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First Look: José Pizarro's Spanish Flavors Cookbook

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[Photo: Paula Forbes / Eater]

Here's José Pizarro's Spanish Flavors, just published in the US by Kyle Books (buy on Amazon). Pizarro is a London chef who owns two restaurants called, appropriately enough, José and Pizarro, but this book focuses on the home-cooked flavors he grew up with in Spain. The book divides Spain into five regions: North, East, Center, South and Islands. Each section contains recipes for salads, entrees, desserts, and more.

The problem with trying to recreate Spanish cuisine in the US is that much of it is based on ingredients sourced in Spain: certain types of olives, bacalao, jamon, Spanish chorizo. The list goes on. But while some of the ingredients used in Spanish Flavors may be a bit hard to find in the US, don't get discouraged by the constant reminders that "the best globe artichokes traditionally come from Navarra" and "the best octopus in the world comes from Galicia and Spain's northern coastline." Even if you can't get your hands on some Galician octopus, some of the recipes here would be easily executed in the States: the Roast Chicken With Cava and Apples, for example, or the "Poor Man's Potatoes" with Onions, Peppers, Garlic and Thyme.

That said, the book is a killer crash course in Spanish cuisine, with just enough history to satisfactorily inform the recipes and dishes that are approachable for the novice to moderately-skilled cook. (Hope you like seafood.) A fantastic gift for your cousin heading off to study abroad in Madrid or the couple you know who just got back from Barcelona and won't shut up about it. Spanish Flavors is out now.

· All Cookbook Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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