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.

Sign in to follow this  
helenas

Middle Eastern Cuisine Library

Recommended Posts

I'm interested to know what titles are in the libraries of those who are crazy about the middle eastren cuisine.

Here are my favorites, beyond the full set of Paula Wolfert's titles:

Greg Malouf, Arabesque and Moorish;

Chillie Basan, Modern Moroccan and The Middle Eastern Kitchen;

borderline, but i refer to these books a lot -

The Mediterranean Kitchen by Joyce Goldstein;

Moro;

Clifford Wright's mediterranean whatever;

i'd like to appreciate the following titles:

Cooking at the Kasbah;

Momo;

but it hasn't happen yet...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use Claudia Rhoden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food quite a bit. It's because of her I added bulgur to my repertoire.


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have read and used some of these cookbooks, from either my used bookstores or the local library, when I was interested in middle eastern cooking some time back.

Delights from the Garden of Eden : A Cookbook and a History of the Iraqi Cuisine by Nawal Nasrallah

Feast from the Mideast : 250 Sun-Drenched Dishes from the Lands of the Bible by Faye Levy

Food from Biblical Lands by Helen Corey - A Culinary Trip to the Land of Bible History (Syria and Lebanon) by Helen E. Corey and Kadel-Chin

From the Lands of Figs and Olives : Over 300 Delicious and Unusual Recipes from the Middle East and North Africa by Habeeb Salloum, James Peters, Lynn Peterfreund, and Neal Cassidy (I lived in Morocco for two years!!) :biggrin:

and, of course, the Claudia Rhoden book and some of Paula Wolfert's as well, are marvelous, which you have seen in other posts here. Good luck in your search!


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, although I have not cooked from it but it's a wonderful read: Colette Rosant's Memories of a Lost Egypt, recently released in paperback under a different title -- something with Apricots in the name.

And not sure if this qualifies as Middle Eastern, but Najmieh Batmanglij's New Food for Life, a collection of Persian recipes, has some real winners. That's where I found a great recipe using the cardoons I bought, well, just because I saw them in the store. :rolleyes:

OH yeah: also Tess Mallos's The Complete Middle East Cookbook. She also has a Complete Mediterranean Cookbook -- both have lots of good information.


Edited by Suzanne F (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From the Lands of Figs and Olives : Over 300 Delicious and Unusual Recipes from the Middle East and North Africa by Habeeb Salloum, James Peters, Lynn Peterfreund, and Neal Cassidy (I lived in Morocco for two years!!) 

I'm hooked on all things Unusual :biggrin: - the book goes straight to my wishlist, thank you!

Speaking of Morocco, how about the titles dedicated to particular country cuisine: Morocco, Lebanon, Tunisia...

Here are some titles on my worldwide amazon wishlist:

from UK:

Simple Lebanese by Ina'am Atalla;

from France:

Deux cents recettes de cuisine tunisienne by Edmond Zeitoun (recommended by C.Wright);

Le Mezzé libanais ;

Tunisie : La Cuisine de ma mère by Odette Touitou and Isabelle Rozenbaum;

On a tangent: Isabelle Rozenbaum contributed breathtaking photography for numerous french titles: her site can be found here: Isabelle Rozenbaum : Photographe culinaire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Our own Paula Wolfert has done a lot of Moroccan cookbooks.

Sure, although to be presize, Paula actually wrote one book on Morrocan cuisine per se: incidentally this was the book that i got just yesterday to complete my set of her books. And there right in the introduction by Gael Green was a prelude to the things to come: "The book vibrates with that same delicious loving madness"...

How many other books one could add to the same category?..

Edited to fix the quote...


Edited by helenas (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I use Claudia Rhoden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food quite a bit. It's because of her I added bulgur to my repertoire.

That is quite funny if you consider that the origin of the word 'bugger' is 'bulgur' (bulgarian). Eh, no offense etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Our own Paula Wolfert has done a lot of Moroccan cookbooks.

Sure, although to be presize, Paula actually wrote one book on Morrocan cuisine per se:

she also wrote "Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco (also known as Moroccan Cuisine)" and "Good Food from Morocco" (Out of Print) -- although her "Mediterranean" books have a lot of middle eastern stuff as well. Not to mention the grains/greens book.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the Nasrallah Iraqi cookbook, available here. I only just got it, but it's fascinating and well researched, with lots of odd bits, like Akkadian etymology.

Also, A Lebanese Harvest: Traditional Vegetarian Recipes had some good things in it, and it's the only book I've read so far that lays out the distinctive ways of dealing with garlic in Lebanese cooking--it really makes a difference. But there are weird typos galore, and peanut oil is referred to as "ground nut oil" which confused me for a little while... I thought, Nut oil...that's been ground up?


Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Our own Paula Wolfert has done a lot of Moroccan cookbooks.

Sure, although to be presize, Paula actually wrote one book on Morrocan cuisine per se:

she also wrote "Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco (also known as Moroccan Cuisine)" and "Good Food from Morocco" (Out of Print) -- although her "Mediterranean" books have a lot of middle eastern stuff as well. Not to mention the grains/greens book.

The first two are sort of the same book I think

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I second the Nasrallah Iraqi cookbook, available here. I only just got it, but it's fascinating and well researched, with lots of odd bits, like Akkadian etymology.

Zora, does that book contain a recipe for masgouf? I found what is supposed to be a Claudia Roden version via google but it just doesn't sound like what I remember. All other recipes I've found seem to be similar to that one.

I specifically remember the cooking process being closer to smoking than to quick grilling, and with a spice rub on the skin. It was about 15 years ago that I had it (in Baghdad), but it was quite memorable -- they impaled the fish on vertical sticks skin side facing the fire and it took what felt like forever before it was ready to eat. There was some technique involved in building the fire, as you needed the smoke to blow onto the fish, but it was set away from the flames. I think the rub involoved cumin and maybe sumac? That I don't remember as well. I just remember the skin side was like a spicy smoked whitefish, and the flesh side was just steamed. Wonderful.

I can't believe publishers refused the book! I would think people would be even more curious because of the war. :sad:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a recipe, with a lot of detail on how to build the fire properly--and instructions that it takes almost an hour to cook! One tip: "the inside of the fish is to face the blowing wind."

She doesn't recommend a particular spice rub--just salt and pepper--before cooking, but says it's served with a sauce of parsley, tomatoes, onion, garlic, with tamarind sauce and curry powder. Also served with pickled mango.

(One small complaint with the book is that 'curry powder' is often called for--with no explanation I can find for what spices are typically predominant in this mix. Somehow I doubt Iraqis are using the supermarket McCormick blend...but as with a Jaffrey book, for instance, there are a lot of suggestions for how American cooks can adapt a dish--and how she has done so. It's just frustrating not to know what the original is sometimes.)

Another grilled fish recipe calls for a marinade of grated onions, garlic, cumin, coriander and lemon juice.


Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is a recipe, with a lot of detail on how to build the fire properly--and instructions that it takes almost an hour to cook!  One tip:  "the inside of the fish is to face the blowing wind."

She doesn't recommend a particular spice rub--just salt and pepper--before cooking, but says it's served with a sauce of parsley, tomatoes, onion, garlic, with tamarind sauce and curry powder.  Also served with pickled mango.

(One small complaint with the book is that 'curry powder' is often called for--with no explanation I can find for what spices are typically predominant in this mix. Somehow I doubt Iraqis are using the supermarket McCormick blend...but as with a Jaffrey book, for instance, there are a lot of suggestions for how American cooks can adapt a dish--and how she has done so.  It's just frustrating not to know what the original is sometimes.)

Another grilled fish recipe calls for a marinade of grated onions, garlic, cumin, coriander and lemon juice.

I remember the tomato salad. Yum. That may have been where I was picking up the spices. But I am guessing the "curry powder" is a substitute for one of those spice mixes common in the middle east. I know the lebanese one involves cumin, cinnamon, pepper and some other stuff...I would guess the iraqi version bears some similarity. I find garam masala to be a credible substitute, though these days it is easy to find the lebanese mix in most middle eastern groceries. Still, curry powder would probably be okay too. What I assumed was sumac must have been the tamarind. I do remember cumin, sourness and the smoke flavors. And that the fish was dry, and was eaten with a wet salad. Beyond that I guess I shoulda paid more attention. :smile:

Hmm, might be worth trying to come up with a variation on the Weber...indirect low heat with the lid on might work. I think I need to buy the book!

Edited to add -- I just realized, salt & pepper on the fish: most lebanese would use the pepper mix, not plain black pepper, when they talk about "pepper". Could be the same in Iraq. Maybe that's what I am thinking was the spice rub? I might give it a try with lebanese pepper on the fish and curry powder in the salad...that sounds about right(?)


Edited by Behemoth (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Her recipe actually says specifically 'black pepper' to be rubbed on the fish...


Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

claudia roden has interesting write-ups in her book and i use her recipes with great results. it's a bible of sorts for me on middle eastern cuisine while

[Tunisie : La Cuisine de ma mère by Odette Touitou and Isabelle Rozenbaum ]

is a beautiful book with photos and recipes on Jewish Tusnisian food.


Edited by Chev (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...her "Mediterranean" books have a lot of middle eastern stuff as well.

You've inadvertantly hit on one of my pet peeves, JP. For some reason which I can't quite define, the exclusion of the southern shore from our understanding of what is "Mediterranean" irritates the hell out of me. When you think of it, there's a real continuum of overlapping influences, isn't there?

I'd second the Tess Mallos recommendation, btw...good sound recipes, and lots of background information for the interested newbie. And all of Najmieh Batmanglij's books are worth looking at.


“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very fond of Anissa Helou's books, which I haven't seen mentioned. I think she grew up in Beirut. I really like her approach to food writing, enthusiastic and able to communicate how things are done, but not so dogmatic that she doesn't give you choices. Her street food book is a favorite at our house.

regards,

trillium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Foods of Israel Today by Joan Nathan.

A wonderful book that reflects the diversity of Israel's cuisine. It also has some beautiful pictures and a good history of the origins of Israeli cuisine.

This is the Amazon link

The Foods of Israel Today

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...