Flavors of the Sun Cookbook, a review by Tanya

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Flavors of the Sun: The Sahadi’s Guide to Understanding, Buying and using Middle Eastern Ingredients

Christine Sahadi Whealn
Photographs by Kristin Teig

352 pages, over 120 recipes
Publishes September 7th, 2021 by Chronicle Books

Amazon | Goodreads

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About the Book:

A comprehensive guide to vibrant Middle Eastern ingredients, with more than 120 recipes that let them shine, from James Beard award winning Sahadi’s market in Brooklyn, New York.

Sumac. Urfa pepper. Halvah. Pomegranate molasses. Preserved lemons. The seasonings, staples, and spice blends used throughout the Middle East offer deliciously simple ways to transform food—once you know how to use them. In FLAVORS OF THE SUN, the people behind the iconic Brooklyn market Sahadi’s showcase the versatility of these ingredients in over 120 everyday dishes, including starters, salads, soups, family-friendly meals, and desserts. With sections devoted to recipes boasting Bright, Savory, Spiced, Nutty, and Sweet accents, it offers inspiration, techniques, and intensely flavorful ways to use everything from Aleppo pepper to za’atar with confidence. Throughout, “no-recipe recipes” help build up your flavor intuition so you can effortlessly incorporate any of the featured spices, condiments, and preserves into your daily repertoire.

120 RECIPES WITH A PUNCH: From an updated take on nachos and mac and cheese to a spectacular pistachio cheesecake and tahini-enriched brownies, FLAVORS OF THE SUN features dozens of the store’s most-requested dishes as well as Sahadi family favorites. Simple yet loaded with flavor, these recipes will inspire you to make these distinctive Middle Eastern ingredients essential components of your pantry.

OPTIMUM VERSATILITY: Each section addresses a specific flavor profile and offers a set of essential ingredients for achieving it along with helpful tips on how to use them separately or in combination. Look-and-cook mini recipes provide even more ideas for using distinctive ingredients like tahini, Aleppo pepper, and preserved lemons to give a fresh new spin to everything from salad dressings to cocktails.

EXPERT KNOWLEDGE: Family owned, Sahadi’s has been a beloved resource since its founding by Abrahim Sahadi, an immigrant from Lebanon, more than 100 years ago. Now welcoming a fifth generation into the business, the Sahadi family’s authentic imported goods and exhaustive knowledge continue to inspire local chefs and adventurous home cooks to taste and explore the diverse world of Middle Eastern spices and sundries.

FOR FANS OF PLENTY: Much like PLENTY, this cookbook dives deep into core ingredients and provides intimate insights into flavorful spice blends like dukkah, berbere, ras el hanout, shawarma spices, and more. Each ingredient profile includes an informative buying guide so you can build your pantry like a pro.

Perfect for: home cooks to seasoned chefs; fans of PLENTY; JERUSALEM; SHUK, and ZAHAV; Sahadi’s loyal customers; those interested learning about spices and new ways to use them in everyday dishes

My Review:

Oh my!  Oh my, my, my!  What beautiful recipes and flavor pallets are included in this Cookbook!

As I’m getting older, I’m really loving to spend more time in the kitchen, trying new dishes and expanding my knowledge on flavor combinations.  I can get heartburn just looking at a pepper, so for most of my life I’ve been pretty plain jane with my cooking.  But I’ve started to realize that I can cook with so many spices, more than I thought I could, and keep the heat very mild so that I don’t have any physical side effects.

So, I feel basically like a new cook in the kitchen in many ways, especially with foods from different cultures around the world.  When I saw the Flavors of the Sun Cookbook, I knew that I simply had to read it!  And I’m so happy that I did.

My husband walked in the kitchen, looked over my shoulder at my pc and promptly pulled up a chair, completely forgetting what he came in for.

Him: “What is that?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
Him: “What does that spice taste like”
Me: “I don’t know.”
Him: “Can you get that at the grocery store?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
Him: “What do you think that tastes like?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
Him: “Everything looks so good!”
Me: “Yeeesssss”
Him: “How soon can we try these?”
Me: “Soon!”

With recipes like Rosewater Marshmallows, Quinoa Tabbouleh with Chickpeas, Alicia’s Saffron Chicken Soup, Spicy Beef Kebabs with Tzatziki, all different flavors of Hand Pies, Christmas Rice and Hibiscus Shortbread Icebox Cookies, there are some seriously amazing dishes in here!

I’ve basically no experience with Middle Eastern dishes but I now need to obtain a few of these spices and start making some of these beautiful recipes!!

The photos are luscious and so very beautiful! This Cookbook would be a fantastic edition to any kitchen!

Thank you to #ChronicleBooks and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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