Spanish cookbook recommendation?

I just got back from southern Spain, where I had marvelous food. Sevilla especially was a great with all of the tapas bars, but I had amazing food even in the small villages. I would really like to learn how to cook Spanish food - does anyone know a good cookbook writer ( in English)

  • Posted by: lloreen
  • June 29, 2013
  • 3537 views
  • 23 Comments

23 Comments

Gina55164 July 3, 2013
Everything I have ever made from Anya Von Bremzen's "The New Spanish Table" has been to die for.
 
krusher June 29, 2013
Sorry it is foundation not a fountain ... intuitive interference from this Apple computer.
 
krusher June 29, 2013
Sorry it is foundation not a fountain ... intuitive interference from this Apple computer.
 
krusher June 29, 2013
Sorry it is foundation not a fountain ... intuitive interference from this Apple computer.
 
krusher June 29, 2013
Good news. Ferran Adria and his brothers' revolutionary take on food and drink is alive and flourishing in Barcelona. They have opened a tapas bar caled Tickets offering signature elBulli dishes -without the hefty price tag in the Parel-lel district. There is a a two-month waiting list and one must book online on their website to get in. It looks amazing. The site of the iconic elBulli in Roses, a two-hour drive north of Barcelona, will re-open in 2014 as a fountain dedicated to culinary creativity. I have the collector's volume also. Ferran's cooking is amazing no doubt and unforgettable. My heart and taste buds yearn instead for the simpler, true,
rustic flavors of country cooking in Italy, France, Spain, Morocco and the simple amazing dishes of Asian cuisine. David Tanis, in the US, cooks as I yearn to eat every single day.
 
lloreen June 29, 2013
True, peirino, I was fond of the spinach and chickpeas on every menu in Sevilla. And there were stuffed peppers...but otherwise the emphasis was not on the vegetables. We got to joking that the olives were our vitamins...and it turns out to be true. You get a lot of get vitamins from fresh lives. Some of the historic bnbs actually cured their own olives in giant clay pots in the courtyard. You could feel the health and history with every bite.
 
pierino June 29, 2013
It's true that the Spanish and the Italians prefer to hammer the hell out of cooked vegetables. But a very traditional Catalan dish is chard or spinach cooked down with raisins and toasted pines. It would be served with a butifarra sausage (mild pork) which you can buy from La Espanola in Harbor City. They make it fresh in their plant. They will ship it to you if you don't want to drive down.
 
lloreen June 29, 2013
I know about el bulli...sounds like fun reading. Not for home cooking, though. I will check it out for the literary thrill. For cooking, I am looking for some more rustic and traditional dishes. The braised meats are delicious, as are the delicate sea food dishes. The one thing I found lacking was the vegetables. Spaniards don't seem to appreciate vegetables. A "mixed salad" in a good restaurant is still a plate of iceberg, sliced tomatoes, and raw onions with a bottle of vinegar. And the cooked veggies were nothing to write home about
What I loved was the seafood, meat, and beans.
 
pierino June 29, 2013
Now for something really out there; A DAY AT EL BULLI by Ferran Adria. Adria was the most respected chef in the world until he closed El Bulli last year. You are probably not going to cook from it but it is an eye opening experience. There is also an earlier sequence of numbered (by dates), slipcased El Bulli volumes. They go for close to $300 each IF you can find them. I know because I own one. I got to meet Adria once but sadly it wasn't at El Bulli. He still has his "atelier" going so I can't wait to see what he does next.
 
lloreen June 29, 2013
Cool, I live near Pasadena, Pierino! Thanks for the tip!
 
pierino June 29, 2013
lloreen, if you are in Pasadena you might want to make a trek to Santa Monica and Bar Pintxo on Santa Monica Blvd near Ocean. It's almost opposite the Kings Head. Small place, great tapas. I would have steered you to Mediterraneo in Hermosa Beach where the chef (a personal friend) was obsessed with authentic tapas and pintxos. Well, she left to open her own place which so far has nothing to do with Spain but we keep in touch. The older restaurant still uses her menu but it is just not the same. I'm really proud of that girl.
 
pierino June 29, 2013
Some other useful sources for old and out of print cookbooks are Janet Jarvits in Pasadena, CA http://www.cookbookjj.com/, Powell's in Portland, OR www.powells.com and Kitchen Arts and Letters in Manhattan (I don't have their website handy but it's easy to find). The Jarvits database is offline right now so it's not searchable, but you can call or e-mail them. All three have brick and mortar locations if you happen to be visiting any of those towns.
 
Emm June 29, 2013
1080 Recipes by Simone and Ines Ortega is considered the Bible of Spanish Cooking. It is the most popular cookbook and third most popular book in Spain. (It had been the tried and true cookbook of Spain for 40+ years with later additions translated into English and updated with some new recipes by greats such as Jose Andres.) I bought it for my husband, a professional chef, a few years ago and he was very happy to find it on his shelf again recently when he did a few tastings that featured tapas and pinxtos.
 
Greenstuff June 29, 2013
I have every one of the recommended books, and they are all wonderful. The Cuisines of Spain by Teresa Barrencuda has a.page or so write up of Galicia and 10 recipes. Not as much as you want, but it's worth taking a look. It does include octopus.
 
pierino June 29, 2013
I was about to mention CUISINES OF SPAIN myself. However the correct spelling of the author's last name is Barrenechea. It is a very useful book. Surprisingly she recommends using frozen octopus. One traditional method for cooking octopus is to toss a couple of wine corks into the boiling water. It's been a long time since I've cooked it but the octopus I had access to was incredibly fresh.
 
Greenstuff June 29, 2013
Thanks for the spelling correction! I knew it was a mistake to attempt it on the iPad, but what a whopper!
 
pierino June 29, 2013
Chris, not a "whopper" at all. You have to go to Burger King for that. Barrenechea is a Basque name. Spain, France, Italy it's all regional and even microregional.
 
lloreen June 29, 2013
Thanks for all the great suggestions! And the new book source - will definitely try it.
I would also love to find a gallacian cookbook because octopus in the gallacian style is one of my absolute favorite dishes. There is this restaurant in Madrid that makes to die for octopus and potatoes with paprika....i make a point of going everytime i am in that city. I am planning to try it at home, but I know nothing about how to cook octopus! I will have to read up about it.
 
Maedl June 29, 2013
Just thought of another favorite: Honey from a Weed by Patience Gray. Her focus is on Catalonia, Tuscany, the Cyclades, and Puglia. Amazon has it, but it’s $36, so perhaps you could find a second-hand copy.
 
boulangere June 29, 2013
Here is a good second-hand source for a couple of Maedl's suggestions:

http://www.betterworldbooks.com/honey-from-a-weed-fasting-and-feasting-in-tuscany-catalonia-the-cyclades-and-apulia-id-9781903018200.aspx

http://www.betterworldbooks.com/the-food-of-spain-id-9780061969621.aspx

I've had excellent luck ordering from them, and shipping is often free. Be aware, though, that it's not quite as fast as Amazon's shipping.
 
susan G. July 1, 2013
Cynthia's recommendation of Better World Books is a great one. I've found books there at reasonable prices (shipping included, anywhere), and purchases fund schools, libraries, and literacy organizations. I also have a fantastic local 2nd hand book shop, and our town recycling is another source. I have a beautiful copy of Honey from a Weed from one of those places.
 
Maedl June 29, 2013
The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden is a winner. Jose Andres has several books on Spanish cooking as well. I’ve had plenty of opportunity to sample his cooking in Washington, DC, so he definitely gets my recommendation. He also had a cooking show on PBS called Made in Spain--the programs always had me drooling, so it would be worthwhile to see if you can have a look at them.
 
pierino June 29, 2013
The grande dame of Spanish cookbooks is Penelope Casas. THE FOODS AND WINES OF SPAIN, is one I always reach for. For regional cooking (pretty far from Sevilla) I'm a great admirer of Colman Andrews's CATALAN CUISINE as well as THE BASQUE KITCHEN by Gerald Hirigoyen. In the Basque region tapas are referred to as "pintxos".
 
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