I wish I could have visited Spain during my jaunt through Europe in 1996, but time was short and I thought a visit to Spain would come on a later trip that has yet to materialize. One of my childhood dreams was to see the horses in Andalusia, so I must do that as well as enjoy the art, architecture, food, and music. Obviously I have a somewhat romantic view of this future yet unplanned trip, and hopefully someday I will have a chance to fulfill those dreams.
Likewise, I'm afraid I've taken a somewhat romantic view of the latest cookbook to arrive courtesy of the folks at DK Publishing. Spain and the World Table is a beautiful book from The Culinary Institute of America which featured Spanish cuisine during the 2006 Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival in the Napa Valley. This is more than just a cookbook, it's a journey through Spanish cuisine with features about the history of Spanish cooking and some of the great Spanish ingredients such as hams, cheeses, wines and sherries, saffron, fresh seafood, potatoes, rice, and chocolate (yes, chocolate, and not just drinking chocolate). The book is oversized with big gorgeous photos and many recipes across eight categories, including tapas, soups, meats, seafood, rice, salads and vegetables, sauces and condiments, and desserts. The recipes represent a range of complexity, and though the book focuses on Spanish ingredients, many are widely available in the United States. Some are more costly in this country, such as serrano ham, but substitutions are often easy to find to keep the dishes within budget.
So far we have made four of the dishes and I have a list of many more I plan to make, including a passion fruit ice cream I'm dying to try. We chose these recipes based on what we had on hand and what was economical, so over the weekend we made a vegetable paella, chicken chilindron, white sangria with amaretto, and shrimp in garlic. The shrimp had loads of flavor from the sauteed garlic and pepper flakes, and the wine reduction made a tasty sauce for dipping fresh artisan bread. The recipe is a bit saltier than I'm accustomed to, so I recommend tasting before adding the second round of salt.
I highly recommend this book if you enjoy world cuisine and experimenting with cooking. And speaking of which, I have one copy of this beautiful book to give away. If you want to win your own copy of Spain and the World Table, leave a comment telling us about a Spanish food you enjoy or would like to try. Please make sure your email address is correct so I can contact you if you are the lucky winner. Apologies to my international readers, but the book can only be shipped within the continental U.S. The contest closes at 8 P.M. EST on Saturday May 31, and Random.org will select the winner. Look for the announcement of the winner in this post soon after.
UPDATE: Congratulations to Courtney of Coco Cooks! A copy of Spain and the World Table is on its way to you!
Shrimp in Garlic Tapa
- large skillet
- serving bowl or platter
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 10 garlic cloves (sliced very thin)
- 16 shrimp (26 to 30 count, peeled and deveined)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt (divided)
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 10 tablespoons white wine (or lemon juice)
- ¼ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Heat the olive oil in the large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic and the pepper flakes for about one minute, then add the shrimp and saute for 1 to 2 more minutes. Sprinkle on 1 teaspoon of the sea salt and a pinch of black pepper.
- As soon as the shrimp are cooked through, remove them from the pan and set aside in a bowl or on a platter. Remove the garlic just as it starts to brown and spoon over the shrimp. Cover to keep warm.
- Keep the heat at medium-high and add the white wine or lemon juice. Cook about 4 to 5 more minutes, until the wine reduces by three-quarters, shaking the pan frequently.
- Taste the sauce and season with more salt and pepper as necessary. Add the chopped parsley and stir. Spoon over the shrimp and garlic and serve immediately with fresh artisan bread for dipping in the sauce.