I would be completely remiss if I didn’t tell you about The New Portuguese Table. David Leite runs Leite’s Culinaria, a comprehensive website full of recipes, many of which can be viewed as excerpts to some of the most touted cookbooks. Not only does his site offer up these recipes, but each recipe posted is well-tested, ensuring that the recipe works as written and that everyone will be able to turn out a delicious final product. Trust me on this, as I’ve been one of their (many, many) recipe testers for over 4 years. I only know it’s been this long because when T and I first started dating, he found one of my reviews when he Googled me.
A quick look through my files shows that David started testing recipes for his cookbook well over 2 years ago. I was honored (and thrilled) when he asked if I would be interested in being a tester for the book. How often does that chance come along?
Dozens and dozens (and dozens) of recipes filtered through my kitchen, most of them sampled by T, sometimes presented to friends. Some of them worked the first time, others got their tweaks and final touches before they were deemed finished. We took pictures of our dishes to show each other, but none of them come close to the beauty of the cookbook photographer. Those photos would make me drool even if I didn’t already know how delicious the food was.
David was gracious enough to let us pass on dishes that made us squirm – I still don’t think I can handle raw squid – and often asked for suggestions if we felt something just wasn’t right.
Now, all the hard work has paid off into a beautiful cookbook full of stories and wonderful food. I’ve paged through it and it’s like a trip down memory lane for me. If Portuguese cooking has at all intrigued you (the only way I can describe it is like Spanish cooking, with a twist), David’s book will step you through it.
Do not fear the salt cod – it is far less scary once you soak it and incorporate it into a dish. Then it becomes tasty!
Thank you, David, for letting me be a part of your journey. It’s been a delicious path and I look forward to many return visits.
p.s. – if you read through his Acknowledgements page, you’ll find my name there. It’s a bit exciting (for me, at least!)
I bought the book and yes, it’s a beautiful cookbook. Especially like the stories included. Good for you for being a tester! Keep up the good work!
It really is a gorgeous book! And I love testing recipes – it forces you to try the ones you might otherwise skip.
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