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Piri Piri Starfish: Portugal Found Hardcover – 7 Apr 2008
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About the Author
Tessa Kiros was born in London to a Finnish mother and a Greek-Cypriot father. She has lived in South Africa, London, Sydney, Athens and Mexico and is now based in Tuscany, Italy. Her cooking is influenced by her childhood experiences and a life of travel and exploration in various parts of the world. Tessa has collected and created her unique recipes over many years and continues to share special memories and moments with her readers along with wonderful, eclectic food. This is Tessa's fourth book and her previous titles are all available now from Murdoch Books.
Top customer reviews
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Having spent some years living in Portugal as a young man I wanted a book which could help me recreate dishes from, what I consider to be, amongst the great kitchens of the world.
The recipes are well explained and the personal stories are a lovely touch.
All the recipes smack of an original Portuguese kitchen as opposed to a professional chef trying to put their own spin on something which is better left alone - Extra points for this!
There are one or two negatives, though these are just personal views rather than criticisms of the recipes in the book. I think there are way too many dessert recipes. Yes, there are some Portuguese classics here but about 5 would have been enough.
Now I'm sure some will see the next point as being a little picky but I do LOVE Portugal so I have a need to defend where I can.
Churros it is said in the book 'may seem more Spanish...'
Ouch. Have to point out that it was the great Portuguese explorers who brought 'youtiao' back from China to the Iberian world and it form this which 'churros' came.
Small point? Yes.
Important? Yes, to those who love food and its origins.
Overall, this is a greta book and I really hope another will be written with even more of the greta local recipes of Portugal.
From the moment the magical title enticed me into the book's pages, the understated but powerful photographs and inspiring recipes of Piri Piri*Starfish, Portugal Found transported me to the wooden tables, marble bars and tiled cafés of Portugal.
The book opens with "Gem on the edge of Europe", in which Tessa shares her appreciation for Portuguese food, and is followed by her ingredients notes, "In the Portuguese Kitchen". Richly layered collages introduce each of the book's sections, from "Essential Recipes" to "Petisco Plates", through "Starters and Soups" and "Mains and Side Plates", and concluding with "Desserts and Cakes". Some of my favorites so far are the Gaspacho a Portuguesa, the Carrot Soup, the Coffee Steak, the Piri Piri and Lemon Butter Grilled Prawns, and the many potato recipes. The much-talked-about Pastéis de Nata are as amazing as Tessa says, and the Port Ice Cream is stunning: subtle in both color and flavor.
The subdued tones of the book's photographs, as well as the intricate design details - from the font choices to the swirly motifs - give Piri Piri*Starfish a strong sense of place. The uniqueness of Tessa's books is one of the many reasons I have so enjoyed collecting her cookbooks over the years; while they all share the same high level of attention to design and production, each possesses its own distinct personality.
If you have an hour or two, put on some fado music, pour yourself a glass of something nice, and let Tessa's recipes and observations about the Portuguese and their food take you on a journey that will likely lead you to the nearest market and into the kitchen.
The layout of the book is in true Tessa Kiros style...beautiful layout and beautiful photos of most of the dishes. I've tried the Roast Octopus with Red Wine & Potatoes, it was so tasty....the Grilled Squid with Chourico & Lemon Coriander Oil....was really really good....Piri Piri oil which is always at my table, Pasteis de bacalhau (fish cakes), grilled pork chops with chourico & pancetta, stuffed squid, pineapple cake (delicious)....Piri Piri Chicken with the Tomato Rice....I have to say it was just as tasty as the rice my mum makes. All recipes are authentic and turned out amazingly. I can't wait to continue trying out the others.
Some more recipes included:
Prawns with Piri piri, Whisky & Lemon
Stuffed Squid with Chourico
Baked Pork Ribs with Orange (these were AMAZING!!!!)
Roasted new potatoes with Tomatoes & White Wine
Prego Rolls (marinated Steaks in soft bread rolls)
Coffee Creme Caramels
Melon Sorbet with Port
Prawn Pastries (these are delicious, I promise you)
If I was to try and find fault, it would be the desserts & cake section...even though some lovely cakes were included, caramel cake, honey tart, pineapple cake...I haven't been to one family gathering or friends house in Portugal where Arroz doce (portuguese sweet rice)wasn't on the table...or Tarte de Amêndoa(almond tart with a carmel glaze)Pudim Molotof, Bolo de Bolacha (a biscuit cake) these are cakes/desserts that are very very popular in Portugal so I was suprised when I saw that they weren't included in the book. Still, this is a great book with some great recipes. If you love honest rustic food, then this book will not disappoint. Tessa Kiros has managed to capture everything I love in 254 pages.
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