Spain...A Culinary Road Trip

Spain...A Culinary Road Trip

by Mario Batali, Gwyneth Paltrow




From Mario Batali, superstar chef and author of Molto Italiano and Italian Grill, comes an eating tour throughout Spain with his friend Gwyneth Paltrow.

Spain...A Culinary Road Trip is the companion book to the prime-time public television series Spain...On The Road Again. The premise is simple: Mario Batali and Mark Bittman are single-minded, food-obsessed friends who are constantly on the lookout for the food, wine, and cooking that is unique to Spain—and in this series they will find it. Gwyneth Paltrow and the Spanish actress Claudia Bassols are eager to enjoy all the pleasures the country has to offer, and each pair will be lured into the worlds of the other.

The foursome take the ultimate road trip adventure, showcasing the pleasures of Spain, the country's regional cuisine, art, history, and culture, as they've never been seen before. Hundreds of gorgeous and candid photos, anecdotes, and more than seventy recipes from Mario appear in this scrapbook of the dream vacation through Spain.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061560934
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/21/2008
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 10.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Mario Batali is the James Beard Award-winning author of eight cookbooks, including Molto Batali, Molto Gusto, Molto Italiano, and Spain...A Culinary Road Trip, as well as the app Mario Batali Cooks! With a host of television shows to his name; fifteen restaurants; and Eataly, a fifty-thouasand-square-foot Italian marketplace in New York City's Flatiron District that he co-owns with his partner, Joe Bastianich, Mario Batali is one of the most recognized and most respected chefs working in America today. Mario splits his time between New York City's Greenwich Village and northern Michigan with his wife and their two sons.

Gwyneth Paltrow is an Academy Award-winning actress. She lives in New York City and London.

Read an Excerpt

Spain...A Culinary Road Trip


Serves 6 as a side dish or tapa

This is very good served with eggs fried in olive oil.


6 cups coarse dried bread crumbs 1/3 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, not peeled
½ pound Spanish chorizo, casings removed and cut into ½-inch dice
½ pound pancetta in one piece, cut into ½-inch dice
A large bunch of grapes
6 Roasted Red Peppers (recipe follows), peeled, seeded, and cut into wide strips


Put the bread crumbs in a bowl, sprinkle with just enough water to moisten, and cover with damp paper towels. Set aside for 2 hours, or until the bread is evenly moistened.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir until lightly browned and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chorizo and pancetta and cook, stirring, until the meat is lightly browned and starting to render its fat, about 8 minutes. Add the bread crumbs, mix thoroughly, and cook, stirring, until the crumbs are lightly browned. Serve with the grapes and roasted peppers (peel the garlic cloves if you like, or let your guests do it).


Serves 4

A fascinating blend of sweet and savory, these crepe-like pancakes, usually served as a snack, made me think of an American pancake-and-bacon breakfast. María was kind enough not only to show us how to make these, but also to make Gwyneth's without the bacon fat (but pork in my dessert makes me a very happy man).


2 cups all-purpose flour 1½ teaspooons kosher salt
1 cup chicken stock
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
About 2 tablespoons bacon fat or olive oil
Sugar for sprinkling


Whisk together the flour, salt, and stock in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in the eggs and milk. Let the batter stand for 30 minutes.

Heat a crepe pan or medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add just enough bacon fat to coat the bottom of the pan and heat until hot. Pour in ¼ cup batter, tilting the pan to cover the bottom evenly, and pour out any excess. Cook until golden brown on the first side, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip the pancake and cook until lightly browned on the second side. Remove from the pan, sprinkle with sugar, and roll up. Put on a platter, cover to keep warm, and repeat with the remaining batter. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Spain...A Culinary Road Trip. Copyright © by Mario Batali. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Spain...: A Culinary Road Trip 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
nemoman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book showed a lot of promise but ultimately failed for the most part, in that is neither a great travel narrative nor a great cookbook. I have watched the companion TV series, and even though it captures smart, intelligent people, visiting beautiful towns in Spain, and dining on wonderful food, it somehow lacks the spark that makes you want to stay involved.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If someone called me on this, I¿d have to delete this from my list of books read in 2009; I really didn¿t read it so much as browsed it. Mario is apparently some sort of famous chef (is he on tv, perhaps?) and Paltrow is along for the ride as photo candy. And there are lots of photos. And lots of recipes. A quick little trip to Spain this summer, with lots of great food. Free, via the public library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Skyler212 More than 1 year ago
The trio of Batali, Paltrow and Bittman provides a diverse and indepth special culinary treat - more than a cookbook. It is very much like taking a trip to Spain
Mike-B More than 1 year ago
What a great way to get a little Spanish culture/history and also get a 'flavor' for their cuisine. I lent the book to a relative and had trouble getting it back, there are some great recipes in it. I enjoyed having an American view on Spanish food. I just wish he would do the same to the various regions of Italy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful not just as a cookbook, but also as a travel guide. It not only includes good recipes, but also great pictures, places to eat and a general description of the places they visited in Spain.
SJWarvi More than 1 year ago
The presentation of recipes combined with traditions and photographs create a wonderful book that brings back memories of my trip to Spain. It was very difficult to find a recipe book in English during my trip so this is greatly valued and appreciated.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perhaps I am prejudiced after sitting through several episodes of the series where the participants blathered on about nothing and only Mario had anything at all of interest to say. The women were particularly bad and Bittman is a very unnattractive personality. Book reminded me of that bad experience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I admit that I have not watched the TV series, which perhaps changes my perspective. I hoped that this book would be a great hybrid between travel book and cook book to begin my planning for a trip to Spain. In my opinion, it was an interesting concept that just didn't work. The book's premise of following the famous chef, the publisher, and the two actresses around an eating tour of Spain was intriguing, but the novelty wore off after three chapters. I felt like I was learning more about their various travel schedules and road trip preferences (Gwyneth is flying home with her kids; Mario's favorite candy bar?) than gaining insight into the various regions and foods of Spain. The way the road trip evolved made learning the geography confusing, and the recipes, although authentic, seemed more focused on obtaining authentic Spanish ingredients than any culinary technique...On the whole I was disappointed, although the photos are gorgeous.
Amazingx2 More than 1 year ago
This book is better than the series because it gives more in depth material. It is a great companion guide to the DVD, really you should have both. There is a lot about the small towns of Spain that make it culturally enriching that you just don't get to see on the DVD. I would use it as a travel guide before I bought a lot of other guides. Wonderful!
MARIAESPANA More than 1 year ago
Being a native from Spain myself, I find that some books about Spanish culture and food, misrepresent the true nature of my country (or the myriad of "regions" inside Spain). A Culinary Road Trip is a great and wonderful exception! you read the book and look at the pictures can feel you are sitting in a "terraza" in a "Plaza Mayor" with a group of good friends.. just be sure you open a good Spanish wine to enrich your experience! y BIENVENIDOS A ESPANA!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It's really two books in one. A travel vision of Spain, along with wonderful cultural recipes. The photography says it all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The TV series and the book are both mouth-watering; you'll want to hop on a plane and visit some of these Spanish towns after reading some of the recipes and looking at the exquisite photos.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unforgettable recipies and photographs!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading through this book all you want to do is catch the next plane for Spain and drive around just like the author and his companions did.
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