If you read this fabulous little website frequently, you probably know by now that I am a complete and total Spainophile (yes I know that's not a real word, but I couldn't find the Spanish equivalent to the French loving Francophile). After living in Andalucia for two years, what can I say? I love all things Spanish, including the food. I have quite the collection of Spanish cookbooks, however my favorite is The Cuisines Of Spain: Exploring Regional Home Cooking by Teresa Barrenechea. I received this book as a gift from my godfather and have made lots of successful, authentic tasting dishes that take me back to the balmy nights and long, lazy afternoons. The empanada dough is flaky and browns perfectly, the classic patatas bravas tapa is the best recipe I've tried, and the gambas al ajilio is succulent and garlicy.
I especially enjoy this book for its beautiful photography of the Spanish countryside, detailed descriptions of the origins of the recipes, and Barrenechea's personal stories that relate to each dish. If you are interested in learning the secrets of a genuine Spanish mother, I highly recommend this book.