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Middle Eastern Cooking


Jerusalem: A Cookbook

Jerusalem: A Cookbook Lowest new price: $19.42
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Author: Yotam Ottolenghi
Brand: Random House

A collection of 120 recipes exploring the flavors of Jerusalem from the New York Times bestselling author of Plenty, one of the most lauded cookbooks of 2011.

In Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi explore  the vibrant cuisine of their home city—with its diverse Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities. Both men were born in Jerusalem in the same year—Tamimi on the Arab east side and Ottolenghi in the Jewish west. This stunning cookbook offers 120 recipes from their unique cross-cultural perspective, from inventive vegetable dishes to sweet, rich desserts. With five bustling restaurants in London and two stellar cookbooks, Ottolenghi is one of the most respected chefs in the world; in Jerusalem, he and Tamimi have collaborated to produce their most personal cookbook yet.

Featured Recipes from Jerusalem

Fattoush
Click here for the recipe for Na'ama's Fattoush [PDF]
Spiced Cookies
Click here for the recipe for Spiced Cookies [PDF]
Stuffed Eggplant
Click here for the recipe for Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts [PDF]

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Ottolenghi: The Cookbook

Ottolenghi: The Cookbook Lowest new price: $17.94
Lowest used price: $21.22
List price: $35.00
Author: Yotam Ottolenghi
Brand: Random House

Available for the first time in an American edition, this debut cookbook, from bestselling authors Yotam Ottolenghi  and Sami Tamimi of Plenty and Jerusalem, features 140 recipes culled from the popular Ottolenghi restaurants and inspired by the diverse culinary traditions of the Mediterranean.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s four eponymous restaurants—each a patisserie, deli, restaurant, and bakery rolled into one—are among London’s most popular culinary destinations. Now available for the first time in an American edition and updated with US measurements throughout, this debut cookbook from the celebrated, bestselling authors of Jerusalem  and Plenty features 140 recipes culled from the popular Ottolenghi restaurants and inspired by the diverse culinary traditions of the Mediterranean.

The recipes reflect the authors’ upbringings in Jerusalem yet also incorporate culinary traditions from California, Italy, and North Africa, among others. Featuring abundant produce and numerous fish and meat dishes, as well as Ottolenghi’s famed cakes and breads, Ottolenghi invites you into a world of inventive flavors and fresh, vibrant cooking.

Featured Recipes from Ottolenghi

Figs with Young Pecorino and Honey
Download the recipe for Figs with Young Pecorino and Honey
Pistachio and Rosewater Meringues
Download the recipe for Pistachio and Rose Water Meringues

 

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Olives, Lemons & Za'atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking

Olives, Lemons & Za'atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking Lowest new price: $18.58
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List price: $29.95
Author: Rawia Bishara

Rawia, in Arabic, means storyteller. And that is what I am. I tell the stories of my life’s journey, culture, and family through my cooking. A delicious meal is the greatest companion to the memories we cherish most. I was born into a food-loving Palestinian-Arab family in Nazareth, a beautiful town in the southern Galilee. Though the words “organic,” “locavore,” and “sustainable” were unknown then, my parents’ approach qualified on all counts. My respect for the sources of food, how it is grown and prepared, originates in my early years at home.

My grandmother had ceramic urns filled with fruity olive oil, pressed from the trees on her family’s land picked by my aunts and uncles. My mother, too, made her own olive oil, and used the remaining “crude” oil to make soap; she also distilled her own vinegar, sun-dried her own herbs and fruits, made fresh batches of goat cheese, as well as sweet wine from our vineyards, and jarred jewel-colored jams from the bounty of the local orchards.


After moving to New York, I opened my restaurant Tanoreen to honor my mother and her imaginative cooking as well as the rich Middle Eastern gastronomic culture that is rarely experienced outside the region. Tanoreen is unique because it showcases Middle Eastern home cooking as I experienced it growing up. The 135 recipes in this book celebrate tradition and embrace change. I cook without rigidly following recipes, though I do respect tradition. My dishes are based on our culture’s recipes that are flexible enough to accommodate both adventurous and conservative contemporary palates.


Organized by Breakfasts, Mezze, Salads, Soups and Stews, Main Courses (including vegetarian, fish, chicken, lamb and beef), Sides, Pickles and Sauces, and Desserts, in each chapter I maintain the authenticity of a dish, re-creating it as it has been made for generations; but sometimes I might opt to experiment a bit, to make the recipe more contemporary, perhaps adding a spice or offering a few shortcuts. My favorite examples of these are my preparation of Brussels Sprouts with Panko (and tahini), Spice Rubbed Braised Lamb Shank (marinated in ginger and rose buds), Tanoreen Kafta Roll, (a reconstructed classic) or Eggplant Napoleon (baba ghanouge layered between crisp eggplant and topped with basil and tomatoes). A dish like Egyptian Rice with Lamb and Pine Nuts shows this cookbook goes beyond Nazareth, and is more of a bible of Middle Eastern food, sharing my culinary journey from Nazareth to New York, with many stops in between.

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Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies

Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies Lowest new price: $33.00
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List price: $54.95
Author: Najmieh Batmanglij

Completely redesigned for today's generation of cooks and food enthusiasts, the 25th Anniversary Edition of Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies by Najmieh Batmanglij provides a treasure trove of recipes, along with an immersive cultural experience for those seeking to understand this ancient and timeless cuisine. This edition is a more user-friendly edition of the award-winning and critically acclaimed cookbook series which began in 1986. Food of Life provides 330 classical and regional Iranian recipes as well as an introduction to Persian art, history, and culture. The book's hundreds of full color photographs are intertwined with descriptions of ancient and modern Persian ceremonies, poetry, folktales, travelogue excerpts and anecdotes. The 2011 Edition of Food of Life is a labor of love. The book began in exile after the Iranian Revolution of 1979 as a love letter to Batmanglij's children. Today, as accomplished adults in their own fields, her two sons, Zal and Rostam, encouraged her to redesign the book for their generation.

Food of Life propels Persian cooking into the 21st Century, even as it honors venerable traditions and centuries of artistic expression. It is the result of 30 years of collecting, testing and adapting authentic and traditional Persian recipes for the American kitchen. Most of its ingredients are readily available throughout the U.S. enabling anyone from a master chef to a novice to reproduce the refined tastes, textures, and beauty of Persian cuisine. Food-related pieces from such classics as the 10th century Book of Kings, and 1,001 Nights to the miniatures of Mir Mosavvar and Aq Mirak, from the poetry of Omar Khayyam and Sohrab Sepehri to the humor of Mulla Nasruddin are all included. Each recipe is presented with steps that are logical and easy to follow. Readers learn how to simply yet deliciously cook rice, the jewel of Persian cooking, which, when combined with a little meat, fowl, or fish, vegetables, fruits, and herbs, provides the perfect balanced diet.

ABOUT THE BOOK'S TITLE
Food of Life,
the title of the book, comes from the Persian words nush-e jan, literally "food of life"--a traditional wish in Iran that a dish will be enjoyed. For the updated 1993 edition the title was changed to New Food of Life. Now, for the 25th anniversary edition the title returns to its original name, Food of Life.

The full-color Food of Life 25th Anniversary Edition contains 50% more pages than its 2009 predecessor and special added features:
*New Recipes adapted from Sixteenth-Century Persian cookbooks
*Added vegetarian section for most recipes
*Comprehensive dictionary of all ingredients
*A glance at a few thousand years of the history of Persian Cooking
*Master recipes with photos illustrating the steps.
*Color photos of most recipes with tips on presentation
*Updated section on Persian stores and Internet suppliers
*Fahrenheit and Centigrade temperatures for all recipes
*Choices for cooking recipes such as kuku in oven or on stovetop.
*Encourages use of seasonal and local ingredients from farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) sources or one's own backyard

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The New Persian Kitchen

The New Persian Kitchen Lowest new price: $12.43
Lowest used price: $12.49
List price: $24.99
Author: Louisa Shafia
Brand: Ten Speed Press

This luscious and contemporary take on the alluring cuisine of Iran from cookbook author Louisa Shafia features 75 recipes for both traditional Persian dishes and modern reinterpretations using Middle Eastern ingredients.

In The New Persian Kitchen, acclaimed chef Louisa Shafia explores her Iranian heritage by reimagining classic Persian recipes from a fresh, vegetable-focused perspective. These vibrant recipes demystify Persian ingredients like rose petals, dried limes, tamarind, and sumac, while offering surprising preparations for familiar foods such as beets, carrots, mint, and yogurt for the busy, health-conscious cook. The nearly eighty recipes—such as Turmeric Chicken with Sumac and Lime, Pomegranate Soup, and ice cream sandwiches made with Saffron Frozen Yogurt and Cardamom Pizzelles—range from starters to stews to sweets, and employ streamlined kitchen techniques and smart preparation tips. A luscious, contemporary take on a time-honored cuisine, The New Persian Kitchen makes the exotic and beautiful tradition of seasonal Persian cooking both accessible and inspiring.

Featured Recipe from The New Persian Kitchen: Turmeric Chicken with Sumac and Lime

Turmeric Chicken
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 juicy limes, halved
  • Sumac, for garnish
Directions

In a small bowl, mix the turmeric with 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with the spice mixture, turning to coat both sides.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Brown the chicken well on both sides, about 7 minutes per side. Pour in the water, then add the garlic, stirring it into the water. Bring the water to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and cover. Braise the chicken for 25 minutes, until the inside is opaque. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, turn up the heat to high, and reduce the cooking liquid for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until it’s slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and pour the sauce over the chicken.

Dust the chicken with sumac and pepper, garnish with lime halves, and serve.

Featured Recipe from The New Persian Kitchen: Saffron Corn Soup

Saffron Corn Soup
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 2 yellow onions, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 6 large ears corn, shucked
  • 3 dried limes, soaked in hot water to cover for 15 minutes
  • 6 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron, ground and steeped in 1 tablespoon hot water
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Directions

Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat and cook the onions for about 10 minutes, until they start to brown. Add the turmeric and corn. Pierce the limes with a knife or fork and add them to the pot along with their soaking water. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until the corn is just tender.

Squeeze the limes against the side of the pot with a long spoon to extract their concentrated flavor before removing them from the soup. Blend half of the soup in a blender, then return it to the pot. Add the saffron and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add lemon juice to taste, and serve.

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The Food of Morocco

The Food of Morocco Lowest new price: $28.58
Lowest used price: $25.12
List price: $45.00
Author: Paula Wolfert

“A cookbook by Paula Wolfert is cause for celebration. Ms. Wolfert may be America’s most knowledgeable food person and her books are full of insight, passion and brilliance.”
—Anthony Dias Blue, CBS Radio, NY

“I think she’s one of the finest and most influential food writers in this country…one of the leading lights in contemporary gastronomy.”
—Craig Claiborne

Paula Wolfert, the undisputed queen of Mediterranean cooking, provides food lovers with the definitive guide to The Food of Morocco. Lavishly photographed and packed with tantalizing recipes to please the modern palate, The Food of Morocco provides helpful preparation techniques for chefs, home cooks, and any serious student of the culinary arts and culture. This is the perfect companion to Wolfert’s classic, Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco—a 2008 inductee into the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame—and fans of Claudia Roden, Elizabeth David, Martha Rose Schulman, and Poopa Dweck will be delighted by this extraordinary culinary journey across this colorful and exhilarating land.

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The Book Of Yogurt

The Book Of Yogurt Lowest new price: $3.90
Lowest used price: $3.40
List price: $16.99
Author: Sonia Uvezian

The internationally acclaimed The Book of Yogurt offers more than 300 flavor-packed recipes ranging from hearty peasant fare to elegant creations. Sonia Uvezian, an Armenian born and raised in Lebanon, expands yogurt beyond the narrow limitations of desserts and snack food and incorporates it into an impressive array of international dishes, among them South American Pumpkin Soup, Balkan Moussaka, Russian Beef Stroganov, and Caribbean Papaya Frappé. Also included is a section on making yogurt, along with outstanding recipes for frozen yogurt.

A genuine contribution to culinary literature, this indispensable guide will take its readers on a voyage of discovery that will inspire yogurt lovers to new gastronomic heights as well as create a whole new following for this guardian of good health.

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Tagines & Couscous: Delicious Recipes for Moroccan One-Pot Cooking

Tagines & Couscous: Delicious Recipes for Moroccan One-Pot Cooking Lowest new price: $14.57
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List price: $24.95
Author: Ghillie Basan

Tagines form the basis of traditional Moroccan cooking. These hearty casseroles are cooked and often served in an elegant, specially-designed cooking vessel, the tagine. In this collection of recipes you will find some of the best-loved classics. A chapter on Traditional Lamb Tagines includes the sumptuous Lamb Tagine with Dates, Almonds, and Pistachios. Also included are less traditional but equally delicious recipes for Beef, Kefta, and Sausage Tagines. Try a Beef Tagine with Sweet Potatoes, Peas, and Ginger; or a Chorizo Tagine with Lentils and Fenugreek, Lighter recipes for Chicken and Duck Tagines include a tangy Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon, Green Olives, and Thyme. Ideas for Fish and Seafood dishes include a Creamy Shellfish Tagine with Fennel and Spicy Harissa. Vegetable Tagines make satisfying and economical meals. Try a Tagine of Artichokes, Potatoes, Peas, and Saffron. A chapter devoted to Couscous Dishes provides an essential recipe for Plain, Buttery Couscous, as well as ideas for couscous-based dishes, such as Green Couscous with a Spring Broth; and Couscous Tfaia with Beef. Finally, Salads and Vegetable Side Dishes are often served alongside tagines to balance the flavors. Recipes to try include Preserved Lemon and Tomato Salad with Capers; and Honey-glazed Pumpkin with Spices.

. Featuring over 50 foolproof recipes, this book is the perfect introduction to the fabulous cuisine fo Morocco.

. Beautiful location photography by Martin Brigdale and Peter Cassidy.

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The New Book of Middle Eastern Food

The New Book of Middle Eastern Food Lowest new price: $19.09
Lowest used price: $16.12
List price: $35.00
Author: Claudia Roden

In this updated and greatly enlarged edition of her Book of Middle Eastern Food, Claudia Roden re-creates a classic. The book was originally published here in 1972 and was hailed by James Beard as "a landmark in the field of cookery"; this new version represents the accumulation of the author's thirty years of further extensive travel throughout the ever-changing landscape of the Middle East, gathering recipes and stories.

Now Ms. Roden gives us more than 800 recipes, including the aromatic variations that accent a dish and define the country of origin: fried garlic and cumin and coriander from Egypt, cinnamon and allspice from Turkey, sumac and tamarind from Syria and Lebanon, pomegranate syrup from Iran, preserved lemon and harissa from North Africa. She has worked out simpler approaches to traditional dishes, using healthier ingredients and time-saving methods without ever sacrificing any of the extraordinary flavor, freshness, and texture that distinguish the cooking of this part of the world.

Throughout these pages she draws on all four of the region's major cooking styles:
        -        The refined haute cuisine of Iran, based on rice exquisitely prepared and embellished with a range of meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts
        -        Arab cooking from Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan--at its finest today, and a good source for vegetable and bulgur wheat dishes
        -        The legendary Turkish cuisine, with its kebabs, wheat and rice dishes, yogurt salads, savory pies, and syrupy pastries
        -        North African cooking, particularly the splendid fare of Morocco, with its heady mix of hot and sweet, orchestrated to perfection in its couscous dishes and tagines

From the tantalizing mezze--those succulent bites of filled fillo crescents and cigars, chopped salads, and stuffed morsels, as well as tahina, chickpeas, and eggplant in their many guises--to the skewered meats and savory stews and hearty grain and vegetable dishes, here is a rich array of the cooking that Americans embrace today. No longer considered exotic--all the essential ingredients are now available in supermarkets, and the more rare can be obtained through mail order sources (readily available on the Internet)--the foods of the Middle East are a boon to the home cook looking for healthy, inexpensive, flavorful, and wonderfully satisfying dishes, both for everyday eating and for special occasions.

Claudia Roden has updated and expanded her popular 1968 cookbook for a more savvy and knowledgeable audience. While still filled with old favorites, the third edition acknowledges food processors and other handy kitchen tools, as well as this generation's preference for lower-fat recipes. Not that every recipe is changed; many are not, but Roden does attempt not to rely too much on butter and oils.

Begin your meal with mezze, derived from the Arabic t'mazza, meaning "to savor in little bites." Try Cevisli Biber (Roasted Pepper and Walnut Paste) spread on warm pita bread. Serve with Salata Horiatiki (Greek Country Salad) and then move on to a main dish of Roast Fish with Lemon and Honeyed Onions or Lamb Tagine with Artichokes and Fava Beans. The cookbook wouldn't be complete without sections on rice, couscous, and bulgur--try Addis Polow (Rice with Lentils and Dates) or Kesksou Bidaoui bel Khodra (Beber Couscous with Seven Vegetables). Finish with a traditional dessert like Orass bi Loz (Almond Balls).

Mixed in with the recipes are Roden's personal experiences as a cook and recipe archivist, and Middle Eastern tales that illustrate the history of a particular recipe or food group. "It was once believed olive oil could cure any illness except the one by which a person was fated to die," Roden writes. "People still believe in its beneficial qualities and sometimes drink it neat when they feel anemic of tired." She also includes a detailed introduction to the terrain, history, politics, and society of the Middle East so her readers can more fully understand why the cuisine has evolved the way it has. "Cooking in the Middle East is deeply traditional and nonintellectual," she says, "an inherited art." It's our good fortune to inherit such a rich tradition. --Dana Van Nest

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Mourad: New Moroccan

Mourad: New Moroccan Lowest new price: $19.99
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List price: $40.00
Author: Mourad Lahlou

A soulful chef creates his first masterpiece

What Mourad Lahlou has developed over the last decade and a half at his Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant is nothing less than a new, modern Moroccan cuisine, inspired by memories, steeped in colorful stories, and informed by the tireless exploration of his curious mind. His book is anything but a dutifully “authentic” documentation of Moroccan home cooking. Yes, the great classics are all here—the basteeya, the couscous, the preserved lemons, and much more. But Mourad adapts them in stunningly creative ways that take a Moroccan idea to a whole new place. The 100-plus recipes, lavishly illustrated with food and location photography, and terrifically engaging text offer a rare blend of heat, heart, and palate.

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