Categories: Cookbook Reviews, My Writing, Recipes, Travel
SPANISH DISHES created for the American kitchen are the focus of the companion book to PBS television’s Made in Spain. Yet the beautifully photographed volume doesn’t make a reader as eager to get into the kitchen as it inspires searches for non-stop flights to Madrid and snacks at The Museum of Ham…
As chef Andrés writes, he and his wife are themselves culinary travelers who “don’t plan vacations thinking about what museums and monuments” to visit, but the restaurants and local delicacies worth trying.
In writing this book, the author’s wish was to whet the reader’s appetite for the best Spain has to offer. He has succeeded: you can practically taste the deep green extra-virgin olive oil dripping off seared piquillo peppers stuffed with Roncal cheese.
Even a simple veal consommé is photographed in elegant china tea cups and perfumed with a drop of sherry — as served at Madrid’s historic Lhardy restaurant and food shop.
Reading the chef’s comments about Lhardy filled me with nostalgia — and regret. It has been more than ten-years since I’ve been to the shop. At the time of my visit, so many of the foods I tried were difficult — if not impossible — to find back home in America. (My suitcase on the return flight was packed with saffron packets and paella pans.)
Today, with the help of importers like The Spanish Table and La Tienda, my kitchen cupboards are regularly stocked with the essential ingredients of Spanish cuisine ranging from smoked paprika to Jamon Iberico.
I wish I could hop on a plane right now, but I’ll have to settle for a kitchen-trip. I’ll pop the Made in Spain music CD into my boom box and sip a cool Sherry Lemonade cocktail.
Then I’ll follow tour guide Andrés for an edible walk down memory lane featuring tastes sampled long ago in Sevilla and Barcelona: Clementines with Chinchón, Anchovy and Black Olives, Soft and Crunchy White Asparagus Salad Ensalada de espárragos blancos and Manchego with Tomato, Thyme and Walnuts.
My dinner may be made in America, but after reading chef Andrés book, my heart is back in España.