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Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons: Enchanting Dishes from the Middle East, Mediterranean, and North Africa

de Diana Henry

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1963133,658 (4.17)7
In this culinary exploration of the Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa, Diana Henry has gathered together dishes that combine exotic flavours in ways long forgotten - or never discovered - in many Western kitchens. Colourful, aromatic and perfumed ingredients, from leathery pomegranates, with their insides bursting with ruby seeds, to flower-waters that allow you to drink in the scent of a garden, combine to bring an intoxicating whiff of the exotic to your table and pleasure to your kitchen. The core ingredients of these cuisines are increasingly available so dishes such as Chermoula-marinated Tuna, Fennel, Pomegranate and Feta Salad, and Lavender, Orange and Almond Cake are both delicious and accessible to cook.… (mais)
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A collection of recipes gathered from around the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa that provides something a little different from what we might be familiar with, as much from the way ingredients are combined as in the raw materials them self. The recipes are arranged more according to the underlying flavourings than their main ingredients, so there are chapters that centred on spices, herbs, fragrances et al. Each section has an interesting introduction, and the recipes that follow are offered usually one to a page, often accompanied by a full colour full page photograph of the dish. The recipes are well laid out with a clear list of ingredients and step by step instructions, and each has a short introduction that tells us something about the dish, what we should expect and what else we might be able to do with it. Very telling is the comment for the first recipe "Recipes should be guides rather than instructions set in stone, but in this case do what the recipe says . . .", which of course gives us license to play free with all the others, something that very much appeals to me.

The recipes sound very appetising, such as duck with pomegranate and walnut sauce; sausages and lentils with sweet and sour figs; aubergines with mint; chicken marinated in yoghurt with Georgian plum sauce; Moroccan lamb recipes including one with orange; chocolate, hazelnut and sherry cake with sherry-raisin cream; and many more.

The book is well produced, the typography (set in Perpetua for the body type - I do like it when they tell you what fonts are used) is good although I do find reading the introductory sections not so easy with the type set across the wide page. The index is sensibly arranged according to ingredients. Altogether this is a very appealing book. ( )
1 vote presto | Apr 22, 2012 |
I'm a sucker for a cookery book with beautiful pictures and narrative before the recipes and this is no exception. I made my preserved and pickled lemons from this book and want to try so many of the recipes I don't know quite where to start. ( )
1 vote c27858 | Oct 26, 2009 |
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In this culinary exploration of the Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa, Diana Henry has gathered together dishes that combine exotic flavours in ways long forgotten - or never discovered - in many Western kitchens. Colourful, aromatic and perfumed ingredients, from leathery pomegranates, with their insides bursting with ruby seeds, to flower-waters that allow you to drink in the scent of a garden, combine to bring an intoxicating whiff of the exotic to your table and pleasure to your kitchen. The core ingredients of these cuisines are increasingly available so dishes such as Chermoula-marinated Tuna, Fennel, Pomegranate and Feta Salad, and Lavender, Orange and Almond Cake are both delicious and accessible to cook.

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