Category Archives: Books
When Penelope Casas passed away earlier this month it marked the end of an era. She and I were almost the same age and shared an enthusiasm for Spanish cooking, then almost unknown. Before The Spanish Table was even a year old, before we had any customers, Penelope published her fourth book, ¡Delicioso! and came to our store one evening for a signing. She was gracious, lovely and enthusiastic about our new business. For us it was an exciting night that recharged our entrepreneurial batteries. We miss her. ~ Steve Winston, Founder, The Spanish Table
Penelope’s first cookbook The Foods & Wines of Spain completely transformed the way we cook. Her recipes were authentic, coming from Spain’s local cooks and restaurants, revealing the secrets behind Spain’s dazzling cuisine. This book was also a great travel guide, as naturally Casas credited each restaurant for their recipes. We compiled a list of “Penelope” restaurants and always sought them out on our travels, often driving miles out of our way to eat at these establishments. ~ Sharon Baden
We have three books in stock by Penelope Casas:
The first, and one of the very best around, ever. Some would say it’s all you need.
Some of these recipes are not traditional paellas, but every dish I’ve tried has been fantastic! One of our absolute go-to’s.
The original 1985 version of this book was one of our first tapas cookbooks. Our tattered, stained and crumpled copy has delighted many part guests at our house. It’s the ultimate book for making small plates – many recipes only have a few ingredients.
Arroz negro al fuego
Inspired by a recipe in Penelope Casas’ paella cookbook, here is our take on her arroz negro. A superb and striking paella, black as midnight and infused with deep sea flavors, arroz negro gets its pitch black color and wonderful depth of flavor from squid ink. Spiked with red chili peppers and spicy pimentón, this version has a kick to it, lifting the marine flavors to new heights. The spectacle of a dish of black rice creeping with tentacles is exciting and mildly alarming, making it the perfect Halloween or Day of the Dead feast. Serve with aioli.
2 oz black cod or halibut
¼ to ½ lb cleaned squid, tubes and tentacles
2 large shrimp
olive oil, enough to coat pan
1 cup clam juice
5 threads saffron
¼ onion, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
¼ bell pepper, finely chopped
½ red chili pepper, finely chopped
½ small tomato
a splash of Madeira
½ cup Valencia or ⅓ cup Bomba rice
1 tsp spicy pimentón
1 x 4 gram packet squid ink
1 artichoke heart, quartered
1 piquillo pepper, sliced, to garnish
1 tsp chopped parsley, to garnish
a lemon wedge, to serve
Cut the black cod or halibut into bite sized chunks. Slice the squid tubes into ½ inch rings, leave tentacles whole. Sprinkle all the seafood with a little salt. Heat your paella pan over medium high and coat lightly with olive oil. Sauté the seafood for a minute or two until they release some juice. Dump contents of pan into a bowl and reserve.
Pour clam juice into a pot and bring to a quick boil. Lower heat to keep warm. In a skillet briefly toast the saffron until aromatic, a minute or two. Then crumble into clam juice. Keep warm and covered.
Place paella pan over medium-low heat and coat generously with olive oil. Add your sofrito (onions, garlic, bell peppers, and chili peppers) and sweat gently until soft, about 15-20 minutes. Grate in the tomato halves over the pan and discard skin; this is easy as it will naturally remain in your hand as you grate. Stir well and cook down the mixture until almost jammy, about 10 minutes.
Add a splash of Madeira and stir until evaporated. Add rice and stir well to coat. Add pimentón and stir. Add clam juice and squid ink; stir for a minute or two. Return seafood to pan along with artichoke hearts and distribute evenly. Cook paella for about 15 minutes , without stirring, and then test rice for doneness. Cook a few minutes more if necessary, erring on the side of underdone rice. Allow to rest for 10 minutes then serve or return the pan to the heat for five minutes or so to make the crust (socarrat) . Garnish with piquillo pepper strips and parsley; serve with lemon wedges and aioli. ~ Rachel Adams
Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter January 26, 2012
|ONE HOUR PARKING VALIDATION: Park in the Public Market Parking Garage at 1531 Western Avenue and receive one hour free parking validation when you spend a minimum of $35.00 at The Spanish Table.January CD sale! Buy three and receive the least expensive one free!
Spain is justifiably proud of its incredible variety of beans, peas and lentils which are used in stews, soups, and even paella. When the weather outside is blustery, I like to get a big pot of beans simmering with some ham hocks and chorizo, and savor the mouth watering aromas filling the house. Put on a movie and serve the bean stew with a glass of Rioja. That’s not a half bad way to spend a winter evening!
Spain’s most famous bean dish is the wonderful fabada, but there’s more in the Spanish bean pot than just fabes. In the Basque country you’ll find many local beans such as deep red Tolosanas. White beans from Leon have a fine and consistent texture; popular in stews, they are principally cooked with potatoes, chorizo sausages, bacon and blood sausage. The recipe below is adapted from “My Kitchen in Spain“, by Janet Mendel (Harper Collins 202, $16.99). It’s not a glamorous, photo-filled book, but for unfussy home-style Spanish cooking it’s one of the best. (I like her blog, too. Check it out.)
Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter June 30, 2011
Millions of people will serve perritos calientes (hot dogs) on the 4th of July. Why not take your dogs up a notch by serving an assortment of grilled embutidos? Our favorite Iberian style sausages include Despana brand Chorizo, La Española Butifarra, and Barcelos Linguiça. All told we offer 16 different grilling sausages between The Spanish Table and our Paris Grocery store, just two doors away. An excellent side dish with perritos calientes is my own “Spanglished” Potato Salad (see recipe below).
BEVERAGES FOR THE 4TH
I simply can’t get enough fresh rosé in the summer and that’s what I’ll be sipping on the 4th of July. Admittedly, I’ve gone a bit crazy ordering them because each one tastes better than the last! Here at Spanish Table, we’ve got 17 different dry rosados to choose from and two doors away at Paris Grocery, there are (gasp!) an astounding 34 French rosés. Visit us to pick up the pink stuff!
If beer is your beverage of choice, we’ve got the best selection of Portuguese and Spanish cervezas in the city, especially since a few new brands came on the market. From Spain, we currently stock Estrella Damm, Estrella Daura (gluten free beer), Estrella Galicia, Estrella Inedit, Alhambra Lager, Alhambra Negra, Ambar (NEW). We also carry Sagres and Sagres Bohemia, Mikate Lager and Tagus (NEW) from Portugal, Casa Beer from Morocco, Jerome Beer from Argentina, and Laziza non alcoholic beer.
|NEW ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Plancha, 150 Great Recipes for Spanish-Style Grilling by Liliane Otal ($21.00) This is simple cooking at its best, with grilled vegetable and seafood recipes that take only 5 to 10 minutes to prepare.
The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden ($39.99) 588 pages of pictures, vignettes and recipes, both classics and little-known dishes. My next must-try recipe is the pork loin cooked in milk with caramel.
Turkish Bakery Delight by Deniz Göktürk Akçakanat ($24.95) The food in Turkey is all-around magnificent and the savory baked goods such as Filo rolls filled with Spinach and Feta made an excellent breakfast. The assortment of sweet cakes and breads filled with nuts, fruit and honey were not bad either.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentices by Lisa Abend ($26.00) details Ferran Adriá’s unique system of running the kitchen at elBulli using apprentice chefs who sometimes camp on the doorstep until they are hired.
“Spanglished” Potato Salad
One day we were headed to a party where The Spanish Table’s reputation for producing Spanish flavored foods would be at stake. I updated Mom’s potato salad recipe by substituting alioli for mayo, pimentón for black pepper and by adding piquillo pepper strips. In a dire emergency, you can actually gussy up store-bought potato salad by mixing in the pinch of pimentón and chopped piquillo peppers.
3 cups Potatoes, boiled and cubed
1 tablespoon Minced sweet onion
½ teaspoon Fine ground Spanish sea salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon Sweet, smoked pimentón
¾ cup Alioli
½ cup Piquillo pepper strips, roughly chopped
½ dozen Caperberries, sliced, for garnish (optional)
Mix ingredients. Taste and adjust ingredients to your personal preference.
When the Thanksgiving leftovers run out, the holiday party season can’t be far behind. We have a sensational time noshing on finger foods, experimenting with seasonal beverages and catching up with old friends – it is indeed a special time of year! And there is absolutely nothing more festive than a glass of bubbly at a party. Thus our Cava tasting dinner at Harvest Vine could not be more timely. Join us on Wednesday December 8th, at 6:30 p.m. to taste the cavas of preeminent winemaker Augustí Torelló Mata. Here’s an opportunity to taste the acclaimed Kripta cava which influential French wine critic Michele Bettane described as comparable to the very best champagne. Click Cava to view the complete menu; the cost is $65.00 per person. For reservations, please contact Harvest Vine at 206.320.9771. “The Agustí Torelló Mata Cavas rank with the best I have tasted.” Jay Miller, Wine Advocate
AFFORDABLE AND DELICIOUS PARTY WINES
2008 Ique Malbec, Mendoza ($9.99) Juicy and lush, this 100% Malbec has notes of violet and ripe berry. With firm structure, flavors of coffee and hints of licorice add complexity to the lengthy finish. This unoaked Malbec is meant to be enjoyed young and is excellent served with pizza or burgers.
2009 Prado Rey Verdejo, Rueda ($11.99) 100% Verdejo, Prado Rey comes from a 75 year old vineyard. It displays intense citrus aromas with notes of fennel. A serious white, it is lean and steely, fresh and balanced. It has a long and polished finish with notes of bitter almonds, characteristic of the Verdejo varietial. This is excellent with steamed clams or mussels.
2008 Tres Picos Garnacha, Campo de Borja ($15.99) We’ve never been disappointed by Tres Picos. Reliably delicious year after year, “The 2008 Tres Picos is 100% Garnacha old vines in which 50% was aged in tank and 50% in French oak for 10 months. It gives up a compelling nose of black cherry fruit that jumps from the glass along with earth and mineral notes. Plush on the palate bordering on voluptuous, this pleasure-bent, full-flavored effort will drink well for another 3-4 years although few will be able to resist its charms for that long.” 91 points Wine Advocate
2008 La Planta, Ribera del Duero ($15.99) La Planta is the youngest red produced by Bodegas Arzuaga Navarro, whose wines are full-bodied and suave. 2008 La Planta has fresh aromas with high fruity notes of blackcurrant, licorice, and toasty notes from noble woods. A meaty wine with ripe tannins, it has a fine tuned velvety texture. The finish is persistent and smooth.
Last chance to pre-order special vintages of Cune Rioja! Bodegas Cune will be shipping a limited number of old Rioja Reservas and Grand Reservas directly from Spain in February 2011. Pre-order now to assure availability of a special anniversary or birthday wine! Pre-orders are due no later than December 8, 2010. Standout offerings include a 1917 Imperial Gran Reserva, 1964 Viña Real Gran Reserva, and a 1939 Corona, (a cache of this golden-colored Rioja blanco was recently discovered during the winery’s renovation.) There are over 30 wines available from vintage 1917 through 1995; pre-sell prices range from $68.00 for a 1988 Imperial Reserva to $510.00 for the 1917 Imperial Gran Reserva. For a complete list and prices, just send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seasonal Spanish Food Cookbook by José Pizarro ($32.95) This is not a vegetarian cookbook but it’s loaded with delicious salads, soups and sautés that make you want to rush home and start cooking. I can’t wait to make Artichoke and Sheep Cheese Salad and Green Asparagus Soup with Romesco Sauce.
New shipment of Churreras! We now have plastic ($19.99) and metal ($45.99). Fry up some of these bits of dough deliciousness and dunk them into a steaming mug of thick Spanish hot chocolate. This indeed, is true decadence! We also carry Blanxart, Amalia and Valor brand hot chocolate mix.
Marcona Almond Butter: A healthy alternative to peanut butter, and a great option for those folks with peanut allergies. Marcona Almond Butter can be substituted in any recipe you would normally use peanut butter. We suggest: Changing your PB&J into a MAB&J, high-brow take on the quintessential classic, substitute MAB for your Thai peanut sauce or fold into your ice cream. Think of it like liquid Turron!
Armenian Walnuts Steeped in Syrup: They look like black olives, but they are whole walnuts packed green in the Ararat Valley of Armenia and steeped in sugar syrup until they turn lush, sweet, tender and irresistible, a little like marron glaće, only moister. The walnuts are perfect foil for pungent cheeses, pâté or roast duck or game. You can also nibble them after dinner or slice them to decorate your pumpkin pie.
CHEESES OF THE MONTH
Caña de Oveja: This snow-white, fluffy coated, soft-ripened sheep’s milk cheese hails from Murcia, a region known for its goat milk. The pale ivory creamy interior is suave, silky tangy and spreadable. Enjoy with a glass of sparkling white wine or cava. 14.99/LB
Queso de Oveja en Aceite de Oliva: From Jumilla in Spain’s southeast, this sharp and herbaceous sheep’s milk cheese is soaked in virgin olive oil and rosemary. Tangy with a bit of harrumph! The flavors are more infused than our Spanish Table customer favorite, Rosemary Manchego! 15.99/LB
As a youngster I grew up eating home-grown vegetables and home-cooked meals. Fortunately my mother, grandmother and sisters were all excellent cooks and my father’s garden was so bountiful that even our neighbors had enough fresh vegetables to stock their freezers. My fascination with flavors and quality ingredients sprang from these roots and even today, I eagerly await every meal! With travel came discoveries of astonishing new ingredients and my palate began to yearn for more than fried chicken and tuna noodle casserole. Now that our stores have extensive selections of inspiring cookbooks, there’s no reason to cook the same dishes over and over! (Paella excepted.)
Last night Steve turned to Joyce Goldstein’s cookbook “Saffron Shores” ($12.99) for a sensational Tunisian Fish Ball Tagine. The fish balls were light, delicately flavored and satiating on a chilly night. Give them a try!
JANUARY SALES ON SELECTED PRODUCTS – WHILE THEY LAST!
3 liters El Toro Pure Olive Oil $9.99
Miguel & Valentino brand Guindilla Peppers $.99
Ferrer Dried Wild Mushrooms $4.99/ 15 gram jar
Golden Peppadew Peppers $.99/14 oz
Ferrer White Gazpacho $.99/24 oz
2009 Las Colinas del Ebro Garnacha Blanca, Terra Alta ($11.99) This crisp white has notes of chalk and crushed seashell with a zesty citrus finish. “Laid-back aromas of yellow apple, pear, melon and lemon thyme. Silky and modestly concentrated, with fine-grained honeydew and pear flavors and a light kiss of herbs. Tightly wound for the variety, finishing with good bite and lingering herbacity.” 88 points Stephen Tanzer
2000 Bodegas Lopez Heredia Viña Tondonia Rosé Gran Reserva ($22.99) This spectacular rosé is excellent all year long but perhaps best in the cooler season when its savoriness is a divine match for rich meat or poultry dishes. In yesterday’s New York Times, Eric Asimov describes Viña Tondonia Rosé as “pale, coppery, complex wine that compels you to smack your lips at the tactile pleasure of rolling it around in your mouth. Jamon Iberico please!”
2009 Tapiz Malbec, Mendoza ($11.99) Tapiz has inviting aromas of violets which compliment smoke, raspberry and plum cake notes. Hints of vanilla, menthol and incense give added complexity on the palate. Elegant with a velvety, persistent finish, it is also a terrific value!
2008 El Pecado, Ribera Sacra ($84.00) The 2008 El Pecado is produced by winemaker Raul Perez, who makes some of Spain’s most prized wines in the cool, green D.O. Ribeira Sacra of Galicia. His reds, made from the Mencia grape are reminiscent of top shelf Burgundy. The precision and elegance of these wines is astounding. Prized for their quality as well as their rarity: 115 cases of 2008 El Pecado were produced and only 16 cases were sent to the U.S. “The 2008 El Pecado is 100% Mencia from Ribera Sacra and offers up exotic, kinky aromas of mineral, incense, Asian spices, lavender, boysenberry, cranberry, and black raspberry. On the palate it is satin-textured, intense, complex, and stylish.” 95 points Wine Advocate
2006 Alion, Ribera del Duero ($90.00) The latest release of Vega Sicilia’s Alion has just arrived! “Intensely perfumed, mineral-driven scents of redcurrant, raspberry, spicecake and dried rose, with a smoky overlay. Juicy and precise, offering lively red fruit flavors and a suave floral pastille quality with aeration. Weightier on the finish, where the floral note lingers with authority and persistent spiciness.” 92 points Stephen Tanzer, 94 points Wine Advocate
Zoe Meats Chorizo: A perfect balance of pork, fat and pimenton, it contains no nitrates/nitrites. This überlicious chorizo is a favorite of our Spanish customers. We carry a small 8oz version or you may buy it sliced, but we recommend the larger chorizo for the best value. $25.99/lb
Lomo Embuchado – This domestic lomo is a dry-cured pork loin that is very popular in Spain as part of a traditional tapas course. Always extremely lean, this cured meat is marinated before aging with an array of spices including garlic and paprika bringing out the full flavor of the pork. $34.99/lb
Upcoming Flamenco shows: This Friday and Saturday evening at Taberna del Alabardero: Don’t miss Manolo Leiva. Click here for details.
TUNISIAN FISH BALL TAGINE
In Spain, Sephardic fish balls, (called albondigas) were seasoned simply with parsley and maybe a little cheese, then fried and served with tomato sauce. Tunisian Jewish fish balls are more highly seasoned. To hold the fish together, most cooks use fresh bread crumbs. The fish balls may be fried or poached, then simmered in fish broth flavored with tomato puree, and served with couscous. Some recipes use chopped tomatoes and peppers in the broth.
Serves 6 TO 8
FOR THE FISH BALLS:
1½ lbs mild white fish, such as cod, sole, sn apper or bass
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, finely chopped
½ Teaspoons kosher salt
½ Teaspoon harissa (try the rose petal harissa)
2 Teaspoons ground cumin
4 Slices stale bread, crusts removed, soaked in water and squeezed dry, or 1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
Olive oil for frying
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Cloves garlic, minced
6 Tablespoons tomate frito, or 4 tomatoes, chopped
2 Cups fish broth or water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Couscous for serving
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
To make the fish balls, bone and finely chop the fish. In a food processor or large bowl, combine the fish with all the remaining ingredients except the egg and oil. Mix well, Add the egg and mix until smooth. Dipping a spoon and your fingers in cold water, remove a sample of fish paste and roll into a ball. Fry in a little olive oil and taste and adjust the seasoning. Form the rest of the fish paste into I-inch balls. Either fry now, or place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.
In a large saute pan or skillet, heat ½ inch oil over medium-high heat and fry a few fish balls at a time until lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
To make the tomato sauce, in a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add the fish balls and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over couscous, sprinkled with parsley.