Orexi!: Feasting at the Modern Greek Table

Theo A. Michaels. Ryland, Peters & Small, $19.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-78879-079-6
Michaels, a former contestant on MasterChef UK, debuts with an inspired collection packed with anecdotes and excellent recipes from Greece, with a focus on the food of Cyprus, where his family has roots. The fare is appropriately light and well-suited to sunny climes: a ceviche of sea bream includes cubes of watermelon; a wheat berry, quinoa, and pomegranate salad is inspired by kolifa, a dish usually served during Greek Orthodox memorial services. A chapter on fish and seafood includes grilled octopus served on a bed of lentils stained black with squid ink, as well as pretty packages of cod loin encased in pastry shreds. Clever ideas abound: vegetables are shaved into ribbons for a salad of zucchini, carrots, and asparagus; in a chapter on cooking with fire, disks of goat cheese are wrapped in pancetta and grilled. Desserts are equally evocative: baklava is flavored with espresso and a chocolate sauce, then smoked over wood chips in a nod to memories of “leathery-skinned old men playing backgammon in the street outside a café, dark bitter coffee perfuming the air and camouflaging the smoke from their cigarettes, and something sweet served on a tea saucer.” This is a transporting book that beautifully blends flavor and memory. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/13/2019
Release date: 04/09/2019
Genre: Lifestyle
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