|La Cocina de Mama: The Great Home Cooking of Spain
Long overshadowed by France and Italy, Spain has finally taken its rightful place as one of Europe's great culinary meccas. Consider the reborn cities of Madrid, Barcelona, and Bilbao, the new respect afforded Spanish wines, the popularity of tapas bars in the United Sates, and Spain's widely influential Michelin three-star chefs, Ferran Adria and Juan Mari Arzak. Despite the worldwide acclaim for these chefs, arguably the greatest Spanish food is found not in the nation's restaurants but in private homes off-limits to tourists, where women still cook the recipes their mothers and grandmothers cooked before them. Now, Penelope Casas takes us into those homes to uncover the secrets of this simple, easily reproduced, and altogether marvelous cuisine.
For La Cocina de Mama, Penelope Casas has collected recipes from great chefs and traditional home cooks in every region of Spain, all of whom have shared with her the dishes they grew up loving and still cook for themselves today. There are recipes for tapas like Clams in Garlic Sauce; elegant soups and hearty one-pot meals like Stewed Potatoes with Pork Ribs; many wonderful seafood dishes like Fish Steaks with Peas in Saffron Sauce; meat and poultry dishes such as Pork Tenderloin in Orange Sauce, Rack of Lamb Stuffed with Mushrooms and Scallions, and Lemon Chicken with Ginger and Pine Nuts; paella and other rice dishes-and even a few pasta dishes; unusual vegetable preparations including Sauteed Spinach with Quince and Toasted Sesame Seeds; and desserts like Basque Apple Custard Tart. Whether of Roman, Moorish, or peasant origin, all of the dishes appeal to today's tastes and exemplify the virtues of the Mediterranean diet-lots of olive oil, lean meats and fish, and vegetables. Sidebars throughout discuss ingredients, areas of Spain unfamiliar to most Americans, travel vignettes, and more. At last, Americans can discover the unique and irresistible flavors of authentic Spanish home cooking in La Cocina de Mama.