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Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.


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Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.


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Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Spanish cooking

I've never been to Spain, but (in the immortal but completely baffling) words of Three Dog Night, I really like the music . Or the food. It's not the women who are insane there, but the chefs.

All those crazy, innovative chefs who started the whole trend of scientific food: freeze-drying and foams and dishes served with printed instructions for how to eat them. But Spain also sounds traditionally food-crazy, too, with pilgramages to eat salads with tuna and anchovies, or charcoal-grilled leeks or peppers. If you've cooked French and mastered Italian, Spanish should be next.

I really got on the bandwagon with Spanish food when Anya von Bremzen's book The New Spanish Table landed on my desk. I've been dying to go ever since--it has such gorgeous pictures and descriptions of food in all the regions of Spain. Perhaps I will, maybe as soon as my money doesn't all go to college tuition. In the meantime, I'm enjoying cooking from her book so much. I recommend it. I've also fooled around a little with "Tapas, A Taste of Spain in America" by Jose Andres. By a Spanish chef who has restaurants in D.C., so more elaborate, but very intriguing.

Today's story about a Valentine's Day dinner gives you just a taste of some of those recipes. They are very well suited to a big party, and one thing I like about the idea of tapas is that it makes things more informal. You can eat a few, then get up from the table and put together a few more, instead of timing everything perfectly ahead. I included some places to buy certain Spanish ingredients, because that's part of the fun of taking on a new cuisine in your kitchen.


2 Comments:

at 8:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

the crazy innovative chef movment started in spain. ferran adria. El bulli restaurant. the birth place of scientific cuisine

 
at 1:24 AM Blogger Matt Morris said...

i'm not sure why the anonymous blogger pointed out what you wrote at the beginning of the second paragraph... anyway:

i was wondering if you would want to dine at el bulli if you went to spain.

or if you've tried restaurants that have built on the microgastronomy movement and had any comments on those.



i've looked through a lot of "tapas" cookbooks, and find many of them are really just hor d'oeuvres by another name. i wasn't of the impression that that's what tapas were. care to make any distinctions?

 
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