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Jan 28, 2007 01:34 PM

Spanish Food Cookbook

I'm looking to purchase a cookbook for Spanish food and, in particular, paella. What I want is the Spanish equivalent of Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking. Suggestions?

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  1. Penelope Casas, The Foods & Wines of Spain. She did a separate book on paellas alone (and another on tapas), but this is her "Essentials."

    1 Reply
    1. re: JoanN

      Casas also has a cookbook of Spanish comfort foods and home cooking, La Cocina de Mama, which is quite good.

      If you read Spanish and are ever in Spain (or, if you are willing to seriously overpay at, a real "go-to" compendium of just about every traditional Spanish recipe one might think of is Simone Ortega's 1080 Recetas de Cocina. No pictures, no fluff... just a small content-rich softcover tome (with splatter-proof plastic cover).

    2. Agreed, JoanN. Any of her cookbooks are great surveys of Spanish food. "Tapas" is the least useful, though, if you want a full range of dishes.

      1. I think Janet Mendel's book, Cooking in Spain, is the best overview of real Spanish traditional cooking and ingredients that I have seen in English.

        1. Janet Mendel's most recent book is Cooking from the Heart of Spain, The Food of La Mancha. It is really wonderful. The recipes are just great, very simple to do, but with a result of complex flavors. I'm starting to hold Janet Mendel in the same esteem that I do Paula Wolfert.

          2 Replies
          1. re: zataar

            Thank you, everyone, for your recommendations.

            1. re: zataar

              Thanks for the info, I'll have to check her new cookbook out. I live in Spain and read Spanish well, but I often find myself going back to Mendel's cookbook because it is so well organized and produces really accurate dishes (Casas tends to change recipes a to account for American ingredients and tastes--not necessarily a bad thing). IMendel's Cooking in Spain a more like a reference book that a mere collection of recipes. The only downside is the format, which is very humble--i.e., no pornographic food pictures.

            2. Check out they have many cookbooks from Spain. All of the products are imported from Spain as well as Paella kits (paella pans and ingredients w/recipe to make your own) imported spanish chorizo, paprika and tapas gift baskets.

              1 Reply
              1. re: claudia008

                Just a correction--not all of's products are imported from Spain. Some, especially the meat products, come from US or other producers.