Simone and Ines Ortega's 1,080 Recipes is being positioned as the Spanish Joy of Cooking and has been published by Phaidon Press, which brought you The Silver Spoon, a similarly comprehensive compendium of Italian recipes.
In her thoughtful review of 1,080 Recipes on Slate, Lisa Abend observed that this useful book will disappoint anyone hoping to capture the Iberian romance of travel brochures or who dreams of dining at El Bulli. This collection doesn't fetishize Spanish food.
It instead presents the food a Spanish person might make at home. In this, it is genuinely similar to Joy. This is largely straightforward food. The authors don't hide the influence of French cuisine and aren't shy about calling for shortcuts such as bouillon cubes and precooked pasta, and the translated version even suggests Smithfield ham in a few recipes—creating presimplified shopping lists for an American audience.
But for all its basic housewifery, there are some interesting dishes that may be unfamiliar to the American palate. With a terrific section on offal (here referred to as "variety meats") and several recipes for salt cod, there is a level of exoticism that will satisfy the armchair culinary tourist.
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 11 ounces salt cod fillet, soaked 12 hours (change your soaking water at least 4 times and rinse both the fish and the bowl when changing)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- Triangles of toasted bread
Make olive oil-based Bechamel sauce: Heat the oil in a pan and stir in the flour. Gradually stir in the milk, a little at a time, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add salt to taste and simmer constantly over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes.
Drain the cod and remove any skin and bones and flake the flesh. Put it into a pan, pour in water to cover, and bring just to a boil. Remove pan from the heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain the cod and process to a puree in a food processor or blender. Stir the cod into the bechamel sauce and then stir in the cream, and heat through gently. Serve immediately, garnished with toasted bread triangles.