Barcelona Cookbook Serves Up a Delicious Martiniby Larry Cox on Nov. 08, 2010, under Uncategorized
The Barcelona Cookbook: A Celebration of Food, Wine, and Life by Sasa Mahr-Batuz and Andy Pforzheimer with Mary Goodbody (Andrews McMeel, $29.99)
This cookbook is a wonderful mix of the familiar and not so familiar. For example, one of Tucson’s favorite desserts, Flan, and the more obscure Warm Octopus Salad with Fingerling Potatoes and Smoked Paprika.
Sasa Mahr-Batuz, a native of Argentine, has been in the restaurant since 1993. Chef Andy Pforzheimer has developed restaurants in France, California, and New York City. Both men live in Connecticut. In this new collection, both share the delicious dishes and drinks that have been them the biggest Spanish restaurant group in the United States.
The recipes in the cookbook are not as difficult as you might suspect. In fact, even a novice cook can re-create in the family kitchen what world-class restaurants do every night of the week. The featured recipes are as casual or elaborate as you wish.
The cookbook, which is illustrated with the inviting photography of John Blais, is divided into five main chapters: Cocktails & Wine; Cold Tapas,; Hot Tapas; Main Courses and Party Dishes; and Desserts. In addition there are sections devoted to sources, metric conversions and equivalents.
The two authors opened their first restaurant in 1996. From the very beginning, they attempted to define what was authentically Spanish in food. The name Barcelona was chosen because they wanted to offer the topas experience and feature a wide variety of Mediterranean food and wine. Since the city of Barcelona is a cosmopolitan, pan-European city, their restaurant would reflect that same sassy attitude.
Two recipes were tested from “The Barcelona Cookbook,” a classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, and, since last week’s election gave me a headache, a bracing White Peach Martini – so good I had three.
White Peach Martini
2 oz Svedka Clementine vodka
1 oz peach brandy
1 oz DeKuyper Peachtree schnapps
2 Tbs white peach puree
1 thin slice fresh white peach
Pour the vodka, brandy, schnapps and puree into a shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake 10 to 12 times and strain into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish the cocktail with a slice of white peach and serve.
Note: peach puree is available at some liquor stores and especially markets. If you can’t find it or would prefer to make you own, mash a very ripe, peeled white peach to puree.