Food Friday: “Mezze”

Every Friday, we at Casemate IPM bring you a delicious recipe hand-selected from one of the many cookery books we distribute. You should definitely try this at home!


Today’s Food Friday comes to us from Garnet Publishing. Mezze is a cookbook that combines the best recipes from across the Middle East, Turkey, and Greece into one essential volume. And, not only is it illustrated with photographs of some of the finished dishes, it includes images of many beautiful locations throughout the regions.

Each recipe is paired with a little anecdote – whether it’s a reason where and why a dish is so popular, or a personal story from the author – that really draws you in and gives you a sense of truly experiencing the region and culture from where the recipes originated.

The recipe I’ve chosen to share with you today is perfect for football season. It’s a twist on a game day staple: chicken wings!



Book Synopsis

9781859640494Mezze, the myriad dishes of the splendid hors d’oeuvres to traditional Arab meals, comes from the Italian word mezzano, meaning middle. Coined by the Genoese spice traders, it was absorbed into the Greek, Turkish, and Arabic languages in different forms, and reflects the multicultural origins of this exciting cuisine. Throughout history, successive empires have brought waves of culinary influence to the kitchen tables of the Near East. As Alexander the Great pushed his empire to India, as the Romans marched across Arabia and the Sassanid kings held sway in Persia, so too did foods, recipes and ideas move from country to country, culminating in the legendary court banquets of the Caliphs of Baghdad. Frankincense and pearls were traded for spices on the Silk Route, the Ottomans conquered Constantinople and the French colonised the Levant – adding further layers to the heady mix of this cosmopolitan blend. Combining Indian spices with Mediterranean ingredients, the result is an exceptionally tasty and varied repertoire of dishes which are easy to make from readily available ingredients. Rosamond Man has selected the best recipes from across the region, and each chapter takes both the imagination and the tastebuds on a journey around these countries. The chapter on fish includes kalamari in Greece, mussels in Istanbul, trout from the river Tigris and sardines in Tunisia. Salads based on spinach, beans or mushrooms, complemented with the flavours of oranges, olives or peppers, will give new inspiration to health-food lovers. Stuffed vine-leaves and pastries, breads flavoured with cheese or olives, and dips for pitta or sesame bread will give fresh ideas for light lunches, accompaniments and snacks or finger-food. Meat and poultry dishes with rice or pulses make filling meals in their own right, and vegetable dishes complete the full range of dishes which any Western cook would want.


This recipe will be a favorite at your next tailgate or Super Bowl party. Try them as an appetizer during the Thanksgiving Day football games! These Chicken Wings with Lime Juice and Garlic add a pinch of cayenne pepper for that traditional buffalo wing spicy kick. Keep reading for the full recipe, and a photo of the finished product!

Chicken Wings with Lime Juice and Garlic
Ajniba al Dajaj bil Limoun Hamidh wa Tom

This was another hot contender for ‘favourite’ whenever we went to Beirut. My only problem on those wonderful holidays was too much choice – and eyes considerably bigger than tum. I always buy chickens whole and then joint them at home – usually using the breasts for one dish, then the legs for another (sometimes leaving them on the bird – merely filleting off the breasts – and then simply roasting the chicken with a stuffing under the skin where the breasts would have been.) The wings however are always snipped off and added to my collection in the freezer. Then, when I have lots, we can have a huge plate of these… You can now, conveniently, buy bags of frozen chicken wings in many supermarkets. Even better.

Serves 4-6
12 chicken wings
2-3 garlic cloves, skinned
Maldon or sea salt
juice of 3-4 limes, or 2 large lemons
pinch of cayenne pepper

Wash the wings, and singe off any lingering feather ends. Crush the garlic well with about 1 1/2 ml (1/4 tsp) salt until really pulpy, then rub a little on each chicken wing. Put into a bowl and squeeze over the lime or lemon juice. Leave for at least 1 hour, preferable 4-5, turning them occasionally so all parts get impregnated with the juice. Put the wings into a pan, preferable sitting in one layer. Pour the marinade over and then just enough water to cover. Bring quickly to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer 12-15 minutes, uncovered, until the chicken is done and most of the sauce reduced. Transfer to a serving dish, scraping up all the juices in the pan and pouring them over. Wonderful eaten immediately and, if there should be any left-over, even better cold.


All recipe text and photo from pages 104 & 105 of Mezze.

For more delicious recipes from the Middle East, Turkey, and Greece, purchase your copy of Mezze here.


Are you interested in a specific cookbook from Let us know in the comments, and you might see it in the next Food Friday!

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