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

Overview

From the Fertile Crescent, where agriculture began, to the extravagant tables of Ottoman emperors, the Mideast boasts a surpassingly rich culinary heritage. In Faye Levy's Feast from the Mideast, the acclaimed food journalist and cookbook author brings 250 time-honored recipes into the twenty-first-century American kitchen. Accessible and authentic dishes, helpful shopping tips, and Faye Levy's trademark user-friendly approach make this book a must-have introduction to a vibrant...

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Overview

From the Fertile Crescent, where agriculture began, to the extravagant tables of Ottoman emperors, the Mideast boasts a surpassingly rich culinary heritage. In Faye Levy's Feast from the Mideast, the acclaimed food journalist and cookbook author brings 250 time-honored recipes into the twenty-first-century American kitchen. Accessible and authentic dishes, helpful shopping tips, and Faye Levy's trademark user-friendly approach make this book a must-have introduction to a vibrant international cuisine.

For almost three decades, Faye Levy has shopped, cooked, and dined her way through the Mideast, and her enthusiasm for this flavorful, unfussy cuisine will inspire you to make these ancient culinary traditions your own. Featuring the bold flavors and simple, healthy techniques of more than ten countries, this collection has dishes for every occasion, from dinner-party feasts to quick and healthy weekday meals. Faye Levy's repertoire of fresh, mouthwatering specialties will add excitement and boldness to any meal, whether it's a simple sandwich enlivened by a zesty Grilled Eggplant Sesame Dip, or elegant Grilled Lamb Chops spiced up with Garlic Cumin Tomato Salsa. Ms. Levy takes readers beyond hummus and falafel—although she offers stellar recipes for both of these classics.

Feast from the Mideast offers a veritable banquet of authentic, tempting dishes and is the ultimate all-in-one guide to the wholesome cuisines of these historic, sun-drenched lands.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Delivering another winner, Levy (1,000 Jewish Recipes; Faye Levy's International Vegetable Cookbook) turns her attention to the Middle East, where she lived for many years, and draws not only on her heritage but also on the customs and traditional variations that shape the region. Distinguishing a dish as Egyptian or Syrian rather than Persian, for example, she takes home cooks on a culinary odyssey, explaining the history and geography of each region. Starting with the Middle East pantry and carefully offering substitutes where necessary, she addresses the specialized ingredients that the user may not be familiar with. Each recipe is carefully described with its provenance and attributes from the traditional main course, such as Yemenite Beef Soup with Curry Spices and Potatoes ("the centerpiece of the traditional Yemenite diet"); the rich, sweet flaky Nut-filled Baklava ("the first records we have come from Syria near the Turkish border"); and the ubiquitous Middle Eastern Diced Salad, which has a different name in each country. Several recipes are given new twists, while never deviating from the intrinsic substance at the heart of each dish, to take advantage of today's health concerns. Interspersed with panels that inform and amuse (as when Levy, as a budding cook, describes exploding an eggplant), the book concludes with a chapter covering the basics, from blanching almonds to making vegetable stock and a selection of suggested menus. Wide in breadth and scope with a thorough attention to detail, Levy's foray into this area of cuisine so plentiful in history results in an important volume rich in content and knowledge. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Levy, the author of close to a dozen other cookbooks, has lived and traveled extensively throughout the Middle East; much of her family lives in the region, and her husband was born there. Middle Eastern cooking has become increasingly popular here, and foods like hummus and tabblouleh are now supermarket staples. Levy includes fresh versions of such familiar dishes, along with equally delicious recipes for lesser-known classics and more contemporary fare, from Summer Purslane and Tomato Salad to Roasted Salmon with Garlic, Lemon, and Coriander. Headnotes are informative and very readable, and the recipes are eminently appealing. A good companion to Claudia Roden's New Book of Middle Eastern Food (the revised version of her 1972 classic), this is highly recommended. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060093617
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.37 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Faye Levy is the lead cooking columnist for the Jerusalem Post and the author of more than twenty acclaimed cookbooks, including Feast from the Mideast and 1,000 Jewish Recipes. She has won prestigious prizes for her cookbooks, including a James Beard Award. A syndicated cooking columnist, she has contributed many articles to the country's top newspapers, as well as to Gourmet, Bon AppÉtit, and other magazines. She lives in Woodland Hills, California.

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First Chapter

Red Pepper Walnut Dip

mohammara

This delectable walnut spread from Aleppo in northern Syria, which is also loved in Lebanon and Turkey, is spiced liberally with red pepper to give it plenty of heat. When I tasted it at an Istanbul restaurant called Develi that specializes in southeast Anatolian cooking, I was immediately taken with the spread's rich texture and spicy flavor. Pomegranate molasses, olive oil, and cumin provide background flavors to balance the pungency. Some people make it with half pine nuts and half walnuts, and some add garlic or sweet red peppers. Be sure the walnuts you use are fresh.

The dip is easy to make - simply blend all the ingredients in a food processor. It's a tasty hors d'oeuvre with fresh pita bread or pita crisps and is also a delicious sauce for gilled led fish, roast chicken, or kabobs. I also grilled toss it with pasta as a pestolike sauce.

The dip should be deep red, so add some paprika if you don't want a large amount of hot red pepper. If you can find Aleppo pepper or Turkish Maras pepper, it adds a pleasant heat and is much less fiery than cayenne. When fresh red chilies such as red jalapenos are in season, add one or two for a good fresh touch instead of or in addition to the cayenne.

Makes 4 servings.

1 cup walnuts
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses or fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper, or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Grind walnuts and bread crumbs in food processor. Add oil, pomegranate molasses, sugar, cumin, and paprika and process to a slightly chunky paste. If it is too thick, add 1 or 2 tablespoons water. Transfer to bowl. Season to taste with salt and Aleppo pepper or cayenne, adding enough to make it hot.

Turkish Tomato Pilaf

domatesli pilav


Tomatoes contribute their sweet-tangy taste to this pilaf and tint it reddish orange. Cooks in Turkey give the pilaf additional flavor by simmering the rice in rich meat or chicken broth and often use a generous amount of fresh or clarified butter (ghee) to saute the onion. I love it with homemade chicken stock or, after Thanksgiving, with turkey stock made from the bones of the roasted birds.

Tomato pilaf is a favorite partner for kabobs and stews. For a light supper, it's served simply with yogurt or with Classic Cucumber Salad with Yogurt, Garlic, and Mint.

Makes 6 servings.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or 2 to 4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped (3/4 cup)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth or water, or a mixture of broth and water

Heat oil or 2 tablespoons butter in heavy saucepan. If you'd like to enrich the pilaf later with additional butter, bring it to room temperature.

Add onion to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, or until soft but not brown. Add garlic, then tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Heat until sizzling. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until thick, crushing any large tomato dice with wooden spoon.

Add rice, stir over medium-low heat until coated with tomato mixture, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add broth, liquid from tomatoes, I teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Stir once or twice and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over very low heat for 18 to 20 minutes, or until rice is just tender. Add remaining butter in a few pieces if you like. Let pilaf stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff rice lightly with fork. Taste and adjust seasoning. Feast from the Mideast. Copyright © by Faye Levy. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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