Review: How to Roast a Lamb by Michael Psilakis

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Book: How to Roast a Lamb
Subtitle: New Greek classic cooking
Author: Michael Psilakis
ISBN: 978-0-316-04121-8
Publisher: Hachette Book Group

From the book’s website:

A rising star in the food world, Michael Psilakis is co-owner of a growing empire of modern Mediterranean restaurants, and one of the most exciting young chefs in America today. In How to Roast a Lamb, the self-taught chef offers recipes from his restaurants and his home in this, his much-anticipated first cookbook.
Ten chapters provide colorful and heartfelt personal essays that lead into thematically related recipes. Gorgeous color photography accompanies many of the recipes throughout. Psilakis’s cooking utilizes the fresh, naturally healthful ingredients of the Mediterranean augmented by techniques that define New American cuisine. Home cooks who have gravitated toward Italian cookbooks for the simple, user-friendly dishes, satisfying flavors, and comfortable, family-oriented meals, will welcome Psilakis’s approach to Greek food, which is similarly healthful, affordable, and satisfying to share any night of the week.

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This is a beautifully done hardcover cookbook with a dust jacket. The cookbook has 288 pages and eleven chapters. The author prefaces each chapter with stories and photographs from his childhood that tie into the theme of each chapter and explain his love for cooking.

There are a total of one hundred and fifty recipes and many black and white and color photographs throughout the book. Many of the recipes feature meats some of us might not be familiar cooking with including pheasant, rabbit, venison, lamb and goat. Being a Greek cookbook, there are many seafood recipes as well. You will also find chicken and beef recipes and several vegetarian recipes. I was a bit disappointed that there were not more pastry and dessert recipes since I have a huge sweet tooth.

Each recipe lists the recipe title in Greek and English, a short paragraph with a bit of information about the recipe, a full ingredient list and of course directions. The directions are well written and very easy to follow for the novice or more experienced cook.

For those not familiar with Greek cooking, the author includes information about the ingredients. For example, he explains the various cheeses, oils and olives he uses in the recipes. He also offers suggestions for substitutions if you can’t find some of the Greek foods at your supermarket.

This is a great cookbook for anyone interested in Greek cooking and it would be the perfect gift for those that enjoy reading their cookbooks cover to cover. I’m looking forward to trying the Beef Stew with Leeks and the Stewed English Peas and Mushrooms.

As required by the FCC: I received a free copy of this cookbook from the Hachette Book Group in order to write my review. I received no monetary compensation and the opinions written here are mine and mine alone.

My thanks to the Hachette Book Group and Michael Psilakis for sending me this cookbook.

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