I read cookbooks as if they're reading books, fiction, romance, history etc. I look at the illustrations like others look at coffee table art books. I store ideas, suggestions, food combinations in my head, and they become the inspiration for my cooking experiments. I don't like taking orders, and that includes strictly following recipes. Recently I've been devouring the food shown in a cookbook I was sent for reviewing:
Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride-
and other Kosher Sephardic recipes you will love
by Reyna Simnegar
The most special and delicious meals I've eaten in kosher New York restaurants have been Persian. I'm sure that many of you know just the restaurant I'm referring to. So, as I look at the pictures and read the recipes, I find myself tasting the food. I'm hungry just thinking about it (and I've just eaten dinner.)
Even worse, I've been showing the book off to guests who must be very disappointed when I serve them my very ordinary meals.
No doubt I will be incorporating flavors and recipes from Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride. The recipes are not only irresistible, but the graphics are excellent and instructions are clear. I love reading all of the extra information, Simnegar's stories and information about Persian Jewish culture, history and her family.
Rice does feature a lot in Persian meals, but there are plenty of other dishes for low-carbohydrate eaters like myself. I've been very tempted to try (and of course to eat) Joojeh (Chicken) Kabab. It's illustrated with some salad greens and tomatoes. Best of all, it looks really simple to prepare.
Not all of the recipes are Persian. There are some Moroccan vegetable dishes, like Spinach Salad and Moroccan Carrots. Considering how foods like pizza, hamburgers and felafel have conquered the world, I have no objection to finding Moroccan salads and other international dishes in this great Persian Jewish cookbook.
If you love cookbooks, either for discovering new recipes or reading for ideas and inspiration, Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride-and other Kosher Sephardic recipes you will love is the cookbook for you! It will also make a great gift.