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An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair Hardcover – 10 Oct 2012
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"All in all, An Edible Mosaic gives you the information and inspiration you need to start exploring Middle Eastern cooking at home with confidence." --Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods
"This book gives general Middle Eastern recipes...It is a beautiful book with very easy to follow recipes." --Crafty Moms Share blog
"prepare to salivate. It's guaranteed anytime you look at Faith Gorsky's An Edible Mosaic blog or leaf through her new cookbook. After marrying into a Middle Eastern family, she more than embraced the culture; she found a new way to express herself by learning how to cook its vibrant food and making it all her own." --Carolyn Jung, James Beard Award-winning food writer and creator of FoodGal.com blog
"Sharing authentic Middle Eastern recipes designated for the modern cook, Faith's passion for both the culture and food is positively contagious. Her compelling prose make each new combination of flavors all the more irresistible, so even the uninspired will find themselves compelled to start cooking as soon as the crack open An Edible Mosaic. Providing plenty of vegan recipes throughout, as well as many options to convert more traditional preperations into allerg-friendly dishes, there's a menu in here for every sort of eater to enjoy." --Hannah Kaminsky, author of My Sweet Vegan and Vegan Desserts
"An Edible Mosaic nudges the basic cook into the world f Middle Eastern cooking with simple, approachable recipes that jump off the page and into your kitchen. Faith turns creative combinations of real food and spices into beautiful dishes packed with flavor and nutrition." --Kath Younger, KatEats.com blog
"An Edible Mosaic includes over 100 authentic Middle Eastern recipes, countless beautiful photographs, tips that will make all the difference in your dishes, prep techniques, and very informative explanations on the exotic ingredients and techniques of Mid-East cuisine. The recipes were mostly taught to Faith by her mother-in-law, Sahar. Faith then took that knowledge and demystified the exotic ingredients, tools and techniques and made them very approachable. Even if you are a complete beginner you will feel Faith's gentle hand guiding you along the way to creating a successful Middle Eastern dish or feast." --HonestCooking.com blog
Cook vibrant and healthy dishes with this accessible Middle Eastern cookbook.
When Faith Gorsky married her Middle Eastern husband, she married more than just the man. She found herself introduced to a fascinating culture and cuisine that would forever change how she experienced food and cooking.
Faith's mother-in-law took her under her wing and in 6 months gave her a thorough course in Middle Eastern cooking that became the basis for her popular website, An Edible Mosaic. The growth and success of her website and her own developing interest led to more trips to the Middle East, deepening her knowledge of the cuisine which she shares in An Edible Mosaic.
in her new cookbook, Faith imparts her favorite Middle Eastern recipes, recipes anyone can make with a little work and some help from Faith! Her love for the cuisine of her husband's homeland shows in her enthusiasm for these dishes and the awareness that food is more than just a means of sustenance for the people of the Middle East—it lies at the epicenter of their gatherings with family and friends.
Delicious Middle Eastern recipes include:
- Parsley Salad with bulgur Wheat (Tabbouleh)
- Creamy Chickpea and Yogurt Casserole (Fetteh)
- Mashed Fava beans with Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, and Garlic (Foul Mudammas)
- Ground Chicken Kebabs (Kebab Dajaj)
- Sumac-Spiced Chicken (M'sakhkhan)
- upside-Down Rice Casserole (Maqluba)
- Date-Filled Cookies (Ma'amoul)
- And many more…
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I discovered Faith Gorsky's Blog by chance when I was looking for a recipe for Okra. I found a wonderful collection of authentic recipes and subscribed to the newsletter. I was delighted to hear that she was publishing a cookbook containing many of these special recipes and more, and added it to my Amazon Wish List immediately. When I returned to the Scottish Islands last month, I placed my order, and I was delighted to receive my copy the very next day.
Faith married into a Middle-Eastern family too, and learnt a lot from her mother-in-law. It is often difficult noting down recipes from expert Middle-Eastern cooks , and this was the problem I faced. An Edible Mosaic is a wonderful book as it simplifies even the most complicated recipes that are known throughout the region, and with the aid of her beautiful photography (yes, she takes most of the photographs herself) Faith talks us through all the detailed explanations and simplifies the complicated steps which ensure the success of many recipes but, until now, were closely-guarded secrets.
This wonderful book has a lovely introduction, and you feel you know Faith already. Her conversational style of writing makes you feel she is with you answering all your questions, like for example, Making the Perfect Pot of Rice, on page 13. After almost 26 years of trying, I finally cooked our family the best rice ever. :-)
Faith explains all about the more unusual herbs and spices that work best and even shares her family recipes for Baharat, or spice mixes, on page 29. I made 3 of these lovely blends and used one in her Chicken Kebab recipe. That lunch time meal was so popular with our youngsters that I now have to make this almost each week. Faith puts a healthy slant on all her recipes, and favourites that were once loaded with saturated fats are slimmed down in this book, making healthy meals that are truly delicious and bringing them up-to-date for the 21st century.
An Edible Mosaic includes a chapter on desserts, with many light and delicious desserts, like Lebanese Nights, on page 121. This was a dessert I chose to serve to 20 Middle-Eastern guests, at a dinner party. Everyone commented on the unforgettable flavours of orange and rose blossom, and served with syrup, we were transported by magic carpet back to the 1001 Nights....
No Middle-Eastern recipe book would be complete without a recipe for my husband's favourite Date Cookies. The detailed steps for preparing these were clearly photographed and set out well, along with tips and a recipe for Turkish Coffee. All recipes are presented in numbered steps, and you really can't go wrong at all. Every single recipe I've tried has been a success.
An Edible Mosaic is a must-have for anyone interested in authentic Middle- Eastern recipes, to cook every day and also for special occasions. It is a cookery book which unveils all the secrets of the Middle-Eastern kitchen - and you won't be able to put it down! This book is one for the kitchen bookshelf of anyone who appreciates good food.
I just wish An Edible Mosaic had been available years ago...
Faith started her blog "An Edible Mosaic" in 2009 as a place to encourage experimentation in the kitchen and to share the wealth of information she had learned about Middle Eastern cuisine, making what were traditionally orally-transmitted recipes into attainable recipes that American home cooks could attempt. "An Edible Mosaic," like her blog of the same name, is a collection of these homestyle Middle Eastern (particularly Syrian) dishes. One important note is that "An Edible Mosaic" (the cookbook) focuses solely on Middle Eastern cuisine, while "An Edible Mosaic" the blog includes a range of international influences. If you're looking for some of Faith's other recipes, you won't find them here. Also, many of these recipes are new to the cookbook and have not been previously featured on the blog.
Because the book is written from a Syrian perspective, the names of some dishes may be different from the ones you are used to seeing in Middle Eastern cookbooks or restaurants (shakshouka is listed as "juzmuz," basbousa = "harissa," etc.). A handy list of Middle Eastern grocery stores (and websites) will allow you to stock up on supplies like apricot leather, cardamom pods, dried limes, mastic, and flower waters that may be difficult to find locally.
Gorgeous color photos illustrate every page, starting with basic cooking tools and ingredients (the photos of making perfect rice and how to hollow out veggies were particularly helpful), and draw you into the stories behind each recipe. Each chapter features distinctive borders printed with colorful Middle Eastern tiles. I loved the staging of the photos as each photo includes a uniquely Middle Eastern touch, from gold-embroidered runners to dainty fenajeen (demitasse cups).
The book is a miracle of compactness, managing to fit nine lavishly illustrated chapters into only 144 pages. A basic section on cooking tips and techniques introduces sidebars on basic cooking tips as well as putting together maza platters and coffee the Middle Eastern way. Basic cooking tools are also explored, including some that are likely less familiar to American audiences (ma'amoul molds, della, hafara). There's a buyer's guide to Middle Eastern ingredients and several basic recipes (clotted cream, taratoor, basic savory pie dough, scented sugar syrup, basic spice mixes) before launching into breads and pies, which includes Middle Eastern flatbreads, sesame seed breads, spiced meat flat pies, and spinach turnovers. The salads chapter gave me many quick and tasty new additions to my maza, including chickpea salad with lemony mint salad dressing, colorful cabbage salad with lemony mint salad dressing, beet salad with tahini dressing (I love beets and tahini in all shapes and forms, and had never thought to combine the two before!), and standards like Middle Eastern salad, tabbouleh, and fattoush.
Vegetarians will find much to enjoy in the salads chapter and the vegetable and rice side dishes, including the herbed potato salad, fried cauliflower with sesame parley sauce, saffron rice with golden raisins and pine nuts, and the many appetizers (zucchini fritters, juzmuz (shakshouka), herbed omelets, spiced cheese balls, vegetarian stuffed grape leaves. Protein can be found in the form of foul mudammas, hummus, tissiyeh, and falafel. I particularly enjoyed the lentil and bulgur pilaf with caramelized onions.
Meat-based classics like kibbeh (including a recipe for raw kibbeh), shwarma, kabsa, and sheesh taouk are also represented, as is seafood. One of my favorite discoveries was the shrimp in aromatic tomato sauce, which was spiced with cumin, coriander, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and paprika, which complemented its suggested accompaniment of saffron rice with golden raisins and pine nuts.
I found the desserts chapter a particular delight, as I've long appreciated the Middle Eastern desserts that my students from the Gulf would bring to go along with Saudi coffee. There's a very helpful illustrated guide to ma'amoul (date-filled cookies traditionally shaped with a wooden mold; one of my Iraqi students introduced me to these), and several variations on puddings (the gorgeous layered apricot and milk pudding makes a stunning finale to any meal). I have a basbousa/harissa recipe from Australia that I normally use that calls for copious amounts of melted butter and yogurt, but Faith's version made with milk was every bit as moist (and no doubt healthier). I also followed her direction to put the harissa under the broiler to brown the top; that's the one step I was never able to get right in the past, and it came out looking every bit as gorgeous as the cookbook photo (see photo).
As Faith says in the introduction, her goal for "An Edible Mosaic" was to introduce home cooks to traditional Middle Eastern recipes that are delicious and attainable as well as to teach a bit of Middle Eastern culture along with the cuisine as the two are so closely intertwined. Even if you already have other Middle Eastern cookbooks, you'll be sure to find new and memorable recipes here (most of my Mediterranean / Middle Eastern cookbooks focus on Lebanon, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, so some of the Syrian dishes were new to me). Overall, "An Edible Mosaic" is a great entry into the world of homestyle Middle Eastern cooking that is perfect for any level of home cook!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Not only are Faith's recipes incredibly delicious, they are also easy to follow. Many of you might think that Middle Eastern cuisine isn't for you, or maybe you think it is just too hard to cook. Well, I'm no master chef myself, but following the recipes in this book might make you feel like one! I have served several of Faith's recipes to my family, and many of them have become popular requests! Lastly, Faith has beautiful pictures for just about every recipe in her book.
I highly recommend this book to any and everyone. Whether or not you are familiar with Middle Eastern cuisine, this cookbook is a must-have for every kitchen!
I turned into a vegatarian because I found the spices and vegatable so satisfying I did not need meat
although there are meat dishes the veggies dishes won my heart over
this book is easy to read
certain items will lead you to ehtnic grocery stores or online purchases
also I could not find pomergranate molassess so I went on line to food network and found a recipe
I made it from scratch at home
a must for everyone!