Cocina Nueva (Jane Lawson)

If I’ve put on an extra 5 kg over this weekend then it’s entirely Jane’s fault! Reading her cookbook about the new Spanish kitchen made me so hungry I kept visiting the pantry and the fridge on a regular basis. The photography by Steven Brown is appetising and Emma Knowles’ styling superb. The book is divided into ‘tasca’ the Spanish name for tapas bars and the venue to start the evening’s revelries, ‘cocina’, meaning both cooking and kitchen, featuring the more substantial fare, and ‘postres’, the traditional sweets of Spain. In her introduction Jane reminisces of her love affair with Spanish food and this shows in her book. Recipes like the ‘bacalao cigars’ and the ‘manchego and cumin bunuelos’ remind me of Tim Pak Poy at Claude’s whilst ‘croquetas de pollo’, ‘pimientos rellenos’ and ‘galician octopus’ remind me of Mo Vida in Melbourne. The simplicity of the ‘scallops with fennel and anchovy oil’ is just as enticing as the more complex ‘pork belly in almond milk’, a Spanish classic revisited. The ‘raisin torrijas with honey and walnuts’ might be in the dessert section but it makes an ideal addition to breakfast. Try it and your day will look much brighter and this will give you time to get all the ingredients for the ‘escalivada custards with Manchego wafers’ you will have to have for lunch. It’s just what you need… oh, and the book, of course!

ISBN 1 74045 597 5 Published by Murdoch Books Pty. Limited

Available from good bookstores