Macedonia: The Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from the Balkans

Katerina Nitsou. Interlink, $35 (240p) ISBN 978-1-623-71879-4
A descendant of Macedonian immigrants to Canada, Nitsou combines a connection to her roots with a strong handle on culinary skills in her intriguing debut. The “rustic and unassuming” food of Macedonia, she writes, assimilates Turkish and Greek flavors and even echoes the cuisine of Tuscany, but the results are distinct, as evidenced in her mezze of crepes filled with leeks, ricotta, and feta, and a meat pie with traditional pastrma (“salted dried meat”) replaced with a juicy pork tenderloin. Nitsou, an alum of the Los Angeles Times test kitchen, has a knack for tweaks—such as roasting meatballs for extra flavor before floating them in a lemony soup—and her instructions are clear and direct. She provides an involved recipe for a coiled savory pastry, a “labor of love,” then thoughtfully follows up with a version using store-bought puff pastry that’s “as close as you can get to homemade dough.” Homey desserts include an orange peel–infused rice pudding and a sour cream Bundt cake with cinnamon, walnuts, and brown sugar, while a snappy chapter on preserves features fig jam alongside instructions for making yogurt, a key component in everything from her chilled cucumber soup to marinated chicken skewers. By turns inviting and professional, this shines a spotlight on a little-known cuisine with eminently doable results. (July)
Reviewed on : 06/03/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Lifestyle
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