Eastern and Central European Kitchen, The
Contemporary and Classic Recipes
Silvena Rowe; photography by Jonathan Lovekin
published 2007 • 8 1/4" x 10 1/4 • 192 pages • full-color photographs
"A timeless guide to both the traditions and the trends of Eastern and Central European cooking. Rowe...presents a worldly view of the region's truly robust flavors, ripe with custom and tradition...Rather than centering the chapters around specific courses, the author uses them to focus on topics that are particularly important to Eastern and Central European food...The great diversity of dishes, illustrated with lush, journalistic photography, is a brilliant lens with which readers can view this vibrant culinary culture. A fresh look at an exciting, often-overlooked cuisine."—Kirkus Reviews
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Winner of the Glenfiddich Best Photography Award
The fresh ingredients and unfamiliar flavor combinations of Central and Eastern Europe are capturing the imaginations of gourmet stores and restaurants in the West, as borders open up and Europe is extended. We’re enjoying dishes such as goulash, stroganoff, pierogi and borscht as we feast on a wealth of culinary traditions that stretches back for generations.
Silvena Rowe turns to countries such as Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Poland, Georgia, Russia, and the Ukraine for her inspiration. She cooks game with sweet-and-sour stuffing, sauces and marinades; smoked fish; wild mushrooms; fruits such as quince, figs and pomegranates; and seeds and grains such as lentils, pearl barley and poppy seeds. She plunders the traditions of the poor and wealthy alike in her quest to bring us a taste of what is put upon the tables in these countries. The food is untamed and the flavors are strong.
Alongside Silvena’s recipes are photographs of the food markets, farms, homes, grand cafés and restaurants of Eastern and Central Europe by renowned photographer Jonathan Lovekin.
As the author describes in her book: “The soups vary from the hearty winter warmers of Hungary to light, delicate, chilled summer soups; the stews encompass goulash and the aromatic braised lamb recipes of Georgia; and there are legions of dumplings, including the classic pierogi, the delicate uszka, the savory leniwe and the hearty pyzy. Subtle, yet forceful, marinades; pickles and preserves; smoked fish, sausages, and meats—they all play a role in this rich and almost unknown treasure trove that can rival the culinary cultures of France and Italy in its depth and breadth.”
Silvena Rowe is the leading expert in Central and Eastern European cuisine. Born and brought up in Bulgaria, she learned to cook in a home in which family life was centered on good food. She is a chef, chef-presenter, food writer and culinary consultant. Silvena has been bringing the passion of Eastern European cuisine to a hungry public for many years through newspaper and magazine features and TV appearances, including on Channel 4’s Chef on the Night, UKTV’s Great Food Live and most recently BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen. Her first book Super Grub, which she co-authored with Malcolm Gluck, was published in 2004.
“As Italian cookbooks crowd bookstores and Spanish tapas bars multiply, Western European dishes have become part of our daily repertoire. Meanwhile, the foods eaten just to the east—in Hungary or Ukraine, for example—haven't yet made our radar. Silvena Rowe…may change all that. With that in mind, she's compiled a blend of modern twists and traditional regional dishes…Unlike many cookbooks that focus on the foods of far-flung regions, these recipes call for standard supermarket ingredients, instead using them in unusual ways. For exploratory cooks, it's a seductive and inspiring compilation.” —New York Daily News
“We want to cook everything in this stunning new book. 'The Eastern and Central European Kitchen' throws the window open on cuisines that have heretofore been hidden from us…flavor combinations that are so fresh and imaginative that they shake a few preconceived notions out of our heads. …Rowe writes with a clarity that can be achieved only when the cuisine is mastered. As is typical with books from Interlink Books, the chapter introductions bring the culture to the reader and are as riveting as the recipes.” —In Mama’s Kitchen
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