The New Book of Middle Eastern Food

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  • 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 taginesFrom 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.
  • Author:
    Claudia Roden
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    The New Book of Middle Eastern Food
    Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.
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Recent User Reviews

  1. chefamos
    "A Classic for Middle Eastern & North African Cookery"
    Purchase Date:
    Jan 23, 1985
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    Pros - Totally enjoyable read; easy recipes, clearly written; well organized contents
    Cons - Some ingredients (some) may be difficult for many folks to find in a local store - but are worth seeking out
    Claudia Rodan is a culinary giant.  Her books, Mediterranean Cookery and The Good Food of Italy - Region by Region are must-haves for anyone who loves elegant, yet down to earth cooking. 

    The New Book of Middle Eastern Food is an magnum opus, comprehensive, yet so simply presented that I believe a cook with no familiarity with the region or cuisines would set a splendid table on the first attempt.  And there is something for everyone in its pages.

    The dishes of the Middle East (from Turkey, through Syria, Lebanon and Jordan) and North Africa (Morocco to Egypt, along the coast), to the very elegant and refined cuisine of Iran (Persia) are enormously varied, country to country, yet they share common characteristics that should appeal to most cooks of every level of proficiency.  They all are comprehensively covered in The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.    

    Most cooking is done slowly; meats can be cooked to 'falling off the bone' perfection; a myriad of vegetables in countless permutations are prepared very cleanly, never overly cooked, quite often raw; flavors and aromas by the clever use of spices, perfumes, even woods, evoke a romantic sensuality unfamiliar to most of the rest of the world's cuisines.

    This cookbook lays out in easily digestible (pardon me) detail the how and why of Middle Eastern food.

    Ms Rodan is so perfectly organized that a vegan, a vegetarian, or an omnivore will have absolutely no difficulty finding scores of ideas for their kitchens.  This is, contrary to taste and appearance, a deceptively simple cuisine, extremely well presented.  The recipe organization is outstanding.  Sure general cookbooks run from appetizers to desserts.  Nothing new there.  What is new is the placement of ongoing sidebars detailing explanations of spice blends and their uses, of anecdotes, and brief, often very humorous stories taken from Middle Eastern lore.  With it's 19 page index of recipes, well, if it's not listed here, as they say, you probably don't need it. In this day and age, we all have friends and guests who are tied to specialized diets.  You, my cooking friend, will find many, many wonderful and exciting recipes to thrill virtually any diner in the pages of Claudia Rodan's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.  


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  1. ishbel