Disclosure: I was given this book to review at no charge. All opinions are my own.
I have been given many cookbooks over the years. They are my favorite type of books because they are always about my favorite subject: food.
The newest cookbook I have been given to review is Ruth Barnes The Petite Gourmande: Sharing Morocco.
This book is beautiful from start to finish. I want to share with you 5 of my favorite parts:
1. The pictures. I am a sucker for pictures of food. I love to see what a finished dish will look like so I can compare it with my end result after trying a recipe. Every recipe in Sharing Morocco is accompanied with a perfect picture that makes the dishes even more appealing.
2. The stories. Each recipe has a little snippet about one of the more interesting ingredients or Ruth's feelings on the dish. I feel that gives each recipe a more familiar feel...more comfortable...easier to want to make.
3. The recipes that capture tastes I have yet to try. I am new to Moroccan cooking, so the tastes and textures mentioned in Sharing Morocco are all foreign to me. I never knew that adding fruits to meat dishes could be so delicious. I never knew orange blossom water was even a thing. I am always happy to experiment in the kitchen and am looking forward to doing just that with Sharing Morocco.
4. The history. I love how Ruth gives a bit of history about Moroccan food by explaining its roots and how people have enjoyed it through the years. I was unfamiliar with Moroccan cuisine until reading this book and now I feel less intimidated by it all.
5. The happiness that oozes from every page. You can tell this cookbook was a labor of love to make. Every recipe, every story, every picture was places together in such a joyful way. I love flipping through every page. I really feel that Ruth is trying to share her love of Morocco with her readers.
One recipe that really caught my eye and will be hitting my kitchen this week is one for Honey Pastry Cigars with Almonds. Here's the recipe:
Honey Pastry Cigars with Almonds or Briouats bil Looz ul Ashul
from Sharing Morocco
- 1 pack phyllo dough (20 sheets), thawed if previously frozen
- 1 stick melted butter, at room temperature (for brushing phyllo dough)
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
The nut filling
- 1 pound ground blanched almonds
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons orange blossom water
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 stick melted butter, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the nut filling: Place all the filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Set aside while you prepare the phyllo. Unwrap the phyllo dough and place it on a flat surface. While you are working with a phyllo sheet, keep the rest of the block covered with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out. Use a pair of scissors to cut the sheets into 3 inch-long strips. Take a strip of phyllo dough and brush it with butter. Place another strip on top of the first and brush it with butter. Repeat until you have a four-sheet layer.
Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of the nut mixture onto the phyllo layer, one inch from the edge of the side nearest you. Fold the corners over the mixture to seal, and roll it away from you to form a cigar shape. Brush the end with a small amount of egg yolk and press to seal. Repeat until you have used all the phyllo and nut filling. Coat a large baking pan with butter and lay the phyllo cigars in it lengthwise. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.
- 1 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons orange blossom water
While the phyllo cigars are baking, make the syrup: Put the honey and the orange blossom water into a small saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
When the phyllo cigars are done, remove the pan from the oven. Dip the cigars, one by one, into the honey syrup and place on a serving platter.
Don't those sound just delicious? I can't wait to try them.
If you have a foodie in your life or you want your own gorgeous hard cover cookbook , I highly recommend The Petite Gourmande: Sharing Morocco. You can check it out here through my affiliate link (If you purchase through my link, I could receive a small commission.)