Sunday, January 20, 2008

1076 To Go

Welcome friends,

So this past week we had four great dinners provided by and inspired by the wonderful 1080 Recipes by Simone & Ines Ortega. 1080 Recipes is the Spanish equivalent to the ever popular The Joy of Cooking, or the other Phaidon workhorse, the Italian The Silver Spoon. After sitting on Spain's bestsellers list for the past 30 years, Phaidon translated 1080 into English for the first time. This hefty tome is a wonderful treat for a cook's kitchen. Although loaded with Spanish recipes, the collection is not exclusively Spanish; much like The Joy of Cooking isn't exclusively American food, but a representation of what America cooks and eats, including ethnic favorites from around the world. 1080 is beautifully illustrated and well indexed and organized.

I wanted to dive into 1080 this week and selected four recipes that looked good for weeknight meals.

First we had Lentils with Bacon and Sausage
Then we had Chicken cooked with Shallots and Tomatoes
Followed that with Pumpkin Soup
And finished with Spaghetti Bolognese.

You'll see from clicking through the recipes that there seems to be one flaw in the book, the translation of the ingredient quantities and processes. I was first a little skeptical when the Lentil recipe called for ONE cup of Olive Oil. I didn't use any olive oil. Some of the other recipes didn't necessarily make sense on the first read through. What does that mean...well, out of 1080 recipes, four weren't 100% accurate. Are the others all good? Great! Sure there might be some other inaccuracies. For that reason, I don't think I would give this book to a new cook, someone who has apprehension in the kitchen. A little bit of kitchen intuition is needed to fully realize the wonderful potential of this book.

All that said, I love this book and look forward to exploring more of the recipes in the future; especially a classic Paella...

PS: Try the lentils...there were sooooo good and so very satisfying, rounded out with a crisp green salad and you'll have a perfect meal; lunch or dinner!

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