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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
34
4.8 out of 5 stars


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on 30 May 2012
Most of José Pizarro's recipes use admirably few ingredients - always appealing to me as an amateur cook. Spanish Flavours is a follow-up to his first book Seasonal Spanish Food. Seeing Spain, from a culinary point of view, as many countries rolled into one, Pizarro has organised the book into five chapters covering North, East, Centre, South and the Balearic and Canary Islands. It's not an original concept but it works. Fish and seafood, of course, plays a major role throughout Spanish cuisine but regional specialities are brought into the mix and inspire these recipes.

The North of Spain is represented by Griddled scallops with cauliflower puree and chorizo oil, and a recipe for Baked cheesecakes with blueberries. The East by Caldoso (meaning soupy rice) with quail, wild mushrooms, artichokes and black olives. The Centre is where peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, saffron, pork and Manchego cheese are celebrated. A recipe for Braised Iberico pork with tomatoes, chorizo, thyme and black olives is the region personified. The South has the Moorish influences represented here in dishes such as Spicy lamb albondigas, a take on kofta meatballs, flavoured with North African favourites cumin and coriander. The final region is the Islands, summed up as "simplicity, freshness and strong flavours" inspiring dishes such as Lobster caldereta (stew) and Avocado with prawns and tomato vinaigrette.

Puddings major on fruit. Almond and honey creams with lemon verbena peaches and Orange-scented apple buñuelos are must-trys. Emma Lee's photography is atmospherically rustic and there's a lovely explanatory drawing in the introduction. This book makes me want to get cooking.

Book courtesy of Kyle Books
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on 7 August 2017
Gorgeous delicious book
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on 20 July 2017
Perfect for dinner and meal ideas when friends and family are due round.
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on 29 November 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.
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on 28 August 2012
I am moved to write a review of this book because of it's brilliance. I have been looking for an honest, uncomplicated inspirational Spanish recipe book for a long time and here it is - "Spanish Flavours". This is a book you can take off the shelf, flick through, and within moments you will have found the perfect meal for any event. Jose Pizarro speaks from the heart and conveys the soul of each of his recipes sharing something of his relationship with the dish. The recipes are easy to follow and he's very clear about what you need to create the best, and most authentic effect. The recipes are really stunning and if you are a foodie you are going to LOVE this book. I was going to list some of my favourites but there are too many to cite here. For a long time I have wanted to be able to create the flavours, personality and essence of Spain that the best Spanish cooks manage to create, and I can honestly say that this book makes it possible. Follow the recipes and you will be creating stunning dishes from the various parts of Spain and receiving huge compliments from the people you cook for. Thanks to Jose Pizarro for this amazing book. For me, this is the best cookery book I have bought in many years so I can't recommend it highly enough. If you love food buy this book!
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on 30 August 2012
I have been living in the UK for almost 15 years now. I love it here. I don't even miss the Spanish weather. There is one thing I do miss, other than my family of course, and that is Spanish food, flavours and smells. Sometimes I treat myself to one of the good Spanish restaurants that have flourished in London in the past few years. But when I feel like staying in, I grab one of my mum's recipes (nothing like her osobucco) or Jose Pizarro's Spanish Flavours, get cooking and I feel like I'm back in Madrid. His recipes are easy to make, reliable (they work!), with easy to find ingredients and just deliciosas! Try the braised Ibérico pork! Or the monkfish! The poor man's potatoes are not bad either...
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on 2 January 2015
Really lovely book full of recipes I want to try. The majority are fish recipes but that's to be expected from a Mediterranean cook book. Each chapter covers different regions. Of those I've tried so far, I've enjoyed them all, which is a good start! Well worth buying. Enjoy!
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on 17 September 2013
Made two recipes already, and they have been worth the purchase price. Paprika dusted monkfish and braised oxtail. The cinnamon in the oxtail recipe is a revelation. Well worth it for the cooking, and also the photos bring back happy holiday memories. You won;t regret it.
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on 14 October 2013
What i like most about this book is the way it breaks down the cuisines of each region. It explains the history, main characteristics and ingredients of that particular style of cooking.

I find many cook books lack any information about the origin and history of the dishes but this book presents the food, recipes, photos and histories in a clear and informative manner.

Only tried a couple of recipes so far both have been very good - my mate loves this book too and owns a copy - he has cooked many great dishes for me too, hence prompting me to buy it. Highly recommended for any fan of Spanish food or food in general.
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on 16 January 2013
Bought this as a Christmas present for a neighbour who has a house in Spain. She was very pleased with it and has found a recipe in it which she has been looking for for sometime.
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