BY PENELOPE CASAS
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
(Knopf) ISBN 978-0307265524 0307265528
Tapas, popularized in Penelope Casas' first book, Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain, is revised in this publication with 50 additional recipes. Based on traditional Spanish cooking styles, tapas are tasting dishes served in bars in Spain.
They appeal because of their variety of flavors and low prices. The updated Spanish snack recipes include new ingredients for healthy, well-balanced dishes.
Penelope Casas visited many tapas bars in Spain to gather recipes and anecdotes that personalize them and give a sense of place. Often, she describes the bar which contributed a particular recipe, its location, street and town, and sometimes a historical culinary background comment.
A glossary describes popular Spanish ingredients like chorizo (sausage flavored with garlic and paprika), bacalao (dried salted codfish) and several types of queso (cheese).
Eight of the 247 pages are full-page color photographs of tapas.
The tapas recipes are well-organized and preparation techniques well-detailed. Introductions provide information on Spanish culture, lifestyle and history. Tapas is more than a collection of recipes. Penelope Casas explains how socializing and eating in tapas bars replaces home entertaining.
The Tapas Menus section groups recipes in categories like appetizers, vegetarian and party tapas.
Recipes range from sauces to pastries — stewed zucchini, peppers and tomatoes; stuffed eggs with shrimp; mussels in white wine sauce; dried cod in garlic mayonnaise; cold tapas, hot tapas, salad tapas, seafood tapas, brochettes, tortillas, omelets, and many others. There is even a recipe for mayonnaise (easy to make and better than anything you'll ever buy commercially).
- Introduction to the revised edition
- Introduction to the first edition
- Tapas in sauce
- Marinades, pates, salads, and other cold tapas
- Tapas with bread or pastry
- Tapas with some last-minute preparation
- Ingredients and cookware
- Sources for Spanish products
- Tapas menus
Penelope Casas writes about Spanish food and travel for The New York Times, Gourmet, Saveur and Bon Appetit magazines. Her other culinary books include: The Foods and Wines of Spain, Discovering Spain, Paella!, iDelicioso! and La Cocina de Mamá. She also hosts food tours of Spain.