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Thursday, October 29, 2009


 THE NEW PORTUGUESE TABLE (Clarkson Potter, 2009, 256 pages, ISBN
978-0-307-39441-5, $32.50 US hard covers) is by David Leite, a three-
time Beard Award winning writer and website publisher
( He's also a magazine writer with articles in
Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, et al. Notable logrollers endorsing
this book include Anthony Bourdain, Lynne Rosetto Kasper, the Lee
Brothers, and Paula Wolfert. This book is basically a collection of
updated Portuguese classics. Leite was taught by his Portuguese
grandmother to make deeply smoked sausages, use peppers and olive oil,
beans, tomatoes, garlic, and cilantro – as well as seafood. Then he
visited Portugal, and discovered that it had all changed. The cuisine
is lighter and makes use of more ingredients. Here are 100 re-invented
preps for the home cook. All 11 provinces are covered, as well as a
generalized pantry of Portuguese food (complete with a pronunciation
guide) that includes clams, chourico, various herbs and spices, kale,
lard, salt cod, turnip greens and more. He begins with acepipes
(appetizers) and continues with sopas, fish, poultry, carnes, breads,
eggs and veggies, and desserts. Preparations have their ingredients
listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no metric table of
equivalents. He has no real discussion on wines, just lists. The book
concludes with a listing of US sources.
Audience and level of use: home cooks and those who have traveled to
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: cilantro bread soup with
poached eggs; olive oil poached fresh cod with roasted tomato sauce;
Azorean garlic-roasted pork; sweet-sour carrots; cheese-stuffed pork
tenderloin; mini-lamb meatballs.
The downside to this book: the book is weighty because of the paper
needed for the photography.
The upside to this book: there's a good description of Portuguese
Quality/Price Rating: 89.

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