When I met him at the Catholic Writers Guild Conference earlier this summer, cookbook author, podcaster and CatholicMom.com contributor Jeff Young told me that he purposely creates his recipes to feed large groups of people–that way, you’ll want to share.
You’ll definitely want to share the meals you make from the recipes in his cookbook, Around the Table with the Catholic Foodie: Middle Eastern Cuisine.
Don’t be intimidated by the idea of “Middle Eastern Cuisine.” Most of the ingredients in Jeff’s recipes are easy to find. One spice that might be more difficult to get locally is sumac, but you can get that online. I was fortunate to find it in a local Turkish market.
When you make Jeff’s recipes, you’ll be using real foods: fresh ingredients and no chemical substitutes. It’s a healthier way to eat, and I guarantee you that it’s more delicious too. I’ve followed Jeff’s blog for years; I think I found it when I was looking for a jambalaya recipe, but you’ll find much more than Louisiana cooking at his site. Soups, breads, pizza–it’s all there.
Jeff’s directions are clear, and he includes plenty of tips on working with certain ingredients and mixing your own spice blends. But one of my favorite things about this cookbook is the story that goes with each recipe. Stories are part of the fun around the dinner table, and they’re part of the fun of this cookbook as well. Many of these Middle-Eastern recipes originated in the Holy Land, and the first two chapters of the book are all about the family table, food in the Bible and “where food meets faith.” Don’t skip these just to get to the recipes!
I’ve made several recipes from this cookbook so far:
- Oven-Baked Salmon (3-ingredient easy and completely delicious)
- Sesame Tahini Paste Cookies (pictured above)
- Fish with Pistachios and Dill
- Crispy Roasted Potatoes
- Parsley Potatoes
- Carrots with Cumin
- Rice Pilaf
- Lamb-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Israeli Chopped Salad
Some of these recipes have made it into the regular rotation around here. All of them have been excellent, and I have a few more recipes in my meal plan for the coming weeks. (I even planted a grape vine this spring so I could get grape leaves to make one of the recipes, but I don’t have quite enough leaves to do this yet.)
Finally, I’ve given two copies of this cookbook as gifts to people I love who love cooking and trying new flavors. I’m not done trying recipes from this book and I’m also not done purchasing it as a gift.
Note: Your purchase of this cookbook through my Amazon affiliate link helps feed my cookbook habit. Thank you!