with great specificity, a multitude of regional delicacies...and finally presents recipes ranging from the most remarkably parsimonious...to the more extravagant and modern. Leite's book is a stunning passport to a food and a people virtually unknown to most Americans, even though they are only five hours away from our mainland."
—Elissa Altman, The Huffington Post
"This is the perfect cookbook for lovers of salt cod, and it just might be the perfect cookbook for those who dislike the mild, Atlantic fish. Leite, a three-time James Beard award winner and proprietor of the Web site LeitesCulinaria.com, offers a wealth of recipes for the brackish dried fish, including a traditional version of pastéis de bacalhau (salt cod fritters) and a newfangled mini salt cod sandwich that is the Portuguese equivalent of McDonald's Filet-O-Fish. By highlighting the eclectic ingredients and modern techniques that define the country today, Leite brings the often-overlooked foods of Portugal center stage. This fully illustrated book begins with an extensive glossary of Portuguese staples, plus a port primer and an introduction to Madeira, and ends with a chapter devoted to workhorse sundries such as fiery piri-piri paste and smoked paprika oil. Along the way home cooks are introduced to a delectable jumble of dishes that range from classic to contemporary. A comforting adaptation of the fabled stone soup is enlivened with spicy chouriço sausage; simple-yet-elegant duck breasts are sauced with white port and black olives; and a dip made with anchovies, green olives, cilantro, and whole milk is surprisingly harmonious. The desserts are comparatively docile–molasses cookies, baked custard tarts–but the recipe variation for fatias douradas (Portuguese sweet bread French toast) is truly over-the-top. (Aug.)"
—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"If your finances don't permit a trip abroad this year, perhaps this cookbook will provide some comfort–though it might just reinforce your urge to hit the sunny beaches of the Algarve. Leite, a noted Portuguese American food writer and publisher of the James Beard Award-winning web site Leite's Culinaria (www.leitesculinaria.com), begins by outlining Portugal's diverse regional cuisines and then describes traditional ingredients. From there it is a straightforward listing of appetizers, soups, fish, meat, poultry, vegetable/egg/rice dishes, breads, sweets, liqueurs, and condiments, with approximately 150 recipes overall. Each recipe begins with a paragraph relating its background, which adds to the book's homey feel. The recipes, many inspired by Leite's memories of his grandmother's cooking, are designed for the home cook and generally don't require exotic ingredients, although a supplier for salt cod may be necessary. A list of sources is provided for the few hard-to-find items, and color photos add to the presentation. Full of delicious-sounding recipes, this title is sure to appeal to adventurous cooks wanting to try a new ethnic cuisine and will also be popular with Portuguese American communities."
—Susan Hurst, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH (Library Review)
"David Leite's The New Portuguese Table is in fact three superb books in one volume: a thrilling travelogue, a thorough guide to Portuguese regional dishes and ingredients, and a transporting kitchen companion. The recipes in it will not only spirit you to an exotic, alluring place, they'll change the way you cook. We'll wager that after making Potato Skin Curls with Herbs, you will never look at potato peelings the same way again!"
—Matt Lee and Ted Lee, authors of The Lee Bros. Simple, Fresh, Southern
"David Leite takes you right to the heart of the good stuff, scrupulously (and appetizingly) exploring and explaining an egregiously overlooked and unappreciated range of flavors and ingredients. Portugal once ruled the known world, and the recipes in this book are–in many ways–the history of the world–on your plate."
"This book begs the question why, in heaven's name, have we ignored Portugal for so long? David Leite's Portuguese dishes practically stand up and salute with flavor. And he is smart about the Portugal he portrays. The temptation is to look only to the past and the traditional, but David knows cuisines are restless, ever shifting beings. He gifts us with the land of his family as it was and as it is now. We'll be cooking from this book for a long time."
—Lynne Rosetto Kasper and Sally Swift, authors of The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper
"I am very impressed with The New Portuguese Table. It is a welcoming, wonderful, satisfying, and passionate cookbook, an enticing view of Portugal through the lens of its food. David Leite is a terrific writer and he has a lot to teach us about one of Europe's most extraordinary and diverse cuisines. Bravo!"
"Long overlooked in our culinary literature, Portugal's rich, historic cuisine finally has a passionate and knowledgeable ambassador in David Leite. Keenly aware of what modern American cooks want these days, Leite has compiled an incomparable collection in which every recipe is as rewarding to eat as it is simple to make. Bravo David!"
—Anya von Bremzen, author of The New Spanish Table
Top Customer Reviews
Allow me to give you my reasons for recommending this cookbook above others you may be pondering.
1. There are several good solid Portuguese cookbooks that focus on traditional mainland recipes. (I have most of them.) This is the only one I know of that a) focuses on the lighter, brighter, modern flavors of Portugal, and b) addresses and gives equal weight to trends in both mainland and Azorean cuisines.
2. The recipes work. I made four recipes from the book, and all were delicious. The instructions are simple, clear, and solid. The photographs are accurate.
(The recipes for lemon-mint chicken soup, lamb meatballs, and fried cornbread alone are worth the price of the book. Don't be scared by the lemon and black olive cookies, either; they are wonderful with tea.)
3. You will not be hunting down obscure or expensive ingredients. There are some ingredients particular to Portuguese cooking which can be hard to obtain unless you live in New Bedford or the CA Central Valley. This book has something I haven not seen in any other Portuguese cookbook: an entire chapter explaining the main ingredients of Portuguese cuisine AND what commonly-available substitutes will work in the recipes. If you want the most authentic ingredients possible, a source list is included also. I live in a small town, and for the four recipes I've made so far, all ingredients were available in my local grocery.
David Leite not only knows food and Portugal, but also is a talented writer. Each recipe has a brief story that entices the cook's imagination.Read more ›
I took a chance on this book since I knew almost nothing about Portugal and even less about the cuisine. The writing and the photos drew me to the book and the recipes keep me coming back for more.
"slices of sausage" as well. It was just a matter of time before he served up The New Portuguese Table", and that he has now done!
Born of Portuguese immigrants and raised in the US, it wasn't until he lost his Grandmother that he begun to pay attention to the food being cooked in his Mother's home. He was concerned that when she passed on as well, so would all the Portuguese recipes he grew up enjoying. He knew he did not want that to happen so went on a quest
to watch her cook and documented her recipes.
To get in touch with his ancestral culinary heritage, he visited Portugal on vacation several times through the years before deciding to live there for a year to experience the food and the country. While becoming friends with local chefs and learning their secrets of improving old, traditional flavors with exciting new ones, he translated these techniques into how he could take his own recipes to culinary heights achievable by all cooks.
It was during that year in Portugal that his cookbook began to come together and he found that even though his mother's recipes had the same names as those he experienced in Portugal, they didn't taste quite the same. There was a food revolution going on and he was in the middle of it -- in the right place, at the right time and Leite
had the finesse to convey it to all of us in The New Portuguese Table.
The recipes he captured and preserved are excellent!Read more ›
We often dream about the wonderful food of this country and finally we are able to enjoy many of the dishes we love.
Last night I made the most amazing Roasted Chicken with Potatoes from David Leite's cookbook. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it today. What I love about this book is that it is easy to follow and it wants you to stay home all day and just cook.
Finally a cookbook that would make any Portuguese person proud.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Have only tried a couple of the recipes. But already love it.Published 5 months ago by Loretta Hendry
Recipes are written with ingredients that are easy to find in the USA so you don't necessarily need to live in a Portuguese community to make the recipes in this book. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Eun
This was also for the same friend...giving it to her for Christmas..I am sure she will love this also!!!!!Published 11 months ago by Penny
Wonderful cookbook with mouthwatering pictures! Was a gift for my Portuguese daughter- in -law and she loved it! Said she can't wait to try out the recipes.Published 13 months ago by Karyn Sweitzer
Right next to Joy of Cooking, Julia's books, Making of a Cook Madeleine,Kamman, is The New Portuguese Table by David Leite. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Sally A. Larhette
Excellent recipes- used this for a secret santa gift and it was a hit!Published 19 months ago by Nikki