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4.6 out of 5 stars28
4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 28 May 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I enjoyed this cookbook and I'm a big fan of the kind of Arabic / Mediterranean food it promotes. Recipes range from simple to advanced, often suggesting you make your own pasta or bread, I can cook, but I'm not quite at that stage yet.

A little more explanation of the Turkish dish names would have been welcomed, and certainly as not all recipes had photo's, I was really in the dark on some recipes as to what they were or should look like.

Once thing to be careful of... make sure you have access to shops that sell Turkish products as many recipes call for specialist ingredients, many of which I had never heard of, and I feel I'm quite knowledgeable on such things.

Alternatives are often suggested, but I always like to use the proper ingredient... if the alternative was as good, they would just use that anyway.

Many lovely photo's make the book an enjoyable read.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The trouble with books like this is that they make you more likely to sit down on your sofa to look at the pictures than to roll up your sleeves and get into the kitchen.

Beautifully presented, each page is decorated and the book is full of picturesque photographs as well as food illustrations. There's a very welcome ribbon place marker and decorated end papers. I can't contemplate it being splashed with grease or the pages getting wrinkled with steam in the kitchen.

Never having visited the country, I was keen to learn how to cook some Turkish dishes, but there simply wasn't enough explanation in this book and I found the more complex recipes daunting - particularly the long lists of ingredients.
I've tried some of the simpler recipes - Pasta with rocket, feta, walnuts and herbs was nice as was Simit - bread rings with sesame seeds. Baklava, I was amused to find, is Turkish not Greek. Only problem was, she didn't give the recipe, since "Proper baklava just can't be replicated at home - you have to go to Gaziantep to experience the real thing". I thought that was a bit cheeky - I'll just have to make it from my Greek cook book then since they're slightly less precious about it.

In summary, a lovely book, but more likely to live on the coffee table than in the kitchen.
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VINE VOICEon 12 May 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This beautifully written and illustrated book has been lovingly written and produced and is truly a delight to read through, touching the small sketches of people's lives in this far off and exotic land as well as offering some delicious recipes. Cookery books are evolving at the moment and here is one of those new-generation books which whilst being a great cookery book is also blessed with the witch-blood of being part travelogue. This really adds to the book since it immerses the recipes in the culture of the location and brings home a poignant sense of place; one can imagine walking through the spice laden Turkish markets full of exotic spices and foods, hearing the sounds of people's lives and the wonder of exploring a distant land whilst reading this book.

The book itself is divided into a number of sections each describing the type of dish to cook; meze, soups, bread pastry and pasta, vegetables and salads, rice and burghul (bulgar), fish and seafood, poultry and meat and finally desserts. As a fairly accomplished home cook who knows his way around lots of dishes from around the world I was a bit non-plussed in that I did not recognise many dishes from my first foray into this book; but I soon realised that this is good. The author has sought out the more obscure delights making this a really good book to add to ones repertoire of recipes.

This is a delightful book which captures the magic of Turkey and offers a unique range of wonderful recipes which will certainly captivate any lover of middle-eastern food. Highly recommended
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VINE VOICEon 14 May 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
You can tell that "Turkey" is a beautiful high quality book from the outset. It is large and heavy with thick glossy pages and filled with gorgeous photography. It's not the kind of cookery book that you flick through to find the odd recipe, but is an ode to Turkey and its cuisine which deserves to be devoured from cover to cover. Leanne Kitchen is an accomplished travel and food writer and thus she combines the best of the two from her thorough research from travelling around the country.

A variety of dishes caught my eye, including the Warm Pumpkin Hummus which was easy to make and delicious. I also intend to try out more recipes soon including Pekmez Roasted Pear, Feta, Watercress and Hazlenut salad, Lahmacun (a sort of lamb pizza) and Zucchini fritters.

However on closer inspection there are a number of flaws which I would expect to be irradicated from this kind of high end publication.

Some of the recipes are preceded by a little explanation of the dish and which region it originates from or how Kitchen has adapted it, however this is not consistent. For many dishes I was left wondering what exactly it was as many of the Turkish words were unfamiliar to me and I was scanning the ingredients list to try and work it out.

The photography is beautiful, both of the Turkish landscape, the people and the food although I would like to have seen a picture to accompany every dish.

For those familiar with Turkish food, language and culture this is a fantastic book. As a novice when it comes to cooking Turkish food I found that I could have done with a few more explanations of what specific words mean and what accompaniments to serve with certain recipes.
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on 3 May 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Leanne Kitchen's Turkish cookbook opens with a short explanation of the idea behind it. She wrote the book on her travels around Turkey, armed with a camera and with no clear plan in mind. This, she says, has resulted in a collection of recipes that she has encountered not so much by design as by coincidence. I do like this approach as, provided that this is an accurate representation of the compiling of the book, it leads to a diverse table of contents with a wide number of recipes of differing types.

The recipes include breads, meze, soups, salads, meats and fish dishes. All are clearly laid out and easy to follow. At this stage, I have only done a couple of recipes (I'm slightly ashamed to say that they were the slightly obvious kebabs and meze elements) but these were successful and *extremely* tasty.

Kitchen also gives a little background to some of the recipes, which may not be to all interests, but I quite enjoy these kind of things. The book is presented as being a road trip, as much as it is a cookery book.

One other thing to note, which is incidental, but pleasing, is that this is an exceptionally pretty book. The photography in the book is wonderful and makes this a joy to browse. It's up to you, of course, how important you think that this is. I enjoyed it, anyway.

All in all, though, this is an excellent and easy to follow cook book. Recommended!
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VINE VOICEon 21 July 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been to Turkey for the first time this year, and found it to be a beautiful country. This is reflected in the photographs in this book, which are mainly of urban areas, and show the striking architecture and middle-eastern design which is such an encompassing feature of the towns and cities. There are plenty of photographs of the food as well, and the combination of the two make for a sort of 'taster' for the country that made me want to rush out and book a holiday. I could look at the photographs for hours.
I am a big fan of mediterranean food, but often find myself put off cooking it by not being able to get some of the ingredients. Leanne Kitchen helpfully suggests substitutes, which although detracts from the authenticity, I think it's better than not being able to try the food at all.
A lovely book, which is much more than just a cookery book.
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on 23 March 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a combination of a cooking and coffee table book, and whilst it almost completely satisfies the latter, there are a few points that let the book down as a pure cookery book. It's a great read though, and anyone interested in the origins of Turkish cuisine could almost certainly do much worse! The photography is first rate, although I too am disappointed not to have a picture of every dish, especially those that are not so familiar. It's not the Dairy Book of Cookery so I don't feel thats an unreasonable request! More of an observation than a complaint - it would sound ridiculous as a complaint - is that often the ingredients will be harder to find - even for people living in places like London or Bristol I feel. I'm enjoyed several of the simpler ones though, and will be keeping hold of this one for some time!
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is the second cookery book I've reviewed featuring cuisine from the eastern Mediterranean (the other being 'Whispers from a Lebanese Kitchen'), and of the two, I think 'Turkey' slightly has the edge. Some of the dishes which particularly took my fancy were the baked fish with raki, tomatoes and pine-nuts, zucchini fritters, and a pear, feta, hazelnut and watercress salad. The dessert section was probably my favourite overall, featuring a lot of unusual dishes I'd not come across before, such as toasted sesame ice-cream, sweet cheese pie with oven-poached quince, and 'katmer' - delicious-looking vanilla-cream pastries.

There are many slightly cliched but nonetheless appealing photographs to admire - men going to mosque, gnarled old women women cooking aubergines over a brazier in the street. Other illustrations are both witty and more original - calamari ironically presented Brit-style in a newspaper cone, a panoramic view of old tiled rooves littered incongruously with satellite dishes. The author accompanies the pictures with a regional culinary guide, which also adds to the coffee-table over cookery aspect. Do be aware that there are a few unusual ingredients featured (certain fish, types of wheat and grain) that might not be easy to source unless you live in a large city.
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The style of this book is a little imitative of works by Ms Kitchen's fellow Aussies Greg and Lucy Malouf (see for example the latter's publication on Turkish cuisine, Turquoise), which is to say it is not just a recipe book but a part travelogue and plenty of photographs of blokes lounging around drinking tea and smoking ciggies (the cover photo sets the tone a little). Thankfully this aspect is not anywhere near being over the top as it is in the Malouf oeuvre, and the food is largely allowed to take centre stage.

There are plenty of classic recipes here, for example Circassian chicken (which for some reason it simply calls "chicken and walnut salad"); muhammara (which is really Syrian, though may conceivably be eaten in the south-east of the country); a breakfast dish of spicy lentils baked with eggs and sujuk sausage; lahmacun, a quasi-pizza; pide, another pizza-like concoction; two recipes for manti, a dish similar to ravioli; the famous imam biyaldi, and the revolting sounding cig kofte which is a raw lamb mince mixture to be spread on bread.

There are a number of dishes and variations unfamiliar to me despite my extensive collection of middle-eastern cookbooks, for instance: topik, a sandwich-like creation with "bread" consisting of mashed chickpea and potato with an onion, raisin and pistachio filling; yoghurt and walnut stuffed eggplant with tomato and pomegranate sauce; perde pilav, a kind of pie with rice and chicken filling; a dish which it calls "pumpkin tray kofte", a savoury item with bulgur wheat, pumpkin and minced lamb which look likes baklava pieces divided into diamonds in the tray; clove and pine nut kofte with white bean salad and parsley and tahini sauce; lamb, fig and onion yahni, a stew; slow-roasted lamb with apples poached in pomegranate; vine-wrapped grilled quails with olive, walnut and pomegranate relish; and ali nazik, an aubergine and yoghurt mixture topped with a spicy lamb mixture.

Overall I'm quite pleased with this book, giving me as it does a number of new recipes. It's very well presented albeit with a few too many location photographs for my liking. The majority of recipes have an excellent accompanying photograph, and the instructions are generally clearly written though it would be advisable to read right through before starting. Measures are given in metric first with ounce/cup and Fahrenheit/Gas mark measures in parentheses. There is also very little here in the way of hard to find ingredients.

4½ stars
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VINE VOICEon 9 February 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a staggeringly huge book with many mood photographs and I ask myself what about the food. While there are plenty of recipes on display it does not offer a recipe for a basic pepper sauce instead suggesting you find jars of it! Since the internet offers plenty of this basic recipe (with and without chilies) I cannot see why the author could not have provided this as well.

In essence too many nice pictures and lacking in recipes in such a large format make it an unwieldy book to cook from.
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