With his first cookbook, Farris leaps into the front ranks of culinary regionalist and troubadour. He's a transplant to Texas, a restaurateur and importer, but his taste buds still twinkle to the lusty, muscular primal cuisine of his ancestral Sardinia. He stirs up an appetite for simple pasta dishes in which the sauce determines the shape of the macarrones, and any number of compositions featuring spiced and herbed lamb, artichokes, olives and various seafood stews enriched with bottarga. The author first tasted this "Sardinian caviar," the roe of gray mullet, at age three on a cherished expedition to catch and cook fish on the beach with his father and uncle. He balances sentimentality with frank delight in testing the reader's mettle. Roasted eels, pictured in full slither, are only a start. Anyone for abbamele, the honey and bee pollen reduction? Raw sea urchin under the full moon? Then there is casu murzu, rotten cheese, which owes its creamy texture to maggots. Our intrepid guide, who "cannot resist its charms," admits that even for him it was a childhood gross-out. Beautifully illustrated, often eminently cookable, the book also has the charms of a picaresque novel. (Oct.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey: The Mediterranean Flavors of Sardiniaby Efisio Farris, Laurie Smith (Photographer), Jim Eber, Rohan Van Twest (Photographer)
Sardinia now rivals its northern neighbor Provence as a vacation destination. The coastline lures visitors, but it is the food that will make you linger. Chef Efisio Farris is poised to become the next great ambassador of Italian regional cuisine. To promote the cooking of his native Sardinia, he has appeared on the Food Network, given demonstrations at food festivals across the country, and even launched his own company that imports Sardinian specialties for his restaurants and for retail. It is Mediterranean cooking at its purest, making liberal use of olive oil, fish, and fresh vegetables. But it’s also distinguished by indigenous ingredients that are becoming hot trends in America: pecorino, flatbread, fava beans, fregula, and bottarga. Farris has pulled together more than one hundred recipes–many of them family secrets. Among them are Watermelon Salad with Arugula and Ricotta Salata; Pannacotta with Bitter Honey; and Bruschetta with Sausage and Pecorino Sardo. More than 150 breathtaking images take you on a tour of the countryside–from the terraced olive groves to the riverbanks full of wild asparagus. In sidebars, the author relates charming anecdotes and Sardinian history. Readers will come away not just with a taste for the island’s flavors but also a sense of Sardinia’s magical beauty and culture.
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Meet the Author
Efisio Farris, a native Sardinian, is the chef-owner of two restaurants–Arcodoro in Houston and Arcodoro & Pomodoro in Dallas. He has garnered acclaim from Gourmet, Saveur, Food & Wine, Southern Living, USA Today, The New York Times, and Wine Spectator.
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