A Culinary Journey with Recipes from the Spice-Scented Markets of Marrakech to the Date-Filled Oasis of Zagora
By Jeff Koehler
(Chronicle Books, Hardcover, 9780811877381, 224pp.)
Publication Date: May 2012
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With a wide range of exotic flavors and cooking styles, Morocco includes 80 recipes with Spanish influences, rustic Berber styles, complex, palace-worthy plates, spicy tagines, and surprisingly easy to make street food. From piquant appetizers like cumin-spiced potato fritters, to classic tagine and couscous entrees, and stuffed pastries like Seafood Pastilla, to fragrant sweets like Honeyed Phyllo Triangles Stuffed with Almonds, and, of course, Mint Tea, this beautiful collection of recipes surprises and inspires the home cook. Gorgeous photographs of such iconic Moroccan scenes as the markets of Marrakech and the date-filled oasis of Zagora capture the diverse flavors of this sun-splashed country.
Jeff Koehler is a culinary journalist and the author of La Paella and Rice, Pasta, Couscous. His writing and photographs, primarily about the foods of the Mediterranean, have appeared in Saveur, Food & Wine, EatingWell, and the Washington Post. He lives with his family in Barcelona.
Some international cookbooks stimulate appetites and others induce wanderlust-this survey of Moroccan cuisine does both. Food writer and photographer Jeff Koehler (Rice Pasta Couscous; La Paella) captures the complexity of his subject matter with the exacting detail of a scholar and the color and sensuality of a spice market.
A brief historical overview is followed by regional guides that cover the country's diverse geographic territories, from the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines to the Sahara desert. Setting the stage for modern cooks, he covers some suggested pantry items (argan oil; 12 different kinds of dates; the spice blend ras el hanout) and equipment (couscoussier; tagine).
The more than 70 recipes reflect the variety of cultural traditions carried over from Arab (stuffed phyllo pastry), Berber (blistered flatbread), and Spanish inhabitants (mussels in tomato sauce). Emblematic dishes like tomato-based harira soup, chicken tagine with preserved lemon and olives, and seven-vegetable couscous are included alongside street eats like snails in broth and a contemporary update on lamb tagine featuring oranges, saffron, and candied orange peel.
The sumptuous photographs complete the almost-like-being-there experience. - Publishers Weekly