Made in Spain: Spanish Dishes for the American Kitchen Hardcover – Nov 4 2008
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About the Author
José Andrés grew up in the Asturias region of northern Spain and was a protégé of Ferran Adria of the renowned El Bulli restaurant near Barcelona. In 2003, José was named Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic by the James Beard Foundation and in 2004 was named Chef of the Year by Bon Appétit. José and his ThinkFoodGroup run seven destination restaurants in and around Washington, D.C., including the Spanish tapas bar Jaleo and the highly acclaimed minibar by José Andrés. His first cookbook, Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America, was published in 2005. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and three daughters.
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Tortilla de Patatas (Potato Omelet)
I have read a great deal about the Galician restaurant El Manjar over the years, but I never got the chance to eat there until recently. I was amazed at how they make their tortilla with a few simple ingredients: eggs, potatoes, olive oil, and salt. It might look easy to cook an omelet, but it takes a lot of practice to cook omelets as well as they do at El Manjar. This recipe is inspired by theirs—and it’s well worth the effort to master.
• 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 pound russet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced
• 6 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
Heat 3 cups of the olive oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat until it measures 250°F on a candy thermometer. Fry the potatoes until golden brown, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain.
Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs in a large bowl with the salt. You want them to incorporate a lot of air so they fluff up. Add the cooked potatoes to the beaten eggs and let sit for 1 minute.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat. Once the oil begins to smoke slightly, remove the pan from the heat and pour in the egg-potato mixture. Return the sauté pan to the stovetop and reduce the heat to low. The tortilla will puff up like a soufflé. Once it begins to set and the edges turn golden brown, flip the tortilla: Place a plate over the pan and invert the pan and plate together so the tortilla ends up on the plate, uncooked side down; slide the tortilla back into the pan, uncooked side down.
Make a small hole in the center of the tortilla to allow the egg in the center to cook. Once the tortilla sets, flip the tortilla back over and allow the center hole to close. Transfer the tortilla to a platter, cut into wedges, and serve.
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These are not that difficult in either technique, and the specialized ingredients are given sources that one can pursue, e.g. Spanish cheeses, olive oils, rices, etc. Igourmet is also a good source I have found, as are the increasing number of specialty gourmet food markets such as Trader Joe's.
Clarkson Potter seems to always turn out a great cookbook, and this fits right in their mold. Great full-page, full-color photos highlight the entrees, and the ingredients and instructions are clean, clear and usable. Jose also lists tips with each, such as substitutions, technique helps, etc.
They are organized as the show, on certain regions of the country and their cuisine. The two tried so far were exceptional, Tomato toast with Garrotxa cheese, and the Lobster and mushroom paella.
I truly find this food compelling, as it is light, healthy and inviting all at the same time. Will be trying many of these in the future, e.g. Traditional basque stew of tuna, poatatoes, pepper and onions, and Pork Meatballs with squid. Many who are really into Mediterranean cooking are becoming more and more enamored with this country's rising popularity, as Mario Batali's example provides.
Mouthwatering classics include Basque Leek and Potato Soup, Shredded Salt Cod with Tomatoes and Olives, Lobster and Mushroom Paella, Nectarines with Anchovies and Pedro Ximenez (sherry vinegar) Dressing, and Asturian Bean Stew.
The enticing design has a bold, modern easy-to-read look with lots of white space and color, though the differing typefaces for ingredients, directions, background story and chef's tip are a little busy. Ingredients are authentic, fresh and most are easily found. Substitutions are suggested for hard-to-find items and Andrés provides Internet sources for Spanish ingredients. A book for everyday and company too.
Anyways, I have made several recipes - the vegetable paella for example, the bread salad, the garlic mayonaise - just absolutely delicious and worth the time and effort. His cooking show is one of the very best - so much fun to watch, and I really could not wait to start cooking. I highly recommend it to those that want to make Spanish dishes that are very delicious, and consider finding the ingredients as part of the adventure.