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Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons: Enchanting Dishes from the Middle East, Mediterranean and North Africa [Hardcover]

Diana Henry
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Aug 2002
This selection of recipes forms an collection of dishes from lesser explored areas of the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East. Divided into 12 chapters based on ingredients, the author introduces the home cook both to unsual indgredients and to unsual ways to cook with old favourites. Each dish is unusual, either because it uses "exotic" ingredients such as flower waters, pomegranates and cardamom, or because of its unusual use of ingredients, such as "Middle Eastern Orange Cake", made almost entirely of pureed whole cooked oranges. Several dishes are unsual simply because of their names, consider "Ice in Heaven", or the "Crazy Water" of the title.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley (15 Aug 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840005017
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840005011
  • Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 19.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 558,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

"A new Diana Henry book is an occasion... Henry has perfect pitch when it comes to cooking - her recipes are never less than delicious." The Spectator

If your kitchen doesn't yet include a Diana Henry title - you don't yet know what you're missing. Her first book 'Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons' (first published in 2002) set the tone for the genre. Her passion for food is undeniable and her amazing writing makes even the most exotic of recipes simple to make and understand.

Best known as the food writer for the Sunday Telegraph, Diana Henry has twice been named Cookery Writer of the Year by the Guild of Food Writers in 2007 and 2009. She is the author of six books including the much acclaimed 'Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons' which was shortlisted for a Glenfiddich Award for best cookbook. Her other titles include 'Roast Figs, Sugar Snow', 'The Gastropub Cookbook', 'Cook Simple', 'Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons' and 'Food from Plenty' which has been shortlisted for Food book of the Year by the Andre Simon Awards. She is a contributor to many magazines including Red, House and Garden, Sainsbury's Magazine and Waitrose Kitchen.

Product Description


'A glorious and magical feast for the senses' - Claudia Roden --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Book Description

From the author of the hugely successful The Gastropub Cookbook, and a regular food column for the Sunday Telegraph; Diana Henry titles have sold more than 60,000 copies through Nielsen BookScan UK; Photography by Jason Lowe, whose work for this title was shortlisted for a Glenfiddich award ('Best Food Photography'); The cuisine of this area has become increasingly popular. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars lyrical with outstanding recipes 14 Nov 2002
By A Customer
There are several reasons I love this cookbook. First of all, every single recipe I've cooked so far (five, after owning it for 2 weeks) has been absolutely delicious. They really make you want to cook and eat. Secondly, Diana Henry's evocative essays and useful cooking tips have already expanded the range of flavours in my kitchen. If you've ever been intrigued by orange blossom water or pickled lemons, say, but didn't know how to use them, this book will inspire you to explore their possibilities, as it has for me. Thirdly, the wonderful photographs mean this is a beautiful cookbook, without being untouchably 'posh'. The food is 'home cooking' (ie approachable) but also adventurous. One of the best cookbooks of the year so far.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mediterranean Jewel 10 Sep 2002
What a wonderful book! This is a must-have for anyone who enjoys the food of the Mediterranean and is looking either for a different take on familiar ingedients or to be introduced to a whole host of new ones.
Diana Henry's fantastic recipes are interspersed with pages of tantalising and mouthwatering prose as well as carefully chosen literary quotations. This is a book that easily makes great bedside reading and should not just be confined to the kitchen.
Individual chapters deal with ingredients such as herbs, spices, fruit, nuts and even flower waters. Exciting recipes with exotic names beckon - how does "Rhone Ferryman's Beef with Camargue Red Rice" sound? Or even "Ice Heaven"? I can't wait to try dishes like "Lemon and Basil Ice Cream" or "Arab Andalusian Monkfish with Saffron, Honey and Vinegar" to name but two. In fact so infectious is Diana Henry's enthusiasm that I defy anyone who buys this book not to want to cook from it at the first opportunity.
I hope that there are many more publications to come!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where have you been all of my life? 2 Feb 2012
By Amy
How this book managed to slip through my culinary book obsessive net the first time it was released I do not know. Although I have always been aware of Diana Henry and her ability to whisk you away too another land with her words, her books( this one in particular )always seem to remain unnoticed in today's recent upsurge for celebrity chef titled reads. Rather than endorsing herself in her own cookery programme or partnership with a house supermarket name (both of which I have no problem with), Diana Henry simply remains patiently in the background, unassuming and humble but with a food based knowledge that would give the great Elizabeth David a run for her money.
Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons may give the same first impression as the author herself, but don't for one minute let this faux shrinking violet trick you into thinking she's something that she's not. Powerfully written words giving romantic descriptions of the ingredients used, this book enchantingly allures you into the contents of its pages. There's no need for me to list the recipes, nothing is complicated, everything looks mouth wateringly delicious and the entire contents of every chapter are simply delectable. This is certainly no book to flick through and discard to that cobwebbed back shelf of your bookcase, take your time, allow yourself to inhale the words and absorb the recipes and permit yourself and your kitchen to be transferred to sunnier more foodie exotic climates.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best cookbook ever? 17 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this, the age of the celebrity chef, the real talents in cooking go almost unheard of. Diana Henry is one such, who deserves to be much more widely known. This book was her first, and has been my most used cookbook over the many years I have had it now. This, or possibly one of Ms Henry's other books (see below), would without doubt be my "desert island cookbook" if I was forced to choose just one favourite.

This book, covering recipes from or inspired by Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, demonstrates a deep understanding and appreciation of flavours, reflected in the chapter divisions into categories of ingredients.

Everything herein has the feel and the taste of the exotic, yet nothing is overly complex or difficult in its creation. There is almost nothing in the way of hard to find ingredients either.

Favourite recipes include:

Harissa marinated lamb with spiced mash and cinnamon onions;

Leche merengada, an ice-cream made using egg whites only, flavoured with cinnamon and brandy;

Sabzi khordan, from Iran, a huge bowl of many different types of herbs along with feta cheese scooped up into mouthfuls with pieces of flatbread;

Fruits in honey and muscat with yoghurt ice-cream and glass biscuits;

Sausages and lentils with sweet and sour figs;

Cardamom-baked figs and plums with burnt honey and yoghurt pannacotta;

Yoghurt, honey and pistachio cheesecake with oranges in cardamom syrup;

Piadina (an unleavened flatbread) with caramelised onions, walnuts and taleggio;

Check out Diana Henry's other cookbooks:
... Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A veritable Feast of Enchanting Recipes 30 Jan 2012
I am a huge fan of Diana Henry and I have several of her books; however, this was one book that I didn't already have in my cookbook library, so when Octopus Publishing Group sent me a copy to review I was delighted. Diana Henry writes with such passion and authority, and never more so in Crazy Water Pickled Lemons. The book covers dishes and recipes from the Middle East, Mediterranean and North Africa and the whole cookbook is a veritable magic carpet of enchanting and magical dishes that titillate the taste-buds and are a feast of exotic colours and fragrant aromas. The Levant and the Maghreb are home to some of my favourite cuisines and these regions are covered extensively in this cookbook. Expect to see exciting and exotic ingredients such as saffron, pomegranates, quinces, dates, figs, rose petals, flower waters, lavender and cardamom to list just a few. The recipes are accompanied by lavish photos and excerpts of poetry ~ this is a truly magical book and offers some simple and achievable meals to create at home whilst retaining an element of mystery and uniqueness not often found in modern cookbooks.

The book is divided into twelve aromatic chapters; the chapters themselves are almost like tales from A Thousand and One Nights, so much so that one almost expects Scheherazade to come drifting by in a cloud of rose petals and sandalwood........
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book
This book contains a lot of very unusual recipes which can only aid to inspire you to cook great food.
Published 7 days ago by Denny Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Holiday cooking
It's book will solve all my holiday cooking needs. Am taking it to our flat in Portugal to use for inspiration for evening meals and lazy lunches.
Published 22 days ago by G. C. Jones
The production quality of this book looks and feels very cheap. Very disappointed. I love Diana Henry's recipes and it is a great pity that it has been issued in this very... Read more
Published 4 months ago by UNBIASED
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Cookbook .
I have owned this for a while now and have cooked many of the dishes. Utterly brilliant. Easy to follow but what's more absolutely delicious. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Dh Rees
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
OK simply that. There are better books on the subject e.g. Roden, Hartounian etc. etc. ets. Nice illustrations but I bought it to enlarge my knowledge of middle eastern and fusion... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mrs. Margaret EG Makortoff
5.0 out of 5 stars Good cook book
Excellent book with superb recipes and information. It contained all the info I wanted with recipes that were new to me.
Published 13 months ago by Bob - B
3.0 out of 5 stars Let down by design
A strange, intriguing title for a book that sets out to intrigue and enchant, showcasing many dishes from the Middle East, North Africa and Mediterranean. Read more
Published 14 months ago by I. Darren
5.0 out of 5 stars A lasting treasure.
This is one of my most treasured books - not just my favourite recipe book.
I bought my copy as a student, and took it with me from place to place over the years. Read more
Published 16 months ago by A Person
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Late Than Never
Why oh why didn't I buy this before? It's brilliant. The recipes are to die for. Buy it - and experience page after page of deliciousness!
Published 18 months ago by Once Upon a Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous cookery book
A stunning, appetising and entertaining cookery book that provides a range of inspiring recipes with a Mediterranean flavour. Read more
Published 18 months ago by S. Lumley
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