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The Spanish Kitchen by Pepita Aris

If youíre looking for some background information on Spain and its cuisine then this big book by Pepita Aris is great. Itís a cookbook that is a good introduction to Spanish cookery and which has interesting sections on Spanish cuisine, Regions of Spain and Tapas and Fiestas.

This book is as large as the content within, lovely big step-by-step photos and clear easy to follow instructions. I personally love its ďbignessĒ and the bright colour pictures to show me how the final dish should look.

Because of its size and weight it lies open nicely while youíre following the directions and of course the photos talk you into trying out recipe when just words donít have that same way of enticing you to try something new.

The book contains over 150 recipes that are divided into sections on tapas, egg and soup, salads and vegetables, rice and pasta, fish and shellfish, poultry and game birds, meat and furred game and desserts and baking.

Even though Iíll probably never get through the whole book I seriously enjoy (although not a good idea when hungry) leafing through the mouth-watering photographs and book-marking them.

How does Garlic Prawns, Monkfish with Paprika and Cream Sauce and Honey-baked Figs with Hazelnut Ice Cream?

I have to admit Iím getting hungry!

Aris covers and explains Spanish cuisine and its origins well, from kitchen equipment to different Spanish cheeses itís all in the book.

One of my favourites is an easy non-cook tapas dish

Marinated Anchovies Ė Boquerones

ľ kg fresh anchovies
Juice 3 lemons2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 chopped garlic cloves
1tbsp chopped parsley
Sea salt

Head and tail the anchovies and split open, using the tip of a small knife remove the backbone.
Place the boned anchovies skin-side down in a single layer.
Squeeze two-thirds of the lemon juice over the fish and leave to stand for 1-24 hours, basting occasionally with the juices, until the flesh is white and no longer transparent.

Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, then scatter with the garlic and parsley. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Absolutely delicious and a great and healthy little snack or starter that can be prepared a day or two beforehand.

Or a handy little nibble for those peckish moments, donít be surprised if the dish in the fridge gets picked off one by one.

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