Friday, May 13, 2011

The Complete Mediterranian Cookbook

The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook : Over 150 mouthwatering, healthy and life-extending dishes from the sun-drenched shores of the Mediterranean, shown in 550 stunning photographs

Author: Jacqueline Clarke, Joanna Farrow
Hermes House Publishers 2006, ISBN: 9781843097921

This book is wonderful. It is also not widely available anymore, at least, by this title.

Two thumbs way up.

Excellent organization, excellent descriptions, excellent tutorials, excellent history, excellent recipes, with excellent photographs. Just as a work of art in an of itself this book is wonderful. OK, you get it. I really like this book. So, what's to like?

The Introduction explains the relationship between the local Mediterranean foods, the recipes, the peoples who made them, and the popular "Mediterranean diet." This is followed by 8 pages of descriptions of ingredients and their unique Mediterranean uses.

The chapters are: Appetizers, Soups, Vegetables, Salads, Fish and Shellfish, Meat, Poultry and Game, Grains and Beans, Desserts and Baked Goods. The chapters are followed by a good index.

As an example of the teaching nature of the text from the recipe for Mouclade of Mussels, [a garlicky, curried cream of mussel soup] the first step states: "Scrub the mussels, discarding any that are damaged or open ones that do not close when tapped with a knife." (p. 120)

I like the assumption that the reader may never have handled fresh mussels. I have never done so myself and would not have known how to properly clean and sort.

Each recipe is beautifully illustrated, clearly listed, with very simply and clearly described steps for preparation and presentation.

I'm hungry.

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