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Arabian Delights: Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula (Capital Series) Paperback – October 1, 2007
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Rest assured that someone who owns dozens of cookbooks will not have anything like this paperback on their shelves. Food historian Riolo, who maintains homes in Germantown and north of Cairo, divulges recipes she acquired in the guest palaces of Mecca, Medina and Jeddah. The food is presented in cultural-culinary menus, with tips and a preparatory timeline for putting on a whole celebratory meal for Eid or Ramadan, or an Arabian dessert party or tea party. That's not to say the recipes can't be appreciated on their own. People who do not drink alcohol are always looking for worthy substitutions, so Riolo's Sunset, Red Sky and Kiwi fruit juice cocktails might work well. (The Washington Post Gift Cookbooks List)
Amy is a nationally recognized culinary expert, food writer, and cooking instructor based in the Washington, D.C. area. Amy’s talk was titled ‘Incense and Spice: Entertaining in the Arabian Peninsula.’ She talked about the history of the cuisine of the Arabian Peninsula and how the incense and spice trades impacted…An incense censor and perfumes were passed around the room for all to experience a touch of Arabian hospitality. Amy then spent the next 35 minutes answering many questions from the audience. (CHoW Line)
What we know in America of Arabian food and life is colored by politics, by the local falafel truck, and maybe by ignorance. But with her book on the meals and traditions of Arabian entertaining, Amy Riolo seeks to illuminate a culture and move cooks beyond pita chips and hummus. Riolo has not only gathered recipes, but put them in the context of Arabian life…Riolo has immersed herself in Arab culture, and her recipes, gathered from home cooks and local restaurants, have a taste of authenticity. ..With her similar attention to detail, Riolo opens a window onto a culture that is much with us, but very little understood. And what better place for understanding than over a shared meal. (Appetite for Books, Books-for-Cooks.com)
This is a wonderful version of a classic Middle Eastern soup and seems like the perfect dish for a winter night. The original version contained incense, a common practice with slow cooking soups in the region. Pure resins like frankincense are actually safe to eat, and were once used like chewing gum. During cooking, the fragrant scent of the incense rose into the air and mingled with the spice in the food for a delightful effect. This version uses dried lemon and saffron instead of incense. From Arabian Delights; Menus, Recipes and Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula (Capital Books 2007) by Amy Riolo, a nationally recognized culinary expert, food writer, and cooking instructor based in the Washington, D.C., area. (Sheilah Kaufman, Jewish Women International)
We had the chicken kebabs from Arabian Delights this weekend. I loved the flavor from the pinch of saffron in the marinade. The aromatic dish was so tasty with such authentic flavor. I also prepared the Sesame Chapati recipe to have with it: delicious. (Kathy Kitchens Downie at Cooking Light)
Amy Riolo's book, Arabian Delights, is rich with distinctive, yet easy recipes using readily available ingredients, for both family dinners and elegant events. What is most important to me, is that the book conveys a clear historical perspective of the peoples living on the Arabian Peninsula and the development of their cuisines. Arabian Delights gave me an understanding of Muslims and Islam through its culinary traditions and concepts that I've never had before. (Dolores Kostelni, The Happy Cook, radio host and author)
About the Author
As an award-winning author, chef, television personality, cuisine and culture expert, and educator, AMY RIOLO makes frequent appearances on numerous television and radio programs both in the United States and abroad. Amy created and appeared weekly in ninety second cooking videos entitled 'Culture of Cuisine' which air on nationally syndicated news shows on 28 different channels across the United States, totaling a reach of over 300 million people. Amy’s most recent book, The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook, (American Diabetes Association) was released in March 2010, received a starred PW review, won the 2011 Nautilus Book Award and was named ‘Best. Diabetes. Cookbook. Ever.’ by DiabetesMine.com. Her second book Nile Style; Egyptian Cuisine and Culture (Hippocrene Books) won the World Gourmand Award for "Best Arab Cuisine Book" in the United States and was just released in a second edition. Her first book, Arabian Delights; Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula was chosen as one of the “16 Volumes Worth Staining” by the Washington Post (Capital Books, 2007). Amy also contributed to The Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia and co-wrote The Al Tiramisu Restaurant Cookbook: An Elevated Approach to Authentic Italian Cuisine with award-winning chef/restaurateur Luigi Diotaiuti. She is currently completing The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook which will be released in April 2015 and The Italian Diabetes Cookbook which will be released in January 2017. Amy is a Culinary Advisor for The Mediterranean Food Alliance. He work has appeared in numerous print media including USA Today, Cooking Light magazine, The Washington Post, CNN.com, The Wall Street Journal, Gulf News, Popular Anthropology Magazine, The UAE National, and international newspapers and hundreds of blogs. She is also the author of a noted culinary/cultural blog called Amyriolo.blogspot.com.
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Top customer reviews
Great book and I highly recommend it. My sister recommends it and her Palestinian husband recommends it ! :)
Arabian Delights: Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula (Capital Series) by Amy Riolo, just published in the fall of 2007. What a treasure! This is exactly the kind of book I've been looking for that combines Arabian cuisine with it's rich culinary history. Fabulous food and education all in one!
My passion for exploring foods of the Middle East combined with a thirst for their culinary history (how did the spice trade effect various regions?) is lovingly & authentically represented in this book. Ms. Riolo has researched and chosen wonderful recipes to showcase the beautiful lands of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Yeman & Saudi Arabia. These recipes come alive and you can almost smell the delicious array of delicacies represented between these pages. My kitchen will be smelling so good soon!
Sections include: A History of Arabian Cuisine, Regional Differences in Arabian Cuisine, Tips to Remember When Entertaining and more. Ms. Riolo has given us another gift by showcasing these recipes via the different feasts/celebrations where they would be traditionally eaten. Wonder what to serve your guests for a Ramadan Breakfast or Dinner? How about the celebratory foods for an Eid feast? Want to delight your children with an Arabian Tea Party or Pearl Diving Party?
Living & growing up in America, many of us remember the traditional foods our families served at Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah & more. We can even smell them. The same applies to other countries as well. Living in the DC area which has an abundance of cultural diversity, it's wonderful to finally have a great resource to further understand the foods & feasts of our Middle Eastern neighbors.
What's even better is the fact that Ms. Riolo is local in DC (she splits her time between DC & Egypt) and offers culinary lectures and recreational cooking classes throughout the area! She also works with another well know author/cooking teacher/food editor/ and lecturer, Sheilah Kaufman who wrote the Forward in this book. Personally I can't wait to attend some of their cooking/lecture events!
Would I recommend this book? YES!! If you love the Middle Eastern foods and are searching for unique recipes infused with culinary history, this book is for you. If you live in the DC area, why not sign up for one of their classes? I know I will.
This book makes an excellent read simply for its cultural content. The recipes are presented in menu format; the author provides a timetable which seems very helpful for each menu. Even for preparing only one recipe, there are explicit instructions on what can be prepared in advance, and what steps must be prepared in advance (marinating etc). This book contains many recipes that I have not seen in any other cookbook (and I have quite a collection!).
Purists may protest, but I love the recipes where the author has incorporated "convenience" foods like crescent roll dough or pull-apart biscuit dough. I have tried many recipes and I have had delicious results. Particular stand-outs so far are the Fish in Saffron Bechamel Sauce (which I made with catfish nuggets), Mini Lamb Pitas (which I prepared with thin-sliced beef), Zucchini with Tahini Dressing, and Croissants with Wild Thyme. The Fish in Saffron Bechamel is one of the best dishes I have ever eaten.