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How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking Hardcover – October 28, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Psilakis, highly acclaimed chef and owner of New York City's Kefi and Anthos, honors Greek cuisine in this nostalgic and charming book. More than a collection of recipes, this book is a celebration of Greek culture and its extraordinary effect on the author. Each section begins with a personal story demonstrating how his love of food was ingrained in him. The recipes that follow are organized by the foods tied to the experiences he describes. My Father's Garden pays homage to the family garden and includes a tantalizing recipe for sweet and sour eggplant and onion stew. Open Water includes grilled swordfish with tomato-braised cauliflower, and Kefi—A Time to Dance offers fried pork and beef meatballs and a variety of spreads including chickpea with roasted pepper and feta. Psilakis recounts a moving story about raising a young lamb and kid, resulting in recipes for both roasted leg of lamb and braised goat. The author includes a helpful list of ingredients for those less familiar with Greek cuisine and offers optional shortcuts, such as using high-quality prepared ingredients to aid those pressed for time. Complete with full color photographs of many dishes and numerous black and white family photos, the work enables readers to embrace not only Greek cuisine but its culture as well. (Oct.)
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From Booklist

New York never really appreciated great Greek cooking till Psilakis appeared on the Manhattan dining scene a few years ago. Psilakis’ restaurants became overnight sensations, offering intelligent cooking that presented classic Greek dishes done to perfection, unusual meats rarely seen outside Greece, and wholly imaginative adaptations of standard ingredients reworked with contemporary inspirations. At the heart of Greek cooking lie vegetables and seafood. Traditional small plates include four-cheese stuffed zucchini blossoms, artichokes, fish-roe spread, and garlicky potato puree, perfect for dipping. Cod, skate, octopus, and cuttlefish all star in grilled, fried, and stewed guises. Eggplant gets the royal treatment in moussaka, which Psilakis prepares with goat instead of lamb or beef. Not content with popular lasagna-like pastitsio, Psilakis deconstructs its components, even specifying handmade feta macaroni for a showstopping presentation. An important addition to any culinary library, not just ethnic Greek collections. --Mark Knoblauch

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (October 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316041211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316041218
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.2 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By J. Branam on October 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The initial look of the book is magnificent. It's a large book (three pounds) with a rare cover to the book outside of the jacket. I have noticed most books only contain the print on the jacket while the book is left bare. The photography is very inviting and draws you in. To me, it was not just a recipe book but a family journal of inspirational ideas with a feel for getting to know who Michael was and is.

This cookbook is more than a cookbook as it's a collection of recipes on memories, emotions and insights that transpired throughout Michael's childhood and early adolescence. The forward section thoroughly explains the recipes and how to follow them which I found very helpful as I'm a novice Greek cook. His offerings of short cuts and optional steps/ingredients is a nice touch as you elevate up the level of being a true Greek chef.

If you aren't too familiar with ingredients used in Greek recipes, he does a superb job with describing them and providing the substitutes.

For the recipe I chose, which was difficult as there were so many wonderful choices, I went with Souvlaki: Chicken and Pork Shish Kebab. It looked AMAZING and mouth watering good!

I will forwarn you that the recipes are not simple or at least the one's I looked at. They take time to read and understand and to coordinate what you need to purchase. I photocopies the pages I needed as there was the main recipe but I also needed items for the Greek Salad, Ladolemono and Tsatziki. All in all, it was a labored event so ensure you have the time to put forward in creating this masterpiece.

This meal was FANTASTIC and definitely worth the time it took to make. If you love or even like Greek food and have even a small desire to cook, this book is for you!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Caitlin Martin VINE VOICE on October 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful combination cookbook/memoir filled with relatively classical Greek recipes & a number of the writer's own interpretations of these classics.

Michael Psilakis was voted Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine for 2008. One of his Greek restaurants - Anthos - is one of only two Greek restaurants in the world with a Michelin star; that's really impressive. That he writes well & tells charming story, obviously loves food & wants to share his love of it, & can craft a good recipe are wonderful bonuses where he is concerned.

Many of these recipes are, frankly, complicated & require a pretty strong cooking background & lots & lots of ingredients. Many more, however, are straightforward & should be doable for most home cooks. The author's stories about his family & his love of Greek cuisine are highly readable & enjoyable. The photos in the book are outstanding & will make you want to go out, buy, & prepare octopus. Right now.

I am especially intrigued by the last chapter of Aegean pantry items that includes all kinds of confits, vinaigrettes, & candied fruits. Aside from the fact that it all sounds really tasty, it also screams Christmas presents!

This is a beautiful book & I know I'll be cooking from it often.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By B. Davis on October 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This big, beautiful cookbook tells you everything you need to know to start cooking delicious Greek food. There are ten chapters of recipes, techniques, personal memories, black and white and color photos. You will find 150 recipes: salads and side dishes, grilled meats, seafood delights, sauces, vinaigrettes, etc. There are classics like: spanakopita (spinach pie), Greek mac and cheese, chicken and pork Shish Kebab, tomato and String bean salad, pan roasted chicken with lemon potatoes, and more in this large collection of classic Mediterranean dishes and meals. I especially like the stuffed baby eggplant. Delicious!

For cooks of Greek heritage or cooks in general, this is a very nice edition to the kitchen.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By LegalBeagle on October 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
How to Roast a Lamb by Michael Psilakis is an oversize and gorgeous Greek cookbook. It is also, in part, a memoir of Psilakis's early years.

How to Roast a Lamb would be ideal for a Greek cuisine foodie or other proficient cook. For instance, foodies will likely enjoy the following recipes: Ouzo & Orange-Braised Snails; Roasted Skate with Walnut Baklava Yogurt & Candied Quince; and Octopus, Salami & Apples with Anchovy Vinaigrette and many more. The novice cook, however, may find these recipes challenging and/or aspirational. Still even the novice cook will find numerous delicious and accessible recipes, such as: Shrimp with Orzo & Tomato; Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon Potatoes; Spinach Rice; and Beef & Rice Meatballs in Egg-Lemon Soup. In addition, the memoir passages provide an interesting backstory to the recipes.

How to Roast a Lamb would be a great gift for Greek Foodies of all levels!

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group, (Oct. 28, 2009), 304 pages
Advance Review Copy Provided Courtesy of the Publisher
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a gorgeous cookbook! It is oversized with beautiful colorful photos and wonderful recipes that are well written out! I am not a professional cook, but welcome new cooking ideas. I don't necessarily need easy recipes, just good directions. Well, I was so excited when I opened it up! Sprinkled among the recipes are anecdotes, and stories of the author's family! It was all so interesting and welcoming. When I looked thru the recipes I didn't feel intimidated I felt invited. Michael Psilakis talks a little about each recipe before he gets into the "how to's" of making it! And the recipes are easy to understand. I made the Chicken Souvlaki Shish Kabob w/ Ladolemono sauce and spinach rice as a side dish. It was delicious!! If you want to try Greek cooking look no further! This is a wonderful cookbook, with a variety of mouth watering recipes!
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