Item description for My Kitchen in Spain: 225 Authentic Regional Recipes by Janet Mendel...
Overview This collection of authentic recipes from Spain includes such specialties as gazpacho and several versions of paella, as well as lesser known dishes, highlighted by rich culinary, cultural and historical information.
Publishers Description From the sun-drenched Spanish countryside to the seaside villages to the bustling city tapa bars, one thing unites all of Spain: its varied and satisfying food. In this Mediterranean land of beauty and bounty, good food is a pleasure everyone shares. Spanish cuisine has flourished for centuries, inspired by luscious fruits and vegetables, fresh seafood and game, artisanal cheeses, cured meats, and renowned local wines. The influence of North African spices adds variety and unique flavors to the diverse cooking of this fascinating country.My Kitchen in Spain celebrates the rich flavors and regional traditions of Spanish cooking. Janet Mendel has made her home in Spain for more than thirty years, collecting recipes from friends and neighbors, housewives and Sherry barons, olive farmers and restaurant chefs. From the far western province of Extremadura to the Moorish towns of Seville and Granada to the world-famous Basque region in the north, Janet Mendel discovers and chronicles the tastes and techniques of this remarkable country. Now experience the authentic flavors of Spain with favorites both classic and contemporary: Almond Gazpacho with Grapes, Sea Bass in Saffron Sauce, Fiesta Paella with Chicken and Shellfish. With a comprehensive chapter on tapas, Spain's enticing "little dishes," and 225 tempting recipes -- for every course from soup to dessert -- My Kitchen in Spain will bring the food delights of Spain home to your table.
Citations And Professional Reviews My Kitchen in Spain: 225 Authentic Regional Recipes by Janet Mendel has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Booklist - 09/15/2002 page 190
Publishers Weekly - 03/04/2002 page 75
Library Journal - 05/15/2002 page 121
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Studio: William Morrow Cookbooks
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 8.25" Height: 9.5" Weight: 2 lbs.
Release Date May 28, 2002
Publisher William Morrow Cookbooks
ISBN 0060195266 ISBN13 9780060195267 UPC 099455032506
Availability 9 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 09:19.
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More About Janet Mendel
Janet Mendel is an American-born freelance journalist who has lived in southern Spain for forty years. She writes about food, travel, and personalities for newspapers and magazines worldwide. She is the author of My Kitchen in Spain and other books about Spanish cuisine.
Reviews - What do customers think about My Kitchen in Spain: 225 Authentic Regional Recipes?
Easy to follow and fun to do Mar 15, 2007
The receipes are accurate, fun, easy to follow and release in your kitchen awesome cooking smell. Receipes are colorful, pleasant to the eye and fun to eat.
Excellent Recipes of Personal Experience of Spanish Food Apr 16, 2005
`My Kitchen in Spain' by Janet Mendel, one of the two major English language writers on the food of Spain, is not your definitive review of a food's culinary culture like Penelope Casas' `The Food and Wine of Spain' or Diane Kochilas `The Glorious Foods of Greece' or even Jean Anderson's smaller book on `The Food of Portugal'. While it is a bit less than these works, it is a bit more than Patricia Wells' two books on cooking in Provence, which are very personal recipe collections from a single region of France. It is most similar to `Rome at Home' by Suzanne Dunaway' or even to Mario Batali's `Cooking from My Two Villages'. That is, it is a personal view of a region's cooking with a fair coverage of at least all the major topics of that region's cooking, if not being a comprehensive survey.
Ms. Mendel gets on my good side immediately upon my opening the cover, where there is a very nice map of the provinces and major cities of Spain. The book's subtitle is `225 Authentic Regional Recipes' and while the geography of Spain may be more familiar to most Americans than, say, the geography of Thailand, it is still a very important matter to have a map of your region with all the place names you mention on that map. Ms. Mendel's editors slip just a bit by mentioning places in Spain which are not noted on the map, but I will forgive them, as they are small villages and the location by direction and relation to the coast are clearly described.
While I am sure that the recipes are authentic and I am sure that Ms. Mendel presents recipes from outside her immediate region, the presentation is not systematic by region. Rather, it is done by type of dish, leading off with the recently very popular Tapas. This chapter of 28 recipes begins with the big three classics, spiced fried almonds, olives, and the inimitable Spanish potato omelet (Tortilla Espanola). I was tickled when I discovered this dish and the related fact that the badly misnamed `Spanish omelet' of diners across the country has virtually nothing to do with Spain. I immediately tried Ms. Mendel's recipe as this is a favorite dish of mine, and I found it to be at least as good as all the other recipes I have tried. My personal observation is that I may rather finish it like a frittata by sliding it under a broiler rather than flipping it. Even with a modestly weighted Calphalon aluminum pan, this was pretty messy business. I followed the author's recipe by slicing the potatoes on a cheap mandoline, but she says her son claims that chopped potatoes give a better result than slicing. I am almost inclined to believe that the best procedure is to grate the spuds, as the object seems to get a pretty tightly intertwined mix of egg and potato.
The book has several sidebars on major Spanish culinary products, especially ham, sherry, and olive oil. She claims Spain produces the most and the best olive oil. There is no question that Spain produces the most. Many experts believe the best comes from Tuscany or Provence, depending on your tastes.
The author takes a very odd approach to making substitutions for Serrano ham, if you can't find the real thing. She suggests either bacon or unsmoked pancetta. Two things are odd about this. One is that pancetta is, by definition, unsmoked and the other is that I think Italian or French cured hams would be much closer to Serrano than cured pork belly. This ties in with my sense that Ms. Mendel is not the very sharpest wordsmith. This has no influence on the quality of her recipes, only in the quality of our experience in reading her books.
The next chapter is a rather smallish selection of five recipes for bread and bread byproducts (crumbs). While bread appears to be almost as important in Spanish dishes as in Italian, it is probably that Ms. Mendel is not herself a big bread baker.
The soup chapter is probably worth the cost of the book, as it gives a very nice collection of seven (7) gazpacho recipes plus a little essay on the origins of gazpacho and how the author came to learn how to make this hallmark Spanish dish. After the gazpachos, there are ten recipes for other soups and thirteen recipes for one-pot meals from soups and stews.
The egg and cheese chapter makes total sense with eight (8) egg recipes and three (3) custard and cheese recipes, since it is simply unlikely that the eggy `Tortilla Espanola' would exist without a lot of similar dishes using eggs.
The vegetable chapter reinforces the similarities between the Spanish, French, and Italian cuisines with 28 recipes for hot and cold dishes featuring artichokes, beans, onions, eggplant, asparagus, and potatoes, potatoes, potatoes.
The rice chapter features paella, but makes it clear that there are Spanish rice dishes that are not paellas. The seafood chapter has the largest number of recipes and pages, including recipes for shellfish; finfish; stews and casseroles; and salt cod. The poultry chapter is much smaller with nine (9) chicken recipes and three others, including a recipe for a Christmas turkey. The meat chapter is larger (19 recipes, 11 with pork), but not even half as large as the fish offerings. The game chapter brings the count of land based protein almost even with the briny fare with eight (8) recipes for birds and hares.
The centerpiece of Spanish sweets is, of course, the custard based flan. Otherwise, the Spanish seem to be light on sweets like their fellow Mediterranean Latin's, the Italians.
This is a very nice book for cozying up to Spanish cuisine without getting too scholarly. It is a lot different from New World Hispanic cuisine (Add olive oil and subtract chilis, mostly) and therefore worth getting to know better.
Excellent and Easy-to-Follow Recipes May 2, 2003
This book provides excellent, easy to follow recipes for a variety of course from Tapas to Holiday Fare, and it's all excellent.
The book, generally, calls for simple ingredients which makes for delightfully rustic meals. The recipes are clear and suitable for even a novice cook. The several Paella recipes are excellent and the Flan is to-die-for. (This is the first time I've made Flan that has ever turned out perfectly.)
Granted, there are no pictures, so this cookbook is more suitable as a COOKBOOK rather than a coffeetable book. The pictures are not necessary, as even a beginner could make the recipes beautifully, and a little creativity will help you to plate them well.
Lack of photos destroys the whole book Apr 9, 2003
As you might have guessed from my title, there is something that really puts me off in this book. Even though the recipies are good and the information the author provides about her life in Spain are interesting and provide a good read, this doesn't cease to be a cooking book and as such it lacks the visual aid to the reader. That said, it would have been nice to have some photographs of the country itself, as Spain is a beautiful country.How do you know that your dish came out allright?How will a dish seduce you to try the recipe if its photo is not there?I think it is ridiculus to price a book with not a single photo that high.I got fooled by the price and bought it thinking it would be filled with mouthwatering photos and recipies.You'd do better to buy "Savoring Spain and Portugal","The taste of Spain" by Camilla Jessel or"Spain a cookbook" by Nestor and Tin Lujan or even better "CULINARIA SPAIN" by Konemann instead of this overpriced book.
A wonderful read to teach or entertain May 29, 2002
Janet Mendel has written a marvelous book for anyone interested in Spanish cooking, or who plans to travel to Spain. Filled with anecdotes from her 30 years of living in Spain, the book is a well-written and fascinating compendium of recipes from all over the country. It serves up descriptions and explanations of the various ingredients found in Spanish cooking, as well as substitutions available on this side of the Atlantic, where necessary. I highly recommend this book to food lovers of all levels of cooking experience.