Skip to main content

Cookbook Review: Modern Flavors of Arabia

I’ve started a cookbook discussion and dinner party group that meets regularly (1x a month or so) at my apartment in Alexandria to discuss cookbooks and enjoy a shared meal cooked by the members from recipes published in the monthly selected cookbook.  

Each year we work our way through an eclectic mix of cookbooks, including time honored classics, rare finds from every corner of the globe, and current up and coming advanced evaluation copies.

For our July cookbook discussion and dinner party, we reviewed Suzanne Husseini's 2012 cookbook Modern Flavors of Arabia (Random House).

قائمة طعام (Menu)

Halloumi & Feta Cheese Bread Rolls
Labneh Three Ways
Shamandar (Beet Dip)
Hummus
Beet & Purslane Salad with Citrus Dressing
Kofta with Sweet and Sour Cherry Sauce
Roasted Cauliflower with Citrus Tahini Sauce
Lemony Braised Stuffed Vine Leaves
Shish Barak (Lamb Ravioli in Herbed Yogurt Sauce)
A Thousand and One Nights Pistachio Ice Cream
Arabic Shortbread (Ghraybe)
Rice Pudding with Date Compote
Mint tea






The table is set in preparation for the guests’ arrival.













Pistachio Ice Cream and Arabic Shortbread






This might be the first time in all of my years of cooking and reviewing cookbooks that I’ve sampled twelve different recipes from a cookbook and found every single one to be on point. I give the beet dip a solid 5 (out of 5) fork rating AND I DON’T EVEN LIKE BEETS. The Kofta were tender and the cherry sauce to accompany them was another highlight of the menu. Oh my gosh, and the cheese rolls, they were amazing. Tender, pillowy, and warm, they hid the perfect little tangy bite of cheese within. The grape leaves were savory and bright with the citrus flavor. Every single dish was hit. Husseini clearly has some kind of culinary magic up her sleeves. And I wasn’t alone in my assessment; Paige was so taken with the shortbread that she lost her capacity for coherent speech and just kept moaning as she nibbled through her serving of cookies.

This is definitely a cookbook that has earned a permanent space on my bookshelves in the kitchen and I urge to you pick up Modern Flavors of Arabia to add to your collection as well. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Board Game Review: Hues and Cues

Last week we received Hues and Cues from The Op Games. We recently finished playing through Scooby-Doo Escape from the Haunted Mansion (a fantastic game in The Op Games catalogue designed by Jay Cormier, Sen-Foong Lim, and Kami Mandell that you should absolutely pick up to play with your family) and wanted to give another game from the same publisher a go. I picked Hues and Cues because I’ve been pleasantly surprised by other “test whether our minds think the same way” games such as The Mind   and Wavelength. In Hues and Cues , players gather around a large central board comprised of 480 graduating colors of the rainbow surrounded by an x-y axis and scoring table. White and black (which are technically not colors) are conspicuously absent as are shades (mixtures of color + black; e.g., grey) and tints (mixtures of color + white; e.g., cream).  On each player’s turn, they draw a card with four colors and the x-y axis codes of those colors depicted and they select one. They are in the

Board Game Review: Lost Cities Roll & Write (A Comparison to the Original Lost Cities)

I really love the card game Lost Cities , designed by Reiner Knizia. When my husband Christopher and I were first getting to know each other, we used to meet up at Starbucks sometimes and play games. Lost Cities was one of our frequent picks. It’s a head to head, two player game in which both players are trying to outscore each other by laying down ascending runs of card suits on a small board between the two of them. There’s a theme laid over the mechanism (completing expeditions in the lost world) but it’s basically pasted on and so that is the last we will speak of it. So there we were, newly in love, eyeing each other across the table, smiling and flirting, and doing our best to beat one another at Lost Cities . It was awesome. And now, with the roll & write genre having made an impressive rebound a few years ago (let’s not forget the mechanism has actually been around since the 50s with Yatzee ), Knizia has ported his award winning game Lost Cities   into this format, releasi

Board Game Review: Brass Birmingham

Here’s a story of a lovely lady (spoiler: it’s me) and her pride and how it has led to the discovery of the single greatest board game I have ever played. It’s probably also a good primer for other reviewers on increasing your reach. At GenCon this year, I was perusing the wares of the various booths and my eyes caught a glimpse of two beautiful game boxes. Each had crisp metallic lettering with an old world feel and artwork that radiated European class. I made my way to the booth and waited patiently to speak to to the team manning it as there were many buyers lined up to purchase the games. I didn’t know anything about the games (Brass Birmingham and Brass Lancashire), or the publisher – Roxley Game Laboratory – but I knew I wanted to review one or both of the games. Almost every board game love story I star in in can be summed up this way: I am seduced by the artwork or theme and then I stay for the right mechanics. When the lead rep spoke with me, he gently rejected my request. He