The book starts off with interesting history regarding regional cuisine, various ingredients, and so on. It suggests which ingredients you might be more likely to find in American grocery stores these days, versus the ones you'll have to go online to find.
One chapter explains the concept of "shop-and-serve" tapas: things you can throw together after a quick shopping trip for the right ingredients. Fried Marcona almonds or marinated olives would be a good example, or stuffed eggs. My one problem with the cookbook crops up here. I know the stuffed eggs don't take many ingredients, but it's still easier to make sure you get everything you need if those ingredients are listed out separately rather than woven into paragraphs of instruction. On the other hand, here you'll also find a cookbook technique I like: often a single recipe will include a handful of variations. For instance, the piquillos rellenos (stuffed piquillo peppers) recipe offers five different stuffings.
There's also an entire chapter for eggs, fritters, and savory pastries (yum!). There are several varieties of omelet, and ham and cheese croquettes that can easily be varied until you find your favorite combination of ingredients. There are shrimp fritters, empanadas and empanadillas with a variety of fillings, Majorcan flat bread with a couple of optional toppings.
The vegetables chapter includes the absolutely wonderful "fierce" potatoes (patatas bravas); this is one of the first fried potato recipes I've found that actually makes potatoes soft inside and crispy outside (perfect!). The sauce that goes with it is delightfully spicy, with a tart and surprising flavor. You'll find chickpeas with spinach, garlicky fried mushrooms, Andalusian style asparagus, sausage-stuffed mushrooms, and more.
The seafood chapter is quite inventive and varied, from seafood cocktail to squid with peas, stuffed squid, white beans with clams, griddled tuna, fish in pine nut sauce, and quite a few more. A chapter on poultry and meat includes a surprisingly flavorful and juicy recipe for grilled chicken with honey and cumin--one of my favorites from this cookbook! (Actually, I think everything we made was a favorite.) There's quail in grape leaves, quail with apples, chicken livers with sherry, meatballs with two sauces, lamb meatballs with mint, pork in almond sauce, and other equally inventive delicacies.
We've been looking for a good recipe for fried mushrooms and fried zucchini since we tasted some in Boston years ago, and we finally found one in this cookbook! I can't tell you how delighted we were. Ingredients weren't too difficult to find, although if you don't live near some good stores you will need to go online for some recipes. We also didn't run into any mistakes in any of the recipes we tried or looked through.
If you enjoy sampling small plates of flavorful food, or think you'd like to experiment with the tastes of Spain, then I highly recommend Joyce Goldstein's Tapas: Sensational Small Plates from Spain. It's absolutely wonderful!