The Foods and Wines of Spain (Anglais) Relié – 12 octobre 1982
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The book contains not one but two recipes for garlic soup, simple to make by even beginning cooks, and highly addictive. The "arroz a banda" described is one of the more subtle and satisfying of the rice dishes; and of course there is the paella (about which Ms. Casas has written a separate book). In this volume its recipe appears a bit intimidating, but it is essentially easy to prepare if one does not think too much about it beforehand.
For those cooks who need exact formulas and pharmacy-like precision in their ingredients, this book will please them. For those who are relativists with active imaginations, the book will also satisfy by pointing them in the right direction: pork chops with prunes, duck with olives in sherry sauce, baked porgy and peppers with brandy, chicken with figs. Yum.
Ms. Casas has obviously been very careful to anticipate such problems; everything seems to have been tried over and over with the average US kitchen in mind. And amazingly, the dishes still turn out exotic and "Spanish." I have no ability to vouch for authenticity, but who cares; the bottom line is that these recipes work and are absolutely delicious.
I also appreciate the suggested accompanying vegetables and wine. Two favorite main courses: Rice and Chicken, Chicken with Pine Nuts.
In addition to the above virtues, Ms. Casas gives a straight-forward history for each of the recipes, giving context and conveying a keen intelligence and quiet passion that leave the reader wanting to try every single one of these dishes. The research is complete and stunning. There is no hype or filler. This book is a keeper.