Brief Book Review: “My Halal Kitchen”

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I noticed this book while walking around our public library with my kids. Below is my brief review:

Author: Yvonne Maffei runs a blog named “My Halal Kitchen since 2008. I hadn’t previously heard of her blog, although some of my friends have been following her for some time. Ms Maffei herself has a Sicilian father and Peurto Rican mother, so her family experiences with food have been quite diverse.

What’s in the book: One of the memorable sections is the glossary of terms (like “Ahadith” and “Suhoor”) which I think is invaluable for a non-Muslim who chooses to read this book. The book also provides her definitions of halal foods.  Most of the book is dedicated to recipes  of varying ethnic backgrounds (e.g. French, Latin, Italian).

My opinion on the book: I believe two groups of people would benefit greatly from this book:

  1. those who wish to expand their cooking portfolio beyond their native cuisine (and haven’t yet done so). This book would be great for my mom who cooks almost exclusively Pakistani food. I bet she’d love something like Korean Beef Bulgogi.
  2. those who wish to use the newer meats available in halal grocery stores in the US. For example, my family had no idea what to do with halal bacon. Ms. Maffei’s book includes a recipe for a Bacon Lettuce Tomato (BLT) sandwich.  I always ignored BLTs at restaurants since the bacon is usually pork. After seeing her recipe, though, I’m surprised at how simple it is: bacon, sandwich bread, mayo, tomato and lettuce (people pay for this at restaurants????).

One recipe I’m going to try soon: Shredded Goat Tacos. I had this once at a restaurant in Chicago, so I know it will be good.

Her book, “My Halal Kitchen,” is available on Amazon as well as other places.

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