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New Spanish Tableby Anya Von Bremzen
Last Saturday, Mindy hosted a dinner party. Every recipe was lifted directly from The New Spanish Table. For three hours, we washed down mouth-watering small plates with Spanish wine (each guest brought a bottle). Goat Cheese-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers got things off to an auspicious start. Salmon with Salmon Roe and Vanilla Oil had us going back for seconds and thirds. But the Chocolate Tostada with Olive Oil and Flaky Salt knocked the house down. As one guest noted, "It might have been better served on someone's naked body, but the body would have been wasted."
Synopses & Reviews
Amazing things are happening at the new Spanish table. The sweet-hot pequillos of Navarra turn up in a classic potato tortilla (the beloved omelet found in every tapas bar). Purple-veined Cabrales butter melts across a thick grilled T-bone. Honey is drizzled over eggplant "fries." Chocolate meets olive oil, strawberries meet fennel, vanilla meets salmon. Mysteriously delicious savory ice creams—balsamic vinegar, thyme, saffron—garnish soups and seafoods.
Casual, quietly inventive, steeped in regional traditions but unmistakably modern, Spain is the new France and Italy, an ipicenter of contemporary Mediterranean cooking with a wealth of alluring flavors and preparations.
Written by Anya von Bremzen—an award-winning food writer who first fell in love with Spain in the early 1980s, introduced the Catalan genius and three-star chef Ferran Adrià to American readers in 1997, and today spends close to half her year in the country—The New Spanish Table delivers all the pleasures of this exhilarating cuisine.
It's a rustic table: Baked Fish with Romesco Potatoes. It's elegant: Rack of Lamb with Pistacchio Pesto. It's exquisitely simple: Smoky Fried Almonds with sea salt, an addictive marriage of four ingredients. It's for entertaining—dozens of tapas, paellas and cazuelas (named after the Spanish terra-cotta casseroles)—and, with its glorious comfort foods like fried eggs with crackling, crispy whites, and luscious unusual Rice Pudding Ice Cream, perfect for cozying up, alone.
Most of all, The New Spanish Table is an irresistible, festive celebration of flavors from a culture absolutely passionate about food, wine, and the pleasures of an excellent meal.
"Von Bremzen is in love with the gastronomic delights of Spain, offering an appealing, informative look at the cuisine that is rapidly usurping the culinary dominance of Italy and France. She offers insight into the dishes of famed chefs Ferran Adri and Juan Mari Arzak and also shares the secrets of talented but lesser known cooks from around the country. Several of the recipes are for dishes you'd expect to find in a volume of this size — sangria, gazpacho and a multitude of tapas — but there are many welcome surprises: Eggs over Smoky Bread Hash, Coca (Spanish-Mediterranean pizza) with Candied Red Peppers, and Rice Pudding Ice Cream. Throughout the recipe section, von Bremzen (Please to the Table) provides entertaining personal stories like 'Ode to a Can of Tuna,' which details a raid on Arzak's fridge that reveals an incredible tinned treat. Readers will find facts on the history, food and wine of each of Spain's regions, a primer on Spanish cheese and a look at the critical ingredients in a Spanish pantry. Regardless of their level of familiarity with Spanish cuisine, all readers will learn something from von Bremzen, who shows us why Spain is taking its rightful place near the top of the culinary ladder. Photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Spain is the next France, announces The New York Times Magazine. And Wine Spectator declares: “Spain is setting the pace in Europe today when it comes to wine and food.” Food and travel editors herald Spain as the new Italy. Something incredibly fascinating is happening in the country, with its hip tapas, hot chefs like Ferran Adrià and Juan Mari Azrak (see Adrià’s Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Pesto and Scallions in the meat chapter), and mouthwatering array of premium olive oils, wines, cheeses, and other foods getting snapped up in American markets.
The New Spanish Table delivers the food of Spain in all its glory. A big, bold, 275-recipe collection, packed with gorgeously colorful photographs, it gets right to the heart of Spain today: its marriage of innovation, deep-rooted traditions, amazing ingredients, and everything one could ever want in between. Written by Anya von Bremzen, coauthor of Please to the Table (64,000 copies in print) and a food writer who’s been covering Spain for 10 years, The New Spanish Table turns risotto on its head—as in Basque Smoked Cheese Risotto with Garlic Oil. Lavishes with sexy tapas—Smoky Fried Almonds with Sea Salt, Catalan Guacamole, Blue Cheese and Date Croquettes. Heralds the gazpacho revolution—Adolfo Muñoz’s Strawberry, Tomato, and Fennel Gazpacho. Signs off with desserts that show Spanish cuisine at its creative best: Warm Chocolate Soufflé Cakes with Thyme Ice Cream, Clarisa Nun’s Banana and Hazelnut Tart. Fascinating and vibrant and impossible not to love. And all easy to prepare as well. Along the way, visits at the Spanish table with home cooks, tabernaowners, celebrity chefs, farmers, winemakers, nuns who bake like a dream. Includes appendices on Spanish wine, finding Spanish ingredients, and Anya’s recommended restaurants. ¡Estupendo!
Welcome to the world's most exciting foodscape, Spain, with its vibrant marriage of rustic traditions, Mediterranean palate, and endlessly inventive cooks. The New Spanish Table lavishes with sexy tapas —Crisp Potatoes with Spicy Tomato Sauce, Goat Cheese-Stuffed Pequillo Peppers. Heralds a gazpacho revolution—try the luscious, neon pink combination of cherry, tomato, and beet. Turns paella on its head with the dinner party favorite, Toasted Pasta "Paella" with Shrimp. From taberna owners and Michelin-starred chefs, farmers, fishermen, winemakers, and nuns who bake like a dream—in all, 300 glorious recipes, illustrated throughout in dazzling color. ¡Estupendo!
About the Author
Anya von Bremzen writes about Spain regularly for Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, the LA Times, and other publications. She is also coauthor of the James Beard Award?winning Please to the Table. The first U.S. journalist to write about superstar chef Ferran Adrià (1996), Ms. von Bremzen spends five months of the year traveling in Spain. The rest of the time she lives in New York City.
Anya was born in Moscow in the early 1960s. She showed exceptional aptitude for the piano and was enrolled a school for the gifted at age six. (On the side she was a child actress in Soviet films and traveled throughout the USSR with her grandmother.) She emigrated to the United States in the mid-1970s, studied at Julliard, and has given concerts worldwide. In addition, Anya holds degrees in Russian literature and comparative literature, has taught at several universities, and has served as a translator and editor.
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