Sitto’s Kitchen contains the original recipes and memories carried by the author’s grandmother onto the shores of Ellis Island in 1912. These treasures, taught to her grandmother in Aleppo, Syria, comprise over 100 years of traditional Arab cooking.
Culinary delights, from an Aleppo breakfast of butter-soft turnovers to after-dinner Arab coffee and sweets, highlight this unique cuisine. Tantalizing Tamarind Meatballs, Open Meat Pies, aromatic Barley Pilaf and Syrian Stuffing are mouth- watering. Phyllo-encrusted Spinach Rolls, healthy vegetable soups, salads and grains, including several Bulgar Wheat dishes, will satisfy vegetarians.
The author remembers, “In 1966, I started compiling my grandmother’s recipes in a little spiral notebook. Years later, as my worn and food-stained notebook captured the fruits of my own labors, I realized these recipes were too precious to lose. They’re testament to all those cooks before me who faithfully preserved their heritage, mother to daughter, through the generations.”
Although these treasured Syrian family recipes are traditional and the author carefully describes the techniques used long ago, she has simplified and updated them. Young cooks or anyone new to Middle Eastern cuisine will find the author’s notes at the end of each recipe a helpful and contemporary touch. Charming stories and anecdotes will give readers a window into the past.
Sitto’s Kitchen starts with a Basics chapter that will guide the reader with tips on pantry staples, cook’s tools and the typical ingredients needed to begin creating this exciting cuisine. A glossary of spices and herbs, a recipe list in both English and Arabic, a Where to Buy It section and photos of many of the dishes are all included with today’s cooks in mind.
The next generations of young Arab cooks who long for these traditional foods will be drawn into Sitto’s Kitchen. Those exploring new cuisines will find that these Middle Eastern spices and fragrant herbs will carry them to new lands. For thousands of years, the distinctive cuisine of Syria has relied on the freshest of vegetables, fruits and nuts of the region. The accent on these foods and grain-based dishes will appeal to vegetarians as well as those wanting a homespun adventure in Middle Eastern cookery. Sitto’s Kitchen is Middle Eastern cooking with no mystery, simply prepared and traditionally preserved by generations of cooks who served these humble dishes to their families with love.