A one-of-a-kind cookbook showcasing modern and authentic clay pot cooking from the premier expert on Mediterranean cuisines
Paula Wolfert is legendary for her expertise on and explorations of Mediterranean cooking. Now, Wolfert shares her inimitable passion for detail and insatiable curiosity about cultural traditions and innovations, with Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking.
Here, the self-confessed clay pot "junkie"-having collected in her travels ceramic pots of all sorts: cazuelas, tagines, baking dishes, bean pots, Romertopf baking dishes, French diablos, ordinary casseroles, even Crockpots, which have a ceramic liner-shares recipes as vibrant as the Mediterranean itself along with the delightful stories behind the earthy pots, irresistible dishes, and outstanding cooks she has met along the way.
Wolfert demystifies the process of clay pot cooking by which fresh ingredients are transformed slowly, richly, lusciously into magnificent meals. She shares 150 recipes featuring soups, fish and shellfish, poultry, meats, pasta and grains, vegetables and beans, pies and breads, eggs and dairy, and desserts.
Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking offers
Paula Wolfert in Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking will seduce you with the pleasures and benefits of cooking in clay.
Beginning with a simple premise—"Food tastes better cooked in clay"—this single-themed cookbook is an illuminating treatise on a technique that's used throughout the Mediterranean but is still relatively obscure in U.S. kitchens. James Beard Award–winner Wolfert (The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen; The Cooking of Southwest France), who has studied and written about the region's cuisine for decades, has become passionate about earthenware pots. Wolfert claims that all food cooked in unglazed vessels has an earthy sweetness, and that when the vessel is dedicated to a certain food, its porous surface gains a seasoning or “memory” that enhances the flavor. Because these same characteristics make clay pots tricky to care for, Wolfert provides tips for cleaning and safety as well as plenty of sources for more information. What these dishes have in common is that they can be prepared, baked and brought to the table in their respective dishes—be it in the Spanish cazeula (orange-glazed pork belly), the Moroccan tagine (fish tagine with tomatoes, olives and preserved lemon) or the Turkish guvec (summer lamb and vegetable guvec). Wolfert is a true cook's author, and as her use of obscure ingredients (dried eggplant, sweet and sour plums, argan oil) and colorful anecdotes/additional ideas (say, grilling over a flowerpot) illustrate, this book is not for the casual home cook. But for those willing to tackle them, Wolfert's clay pot dishes do indeed merit the hype. Photos. (Oct.)Starred Review (Publishers Weekly, September 7, 2009)
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