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The New Persian Kitchen

by Louisa Shafia

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1041226,420 (3.67)2
"This luscious and contemporary take on the alluring cuisine of Iran from cookbook author Louisa Shafia features 75 recipes for both traditional Persian dishes and modern reinterpretations using Middle Eastern ingredients. Louisa Shafia, author of the award-winning Lucid Food,explores her heritage while bringing a healthy and vibrant perspective to Persian recipes that might otherwise rely too heavily on white sugar and heavy oils for flavor. This colorful cookbook demystifies unfamiliar ingredients like rosewater, dried limes, and sumac; provides a comprehensive resources section; and offers helpful substitutions. The recipes–such as Jeweled Rice, Pomegranate Soup, and Saffron Ice Cream–range from starters to sweets and employ simple techniques and preparations, making this exotic, beautiful, and ancient cuisine accessible to the home cook."… (more)
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The book is printed on plain paper, clearly visible print and many (in my opinion not enough) color photos of many of the dishes. A few of the dishes come w/ a "vegetarian" option, the titles are printed in English in red with the Farsi below in a smaller brown script. There is a small explanation of the dish w/ optional variations & serving suggestions & the number of servings. The recipes & ingredients are clear easy to read & follow... but Middle Eastern cooking takes a bit of time when it comes to preparation, so these are not quick & easy meals.

I really enjoy the discussion of spices, many of which I often use, and I found a better way to prepare my saffron before adding it to my dishes.

The book is broken down to the following sections: Introduction; Overview; Guide to Persian Ingredients; ten (10) sections of Recipe; Menus; Resources; Acknowledgements; About the Author; and Index.

The recipes for the most part are gluten free, use minimal of oil & fat, and call for alternatives to white sugar. There are several Jewish/Kosher recipes, which in my mind do not mix with the other dishes.

Starters & Snacks: As the authors states Iranians really do not serve "appetizers" but a series of small plates to awaken the the palate & appetite.... Whole grilled fava beans; Winter squash fritters w/ rose petals; New potatoes w/ dill & lemon; Turkish roasted tomato & red pepper dip (Armenians serve this too); Garlicky eggplant & tomato spread; Passover Charoset (see...Kosher).

Soups: Cold pistachio w/ mint & leeks; Saffron corn soup (this sounded really good); "Persian 'Matzoh Balls' w/ chickpeas & chicken (Riiiight); Savory amaranth & turkey porridge; Cleansing spring nettle soup; and one of My Favorites Ash-e Reshteh (Bean, herb & noodle soup).

Salads: Chicken w/ potatoes & olives (Salad Olivie); Tomato & Cucumber; Vinegar carrots w/ toasted sesame seeds; & Radish, rhubarb & strawberry.

Vegetable & Egg Entrees: Herb frittata w/ walnuts & rose petals (Kuku sabzi, very often served during lent & easter w/ fish); Roasted stuffed artichokes w/ mint oil (this sounded good); Stuffed tomatoes w/ pistachio pesto; and Tempeh kebabs w/ minty cilantro-lime sauce.

Meat & Fish Entrees: Chilie-saffron fish kebabs; Parvin's tamarind stuffed fish; Lamb kebabs in pomegranate-walnut marinade (fesenjan sauce); Grilled liver w/ cumin, garlic, & fresh basil; and Turmeric chicken w/ sumac & lime.

Main Dish Stews & casseroles: Pomegranate walnut stew (fesenjan); Barley stew w/ lamb & rhubarb; Seared chicken & peaches; Green herb & kidney bean stew w/ dried lemons (Gormeh sabzi, my favorite); and Persian gulf style spicy tamarind fish stew.

Rice & Grains: Saffron rice (my favorite); Sweet rice w/ carrots & nuts; Rice w/ rose petals & barberries (sour); Quinoa w/ french lentils, wild rice & golden raisins; and Rice w/ favas (or limas) & fresh dill (another of my favorites & easy to make).

Sweets: Chickpea & almond flour icebox cookies (yum); Rhubarb & rose water sorbet w/ rice noodles; pomegranate semifreddo w/ blood orange compote; Amaranth rice pudding w/ rose water; and No-bake persimmon & goat cheese cheesecake.

Beverages: Salty mint yogurt soda; Sour cherry spritzer (so refreshing in summer); Cardomon coffee; Naturally sweet dried lime tea; and Winter orchard tea.

Pickles and Preserves: Sour plum pickle; Mixed vegetable pickle; Fig mustard; Tamarind date chutney; and Sour cherry & rose preserves. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
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"This luscious and contemporary take on the alluring cuisine of Iran from cookbook author Louisa Shafia features 75 recipes for both traditional Persian dishes and modern reinterpretations using Middle Eastern ingredients. Louisa Shafia, author of the award-winning Lucid Food,explores her heritage while bringing a healthy and vibrant perspective to Persian recipes that might otherwise rely too heavily on white sugar and heavy oils for flavor. This colorful cookbook demystifies unfamiliar ingredients like rosewater, dried limes, and sumac; provides a comprehensive resources section; and offers helpful substitutions. The recipes–such as Jeweled Rice, Pomegranate Soup, and Saffron Ice Cream–range from starters to sweets and employ simple techniques and preparations, making this exotic, beautiful, and ancient cuisine accessible to the home cook."

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