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Cookbook Club: Arabesque

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Cookbook club instructor Annette Tomei will help you prepare to make the most of this contemporary classic. 

You'll receive cooking tips, shopping help, advance prep techniques, and the experienced enthusiasm of a renowned teacher, historian, and traveler.

Meets on Zoom, Tuesday, May 14 and Tuesday, May 28, 7:00-8:30 pm Eastern Time.

Much credit is owed to the legendary Claudia Roden (1936– ) for helping usher Middle Eastern home cooking into the mainstream for western cooks and diners. Born in a Jewish-Egyptian community in Cairo, Roden has been writing about food, particularly that of the Mediterranean and Middle East, for more than 50 years. Roden’s fist book, A Book of Middle Eastern Food (1968), is such an enduring classic that it remains in print, revised and updated three times. 

In Arabesque (2005), Roden sharpens her focus onto Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon. An appreciation for and application of historical context is evident among Roden’s personal observations. And, true to form, she presents largely traditional and simple dishes known to home cooks. As a result, the dimensionality and range of Middle Eastern cuisine, even among those countries bordering the Mediterranean, emerges.

You will find the fragrant tagine and couscous dishes of Morocco in addition to cod marinated in chermoula and roasted with potatoes and tomatoes. Hearty pilafs, kebabs, and stuffed fillo and puff pastries shine as Turkish offerings. Light and bright dishes—baba ghanouj, hummus, moussaka—represent Lebanon. All inspire creativity and variety for weeknight cooking.

Color photographs throughout. Hardcover.

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