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Anyone who reads this book-a delight of love and memory-will have a treasure trove of excellent and original recipes.—Barbara Kafka, author of Vegetable Love, from the Foreword
Be seduced by chef Michael
Psilakis, passionate son and champion of Greece. Fired by his philosophy of kefi-the transcendence of celebration-he has forever changed our experience of Greek cooking.—Gael Greene, InsatiableCritic.com
Here's a Greek cookbook as warm and welcoming as the Greeks themselves...filled with wonderful family stories, rewarding insights, and, last but not least, utterly delicious recipes. Bravo!—Paula Wolfert, author of Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking, Mediterranean Grains and Greens, and The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen
Michael Psilakis is a true original. While respecting the savory traditions of Greek cookery, he has been able to refine it into a modern global cuisine. How to Roast a Lamb gives the home cook every indication of just how wonderful Greek-American food can be.—John Mariani, Esquire food and travel columnist and author of The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink
"Chef of the Year."—Esquire, November 2007
"Best New Chef."
—Food and Wine, April 2008
"Chef of the Year."
—Bon Appetit, October 2008
"New York City goes Greek...but no-one does it as luminously as Michael Psilakis."—Gourmet, August 2007
"Michael Psilakis elevates Greek cuisine to Olympian heights."
—Time Out New York"The cooking [at Anthos] establishes Michael Psilakis as the Mario Batali of nouvelle Aegean cuisine."
—New York Magazine, January 2008
In the past decade, Psilakis has become one of the Olympians of the New York culinary world. His upscale midtown Manhattan restaurant, Anthos, is the only Michelin-star-rated Greek restaurant in America, while his recession-proof, crowd-pleasing Upper West Side taverna, Kefi, draws hordes hungry for his souvlaki, tzatziki, and grilled octopus. His first cookbook reflects this breadth, ranging from the healthful, convivial, Cretan-inflected family-style cooking he learned from his mother while growing up in a Greek culture bubble on Long Island, to the complex, new Greek haute cuisine he has evolved from the classics for Anthos. Despite its carnivorous title, How to Roast a Lamb offers plenty of vegetarian dishes along with meats and fish, but -- sweets lovers be warned -- no desserts.
Psilakis opens with down-to-earth, manageable recipes such as Artichokes and Potato or Grilled Swordfish with Tomato-Braised Cauliflower, and builds to the more adventuresome, elaborate Anthos offerings. Poached Halibut with Cypriot Shellfish Salad, Cucumber-Yogurt Broth, and Caviar, for example, requires dozens of ingredients and multiple processes. It's fascinating to see what goes into these sophisticated compositions, though the Braised Quail with Fennel and Apricots is more my speed. I only wish he'd included a recipe for his Duck Gyros with Golden Raisin Marmalade and Caramelized Onions. Perhaps in his next book. --Heller McAlpin
Posted October 30, 2009
This is a beautifully done hardcover cookbook with a dust jacket. The cookbook has 288 pages and eleven chapters. The author prefaces each chapter with stories and photographs from his childhood that tie into the theme of each chapter and explain his love for cooking.
There are a total of one hundred and fifty recipes and many black and white and color photographs throughout the book. Many of the recipes feature meats some of us might not be familiar cooking with including pheasant, rabbit, venison, lamb and goat. Being a Greek cookbook, there are many seafood recipes as well. You will also find chicken and beef recipes and several vegetarian recipes. I was a bit disappointed that there were not more pastry and dessert recipes since I have a huge sweet tooth.
Each recipe lists the recipe title in Greek and English, a short paragraph with a bit of information about the recipe, a full ingredient list and of course directions. The directions are well written and very easy to follow for the novice or more experienced cook.
For those not familiar with Greek cooking, the author includes information about the ingredients. For example, he explains the various cheeses, oils and olives he uses in the recipes. He also offers suggestions for substitutions if you can't find some of the Greek foods at your supermarket.
This is a great cookbook for anyone interested in Greek cooking and it would be the perfect gift for those that enjoy reading their cookbooks cover to cover. I'm looking forward to trying the Beef Stew with Leeks and the Stewed English Peas and Mushrooms
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Posted August 7, 2012
Doesnt deserve the one star i had to give it. Its offensive because i have a stuffed lamb named lamby. The author knows some about cooking but not much
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Posted December 31, 2009
There are many, many Greek and Mediterranean cookbooks on the market, many of which are more comprehensive than this. However, few have the heart that Psilakis displays in "How to Roast a Lamb." Aside from the title recipe actually appearing in the book (why yes, you can cook a whole lamb on a spit, and frankly I'd love to give it a whirl), Psilakis speaks heavily of his childhood and growing up as part of a Greek family. He spends quite a bit of time describing his father's garden, traditional Greek celebrations, and how his love for (and career of) cooking came to be. These short introductions and connective anecdotes provide a tremendous human side to the cooking, and are almost as great to read as the recipes. Almost.
There are some very complex dishes in this book, many of which call for rarer ingredients (almost all of which Psilakis wisely suggests economic and simple substitutions for). Just the same, the vast majority of these recipes can be made by a cook with very basic skills. I look forward to some of the more complex dishes (again, that whole lamb...) as well as some of the simpler ones which I suspect will become old favorites for me rather quickly; read up on page 214/215 about making the spinach/cheese mix for spanikopita, but instead using simple elbow macaroni instead of phyllo for what is effectively an absolutely fantastic and amazing Greek macaroni and cheese.
I think one of the most endearing parts of this cookbook are the photos, both of the food (beautifully prepared - you can almost smell the citrus, the olive oil, and the garlic by looking at them) and of Psilakis' childhood. These provide an excellent addition to his biographical stories and really make the reader smile - these were a very unexpected treat, because they help paint the picture that this book contains the very essence of Psilakis' being.
You should always enjoy a cookbook in its entirety. You should not just buy a book and have six favorites and a sauce or two from it and let it languish on a shelf beyond those efforts. I should certainly hope that there will be more cookbooks like this (and hopefully from Psilakis, because, succinctly, this stuff is just delicious). The biographical elements add a richness to the food that is scarcely found so unimposingly in other cookbooks. So often do we see pretentious stories of "well when I was at such and such a place I created a simple omellete for the king of someplace because I'm superman," and stories in that vein. That's fine, but that's not really reality for most people. Growing up with strong ethnic roots is something many of us can relate to, and it made me smile. I look forward to cooking from this book and sharing its bounty with friends for decades to come.
Posted December 6, 2009
I have never owned a greek cookbook and other than making my own chickpea hummus, I have never cooked Greek food. I did not grow up with Greek food. I have never been to a Greek restaurant. I believe this cookbook could change my cooking habits. I believe the recipes from this cookbook could find their way onto my table.
This book should be viewed as a resource for Greek food and recipes. Every cook should have this book included in their arsenal. This is an excellent reference for original Greek recipes with a modern twist.
I have to admit, I was intimidated by this book at first glance. It is a large book with overwhelming ingredient lists and hard to find items. Would a working mother really have time to shop and cook these recipes for her family? I will tell you honestly that some of these recipes are far too advanced for my family. The Poached Halibut with Cypriot Shellfish Salad, Cucumber-Yogurt Broth & Caviar has 49 ingredients including sheep's milk yogurt, live razor clams and sturgeon caviar. I don't think my local Kroger will be able to accommodate. I bring this up not in a negative way but to keep your expectations in check. This is not your casual Food Network recipe book. This book is about so much more than Greek food. It is about culture, family, traditions and the spirit of Greece.
What I am planning for my table: Spanakopita, Dried Fruit Salad with Thyme-Honey Vinaigrette and Grilled Watermelon & Grilled Manouri.
Posted November 12, 2009
How to Roast a Lamb by Michael Psilakis is an oversize and gorgeous Greek cookbook. It is also, in part, a memoir of Psilakis's early years.
How to Roast a Lamb would be ideal for a Greek cuisine foodie or other proficient cook. For instance, foodies will likely enjoy the following recipes: Ouzo & Orange-Braised Snails; Roasted Skate with Walnut Baklava Yogurt & Candied Quince; and Octopus, Salami & Apples with Anchovy Vinaigrette and many more. The novice cook, however, may find these recipes challenging and/or aspirational. Still even the novice cook will find numerous delicious and accessible recipes, such as: Shrimp with Orzo & Tomato; Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon Potatoes; Spinach Rice; and Beef & Rice Meatballs in Egg-Lemon Soup. In addition, the memoir passages provide an interesting backstory to the recipes.
How to Roast a Lamb would be a great gift for Greek Foodies of all levels!
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group, (Oct. 28, 2009), 304 pages
Advance Review Copy Provided Courtesy of the Publisher.
Posted November 6, 2009
I love food but I hate cooking. Luckily, the love of my life also loves to cook. He's the king of spices and can cook pure perfection. He likes to take his time and make sure that the meal is as tasty as possible. There are tons of yummy recipes in this book that I am dying to try.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 11, 2009
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Posted December 31, 2009
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Posted June 12, 2010
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