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The New Portuguese Table

Cover of The New Portuguese Table

The New Portuguese Table

Exciting Flavors from Europe's Western Coast
Borrow Borrow

Winner of the IACP 2010 Julia Child Award for First Book

Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Spain, Portugal is today's hot-spot vacation destination, and world travelers are enthralled by the unique yet familiar cuisine of this country. The New Portuguese Table takes you on a culinary journey into the soul of this fascinating nation and looks at its 11 surprisingly different historical regions, as well as the island of Madeira and the Azores, and their food culture, typical dishes, and wines. This book also showcases Portugal's pantry of go-to ingredients, such as smoked sausages, peppers, cilantro, seafood, olive oil, garlic, beans, tomatoes, and bay leaves--all beloved by Americans and now combined in innovative ways.

In The New Portuguese Table, David Leite provides a contemporary look at the flavorful food of this gastronomic region, sharing both the beloved classics he remembers from cooking at his grandmother's side, such as Slowly Simmered White Beans and Sausage, as well as modern dishes defining the country today, like Olive Oil--Poached Fresh Cod with Roasted Tomato Sauce. With full-color photographs throughout and a contemporary perspective, The New Portuguese Table is the handbook to the exciting cuisine of Portugal.

From the Hardcover edition.

Winner of the IACP 2010 Julia Child Award for First Book

Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Spain, Portugal is today's hot-spot vacation destination, and world travelers are enthralled by the unique yet familiar cuisine of this country. The New Portuguese Table takes you on a culinary journey into the soul of this fascinating nation and looks at its 11 surprisingly different historical regions, as well as the island of Madeira and the Azores, and their food culture, typical dishes, and wines. This book also showcases Portugal's pantry of go-to ingredients, such as smoked sausages, peppers, cilantro, seafood, olive oil, garlic, beans, tomatoes, and bay leaves--all beloved by Americans and now combined in innovative ways.

In The New Portuguese Table, David Leite provides a contemporary look at the flavorful food of this gastronomic region, sharing both the beloved classics he remembers from cooking at his grandmother's side, such as Slowly Simmered White Beans and Sausage, as well as modern dishes defining the country today, like Olive Oil--Poached Fresh Cod with Roasted Tomato Sauce. With full-color photographs throughout and a contemporary perspective, The New Portuguese Table is the handbook to the exciting cuisine of Portugal.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    Green Olive Dippatê de azeitonas verdes
    makes about 1½ cups

    When I visited A Bolota, a lovely restaurant perched on the sweeping plains of the eastern Alentejo, this dip was brought to our table. As I nattered away with friends, I dipped, spread, and nibbled, until I realized I alone had eaten all of it. Later, when I became friendly with the cook, Ilda Vinagre, I watched her make it and was flummoxed when she whipped up its silky base: Milk "Mayonnaise" (page 237)--whole milk whirred into a smooth consistency with the addition of vegetable oil. I serve this as a dip with a platter of crudités, alongside crackers or bread, or, sometimes, as a topping for grilled fish.

    Atenção •Don't make this in a food processor. The bowls of most processors are too large to allow the scant amount of ingredients to whip up to the right consistency. A small narrow blender, or a mini chop or handheld blender, works best.

    ⅓ cup whole milk
    6 oil-packed anchovy fillets
    1 small garlic clove, smashed
    Leaves and tender stems of 6 fresh cilantro sprigs
    Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
    ¾ cup vegetable oil
    ⅔ cup pitted green olives such as manzanilla, rinsed quickly if particularly salty, roughly chopped

    1.Add the milk, anchovies, garlic, two thirds of the cilantro, and the pepper to a blender and pulse to combine. With the motor running, pour the oil in what the Portuguese call a fio, or fine thread. Keep whirring until the oil is incorporated and the mixture thickens, 30 to 40 seconds.
    2.Scrape the dip into a serving bowl and stir in the olives. Mince the remaining cilantro, sprinkle on top, and serve.

    From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author-
  • DAVID LEITE, a Portuguese citizen, is a James Beard award-winning writer and the founder of the popular website www.leitesculinaria.com, a hub for recipes and food journalism.

Reviews-
  • Maricel E. Presilla, MiamiHerald.com "Beautifully illustrated, The New Portuguese Table is a smart, delicious and highly personal travelogue through both memory and terrain."
  • Elissa Altman, The Huffington Post "In Leite's The New Portuguese Table, the author performs a multitude of feats: first, he provides [a] culinary travel guide to the country of his ancestors...introduces, with great specificity, a multitude of regional delicacies...and finally presents recipes ranging from the most remarkably parsimonious...to the more extravagant and modern. Leite's book is a stunning passport to a food and a people virtually unknown to most Americans, even though they are only five hours away from our mainland."
  • Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) "This is the perfect cookbook for lovers of salt cod, and it just might be the perfect cookbook for those who dislike the mild, Atlantic fish. Leite, a three-time James Beard award winner and proprietor of the Web site LeitesCulinaria.com, offers a wealth of recipes for the brackish dried fish, including a traditional version of pastéis de bacalhau (salt cod fritters) and a newfangled mini salt cod sandwich that is the Portuguese equivalent of McDonald's Filet-O-Fish. By highlighting the eclectic ingredients and modern techniques that define the country today, Leite brings the often-overlooked foods of Portugal center stage. This fully illustrated book begins with an extensive glossary of Portuguese staples, plus a port primer and an introduction to Madeira, and ends with a chapter devoted to workhorse sundries such as fiery piri-piri paste and smoked paprika oil. Along the way home cooks are introduced to a delectable jumble of dishes that range from classic to contemporary. A comforting adaptation of the fabled stone soup is enlivened with spicy chouriço sausage; simple-yet-elegant duck breasts are sauced with white port and black olives; and a dip made with anchovies, green olives, cilantro, and whole milk is surprisingly harmonious. The desserts are comparatively docile–molasses cookies, baked custard tarts–but the recipe variation for fatias douradas (Portuguese sweet bread French toast) is truly over-the-top. (Aug.)"
  • Susan Hurst, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH (Library Review)
    "If your finances don't permit a trip abroad this year, perhaps this cookbook will provide some comfort–though it might just reinforce your urge to hit the sunny beaches of the Algarve. Leite, a noted Portuguese American food writer and publisher of the James Beard Award-winning web site Leite's Culinaria (www.leitesculinaria.com), begins by outlining Portugal's diverse regional cuisines and then describes traditional ingredients. From there it is a straightforward listing of appetizers, soups, fish, meat, poultry, vegetable/egg/rice dishes, breads, sweets, liqueurs, and condiments, with approximately 150 recipes overall. Each recipe begins with a paragraph relating its background, which adds to the book's homey feel. The recipes, many inspired by Leite's memories of his grandmother's cooking, are designed for the home cook and generally don't require exotic ingredients, although a supplier for salt cod may be necessary. A list of sources is provided for the few hard-to-find items, and color photos add to the presentation. Full of delicious-sounding recipes, this title is sure to appeal to adventurous cooks wanting to try a new ethnic cuisine and will also be popular with Portuguese American communities."
  • Lynne Rosetto Kasper and Sally Swift, authors of The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper "This book begs the question why, in heaven's name, have we ignored Portugal for so long? David Leite's Portuguese dishes practically stand up and salute with flavor. And he is smart about the Portugal he portrays. The temptation is to look only to the past and the traditional, but David knows cuisines are restless, ever shifting beings. He gifts us with the land of his family as it was and as it is now. We'll be cooking from this book for a long time."
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Exciting Flavors from Europe's Western Coast
David Leite
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