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    Children and Other Wild Animals

    Brian Doyle 9780870717543

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4 Remote Warehouse Cooking and Food- Spanish and Portuguese
5 Remote Warehouse Cooking and Food- Spanish and Portuguese

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New Spanish Table

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Excerpt

TAPAS: LITTLE BITES, BIG TASTES

In a compulsively social country like Spain, the tapeo—tapas bar crawl—is a ritual of near-religious importance. And it isnt just the nibbling and the imbibing: In Spain, the tapeo embodies a whole worldview and a lifestyle. The verb tapear, says the Sevillian tapas expert Juan Carlos Alonso, “is a broad concept that encompasses multiple actions: drinking, eating, chatting, strolling, greeting, seeing, being seen . . .” Indeed.

In its original form, the tapa (from the word tapar, to cover) was a free slice of cheese or jamón that topped a glass of sherry, thus protecting the drink from flies and dust. The tradition originated in the nineteenth century in Andalusia, the center of sherry production, where scorching summers make full meals unthinkable. Besides, a strong, fortified drink such as sherry fairly demands a snack. From these basic beginnings, the tapa evolved into a truly protean concept defined only by size and function: a bite to accompany drinks, normally eaten with ones hands, standing up. Place a portion of leftover stew in a small cazuela and youve got a tapa. Order a beer, chat up your neighbor, and its a fiesta. No wonder the Spanish prefer hanging out in bars to entertaining at home.

Although Spain is presently in the grip of a nueva cocina revolution, old-school tapas bars happily remain true to themselves. Imagine a heart-stoppingly atmospheric tiled dive suffused with the musky scent of jamones (cured hams) hung from the ceiling. Its walls are plastered with bullfighting photos. Its floors are scattered with napkins, toothpicks, and olive pits.The crowds stand wall to wall, shoulder to shoulder, exchanging cracks with the countermen, who shout out orders for another round of briny anchovies or batter-fried bacalao. At classic bars all over Spain, standbys like ensaladilla rusa (a mayonnaise-drenched potato salad), embutidos (cured meats), cheese, and potato tortillas seem inescapable. But beyond these stereotypes, tapas vary dramatically from region to region and from bar to bar.

Meatballs, patatas bravas (potatoes with spicy tomato sauce), and cups of broth from cocido (boiled dinner) washed down with beer or vermouth on tap are the stuff of old Madrid tabernas. In the northwestern region of Galicia, the tapeo involves squares of seafood empanadas, paprika-dusted poached octopus slices known as pulpo a feira, and stubby glasses of albariño. Sidra (cider) is the drink in the mountainous Asturias region, accompanied by a wedge of stinky Cabrales cheese and a link of chorizo braised in more cider.

In their Basque incarnation tapas are called pintxos and are almost always mounted on bread—fanciful canapés decorated with frilly mayonnaise borders and arrayed on bar counters like edible communion dresses. Andalusian bars seduce with a vast array of edibles, from small portions of stews or snails in a spicy sauce, to fried fish and delicacies like poached hake roe in a piquant aliño (marinade).

Spains Mediterranean regions— Catalonia, Valencia, Alicante—dont have a long tapas tradition. But this is where you find the best bares de producto: ingredient-driven lunch and dinner counters that offer raciónes or media raciónes, full or half portions. Few things in life are more pleasurable than staking a perch at one of the counters at Barcelonas colorful Boqueria market and nibbling on flash-fired baby squid, as tiny as a pinky nail; just-picked fava beans with a fried egg on top; or the seasons first asparagus.

Even within one region, bars tend to specialize: Some excel in fried stuff, like croquetas, others in griddled or skewered bites, yet others in montaditos (canapés). Certain bars draw crowds with their inexpensive portions of marinated carrots or roasted peppers, others with seafood delicacies like langoustines or goose barnacles for prices as steep as those at Tokyos sushi bars. Some bars have menus, others have ironlunged waiters who breathlessly recite the daily specials. Some lavishly display their wares on the counters; at other bars, each order emerges just-cooked from the kitchen. Wine bars and cheese bars, the breakfast bars of Seville and the beer bars of Madrid, bars out of central casting, and white neo- Moderne haunts with tapas artfully arranged in shot glasses, on skewers, and on spoons— at times, the entire country seems like one vast bar theme park.

Dont have a crowded, food-filled tapas bar on your street corner? Create one at home with the delicious tapas recipes that follow. ¡Olé!

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

simplychef, November 14, 2007 (view all comments by simplychef)
I just purchased this book last night and could not put it down, I read it half the night! I am a personal chef and also cater for a prestigious Chamber Music organization in L.A. I purchased it originally for the tapas and empanada recipes to add to my repertoire of appetizers. I found the book very informative and easy to read, the recipes are inspiring and easy to follow. I just love all the historical tid bits and background info. I know I'll be reading and re-reading this for months, let alone ply my clients with great meals. My compliments to Ms. Von Bremzen for such a great culinary masterpiece. I highly reccomend this book to anyone who loves good food and a good story!
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wscook, January 12, 2007 (view all comments by wscook)
We merely purchased this book for our New Year?s Eve tapas party. Little did we know we were about to embark on the delicious journey through Spain. The wonderful descriptions about each dish made for a delightful conversation. We?ve now purchased several copies of this book as give it as gifts with a bottle of homemade Sangria.
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(17 of 31 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780761135555
Author:
Von Bremzen, Anya
Publisher:
Workman Publishing
Author:
Anya Von Bremzen
Subject:
Spanish
Subject:
Cookery, spanish
Subject:
Regional & Ethnic - Spanish
Subject:
Cooking and Food-Spanish and Portuguese
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20051131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9.25 x 8 in

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » General
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » Spanish and Portuguese
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
Transportation » Automotive » General

New Spanish Table New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$22.95 In Stock
Product details 496 pages Workman Publishing - English 9780761135555 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

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."

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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.)
"Synopsis" by , 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!

"Synopsis" by ,
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!
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