Spain: Recipes and Traditions from the Verdant Hills of the Basque Country to the Coastal Waters of Andalucia
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From the craggy Catalan coastline to the undulating, red-soiled hills of Andalucía, the diversity of the Spanish countryside is without rival. Its cuisine directly reflects this landscape, with each region celebrating its own ingredients and culinary traditions. In Spain, long-time Barcelona resident Jeff Koehler gathers the country's many time-honored dishes and age-old culinary customs, and distills the Spanish table down to its essence—food that is prepared simply but full of homemade flavors, and always meant to be shared.
Each chapter is an ode to Spain's delightful kitchen, from gazpachos, salt cod, and poultry, to savory and sweet conserves. The story of the country is told through 200 recipes from classics like Shellfish Paella, Artichoke Egg Tortilla, and creamy Flan to delicacies such as Chilled Melon Soup with Crispy Jamón and Monkfish Steaks with Saffron. Dishes from Spain's leisurely multicourse meals and simple tapas alike celebrate seasonal ingredients: wild mushrooms, asparagus, and local game. Sidebars trace Spain's rich culinary traditions, taking us from ancient Moorish cities to the arid fields of the Castilian countryside, and allow us to meet the people who still, with devotion, cultivate them. Accompanying these are hundreds of evocative photos of the markets, orchards, green hills, and fishing ports from which this delicious cuisine originates.
Add to this a thorough glossary that includes techniques such as preparing snails, using saffron, and making perfect fish stock, as well as a helpful source list. Novices and veterans of the Spanish kitchen alike will gain a deeper understanding not only of Spain's cuisine but of its culture.
alcohol to it. At home I like to use Muscatel for its honeyed, fruity aromas and bright clear-gold vibrancy. The apricots are excellent with yogurt, ice cream, or on their own, and even alongside a chicken roasting in the oven (see page 220). 8 OUNCES/225 G ORGANIC DRIED APRICOTS 1¼ CUP/320 ML MUSCATEL OR ANOTHER SWEET FORTIFIED WINE, PLUS MORE FOR TOPPING UP 1. Wipe the apricots with a clean, dry cloth if needed. 2. Into a 1-pint/500-ml sterilized wide-mouthed glass canning jar, place the
plenty of fresh running water. � CUP/35 G SEEDLESS RAISINS 12 OUNCES/340 G TRIMMED FRESH BABY SPINACH LEAVES 1 TABLESPOON EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL � CUP/35 G PINE NUTS SALT AND FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER 1. In a small bowl, cover the raisins with warm water and soak for 10 minutes; drain. Spread out on paper towels to dry (to avoid splattering when cooking). 2. Meanwhile, wash the spinach in a couple of changes of water and drain. Put in a large pot, cover with a lid, and wilt over medium heat,
trout). These are golden-hued with black and red spots that the Spanish call lunares (freckles), though in a rather poetic sense. (The word derives from luna, “moon.”) Navarra, Guadalajara, and the Sierra Nevada in Andalucía each have well-known streams to fish for trout. I have adapted this recipe from Antonio Díaz Lafuente’s Fogones granadinos (Granada Stoves). While I call for butterfly-filleting the trout, you can prepare the recipe using pan-fried whole fish (fry for about 4 minutes on each
desired. INGREDIENTS TINNED DELICACIES las latas The traditional function of conservas (preserves) is to prolong the life of seasonal ingredients, from the abundance of summer fruits and tomatoes to pork from pigs slaughtered during the cold weather. In Spain, this has been done with salt, smoke, alcohol, vinegar, and olive oil. Seafood and vegetables, especially, benefitted greatly from mid–nineteenth century advances in canning. Over the years, the practicalities of these ancient traditions
drink). Using ice stored in caves or natural wells—they could conserve the ice through the month of July—the Moors added “the essence of violets, bananas, roses, or melons, among many others.” These proved, she continues rather effusively, “effective against summer thirst and the boredom of caliphs and high-society who spent the lethargic hours of the afternoon in the shade of a jasmine tree, leaning against the azulejos [glazed decorated tiles] of the patio and being soothed by the gentle