Author(s): Liliane Otal
This is a terrific full-colour guide to the traditional style of Spanish flat-slab grilling, with 150 great recipes. 'Plancha' is a Spanish word that literally translates as 'plate,' and refers to both a style and a method of cooking, using a metal slab heated over a gas flame. In Spain, planchas are widely used in tapas bars and restaurants to cook an incredible assortment of foods, from mussels to mushrooms and even desserts. In private homes, planchas are often installed in the middle of round tables, so that both the hosts and their guests can share in the cooking experience and no one is stuck in the kitchen. Prepared both indoors and out, plancha cooking is as delicious and suitable on a warm sunny day as it is on a chilly night. The popularity of plancha has even crossed the Spanish border into France, where many noted chefs, such as Alain Ducasse and Paul Bocuse, have adopted this way of cooking in their Paris restaurants. It's not just for the gourmet restaurants, however: planchas are incredibly easy to use over grills and stoves, with little mess. And - unlike with other methods of grilling - there is no chance of watching your meal go up in flames. In "Plancha", Liliane Otal shows how to buy and maintain a plancha as well as how to make more than 150 delicious recipes that are so simple and fast anyone can do them. The cooking time for nearly all of these recipes is under 20 minutes.
Liliane Otal has long split her time between France and Spain. She has written numerous Spanish, Italian, Moroccan, and Provencal cookbooks. Danielle McCumber is a writer and editor living in Chicago.