I love cooking dishes that are designed to be shared and if there is one reason above all others why I love Spanish food is that it so easily falls into this category. Of course, that reason is really just an excuse to prepare Spanish dishes as quite frankly I just love Spanish food – flavour combinations, colour, piquancy, seafood, and just plain yuminess are the essence of what makes this cuisine so tempting.
As many of you will know, Miguel Maestre is the passionate Spanish chef and author, with the infectious laugh, and it is to his books that I invariably turn when I am planning a Spanish meal. One of his cookbooks that shows the signs of often use in my kitchen (red wine stains on some pages) is Spanish Cooking (published by New Holland Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd).
To take a step back, when I look for a cookbook to supplement my ever growing library, there are two things I initially look for- firstly, of course, the author, but secondly, the visual feast that the book presents. I want to taste the food from the images, I want to see what the chef/author wants me to be inspired about – after all, the desire must be for the intending purchaser to want to buy and then immediately go home and cook the recipes. This cookbook does exactly that!
Karen Watson (photographer) & Kathy McKinnon (Stylist) have represented here Miguel’s dishes in all their glorious flavoursome majesty – you see the image and you want to cook. You know the feast you are going to prepare because the food is from Miguel, but the imagery excites the senses even more.
I also love this cookbook because it is personal. In the introduction Miguel talks about his family and I love his comment that it was from sharing large family meals that he learnt the concept of sharing, and the sharing of delicious food. There are some wonderful old family photographs too, and I encourage you to read the introduction before you contemplate what recipe or three you are going to prepare – this will set the scene for you.
Whatever your taste in food – meat, seafood, vegetables, rice or dessert – there is something here for you. The recipes are easy to follow, ingredients easy to source and, more importantly, they create dishes to delight.
If there is one statement that highlights what this cookbook is all about, it is this from Miguel : “We need to preserve our roots in our food, accepting new trends but not forgetting where we came from. Great cooking bases its influences on a symphony of flavours and the delicate conjunction of ingredients.”
Thank you Miguel for sharing your recipes with us in this book. You have passed on the legacy of your family and your country through these recipes and for that I am very grateful. Do yourself a favour a grab a copy – it is a ‘must have’ in your cookbook library.