Picks and Pans Review: Mediterranean Cookery
by Claudia Roden
Exotic yet close to the French and Italian cooking Americans are more familiar with, the pungent, hearty dishes in this book would make an ideal change of pace. Try, for instance, Roden's chicken with a sauce containing honey, tomatoes, garlic and cinnamon, accompanied by cracked wheat pilaf. The more adventuresome may want to seek out such ingredients as ewe's milk or sahlab, a thickening agent made from ground orchid bulb. There are plenty of recipes that don't require a shopping trip to Marrakech, though, and Roden, a Cairo-born, London-based cooking teacher, provides clear instructions. She also offers hints on wine from the area. One warning: Lay in a few vats of olive oil before cooking with this book, since few recipes don't require it. (Knopf, $24.95)
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