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Easter is on the way... Get ready for it!
February 27, 2005

Welcome back to Spain-recipes' newsletter.

After Carnival - that has kept us quite busy lately - we've prepared this issue of our e-zine. This month, we're focusing on Easter celebration, quite a traditional one at Spain, that usually comes along with a plethora of special desserts like torrijas or leche frita. We've created a brand new section with those recipes, and more are on the way.

We're also proud to present you and exclusive: Penelope Casas' new book: La Cocina de Mama : The Great Home Cooking of Spain, enthusiastically praised by critics all over the world,... It's not available yet, but we're offering the opportunity of preordering it before it's released on May 22, 2005.


Just keep enjoying your Spanish Experience with us at


The sweet taste of Easter in Spain

Once the joy of Carnival has passed, Spain sinks enthusiastically into the spirituality and fervour of Easter. This traditional festivity, in commemoration of the death of Jesus Christ, fills tables with the most exquisite delicacies. Now is your chance to enjoy a unique, gastronomic Easter with one especially delicious protagonist: the sweets.

Food is a vital part of Spanish culture. Typical foods and dishes are just one more way for people to join in celebrations, festivities and get-togethers. The rich flavours of traditional sweets and desserts are a vital part of Easter. These are deep-rooted, traditional, simple family recipes, enjoyed by people all over Spain at this time of year.

You should definitely try torrijas at Easter. They are eaten all over Spain and consist of slices of bread soaked in milk, sugar and egg, fried in olive oil. According to what they are dipped in, and the way they are presented, there are other, delicious varieties: with wine, syrup, honey or sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. Monas de Pascua are another classic sweet, especially in Catalonia and on the Valencia coast. They are chocolate shapes which usually have a surprise inside. Children love them and in Catalonia it is traditional to give them to the little ones on Easter Monday.

Flores de Semana Santa are just as attractive on account of their unusual shape. They are large and delicate with a sweet, crunchy texture. If you happen to be in the Castile-Leon area, you will discover a delicious tradition on Easter Sunday: the hornazo. It is a big pie filled with things like egg, pork loin and ham. There is also a sweet version made with almonds, sugar, aniseed and egg.

Bartolillos from Madrid, rosquillas de Semana Santa (Easter doughnuts), leche frita (fried dessert with milk and eggs), pestiños (pastries with sesame and honey) and buñuelos (fried pastries) are other typical delicacies to be sampled at this time of year. At Easter time Spanish homes, cake shops and restaurants bring out their old recipes to prepare delicious sweets that are as good to look at as they are to eat. Make the most of these days to enjoy unique festivities in Spain, without forgetting, of course, to sample the exquisite delights to be found at table.


New recipes at

In the past days, we've included some new recipes on our Paella Recipes section:

  • Express Paella: Another recipe that uses a nontraditional paella method - the pressure cooker - to produce a meal quickly in an emergency. The guests that "just happenened to drop by" will never guess that this flavorful paella was prepared in under 15 minutes!
  • Mushroom Paella:Three varieties of mushrooms lend this exclusive mushroom paella recipe its distinctive taste and texture. Butter and Manchego cheese impart a creamy richness to the earthy rice, while the sherry, thyme, and basil add flavour and interest to the dish.

As a new addition to our site, we've created a Desserts Section, were we'll be presenting the best spanish dessert recipes. This month's new additions are the following:

  • Torrijas: a typical Easter dessert.
  • Leche frita: A dessert made of milk, egg and flour. A non-conventional dessert very easy do make!


Featured Spanish Products

This month, we're reviewing two of the most famous spanish products: Manchego Cheese an Cured Ham. These two single products are a must-have in all spanish tapas bars. If you enter an spanish bar and you don't know what to order with your beer or wine, just ask for some Jamon (ham) or Queso Manchego (Manchego cheese). You will surely discover why spaniards love tapas!

Manchego Cheese

Cured Ham (Jamón)

And don't forget to check out our new cookbook: Favourite Mediterranean Recipes!


New books

Williams Sonoma Barcelona: Authentic recipes Celebrating the Foods of the World (Williams-Sonoma Foods of the World)

An insider’s guide to the recipes, ingredients, and traditions that define international city cuisine, the Foods of the World series is the definitive cookbook collection for anyone passionate about food and travel. Richly photographed, with over 45 authentic recipes and in-depth culinary features, each book brings readers closer to the best eating experiences each city has to offer from a culinary authority Americans trust.
Barcelona is a city known for its innovative and dynamic culinary scene. From Tomato-Rubbed Bread to Fideuà to Crema Catalana—each brings the taste of Barcelona to your table.

Key Features:

  •  Recreate the rich heritage of Catalonian cuisine at home with Grilled Green Onions with Romesco Sauce or Stone-Cooked Lamb Chops with Herb Oil
  • Learn how the geographical location of Barcelona, between the Pyrenees mountains and the Mediterranean, has shaped the way the city eats, with favorites such as cured meats, olive oil, artisanal cheeses, wine, fresh seafood, and seasonal produce
  • Uncover some of Europe’s most traditional and contemporary dining experiences among Barcelona’s marvelous diversity of restaurants
 La Cocina de Mama : The Great Home Cooking of Spain

From Publishers Weekly
Though the plethora of tapas bars opening in cities around the country may be a step in the right direction toward popularizing Spanish cooking, it would be a grave injustice to deny Spain its culinary breadth beyond those tasty little dishes would be a grave injustice.

And while paella may be the sole Spanish comfort food most Americans can name, this may soon change thanks to Casas, who leads gastronomic tours of Spain and contributes to Gourmet and other publications, leading the way with books like this. She sheds light on a country that, culinarily speaking, has taken a backseat to France and Italy, and shares recipes for creating such previously unfamiliar Spanish specialties as Octopus with Paprika in Simmered Onions, and Batter-Fried Eggplant with Honey, Mint and Sesame Seeds. Divided into nine personally narrated chapters (plus a product source guide and introductions on regional Spanish wines, cooking methods and staples), this book will satiate those who've been searching for a savant's handbook to the Spanish kitchen.

Salads and sides abound, and Casas balances the remaining menu with varied meat, grain and fish recipes, many garlic-laden and tinged with red wine. Beware, though: many recipes, though drop-dead delicious, call for ample prep time (a few take two days to prepare) and plentiful patience. The end result, however, will help cooks create a worthwhile, more profound bond with both New and Old World Spanish cuisine. Color, b&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Advance Praise for La Cocina de Mamá

"The culinary innovation that the leading Spanish chefs have thrust upon the world over the past decade has been truly exhilarating. Now, with La Cocina de Mamá, Penelope Casas shows us where their influences come from—their mothers’ cooking! What a splendid and inspired work. Anyone who loves the exuberance and simplicity of Spanish cooking absolutely must have this sensational book."
—Charlie Trotter

"Penelope Casas has created a mouth-watering treasure trove of recipes straight from the heart and soul of Spain. You can not cook authentic Spanish without it."

—Frank Pellegrino, Author of Rao's Cookbook and Rao's Recipes from the Neighborhood

"Penelope has long been a guiding light for anyone doing Spanish cooking in America. In this book, she reveals some of the best-kept secrets of the Spanish kitchen, those of our mothers!"
—José Andrés, Bon Appetit's Chef of the Year for 2004

“Penelope has finally opened the door to one of the most delicious lesser known cuisines—Spanish home cooking! I can't wait to cook La Cocina de Mamá for my family and friends.”

—Jacques Pépin



And don't forget to check out our new cookbook: Favourite Mediterranean Recipes!

Kind regards,

Jordi Vallés

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