Veteran foodie Habeeb Salloum has done it again – created a beautiful and delicious cookbook that translates Middle Eastern cuisine for Western cooks.
Bison Delights: Middle Eastern Cuisine, Western Style, winner of a Gourmand World Cookbook Award, takes bison, a very North American ingredient, and applies it to appetizers, soups, stews, and entrees using Middle Eastern and North African spices, techniques, and cooking techniques. The result is a cookbook that is both unusual, authoritative, and accessible to everyday cooks in North America.
Salloum, a veteran cookbook author and expert on Middle Eastern cooking, takes this legendary and healthful meat and transforms it in ways never before considered. For appetizers, what about fresh bison tarare, bison stuffed grape leaves, stuffed and fried bison balls, even bison pizza? Readers will be comforted by soups and stews like carrot and bison soup, Bison Moroccan soup, Bison chickpea sweet stew, bison shank stew, and bison stew with prunes and honey.
Since this cookbook is Middle Eastern, Salloum offers plenty of tagine recipe, sumptuous, tender dishes cooked in peaked clay pots. The entrée section includes dishes like bison casserole with walnuts, coriander and mint leaves, flavored with allspice and olive oil. He creates shawarma, the iconic Middle Eastern sandwich-like wrap of shaved lamb, goat, chicken, turkey, or beef, and uses bison seasoned with lemon juice, paprika, cumin, ginger, coriander, and cayenne, and the results are spectacularly delicious. Other Middle Eastern bison offerings include bison shish kebab, sheesh barak (dumplings in yogurt), couscous and bison, bison garlic meatballs, ground bison with yogurt, and more.
The recipes, which have both the Middle Eastern and English names, are laid out in an easy-to-read style with servings and ingredient quantities given in English and metric. At the beginning of each recipe, Salloum offers a brief introduction that gives the reader an interesting story such as insights into his childhood or his travels in the Middle East, or information about a particular ingredient or recipe. It’s all entertaining and illuminating.
One of the things I love about Bison Delights is the beautiful photography. Most recipes have a delicious-looking photo of an ingredient or the recipe. The matte cover also looks and feels great. It all adds up to a beautiful cookbook that’ll make a delicious addition to your collection. — Review BH