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Aug 31, 2010 09:21 PM


Welcome to the general discussion thread for the September 2010 Cookbook of the Month, featuring two books by Claudia Roden-

ARABESQUE: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon

We will use this thread for general commentary, recipe planning, links, and any other issues related to this COTM.

If you're new to Cookbook of the Month, the COTM archive thread explains how it all works:

A new group of threads have been created for The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, and since Arabseque is a revisit, we will add new reviews to the existing ones.

To post a full-length review of any recipe, please select the appropriate thread below.


First Courses Part 1: Appetizers, Salads and Cold Vegetables & Yogurt

First Courses Part 2: Savory Pies & Soups & Egg Dishes

Fish and Seafood & Meat Dishes:


Rice & Bulgur, Couscous, and Pasta:

Bread & Desserts, Pastries and Sweetmeats:

Pickles and Preserves & Jams and Preserves:

Drinks and Sherbets:

ARABESQUE: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon

For Starters, Kemia, Meze, and Mezze:

For Main Courses:

For Desserts:

You will find active discussions of both of these books in the nomination and announcement threads:

Nomination: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7264...
Announcement: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7298...

Finally, the Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Happy cooking!

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  1. Woohoo! Thank you, smtucker. I secured copies of both books today. I may not have time for much cooking in the first half of the month, but at least I can start planning!


    1. For recipes:

      ** THE NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD ** on Google Books:

      Sweet-and-Sour Eggplant Salad

      Zucchini Fritters

      Meat and Okra Stew - Egyptian Bamia Matbookha

      Slatit Batata Marfusa (Mashed Potates with Capers

      Melon Granita

      Brochettes de Kefta/ Ground Meat Kebabs

      Ful Medames (Egyptian Brown Fava Beans


      Macerated Fruit and Nut Salad

      Sephardic orange-and-almond cake

      1 Reply
      1. re: Rubee

        (May make this Sunday, so putting recipe link here):

        Djaj fil Forn or Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic:

      2. ** ARABESQUE ** on Google Books:

        Baba Ghanouj

        Sweet Potatoes with Onions and Tomatoes

        Turkish Grape Leaves Stuffed with Rice, Raisins, and Pine Nuts

        Kofte Kebab with Tomato Sauce and Yogurt / Yogurtlu Kofte Kebabi

        Lebanese Meatballs with Pine Nuts in Tomato Sauce

        Tomatoes Stuffed with Roast Peppers, Tuna, Capers & Olives

        Tagine of Chicken with Artichoke, Preserved Lemons and Olives

        Chicken with Tomato Pilaf

        Stuffed Eggplants with Meat / Karniyarik

        Sabanekh Bi Loubia/ Spinach and Beans with Caramelized Onions

        Safsouf / Lebanese Bulgur and Chickpea Salad


        Baked Lamb Kibbeh with Onion and Pine Nut Topping

        Peppery bulgur salad
        Courgette fritters
        Deep-fried red mullet with garlic & parsley
        Tagine of lamb with dates & almonds

        Roast Cod with Potatoes and Tomatoes /Hout Bi Batata Wa Tamatem

        Orange Pudding

        Almond Pastries in Honey Syrup

        Yogurt Cake

        2 Replies
        1. re: Rubee

          Rubee, What a great collection of links. Thank you so much for compiling this.

          1. re: smtucker

            You're welcome! I'm hoping to try a few recipes on-line from The New Book, so I'll post more as I find them.

        2. I have a small confession to make. The shear number of pages in the two combined COTM books is overwhelming me just a bit. [This was true last month as well.] Perhaps the method that I have created to review the books and choose recipes/menus to cook is flawed but I fear by the time I have read through both books, the month will already be gone.

          I would be really interested to hear the approaches others are taking to choose individual recipes from these tomes. Are you starting with an ingredient? Something you have eaten before and want to replicate in your own kitchen? Throwing darts at the book and seeing what page they hit? How can I overcome my multiple-page-anxiety?

          3 Replies
          1. re: smtucker

            I get the same anxiety of being overwhelmed. I was a bit overwhelmed with last month's book, CAC, which is why I mostly followed other people's recommendations. For this month, I'm being hampered by our heat wave which has diminished my cooking desires.

            But, usually I am ingredient driven. Last night, I decided I had to have cucumbers for dinner. So, I just looked in the index of both and found that they had nearly identical recipes. When I finally chose a prep, I just looked in the other book to do a quick comparison and they were the same. I wonder if Arabesque is a shorter version of tNBoMEF.

            I also know that I have an overabundance of eggplants, tomatoes and peppers and those will drive my recipe selections in the next few weeks. Now, I just have to get some pomegranite molasses and orange water and then these will become pantry recipes.

            ETA: also, I'm mostly focusing on tNBoMEF since I cooked from Arabesque the first time around. But, OCD me has to look in Arabesque to see if the recipe is similar.

            1. re: smtucker

              Hi smtucker, I completely understand what you mean. There is a lot of material in those two books. Similar to beetlebug, I am pretty ingredient (ie., CSA produce+ freezer full of bison meat) driven. But, I also have a particular interest in Turkish cuisine, so, I'm sort of focusing on that.

              I'm disappointed that tNBoMEF doesn't have a more extensive "by cuisine" section in the index in the back. If you looked at the index, you'd be under the mistaken impression that there are only about a dozen Turkish recipes in the book. But, as you start to flip through the recipes, you'll notice that she frequently mentions in the head notes that this is a Turkish recipe, or she offers a Turkish variation, etc. So, that's a bit of a pain. I had hoped EYB would have picked up on the info in the head notes when they indexed the book, but, alas, it appears they did not.

              P.S. rubee! thank you for all of those fantastic links!

              1. re: smtucker

                Since I have only The New Book that's what I'm cooking from so I'm not overwhelmed by the volume of recipes. My modus operandi for any COTM is to go through the chapters (the intro pages are read later); scan the recipes; list, with pg. number, those that seem doable for us; then refer to the list when planning a menu. Meals are planned according to the recipes I've planned on making and shopped for each week. I keep the list in the book for the month then insert it into a 3-ring binder for later reference when the month is finished. But remember, I'm retired. I have all the time in the world.

                When I began cooking along with COTM I only read through the meat, seafood and veggie chapters at the start, because I no longer bake as I used to, and we don't usually have dessert. So I just eliminated unnecessary reading. The chapters I set aside could easily be referred to later.

              2. I was going to give this month a pass, so I was completely surprised to come home from vacation to find that I own The New Book of Middle Eastern Cooking! I have no memory of buying it, but I was glad to find it. My Egyptian guests return tomorrow, so maybe I will cook them a taste of home.

                7 Replies
                1. re: roxlet

                  I hope you don't mind if I giggle for just a minute. Love the idea of re-finding a cookbook; like a long lost friend on facebook.

                  1. re: smtucker

                    Oh, go ahead a laugh! This is direct result of having too many cookbooks! For all I know, I have Arabesque lurking somewhere!

                    1. re: roxlet

                      I know the feeling - when I moved I found a Chinese cookbook I had had for ages but was just on the verge of rebuying...

                      1. re: buttertart

                        I recently bought two of the same book -- at the same time -- on ABE. Fortunately, they were both incredibly cheap, but I want to kick myself when I do something like that!

                        1. re: roxlet

                          We are just kinda scary alike...I hope it was a good one, anyway!

                          1. re: buttertart

                            It was good -- but not good enough to need two!

                            1. re: roxlet

                              Roxlet, I can't for the life of me find where you posted the recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding, or I'd be responding there (and luckily I went ahead and cut and pasted it onto a Word file), but I just had to tell you that Lulu and I made it this morning and we've just had a slice (as has my husband) and we ALL LOVED it. Pure heaven. Thank you so much.