What do you want from a cookbook? Recipes? Of course. But I want more. I want to know about the cook, about the food and how it all came together.
I came across Tessa Kiros when I read a review about her first cookbook called 'Twelve' with recipes from Tuscany as cooked by Tuscians. The recipes were dived into 12 months according to their season...and gosh, that cookbook has been used in my house a lot. She is giving the reader a deep insight into her life (very travelled lady indeed) and how she cooks the food she loves. Her second book called 'Falling Cloudberries' was a collection of recipes she cooked while travelling. She lived almost everywhere - no wonder with a Greek-Cypriot dad and a Finnish mother - and the recipes cover a lifetime of food. I never got around to buy her third book 'Apples for Jam' which I have to rectify soon.
Anyway, I treated myself last week to her latest book called 'Piri Piri - Portugal found'. The photographs - as always - are a treat and the bookcover is so lovely again that you want them to have a special place on your shelf ;-). The recipes are divided into Essential Recipes (basics like piri piri oil, tomato sauce & bread), Petisco Plates (small bites), Starters & Soups, Mains & Sides and of course, Desserts & Cakes.
I will definitely make the piri piri oil as it can be used almost everywhere....salad dressing, to infuse risotto...etc. A lot of the recipes are focused on fish & seafood (what a surprise in Portugal ;-) but you can also find some unusual recipes like Coffee Steak (basically pan fry your steak and at the end of the cooking simply add a bit of cream and strong espresso). I will try this one (who is volunteering eating it??? ).
Again, this is book that is fun to read and the recipes are simply enough to follow and I didn't see an ingredient that is unknown or hard to find. Will keep you posted about my trials and errors cooking her recipes ...