Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

nakji

Cooking with "Arabesque" by Claudia Roden

Recommended Posts

I picked up this book recently and had my first chance to cook with it this evening. I was drawn to it because many of the recipes within can be made with simple, fresh ingredients that I can easily locate. And couscous, which I can get at the Carrefour.

The first thing I did was set some preserved lemons going:

gallery_41378_6780_69531.jpg

This is the simple, four-day method that calls for lemons boiled in brine for about a half hour; then covered in oil.

Then, the chicken roasted with honey, cinnamon, and ginger - Roast Chicken with Couscous, Raisin, and Almond Stuffing, p. 92.

gallery_41378_6780_71620.jpg

gallery_41378_6780_95352.jpg

The top got too close to my element, but it tasted exceptional. The honey sauce that drips off the chicken is just the thing for drenching the couscous with to serve. The only ingredient I couldn't get was the orange-flower water, which I simply left out.

On the side, I made the Mashed Eggplant and Tomato Salad, p. 42 because I'll eat eggplant served up pretty much any way I can.

gallery_41378_6780_85824.jpg

Really good. I plan on making this throughout the summer - with bread and cheese it would be enough for dinner on a hot night. I only wish I had better quality olives.

There was plenty for leftovers for lunch, too.

Once the lemons are done, I've got the chicken, olive, and preserved lemon tagine bookmarked to try.

If anyone else has got this book, I'd be interested in seeing what you've tried or hearing what's good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love this book and I refer to it every time I want inspiration, not actually followed a whole recipe - Mea Culpa - but I use her base tagine recipe weekly for a vegetable tagine I make at work. I do have Middle Easter Cookery also and find the 2 books quite different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Erin, I don't have the book, but your pictures and descriptions will have me ordering it when I get back to the USA. We'll cook along.

I think you'll be happy with it. I've tagged about forty recipes with "want to make" flags.

We have way too many of the same authors on our shelves...so what are the main differences between Arabesque and Middle Eastern Food (since my copy of MEF has literally fallen apart...)?

I think it's because we're dealing with the same restrictions!

I actually went looking to buy MEF, but Kinokuniya didn't have it in stock. I hope to spot it in a used book store one of these days, like my other favourite cookbooks. What's god in it?

I love this book and I refer to it every time I want inspiration, not actually followed a whole recipe - Mea Culpa - but I use her base tagine recipe weekly for a vegetable tagine I make at work. I do have Middle Easter Cookery also and find the 2 books quite different.

It seems like the sort of book you could begin to not use almost right away. The mashed eggplant salad was so easy and delicious I think I could do it in my sleep even after just once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gallery_41378_6780_174641.jpg

Two dishes last night: Chicken tagine with preserved lemons and olives, p. 93. I've never had a tagine before, so I wasn't quite sure what the end dish would turn out like. Fortunately, Ms. Roden's descriptions at the beginning of the chapter help crystalize what to aim for with this dish. I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be soupy or not, but her explanation of the dish from the beginning of the Moroccan section helped considerably-

...Cooking in a clay tagine, very gently over a brazier(kanoun)of constantly replenished embers, diffuses the heat all around the pot and produces, at the end, a reduced sauce sizzling in its fats.

-made sure I cooked it down until the onions were left to sizzle in the chicken fat. We ended up eating it with our fingers, it was so luscious.

A slightly more elegant remake of last week's eggplant and tomato - thanks to a CSA bag that included both tomato and eggplant.

gallery_41378_6780_20066.jpg

For the tagine, I used the 4-day preserved lemons that I put on last Sunday. I haven't tried the salt ones, but I'm thinking I might put on some brine ones soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Claudia Roden is wonderful, but these pictures have me drooling all over my keyboard. And I haven't had coffee yet this morning!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's an excellent book - just like all other books by Clauda Roden!!

I've made the lentil and rice soup with fried onions (makhlouta) from the Lebanese chapter:

makhloutaNAMI.jpg

It was over a year ago, but I remember how surprised I was that something with so few and humble ingredients would taste as delicious!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Burmese Days
      Hello everyone,
       
      This is my first post, so please tell me if I've made any mistakes. I'd like to learn the ropes as soon as possible. 
       
      I first learned of this cookbook from The Mala Market, easily the best online source of high-quality Chinese ingredients in the west. In the About Us page, Taylor Holiday (the founder of Mala Market) talks about the cookbooks that inspired her.
      This piqued my interest and sent me down a long rabbit hole. I'm attempting to categorically share everything I've found about this book so far.
       
      Reading it online
      Early in my search, I found an online preview (Adobe Flash required). It shows you the first 29 pages. I've found people reference an online version you can pay for on the Chinese side of the internet. But to my skills, it's been unattainable.
       
      The Title
      Because this book was never sold in the west, the cover, and thus title, were never translated to English. Because of this, when you search for this book, it'll have several different names. These are just some versions I've found online - typos included.
      Sichuan (China) Cuisine in Both Chinese and English Si Chuan(China) Cuisinein (In English & Chinese) China Sichuan Cuisine (in Chinese and English) Chengdu China: Si Chuan Ke Xue Ji Shu Chu Ban She Si Chuan(China) Cuisinein (Chinese and English bilingual) 中国川菜:中英文标准对照版 For the sake of convenience, I'll be referring to the cookbook as Sichuan Cuisine from now on.

       
      Versions
      There are two versions of Sichuan Cuisine. The first came out in 2010 and the second in 2014. In an interview from Flavor & Fortune, a (now defunct) Chinese cooking
      magazine, the author clarifies the differences.
      That is all of the information I could find on the differences. Nothing besides that offhanded remark. The 2014 edition seems to be harder to source and, when available, more expensive.
       
      Author(s)

      In the last section, I mentioned an interview with the author. That was somewhat incorrect. There are two authors!
      Lu Yi (卢一) President of Sichuan Tourism College, Vice Chairman of Sichuan Nutrition Society, Chairman of Sichuan Food Fermentation Society, Chairman of Sichuan Leisure Sports Management Society Du Li (杜莉) Master of Arts, Professor of Sichuan Institute of Tourism, Director of Sichuan Cultural Development Research Center, Sichuan Humanities and Social Sciences Key Research Base, Sichuan Provincial Department of Education, and member of the International Food Culture Research Association of the World Chinese Culinary Federation Along with the principal authors, two famous chefs checked the English translations.
      Fuchsia Dunlop - of Land of Plenty fame Professor Shirley Cheng - of Hyde Park New York's Culinary Institute of America Fuchsia Dunlop was actually the first (and to my knowledge, only) Western graduate from the school that produced the book.
       

      Recipes
      Here are screenshots of the table of contents.  It has some recipes I'm a big fan of.
       
      ISBN
      ISBN 10: 7536469640   ISBN 13: 9787536469648 As far as I can tell, the first and second edition have the same ISBN #'s. I'm no librarian, so if anyone knows more about how ISBN #'s relate to re-releases and editions, feel free to chime in.
       
      Publisher
      Sichuan Science and Technology Press 四川科学技术出版社  
      Cover
      Okay... so this book has a lot of covers.
      The common cover A red cover A white cover A white version of the common cover An ornate and shiny cover  There may or may not be a "Box set." At first, I thought this was a difference in book editions, but that doesn't seem to be the case. As far as covers go, I'm at a loss. If anybody has more info, I'm all ears.
       
      Buying the book
      Alright, so I've hunted down many sites that used to sell it and a few who still have it in stock. Most of them are priced exorbitantly.
       
      AbeBooks.com ($160 + $15 shipping) Ebay.com - used ($140 + $4 shipping) PurpleCulture.net ($50 + $22 shipping) Amazon.com ($300 + $5 shipping + $19 tax) A few other sites in Chinese  
      I bought a copy off of PurpleCuture.net on April 14th. When I purchased Sichuan Cuisine, it said there was only one copy left. That seems to be a lie to create false urgency for the buyer. My order never updated past processing, but after emailing them, I was given a tracking code. It has since landed in America and is in customs. I'll try to update this thread when (if) it is delivered.
       
      Closing thoughts
      This book is probably not worth all the effort that I've put into finding it. But what is worth effort, is preserving knowledge. It turns my gut to think that this book will never be accessible to chefs that have a passion for learning real Sichuan food. As we get inundated with awful recipes from Simple and quick blogs, it becomes vital to keep these authentic sources available. As the internet chugs along, more and more recipes like these will be lost. 
       
      You'd expect the internet to keep information alive, but in many ways, it does the opposite. In societies search for quick and easy recipes, a type of evolutionary pressure is forming. It's a pressure that mutates recipes to simpler and simpler versions of themselves. They warp and change under consumer pressure till they're a bastardized copy of the original that anyone can cook in 15 minutes. The worse part is that these new, worse recipes wear the same name as the original recipe. Before long, it becomes harder to find the original recipe than the new one. 
       
      In this sense, the internet hides information. 
       
    • By TexasMBA02
      After batting about .500 with my previous approach to macarons, I came across Pierre Herme's base recipe online.  After two flawless batches of macarons, I've been re-energized to continue to work at mastering them.  Specifically, I want to try more of his recipes.  My conundrum is that he has, as far as I can tell, two macaron cookbooks and I don't know which one I should get.  I can't tell if one is just an updated version of the other or a reissue or what the differences really are.  I was hoping somebody had some insight.  I have searched online and haven't seen both books referenced in the same context or contrasted at all.
       
      This one appears to be older.

       
      And this one appears to be the newer of the two.

       
      Any insight would be helpful.
       
      Thanks,
       
    • By K8CanCook
      Update!! --- the sale is still going on at Amazon as of Sunday (11/24) at 11:15am EST
      ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
       
      Did anyone note the sale price on Modernist Cuisine today (maybe yesterday)? Amazon and Target dropped the set of tomes to $379!!!
       
      This price looks like it will change after today...so get it ASAP!!!

      https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/0982761007?pf_rd_p=183f5289-9dc0-416f-942e-e8f213ef368b&pf_rd_r=SRFCHFB5EFTGAA8AZHJX
      -or-
      https://www.target.com/p/modernist-cuisine-by-nathan-myhrvold-chris-young-maxime-bilet-hardcover/-/A-77279948
    • By Bollo
      I need a book on the application of rotavapor machine. I've searched something on web but i can't find something strictly professional for the kitchen please help me. To improve the research. 
    • By Smokeydoke
      After a delightful brunch at Koslow's Sqirl restaurant in Los Angeles, I've decided to attempt to cook through her cookbook. I'll post my results here.
       
      Please follow along and join in, if you're so inclined. Her food is wonderful, but I will surmise that her true deliciousness comes from using the best and freshest ingredients. I'll do my best to recreate the magic I felt at Sqirl.
       
      Here's the link to her book at Eat Your Books.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...