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Modern Flavors of Arabia: Recipes and Memories from My Middle Eastern Kitchen Paperback – October 2, 2012
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"Suzanne brings the colors and flavors of Arabia to your kitchen, with this inspired collection of recipes. Flipping through these pages will entice you to recreate and experience the magic of Middle Eastern cuisine."
"Suzanne demystifies rustic Middle Eastern dishes and adds her own distinctive twist in a way that is inspirational to any food lover."
"Suzanne's approach to Arabic cooking is truly refreshing in the fullest sense of the word. Her recipes are accessible and more than achievable and our hummus has never been better since we tried Suzanne's version!"
—Anna & Michael Olson
About the Author
SUZANNE HUSSEINI was the host of one of the most popular Arabic cooking shows in the Middle East. She is a regular contributor to several publications around the world and frequently travels internationally as a featured food presenter. Suzanne lives in Dubai and Ottawa with her husband and three children.
PETRINA TINSLAY's work as an internationally acclaimed photographer spans 20 years. She has more than 40 cookbooks to her credit, many of which have won major international awards.
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The author explains very clearly and gives precise directions so you're not left trying to figure out what to do. Some ethnic cookbooks seem to assume you have knowledge that you don't about ethnic food preparation so it's nice that the author imparts that knowledge to you as well. I do cook quite a bit so I didn't find anything really daunting but if you're a novice cook just starting out you may look at the recipes and think you can't make them. Definitely not so, most of the recipes have very few ingredients (especially if you compare them to many traditional, European recipes) and don't take a huge amount of time. (There are exceptions to this in the book; read the entire recipe through once to figure out if you have the time for it.) The author helps you out quite a bit also in that she tells you what things you can make ahead of time and freeze - there's actually a LOT you can make ahead and freeze which definitely helps out in the entertaining department.
I've made two recipes so far - the one for hummus and the one for tabbouleh because those are my two favorites. Both turned out phenomenal. I'm probably not going to like store bought hummus after this.
The only problem an individual would probably encounter, however, is the ability to obtain many of these ingredients. Many recipes call for standard things any American grocery would carry but there are other specialty items (like Tahini sauce for instance) that may be hard to find if you don't live in an urban area. Milwaukee has several specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods and Middle Eastern groceries that I've found the ingredients in easily but if you live in a rural area in the middle of North Dakota, you're gonna have a problem.
Each year we work our way through an eclectic mix of cookbooks, including time honored classics, rare finds from every corner of the globe, and current up and coming advanced evaluation copies.
For our July cookbook discussion and dinner party, we reviewed Suzanne Husseini's 2012 cookbook Modern Flavors of Arabia (Random House).
قائمة طعام (Menu)
Halloumi & Feta Cheese Bread Rolls
Labneh Three Ways
Shamandar (Beet Dip)
Beet & Purslane Salad with Citrus Dressing
Kofta with Sweet and Sour Cherry Sauce
Roasted Cauliflower with Citrus Tahini Sauce
Lemony Braised Stuffed Vine Leaves
Shish Barak (Lamb Ravioli in Herbed Yogurt Sauce)
A Thousand and One Nights Pistachio Ice Cream
Arabic Shortbread (Ghraybe)
Rice Pudding with Date Compote
This might be the first time in all of my years of cooking and reviewing cookbooks that I’ve sampled twelve different recipes from a cookbook and found every single one to be on point. I give the beet dip a solid 5 (out of 5) fork rating AND I DON’T EVEN LIKE BEETS. The Kofta were tender and the cherry sauce to accompany them was another highlight of the menu. Oh my gosh, and the cheese rolls, they were amazing. Tender, pillowy, and warm, they hid the perfect little tangy bite of cheese within. The grape leaves were savory and bright with the citrus flavor. Every single dish was hit. Husseini clearly has some kind of culinary magic up her sleeves. And I wasn’t alone in my assessment; Paige was so taken with the shortbread that she lost her capacity for coherent speech and just kept moaning as she nibbled through her serving of cookies.
This is definitely a cookbook that has earned a permanent space on my bookshelves in the kitchen and I urge to you pick up Modern Flavors of Arabia to add to your collection as well.
It lived up to every expectation and so do the other recipes. Puts a slightly new twist on a lot of old family favorites.
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