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Spanish cook books

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Sep 2009 12:14:46 BDT
H. Green says:
I want to buy one but I don't know which would be best for me. It must have a good recipe for patatas bravas and preferably have some chorizo recipes. I don't eat seafood so this section isn't important and I will mainly use meat and veg recipes. A traditional paella recipe wouldn't go amiss either. Thanks for any help!

Posted on 28 Sep 2009 20:27:38 BDT
margesimpson says:
1080 Recipes
really good cookbook, a real heavy weight though 4 inches thick at least

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Sep 2009 17:02:46 BDT
Gourmet Girl says:
Seasonal Spanish Food

This guy from Brindisa is amazing. real spanish style!

Posted on 8 Oct 2009 12:28:23 BDT
H, I have about 12 different books on Spanish cooking, so there must be one I have that will do the trick..... The one I use most often for Patatas Bravas (page 79) is Louise Pickfords book (my copy has lots of olive oil fingermarks!), there is also a lovely piedmontese pepper recipe (pagr 57). Unfortunately as this book foucusses on Tapas it has no paella recipe. The chapters are by dish size, 1 bite, 2 bites, bigger bites etc which is a refreshing way of looking at things:

Tapas (Hamlyn Cookery)

The Spanish bar and restuarant Cooking (Balinger) book is another goodie - with separate sections on Tapas, Paella, Desserts and Sangrias. Ticking your Bravas and Paella boxes (over 30 variations)
Spanish Bar and Restaurant Cooking

ELizabeth Luards book covering Spain and Portugal is beautiful, no tapas but lots of lovely regional recipes including a paella and some different ideas for chorizo:
Food of Spain and Portugal: A Regional Celebration

A little Taste of Spain is (like all the other Little Taste books) a lovely read with lots of accessible recipes and photos, it has PB, paella and Chorizo:
A Little Taste of Spain

Lastly, and most expensively, the ultimate spanish cookbook. This over 2" thick hardback has a recipe for just about anything, an according to the sticker on the front of my copy has been a bestseller in Spain for over 30 years, and they should know! Bravas, paellas (several) and chorizo. Not many photos, but some nice illustrations:

1080 Recipes

Posted on 20 Oct 2009 13:37:00 BDT
S. Campbell says:
I have been cooking Spanish food professionally for more than 3 years and have some suggestions to make.

Firstly I'd like to say welcome to the best range of food and cooking styles in the world! Spain has so much to offer from cool north to hot south, from Atlantic coast to Mediterranean coast, from lakes and mountains to rivers and great plains. Not only does Spain have regional cooking styles that reflect this peninsular geography, but also its political history - rule of the Moors, inquisition, civil war, isolation from the rest of Europe - make it unique in Europe. The result is that Spanish food now offers a very special combination of a deep understanding of the produce of its own land and sea, the sophistication of Europe, the elegant spicing of Africa, and the exotic produce of its former colonies in South America.

More important than which book you buy, is which ingredients you use. Do take the time to choose good sources - look online and you will find several specialist suppliers. Buy some samples of the things you are going to use regularly and compare them wih what you can get in the supermarket, then decide what you like best.

Lecture over - now for the books!

For a good understanding of the Spanish culture of cooking and eating, some real inspiration and fantastic pictures, Culinaria Spain is unrivalled. (The whole series is great.)

For a basic cookbook which also looks great and is made for use, not display, Elizabeth Luard's Classic Spanish Cooking: Recipes for Mastering the Spanish Kitchen does exactly what it says on this tim. What's more, her recipes respect the supremacy of the ingredients and do not overwhelm you with unnecessarily complicated technique.

And finally paella - for which there are thousands of recipes. My advice is, remember it is best cooked for a lot of people and best cooked outside. Do you have a kettle type barbecue? Measure it and buy a paella pan the same size. Cook the paella over the smouldering coals and you will have an even heat. With the correct ingredients (calaspara rice, saffron, good stock and whatever else is fresh) you will make a good one!

Buen provecho!

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Oct 2009 21:34:44 BDT
D. says:
As a couple of others say, Simone Ortega's 1080 Recipes is The Spanish Cookbook as far as the Spanish are concerned. My wife swears by it, as did her mother (and mine now, having fallen in love with a number of dishes at ours). In short, it's probably the best starting point and covers pretty much all regions. 420 (menestra) and 199 (fabada) are classics in our house. The only thing I'm not sure of is the translation as our copy's in Spanish, but I suppose it'll be fine. The most important thing with Spanish cooking, as with any cooking really, is using the best ingredients you can get your mitts on.

As far as bravas go, everyone has a different recipe for the magic sauce. Honestly, you're better googling a recipe as a base, then coming to Spain and eating your way through a few plates of them and tweaking your own recipe. There's not much to cutting up a few potatoes and frying them to soak up your sauce.

If you're into chorizo, I recommend another crafty google for patatas a la Riojana.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2009 19:00:15 GMT
Please help. I am looking for a large hardback spanish cookbook with lots of good glossy pictures as this is for my teenage son who has a real interest in spanish and mediterranean cooking and looking for a wide variety of spanish recipes with meat, fish, vegetables - everything !

Posted on 4 Dec 2009 22:24:25 GMT
What a great list! Thanks all!

We have place in Spain and I am a when-in-Rome type of guy so have worked hard at Spanish cooking. After a few disasters, my paella is now 'requested' by our neighbours who dig in, taking seconds without asking and scrapping out the paellera. I learned paella from the Moro cook book and can't recommend it highly enough. Its the one with the old picture on the front of a guy with a yoke supporting two baskets.

If you want to find you way round the plethora of seafood, Alan Davidsons wonderful Mediterranean Seafood is your guide. Dinner will be late as you read this charming book with a glass of Rioja....

Posted on 11 Dec 2009 17:30:01 GMT
Emmylou says:
I have a book called menu del dia, by Rohan Daft. It's the sort of cookbook that makes great reading, but the recipes are very good too. It focuses on the traditional dishes served at lunchtime, several variations of paella are in there, not tapas though. My daughter was living in Spain last year and we think the recipes are authentic.

Posted on 14 Dec 2009 20:23:58 GMT
Great thanks. Just what I was looking for. With gratitude!!!!!!!!! Jean
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Discussion in:  cooking discussion forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  10
Initial post:  28 Sep 2009
Latest post:  14 Dec 2009

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