- Foods from the heartland of Spain:
- Castille and La Mancha
- Authentic, unpretentious recipes
- Easy to follow
Janet Mendel is a good friend of ours. Many years ago she traveled to Spain on a writing assignment and loved it so much she never returned!
Since then she has been steadily writing food articles and a series of cookbooks -- all of which are quality products. What we find characteristic of Janet's writing and recipes is that they are authentic, thoroughly researched and refreshingly unpretentious. They are easy to follow.
In her latest book, Cooking from the Heart of Spain, she features traditional foods from La Mancha and Old Castille. It is Spain's heartland -- a region of vineyards, olive groves, and fields of grain.
From here come Spain's most famous products -- Manchego cheese, saffron, Jamón Serrano and olive oil. The cuisine is, on the one hand, sturdy and straightforward, yet it has an air of refinement due to the contribution of Castile's rich and diverse Moorish and Sephardic heritage.
The recipes in Cooking from the Heart of Spain include simple pisto, a medley of summer vegetables sautéed in olive oil; lamb stuffed with spinach and pine nuts; a robust peasant garlic soup; and a delightfully subtle saffron ice cream.
Janet has also included sophisticated dishes such as cheese and ham flan and partridge braised in wine sauce, as well old local favorites, such as "fried milk," a sweet custard with a crisp-fried exterior.
She has selected many quotes from Don Quixote that are apropos: through the mouth of his legendary character Cervantes made insightful observations about the food of La Mancha.
We are delighted to add her latest book to our book shelf.