Customer Review

37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Small, but delicious, 26 April 2009
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This review is from: Tapas: Delicious Little Dishes from Spain (Cookery) (Hardcover)
Ok -it's a tiny book, as as I'm only interested in the vegetarian part (as it's mediterranean cooking most of these are actually vegan too), that just leaves me with 14 out of 28. Even some of these have meaty bits to leave out. I decided to experiment with tapas, because I've cut down on what I eat, and tapas recipes do give you a small, satisfying, flavour-rich munch which is quickly prepared to lighten up the end of your day.

But! This book is is quite impressive for all that. There's no explanation of the ingredients, so you're on your own. The most fabulous discovery I made from this book was smoked paprika- it is a phenomenal tasting ingredient- coming in 3 types- sweet, bitter and hot, I managed to find some in a nice tin on the Sainsbury's Special Selection shelves- there is no worthwhile substitute.

For you're delight, I've road tested a handful of recipes.
Spanish omelette/tortilla- this had the best instructions for making a thick omelette I have ever come across. Make sure the small pan is very hot first, so you sear the bottom of the omelette to stop it sticking, and then turn down the heat to cook through the wodge of egg thoroughly. It turned out whole, and for once wasn't soggy the next day.

Patatas bravas- I wasn't so keen on this version. I thought the use of a sprinkling of orange zest was inventive if not to my taste. I couldn't see why they specified half a small tin of tomatoes- surely one tomato would be less wasteful and taste better. Other recipes also suggest using tinned beans- I'm not Delia Smith- I think tinned beans are slimy and bland. In fact, having had several disappointments, I only cook ORGANIC beans from fresh- in this case there really is an extreme improvement in taste. I felt that they could have at least worked out the alternative measurements.

Aubergine cheese fritters- a sandwich of aubergines and cheese held together with a cocktail stick and deep fried - just didn't work and was really hard to construct.

Marinated peppers- worked extremely well, pregrilled peppers dowsed in a heated herby vinaigrette with capers. Delicious both as an instant food and chilled overnight as per the recipe.

Pinchos- bottled white asparagus pate on toast- I have decided that white asparagus is not for me. Green Giant do some if you want to disprove me.

Fried Manchego cheese- mmmmmmmmmmm. Brilliant with membrillo (quince paste).

Salted almonds- which are "deep" fried in olive oil- I wasn't using top notch almonds and I didn't skin them myself so their flavour was a little bland- also at that time I hadn't sourced the smoked paprika so I used chilli flakes. Worth another go.

Based on my sample of recipes, this passed as a book to keep and reliable enough to always give you something to eat which was well thought out, and occasionally meals that are utterly stunning. I'm sure the meaties will find something good as well.
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Recycled Rabbit
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: Warwickshire

Top Reviewer Ranking: 440