Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America

Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America

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by Jose Andres, Richard Wolffe

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The first major Spanish cookbook in two decades, from José Andrés, recently named America’s Chef of the Year by Bon Appétit.

Tapas are Spain's gift to the world of great cooking: a fresh and fun way to eat with friends and family—and easy to make at home. Using simple Mediterranean ingredients, a tapas feast is a perfectSee more details below


The first major Spanish cookbook in two decades, from José Andrés, recently named America’s Chef of the Year by Bon Appétit.

Tapas are Spain's gift to the world of great cooking: a fresh and fun way to eat with friends and family—and easy to make at home. Using simple Mediterranean ingredients, a tapas feast is a perfect combination of little dishes packed with big flavors. Tapas by José Andrés is the first major book in a generation to celebrate this world-renowned way of eating, from a man who is the best possible authority: an award-winning Spanish chef in America, with seven highly acclaimed restaurants to his name. Recently named Bon Appétit's Chef of the Year, José is a new star in American cooking, as well as the nation's leading expert on Spanish cuisine. Having worked as a chef in the United States for two decades, he's also a thoroughly American cook who draws on American ingredients for his inspiration, and is a master at translating his native Spanish cooking for this country's kitchens. His simple and delicious recipes include:

• Fish such as American Red Snapper Baked in Salt; Monkfish with Romesco Sauce; and Basque-Style Stuffed Maryland Blue Crabs

• Chicken including Catalan-Style Chicken Stew; Chicken Sautéed with Garlic; and Chicken with Lobster

• Pork such as Chorizo Stewed in Hard Cider; Figs with Spanish Ham; and Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apples

• Rice dishes including Lobster Paella; Black Rice with Squid and Shrimp; and Traditional Rice with Clams

All these recipes are full of tremendous flavor and creativity, as well as in-depth ingredient notes and a rich atmosphere that will transport you to the lush countryside, hip cafés, and sun-drenched coasts of Spain—and back again to dinner at home.

This is a breakthrough cookbook from an extraordinary chef.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although Andr s, a prot g of modern Spanish culinary padre Ferran Adria, stresses the importance of "sticking to the basics," each recipe in his debut collection of tapas (small-plate dishes) is stunningly standout. From Lobster with Clementines and Grapefruit in Saffron Oil to Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Cabrales (a knock-your-socks-off Asturian blue cheese), each dish, matched with a Spanish wine, strikes the right balance of being unusual but not too out there. Recipes are introduced with an anecdote, helpful hints and simple variations, and traditional Spanish dishes that typically take hours to prepare have been updated to accommodate modern cooks' schedules (among them, a Catalonian classic slow-roasted chicken, stewed with dried apricots, hazelnuts and prunes, ready in under 30 minutes). Though Andr s omits desserts (with the exception of flan, courtesy of mam ), he more than makes up for it with entire chapters dedicated to mushrooms, tomatoes and even garlic. Andr s showcases the bounty and vibrancy of Spanish cuisine without alienating readers, explaining through his precise and charming philosophy that "tapas are for eating at home or with friends." 260 color photos. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
With five highly successful restaurants in Washington, DC, and its environs, Andr s is probably the best-known Spanish chef in the country. His first cookbook presents some of the delectable tidbits he serves at his tapas restaurants, including traditional favorites re-created with American ingredients. He describes tapas as "a way of eating, and a way of living," but he sees these as dishes to share and mix, to serve as an appetizer or as a meal in themselves. Recipes are organized by ingredient, from olives and olive oil to citrus to fish, shellfish, and meat, and they are mouth-watering: Oven-Roasted Potatoes and Oyster Mushrooms, for example, or Lobster with Piment n and Olive Oil. Each recipe includes a chef's tip, and thoughtful wine suggestions are provided as well. Highly recommended. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Hero of the Spanish Revolution . . . José Andrés helped create the Spanish food boom in America." —Food & Wine

"José Andrés represents the broad spectrum of Spanish (and Hispanic) cooking . . . better than anybody else in America today." —Colman Andrews, Saveur

“The boy wonder of culinary Washington. . . a phenomenal success.” —R. W. Apple, Jr., New York Times

“José Andrés is Big Daddy for all things Spanish in America—and Tapas is the mother lode for anyone interested in ‘tiny bite’ cuisine or the exciting and the rapidly expanding Iberian influences that are changing the world of cooking. The future is Spain—and this book will prepare you for it.” —Anthony Bourdain

“José Andrés has done an admirable job of bringing the authentic taste of Spain—especially Spanish tapas and the tapas style of eating—to the American restaurant scene. Now he brings his knowledge and enthusiasm for the extraordinary cooking of his homeland to our homes with this handsome volume.” —Penelope Casas

“Small plates are the only way to fully experience a great chef’s style and flavors. Thank you, José, for sharing your creations with us.” —Jean-Georges Vongerichten

“I’m certain that for many this book will change their view of Spanish cooking. It goes without saying that José is already one of the world’s best chefs and has a bright future before him.” —Ferrán Adriá

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Read an Excerpt

This tapa is based on a fairly modern Basque-country dish, which has become very much a part of the mainstream. Basque people love their crabs, and txangurro has grown into something of a national dish in the region. For me, the most frustrating part of preparing this dish is that I rarely finish making it. Why? Because I love to eat the meat as I’m cleaning the crabs.

For the crabs:

• 2 tablespoons sea salt
• 8 fresh blue crabs (see tips), preferably female (about 2 1/2 [2.5] pounds total, to yield 1/3 [one-third] pound of meat)

For the filling:

• 6 ripe tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
• 1/2 [.5] Spanish onion, peeled and finely chopped
• 1/2 [.5] leek, white part only, well washed and finely chopped
• 1 guindilla chili pepper (or your favorite dried chili pepper)
• 2 tablespoons Spanish brandy
• 1/4 [one-fourth] cup Txacoli (a Basque white wine) or other fresh, young white wine
• 6 fresh tarragon leaves
• Salt to taste

Cook the crabs: Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add the sea salt. When the water is boiling, drop in the crabs and cook for 8 minutes. Drain, and allow the crabs to cool. Then remove the claws and legs, taking care to keep the upper shell intact. Working over a bowl to collect the juices, remove the meat from the claws, legs, and body. Reserve the juices and the crabmeat. Carefully clean and set aside 4 of the empty shells.

Prepare the filling: Cut each tomato in half lengthwise. Place a grater over a bowl and grate the open side of the tomatoes into the bowl. Discard the skin. Strain the grated flesh through a sieve to produce 2 cups of tomato puree. Set it aside.

Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over a medium flame. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook until it begins to brown a little, about 30 seconds. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add the leeks and the guindilla, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 15 minutes.
Add the brandy and the wine, and cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add the tomato puree and cook until it thickens and begins to darken in color, about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the crabmeat. Add the crab juices and the tarragon. Stir to combine, and add salt to taste.

To serve, place an empty crab shell on each plate. Fill the shells with the crabmeat mixture. Serve with a teaspoon on the side.

José's tips

If your time is limited you can buy crabs already cleaned and boiled. Just make sure that they have not been seasoned and are very fresh. If you can’t find Maryland blue crabs, you can always substitute Dungeness crabs from the West Coast.

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