May 25, 2013

"Sicily" by the Editors of Phaidon

SicilyMy rating: 5 of 5 spoons

Bella Sicilia!! This is an amazing, gorgeous cookbook!! Not just a cookbook, though, as it is divided into regions and includes information and history on Sicily, each region, and many of the main ingredients. Sicily is a place that is close to my heart, and this book was a feast for my eyes and soul as well as my stomach! So many of my favorites are here, including probably my favorite Sicilian "street food" of all time, Arancini. Now, the recipe here is for the classic version with a meat sauce in the middle. My favorite arancini have Pecorino (not the aged Pecorino Romano, but a young, softer Pecorino such as my favorite "Primo Sale" or you could use a "Pecorino Toscana", etc), prosciutto and sometimes mozzarella in them instead. It's easy to do that with this recipe, though as you just chop the ingredients up and either replace the filling with the cheese and meat, or even just mix the cheese and meat into the rice mixture. Delicioso!!

Gelato, Sfinci (kind of like an Italian version of a donut, but so much better!! You can also roll them in cinnamon sugar or dust with powdered sugar, which is how we had them, instead of using the syrup if you're in a bit of a hurry.), Cannoli--this version is a little different with candied pumpkin and rum, Panelle (chick-pea fritters) and so many more favorites are included here!

I have found many new recipes I'm dying to try such as Farsumagru (Stuffed veal), Pasticcio di Pollo (Chicken Pie--it has pistachios and almonds in it!), and Gamberi e Capperi (Prawns/shrimp with capers) to name just a few. I love how this book highlights the fact that, though most people immediately think of heavy pasta dishes when they think of Italian or Sicilian food, it is so much more than that! I cook Sicilian a lot, and it's much more about fresh ingredients usually prepared in a simple way to let the flavors shine through. Lots of seafood, vegetables and fruit are eaten, with some pasta and lovely desserts thrown in for fun. This is Sicilian cuisine at its finest. When I am missing Sicily and longing to be there again, this is definitely a book I will be pulling out to immerse myself in while smelling the citrus and ocean scented breezes mingled with incredible food making me feel like I'm at home.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review. I received no pressure for a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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