Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Chef Gorji
“Through modern and traditional cooking techniques, I try to bring out the clean flavors of food by using quality ingredients, minimal spices, harmonious rations and abbreviated cooking times,” Gorji writes in his cookbook, Zing! By Gorji.
At one hundred and seventy-five pages, this oblong spiral bound hardback targets those interested in “New Mediterranean” cuisine of cooking. Focusing on bold, balanced, simple, and savory, there are over sixty-five food recipes, the majority having full-colored photographs of completed dishes.
Having lived on three continents, Chef Gorji shops locally for ingredients for his acclaimed restaurant in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area. Practicing his craft for more than twenty-five years, he has created a line of gourmet products.
After acknowledgments and an explanation of Zing! as well as flavors, family, and theories, several pages are devoted to Gorji’s favorite flavor-building blocks such as kosher salt, sumac, pomegranates, barberries, and non-pareil capers. Tips and techniques include placement of vegetables when sautéing or grills, reducing sauces, pan searing and handling pasta, along with notes about timing, heat, and adding salt and pepper to name a few.
The recipes begin with fifteen starters of unique dishes like quail legs and pomegranates, dolmades, escargot with Pomodoro, and Mediterranean chili. Ten salads offer suggestions of artichoke salad, kale Caesar salad, and raspberry champagne vinaigrette. The seafood entrees include thirteen meals such as seared arctic char or sardines, seafood in puttanesca, and salmon croquettes while the five poultry dishes mention duck giblets and ragout and grilled quail over wilted Swiss chard. The beef, lamb, and pork concoctions title eight items from Bolognese to wild boar, gnocchi gorgonzola, and tomato. Thirteen sides, sauces, and pasta range from turnip and pomegranate purees to tabbouleh and baked and pan-fried eggplant. Only four extras are mentioned: champome, café glace, Turkish kefir cheese with Medjool date butterfly, and persimmon and sorbet. Lastly are basics in cooking gnocchi and pasta, boiling rice, and preparing grape leaves. A pitch for Gorji’s gourmet foods and an index complete the book.
What makes this book easy to use is it lays flat due to the spiral binding. The recipes are simple in format with serving, quantity, and ingredients on one side of the page with one to two sentence instructions on the opposite side. Occasionally tips, additions, and suggestions are added. However, no preparation time or caloric/nutritional information is noted.
By looking at the beautiful photographs with mouth-watering sounding names of eclectic, diversified dishes, any chef can produce gourmet works of edible art that are bold, balanced, simple, and savory.
Thanks to Jenkins Group for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.