SPANISH - Cuisine of the Quarter, Spring 2017 (Apr-Jun)

I’m thrilled to announce that SPANISH has won a tight race to become our inaugural Cuisine of the Quarter! There was a three-way tie with Italian and Peruvian, so I hope we’ll get a chance to cook one of those next quarter. I broke the tie and went for Spanish, largely because it’s a cuisine I enjoy eating but don’t know a whole lot about. Thank you very much to everyone who voted.

I’m planning to have a look through my cookbooks and see what I have for Spain, but in the meantime I’d love to hear from the rest of you regarding what’s Spanish on your shelves. Good online recipe sources are more than welcome as well. Tips on where to buy specialty Spanish ingredients or cookware? Post away. I look forward to learning a lot from you HOs over the next couple of months!

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OK, then. Like many Britons, it’s a country I’ve been visiting once or twice a year for 35 years or thereabouts. This could be a fun quarter.

As for specialist ingredients, I particularly like the website of “Fet a Soller” (Made in Soller). The town is on the west coast of Mallorca and is the home town of my brother in law and birthplace of my nephew. It’s mainly know as a citrus growing area but the local producers collectives have expanded the range in recent years. Fro example, olive oil has been made for ages but until recently it was mainly for home use, rather than sale - and it’s really rather good.

https://www.fetasoller.com/site/en/mallorca-shop.php

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I have a cookbook from Moro in London and this is just the ticket to pull it out, though I missed the voting posts.

I have also reviewed this site for Spanish products: La Tienda and have some of the yummy tomato sauce found there that is served at virtually every meal on bread in Spain.

I adore Spanish food.

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I voted Spanish so that I could crack out my Simone Ortega book 1080 Recipes. It’s considered a bible of sorts for Spanish cooking and I have honestly never got into it much.

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Alrighty- first recipe down Gambas al Ajillo

Good recipe but I’m not sure that I was keen on the Sherry vinegar sprinkle at the end.

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Woo hoo, inaugural recipe post! I love Gambas al Ajillo, especially if I’ve got great bread to soak up all that garlicky oil or butter at the end. Sherry vinegar can be a bit pungent, though, and I don’t recall a distinct vinegar flavor in any of the iterations of this dish I’ve had.

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It just gave it a slight sour bite, which was a bit strange on the first bite because I generally don’t want sour taste to my shrimp.

The Moro cookbook is great. One of only 6 cook books out of about 30 that survived the cull when we moved house.

This stuffed squid recipe is one of my faves.

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We have “Moro - the cookbook”. Of course we do.

Other distinctly Spanish cookbooks on the shelves:

Majorca - cooking & gastronomy. Ana Torrontegui

Catalan Cuisine - Colman Andrews

Spain on a plate - Maria Jose Sevilla

The Food of Spain - Claudia Roden

Cooking of Spain - Janet Mendel

Rick Stein’s Spain - Rick Stein

Just returning to Moro, as we do fairly often, can I offer a plug for tortillitas de camarones. You can use ordinary prawns but, better to my mind, are the tiny brown shrimps (the ones the colour blind French call grey). A fine starter if ever there was one.

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I was wondering if it is still open. It’s been many years since I’ve been there and for some reason, I ordered a roasted chicken. Not what I would order today.

I think John was referring to the cookbook rather than the restaurant. In answer to your question yes it’s still open and they’ve opened a tapas bar called Morito next door.

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I was. I’ve never been to the restaurant. We were in the area about three years back but, unfortunately, on a day when they close. Pity really, as we had the nephew mentioned upthread with us - I think he’d have liked it. That said, he loved the big steak at Hawksmoor instead

I didn’t vote for the Spanish cuisine, but it would be my second choice.

I have 5 cookbooks on Spanish cooking. I have Ortega’s 1080 Recipes (fr version) and another of her book Tapas. I have Alberto Herraiz’s Paella. Silvana Franco’s Great Tapas was bought long time ago. I got an excellent series from a French publisher including cuisine from different countries, each time with different authors, as for the Spanish one: le Vrai Goût du Monde - Espagne by Jean-Louis André and Jean-Marie del Moral.

I have travelled in Spain in my twenties, I loved the especially the tapas, seafood and the rice dishes. At home, paellas and omelette is the most cooked plates. COTQ is a great opportunity to get to know more about Spanish cuisine and start using my cook books to cook other stuff!

Naf- have you made anything from 1080 recipes??

Found out last night Spanish would be the new challenge so I made this photo this morning (as did Naf). Maybe I’ll even make something from the 3 books. (Only read cookery books to learn about a country and its foods/drinks, that’s all.)

Fan of Spain, arch-nemesis of Italy.

Pres - start off with the Andrews book. There’s a particularly nice beef stew with orange peel. Even he reckons it’s actually Provencal (but was served it in a Catalan restaurant). 'Tis lovely whatever its roots.

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Thanks. I shall have a look at the recipe.

I forgot this one, the most important, the best, goes with me in the incinerator! Almost nothing impresses me so when I say I am impressed I must sound like a “gusher” to you. This goes for all these Culinary book series by Könemann publisher.

Not a cookery book even though it does have quite a few recipes. Even better than a cookery book. Each chapter deepens my interest in Spain and all things in it. Exhaustive research, wonderful photography and excellent translation (in German originally). Now THIS is how you create a book about a country and its foods and drinks!

I shall start with pan con tomate. Never get tired of pan con tomate! Whatever it is, if it has tomatoes in it then I like it already.

Difficult lighting today. I make this all the time so hopefully the sun will be out next time round.

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May I introduce you to the Mallorcan “pa amb oli”.

You need firm slightly stale bread, which you toast lightly. Then rub one side with a cut clove of garlic. Next take your halved tomato and “squidge” it into the bread, Add salt and a goodly drizzle of olive oil. Preferably the oil from “Fet a Soller” as above - think of it as oil from trees that my brother in law may well have picked from 25 years ago.

You’ll find that many cafes in Mallorca will sell you pa amb oli topped with ham or cheese. These are untraditional preparations designed for tourists.

Eat the real think.

Bon profit.

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I was gifted Culinaria Spain a few years ago and I actually ended up giving it away when I culled my collection in preparation for our recent move. I read the book when I received it, but I found the writing somewhat clunky (I didn’t realize it was a translation; perhaps that explains it) and the recipe layout unappealing. The photography was gorgeous, but it’s just not the type of book that would get a lot of use in my house.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold