If you’ve ever bought a copy of Jamie magazine, you’ll probably be familiar with editor, Andy Harris. Already a fan, I was looking forward to receiving this book, not only because I love Andy’s work, but also as my own experiences of Moroccan food have been somewhat mixed: although I adored the tagines, fragrant pastries and couscous salads, I was less of a fan of the weirdly gelatinous calves’ foot casseroles and tooth-achingly sweet mint tea.
A Month in Marrakesh is a clever combination of travel guide and cookery book. I adore travel books: I love joining writers on their journeys, and adding food into the equation just makes it perfect. The photography, by the divine David Loftus, is just the icing on the cake. You can practically hear the muezzin and smell the charcoal braziers of the street food vendors.
Recipes are delivered in a very Jamie-like fashion – there’s no fuss or frippery (but no ‘boshing’ or ‘whacking’ either), just fresh ingredients, bold flavours and authentic combinations. Chapters include one on breakfasts, a very comprehensive and enticing section on salads and vegetables, also soups, tagines, roasts and some delicious looking desserts. The ‘street food’ chapter particularly grabbed me. The chicken kebabs with spicy avocado dip are on my to do list already. I’m also looking forward to recreating the bistilla (or pastilla) that I enjoyed on my visit a few years ago: crisp pastry with a spiced chicken filling, topped with icing sugar (sounds unusual, but it’s delicious).
It’s obviously that Andy Harris has a deep affection for Marrakesh, and he brings the very essence of this vibrant city to life through this beautiful book. Oh and that cloying mint tea becomes infinitely more appealing as a softly set jelly.
I’m delighted to say that I’m taking part in a blog tour for this fabulous book. You can also win your own copy too – see bottom (tee hee!) for details.
A Month in Marrakesh by Andy Harris, £16.99 paperback, published by Hardie Grant.
Monday 10th – http://englishmum.com/
Tuesday 11th – http://emmablock.co.uk/
Wednesday 12th – http://junglefrog-cooking.com/
Thursday 13th - http://www.babaduck.com/
Friday 14th – http://www.millycundall.com/
Win a copy of A Month in Marrakesh thanks to Hardie Grant Books. To enter simply follow Hardie Grant on Twitter @hardiegrantuk or like on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/
Winner will be drawn on Monday 17th September. UK residents only (sorry overseas friends!).