5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Food to impress without the stress, 29 Nov 2012
Disclosure - I like Spanish food a lot. I used to go there when I was a kid to stay with a Spanish family, and I get a real hankering after it. So I'm very familiar with most of the Spanish joints in London and Pizarro's in particular because it is my favourite.
I loved the first book with it's recipes from his home. At first I thought this new one was yet another book of twists on regional Spanish classics. but it isn't. It's Modern Spanish dishes comprised mainly (but not exclusively) of produce from a single region so that they taste "of that region".
Some classic Spanish formats, like paella, are trundled out, as well as formats from the Med and beyond made Spanish. For example, there's a pasta with mussels and chorizo that's like linguine alle vongole with more typically spanish flavours. Griddled octopus is served with olive oil mash - a British format with Spanish ingredients.
There are a lot of very tasty combinations in here, big flavours and little or no tricksy cookery. The average home cook would not struggle.
The book is big on seafood and fish (c.40%). A lot of dishes have ham or chorizo in support, but not so many with pork products as the star, surprisingly. Very little red meat in here too. More game than red meat. That said, the red meat pages of my copy had more evidence of drooling. Flesh and fowl is probably 30% of the book. A gentleman I know very well would buy it for the red meat recipes alone.
Around 10-15 dishes that are either entirely veggie or can be adapted and there are a lot of desserts. And very nice they are too. The ideas, flavours and execution are simple and clear; most can be made ahead.
So it's a book aimed at omnivores who lean towards fish and seafood and like a decent dessert.
Dishes are rustic style - ie. very forgiving - the kind you can burn elegantly, put out on the table in the cooking vessel and let everyone help themselves. There are dishes suitable for brunch, lunch and dinner. In most cases you only need to add decent bread and salad. So far the recipes are reliable - everything I've tried has come good first time. (I'm a medium competent home cook, who avoids precision).
Hard to see what could go wrong - the dishes are simple and assured. Ingredient lists aren't long; no superfluous ingredients.
The pictures are gorgeous and say "make me". I recommend that you do.