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Mourad: New Moroccan Hardcover – 31 Oct 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Artisan (31 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579654290
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579654290
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 3 x 27.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 347,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jacqueline A. Herring on 29 Dec 2012
Format: Hardcover
At last a cook book with a difference. It gives not just recipies but ideas of how to change them and totaly different ways of using the spice mixes. It challenges you to explore what can be done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Janet Wilman on 4 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. Not just a cookery book, but a story as well. The photos are wonderful, recipes are great, if a little complicated sometimes. I started with the lemons.......!
It is a book to come back to time after time, to be transported to another world of senses and smells.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris on 22 Feb 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a 'fine dining' Moroccan cook book, great recipes and it is very detailed. Ideal for the serious foodie.. Lovely stories about the authors childhood too.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Taylors on 29 Aug 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a well put together book and Mourad's passion for his culture and his cooking comes through. I enjoyed reading the storyline and found the information under Cooking from memory, Before you start and the heading "seven things" very useful. However I was disappointed in the recipes.
I was looking for more traditional Moroccan recipes ( Perhaps I should have sought out books with more traditional recipes in them).
For those who wish to cook in a more modern way this is an excellent book.
I am pleased that I bought the book and I will refer to the beginning of the book a lot. who knows I may even try a few recipes
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 47 reviews
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
It is my new very favorite cookbook 6 Dec 2011
By Claudia Sansone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I haven't read a cookbook that I appreciated more than this one, maybe ever. I keep it next to my bed to steal a few more pages. The story is rich and has pulled my heartstrings. As a result, Morocco and Aziza are on my bucket list!

I am totally baffled by the couple of negative Amazon reviews that talk about the books focus on Mourad or his photos. This is a cookbook that is so much more than the traditional, recipe/dish photo format. It's the story about the journey of a chef, rooted in Morocco, but who developed his own style in California. It is personal and allows us to understand why he cooks the way he does. I for one like books that reach outside the norm, that let us understand the thought process behind the recipes. The photos have captured the spirit a brilliant chef (one that has been recognized by Michelin with a star for his restaurant Aziza). The book has received amazing press from the New York Times, Bon Appetit and Epicurious and many more publications. They have felt as I do and have listed this book among the top books of 2011, although for me it's one of the top books on my bookshelf!
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Mourad: New Moroccan 29 Nov 2011
By Thomas H. Snitch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I recently purchased the Mourad's New Moroccan book and I have read it - cover to cover. It is an astounding collection of history, family stories, a unique approach to self-taught cooking as well as a great collection of receipes.

Mourad has demystified what had previously been the challenges of Moroccan cooking. He has gone beyond the usual tangines and chickpea purees found in many cookbooks to instill a new sense of how to approach Moroccan dishes from a wholistic approach.

To be frank, many of his receipes have a long list of ingredients and some of the techniques he employs are not designed for the first time cook. However, if one truly wants to get a real hold on what is behind the history of Moroccan cooking, this is a must have book.

He is very careful to list all of his ingredients by weight and not volume. For this type of sophisticated cuisine, this is a necessary step and should not be seen as a burden. Mourad is extremely precise and, while an experienced cook can improvise, it would be best to carefully follow his instructions.

This is a book that should be enjoyed by the adventurous cook as well as those interested in North Africa, travel and good stories about a young man who taught himself to cook [all the while thinking about his mother and how she would react to how he was intrepreting the food of his youth].

The book itself is beautiful volune and would be a welcome holiday gift for those who wish to dive into a new cuisine. Get Mourad's book, some couscous and head into the kitchen.

Five stars all around.
39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Essential reading 21 Dec 2011
By Syzygies - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mourad: New Moroccan is essential reading for the international cook who has moved beyond recipes, but wants to participate in a modern conversation about food, and channel the techniques and thought processes of one of our most gifted and visionary chefs. Today that conversation includes other self-taught-with-influences chefs like Heston Blumenthal, or Chad Robertson of the Tartine bakery.

For me the first "conceptual" books in this vein were Tom Colicchio's "Think Like a Chef" and Paul Bertolli's "Cooking by Hand". Perhaps one recipe from Colicchio or Bertolli has made our regular rotation, but we haven't opened a can of tomatoes since Colicchio's book came out and we simplified and fixed his tomato conserve, to freeze each summer's crop. We grind our own flour for everthing, ever since Bertolli's book came out and we simplified and fixed his fresh pasta recipes. I expect a similarly profound influence from Lahlou's book. To be honest, I want to continue to make fairly traditional Moroccan dishes, but employing modern techniques and available ingredients. I don't need to convince restaurant diners to melt their credit cards over beautiful skyscraper plates, but the thinking that goes into these more formal dishes will be invaluable for executing the classics. As a rule I reject books about traditional cuisines that are too interpretative, including various other Moroccan tomes that I've seen, but Mourad: New Moroccan is a keeper.

The first, biographical introduction is a riveting, tears and laughter affair, an account of a life growing up around food in his traditional family home in the Marrakesh medina. One comes to understand why he shaved his head on his grandfather's passing. (And yes, the book offers several opportunities to confirm this, but no matter.) We're all vulnerable to the food-as-religion idea that adopting exotic, traditional food practices will unlock the secrets of the universe. I thought that I had fully recovered from this conceit, with an honest focus on "it's the ingredients!" when this introduction sucker-punched me. Now the 1970's Moroccan medina is another mythical place lost to time for me. Yet at the same time Mourad is completely about "it's the ingredients!"

The second, fundamentals introduction may come partly as review for anyone who's been following these other books. What a relief to have measurements also in grams, but have you joined the inner circle of home cooks with two digital scales, one for precise small measurements? And here is another chef, part of a modern conversation but not a molecular gastronomist, who considers xanthan gum to be a legitimate and natural ingredient. I didn't know that Israeli couscous was extruded. I've made fregola from scratch; apparently, he doesn't know that fregola is hand-rubbed. That was the first point I could score in a 55 page onslaught of information.

The strength here is spices. Even if one has 50 spices bought bulk from Vik's, the unnamed Berkeley source that started Mourad down this road, and knows to refresh one's stocks, to pan-roast before freshly grinding, first for Indian cooking and then for everything, there is much to learn here about spices. I love his account of a vendor's description of the ideal ras el hanout, followed by the realization that the whole spice mixture for sale was missing most of the exotics, all as setup for Mourad's recipe that includes various exotics. It has 23 ingredients including grains of paradise, and looks incredible. I have variant recipes available to me for most of the other blends, but in every case his blend looks superior, and worth the trouble.

I didn't know how rare it was to make harissa from scratch; he gives a good recipe, and homemade harissa makes a profound difference. This is a bit like Thai cooking, as no one in Thailand goes to the trouble we go to here, when an open market with prepared pastes is steps away. I was in stitches when Jacques Pepin makes an appearance in the section on warqa, to announce he's actually figured out how to make the stuff. I thought I had Jacques pegged. Who knew!

Chicken with preserved lemons and green olives is one of the top dishes of all time, and should be in anyone's rotation. The Momo cookbook version is one of the better ones, though the traditional step of optionally blanching the olives just robs the final dish of flavor. Here, the fundamental difference is the use of duck fat. A great idea, ducks aren't prevalent in Morocco but all traditional cuisines used to render their own fats as part of using and respecting the entire animal. Various lards (pork, duck, goose) should be home fridge staples, and one's Chinese cooking can benefit enormously from tossing out the wok, and using small amounts of flavorful lard in a high-end nonstick pan. Same here, skip Momo's olive oil and just use less fat, but use fat.

It wouldn't surprise me if the only recipes I adopt are the spice blends and the basics, as I return to more traditional Moroccan recipes with a reinvigorated sense of purpose. One can really cook a cuisine when one can improvise and pass off the results as traditional, and Mourad's thinking throughout his recipes could help anyone make this transition. I take his recipes in this spirit, improvisations appropriate to a restaurant, but perhaps not to my table. Nevertheless, just as one pulls only tiny pieces from "The French Laundry" to apply at home (big pot boiling, lobster confit in butter), Mourad: New Moroccan is an essential read.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Deceptively Complex and Modern 15 Aug 2012
By nomadsheart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book several months ago and browsed it when I got it. Lovely photos, introductions to the flavors of Moroccan food - such as Preserved Lemons, Ras al Hanous spice mix, Warqa, etc - which I anticipated. Reviewing the recipes, I noticed that Mr. Lahlou takes liberties with the traditions of Morocco, while still being respectful of the flavors, textures and vibrancy of what is perhaps my favourite cuisine.

I put the book down and did not think about it again for some time. When I picked it up and read it in earnest, I am completely amazed at both the complexity and thought that is contained in the recipes. Each flavor leading to another, blending techniques of Morocco with the capacities of most (good to excellent) home cooks. Make no mistake: this is not a book for beginners. Many of the recipes require several steps in the preparation (making the spices, salting/marinating and resting meats overnight) or are quite straight-forward but have exceptionally complex accompaniments (Braised Beef Cheeks is quick enough to cook, but preparing the meat requires forethought of a day or so and the accompanying Carrot Jam takes 10 hours to complete). For those willing to invest the time, however, the rewards are exceptional.

Multi-layered and multi-dimensional food with an incredible punch are within your grasp. Food that is beautiful and yet even more delicious. I find that many of the techniques and ideas that Mr. Lahlou has incorporated in the book are refinements of my already aggressive home-kitchen skills - and ones which I am glad to add to my skill set moving forward.

I am grateful to have this book as an addition to my collection of Moroccan cooking. If you are seeking a compendium of traditional Moroccan recipes, you should look to Paula Wolfert. However, if you are adventurous and up to the work that such food entails, Mr. Mourad in his New Moroccan offers you a glimpse of the next level of Moroccan cooking. Buckle your seatbelts! It's going to be a delicious ride.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Divine Moroccan 1 Mar 2012
By C. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Wow! I bought the New Moroccan cookbook to improve my preserved lemon techniques and made both his standard batch out of Eureka lemons and another batch using his suggestion for slices of Meyer lemons. They are so beautiful, but I had to wait over a month to test them. They were perfection! Tonight I made his recipe for chicken with preserved lemons and olives, and it was too die for!!! I must add that I ignored his suggestion to use drumsticks and used quarters of chicken breasts instead. This is perhaps the only cookbook that I have actually read....wonderfully written! I can't wait to try more New Moroccan recipes. Bravo!
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