Synopses & Reviews
New Cookbook from Former ‘Miss Lebanon’ Explores Modern Middle Eastern Cooking
The Middle East cradles an ancient cuisine — one of the oldest in the world. Despite its pedigree, conflict in the region has largely kept it under wraps to a wider audience. Hummus, tabbouleh, and stuffed vine leaves now receive global recognition, but there still exists this vast and distinct culinary heritage that remains unexplored: wholesome stews, exotic casseroles and a range of home cooking which revolves around humble, yet delicious vegetables and grains. It is these that routinely welcome home hungry school children and soothe the appetites of tired workers. They too must be shared with the world.
For the past five years, Lebanese-American Bethany Kehdy has sought to demystify Middle Eastern food through her blog DirtyKitchenSecrets.com and her Taste of Lebanon tours. In her debut book, Pomegranates & Pine Nuts, she provides 100+ new recipes that will introduce you to the wonders of the Middle East and change any thought you might have had that this hearty cuisine is complicated or laborious.
"In her first cookbook, Kehdy tackles the cuisine of both her personal and her ethnic past. Having written her own food blog, she currently works as a recipe developer and food writer; the next step was obviously a book paying homage to the recipes of her history. With sections covering the entire meal, from mezze to dessert, for both carnivores and vegetarians, the book covers a great deal of ground. From simple Middle Eastern takes on classic dishes like Corn-on-the-Kabab and Ma'amoul Shortbread Cookies to the more complex, traditional Tamarind & Herb Mackerel Stew and Chicken Basteeya (although this is a little experimental, as classic basteeya is made with pigeon). Additional sections cover basics such as what should be kept in a 'Middle Eastern and North African pantry' and 'basic recipes and methods,' in which many of the classical sauces, dipping sauces, ingredients, and techniques for creating the delicacies are covered. Kehdy's book presents an entire culinary world and tradition, ready to excite and challenge the Middle Eastern and North African eater. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Kehdy's cookbook is an inspired collection of classics and innovative dishes from a part of the world which, at the moment, is enjoying its overdue place in the sun. Her contribution and original, thoughtful and delicious. Go get it!" Yotam Ottlenghi, author of Jerusalem: A Cookbook
"Bethany's distinctive modern take on Middle Eastern classics is an absolute joy!" Greg Malouf, author of Malouf: New Middle Eastern Food and Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia
Bethany Kehdy is renowned for the contemporary Middle Eastern and North African recipes that she publishes on her blog (dirtykitchensecrets.com). Born in Houston, Texas to an American mother and a Lebanese father, Bethany grew up in Lebanon during the country's most volatile civil war years. During her childhood, she spent countless hours learning to cook with her perfectionist teta (grandmother), her vivacious dad and her spirited aunts. Her recipes are a harmonious balance of classic and contemporary, as she draws upon her ethnic roots while adding her own personal twist.
About the Author
Bethany Kehdy, a former Miss Lebanon, is an unrivalled spokesperson for today's new generation of Middle Eastern chefs. Kehdy works as a recipe developer, freelance food and travel writer, and food photographer. She also leads culinary tours across Lebanon and organizes Food Blogger Connect, an international conference for food bloggers Bethany resides in London. This is her first book.