Notes on Recipes
A large portion of this website is recipes. Not unusual given that I love to cook, love the food of Asturias, and there is little in the way of cookbooks covering this part of Spain. I write my recipes primarily for an American audience, but not entirely in the way you might be used to if you are habituated to cookbooks in the States that are aimed at home cooks. Here I aim to provide some helpful hints and explanations for the home cook tackling my recipes.
Weights and Measures
Volumetric measures are the devil. I do not use them. You should not use them. One cup of salt can weigh twice as much as a cup of salt from a different brand. This is no way to live your life, and it is certainly no way to cook.
Recipe measurements on this site are in metric weights or liquid volumes. Where appropriate, I have provided US Customary weight equivalents, but I recommend you look up any unfamiliar equivalents.
I try very hard to make sure that I either use widely available ingredients, or when I simply cannot do so, to include information about how and where to find Asturian or Spanish products.
If you must have the authentic Asturian product for your own satisfaction, I maintain a list of Asturian Food Suppliers in the United States.
For all of my baking recipes, I include the type of flour I use. The “number” of the flour I use is the Spanish numbering system. Below is a chart of how to convert that to your local flour labeling system. If you do not find the equivalent you are looking for, let me know so I can add it.
|100% Whole Wheat||Harina Integrale 150||Wholewheat flour||Wholemeal Flour||Vollkorn 1600||Farine Intègral 150|
|85% Whole Wheat||110||First clear flour||Brown flour||1050||110|
|High Gluten Flour||80||High gluten bread flour||Strong bread flour||812||80|
|All-Purpose Flour||55||All-purpose flour||Plain flour||550||55|
|Pastry Flour||45||Pastry flour||Patent flour||405||45|
Pimentón – If you can’t find “Spanish Pimentón”or “Pimentón de la Vera”, fear not. Literally any “Smoked Paprika” that isn’t labeled “hot” is perfect as a substitute.
Pinch of Salt – Salt only adds a “salty” flavor to foods in rather large quantities. Up until that point, salt acts as a flavor intensifier and enhancer. This is doubly true for dessert recipes, where the other ingredients can have a tendency to get lost behind a wall of sweet flavors. Salt helps to preserve the intended balance of flavors. There is absolutely no reason to skip or substitute this ingredient. Sorry. Cut salt out of your diet somewhere else.
Salt Conversion Factor - Jill Santopietro did good work for Chowhound ((RIP) and I'll summarize her research for the now disappeared expose on salt:
1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt = roughly 1 1/4 teaspoons Morton's kosher salt = roughly 1 3/4 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt