1080 Recipes - Simone & Inés Ortega

A book review by Franz Scheurer

 

Simone and Inés Ortega’s bible of Spanish food reminds me of a Latin version of the Margaret Fulton Cookbook. It’s incredibly comprehensive, full of achievable recipes and has helped a nation cook better food at home. Now it’s finally available in English bringing the increasingly popular Spanish cuisine to a whole new market.

 

Spain is a melting pot of different cultures’ influences, amalgamated to create a uniquely Spanish cuisine. The Greeks brought olive oil; the Romans introduced grains, bread and pasta; and the Moors brought spices and the idea of combining meat and fruit (or savoury and sweet).

 

1080 Recipes is all about food you want to eat, but it’s also a good looking tome featuring stunning illustration by Javiar Mariscal (I just love the fish on a plate on page 518). The book contains everything from ‘how to cook an egg’ all the way to stuffed pork trotters; there is something for everybody. For me it would be hard to surpass the wonderful combination of flavours and textures in ‘Rice with a crust’ on page 157. Spanish flavour staples like ‘Fried artichokes in sauce’ (page 259), ‘Salt cod fritters with tomato sauce’ (page 450) and ‘Red mullet cooked in parcels’ vie for attention alongside lovely offal dishes such as ‘Brains with black butter’ (page 774) and ‘Lambs’ feet stuffed with sausages, coated in breadcrumbs and fried’ (page 789). Spain has always had a sweet tooth and the ‘Churros’ texture sensation (page 854) is of course featured, alongside the wonderful ‘Catalan cream’ (page 861).

 

Spanish cuisine is becoming more and more popular in Australia. Spanish restaurants are prevalent in every major city and we’ve discovered that grazing on little morsels (tapas) is a great way to eat, suiting our climate and busy lives.

 

Warning: next time you’re in a bookstore, if you pick up 1080 Recipes and have a good look at it, you’ll probably end up buying it.

 

Published by Phaidon (http://www.phaidon.com)

ISBN 978-0-7148-4783-2