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Trout Hound

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  1. @ FoodMan Thanks for posting those beautiful pictures and for keeping this thread alive. I'll be making the dishes you took pictures of. One of our favorites now is the eggplant and lentil casserole you photographed earlier. Regards frank
  2. @ Bella S.F. Instead of wondering, you could just try the dish that FoodMan posted on April 30th, 2010. It calls for a 10" cazuela. You'll find that the recipes in Paula's book call for different sized cazuelas. Though many of them are between 10-12 inches.
  3. @ Bella S.F. By now I have all of Paula's books. Her recipes are often challenging, but as someone already pointed out, there are tons of cookbooks out there that are aimed at the quick-and-easy crowd. I cooked meals for friends and relatives from Paula's claypot book and every one of her recipes brought praise--not that I need anyone to tell me when something tastes delicious... :-) My favorite pot for beans are the unglazed La Chambas, which are as beautiful as are functional. You can buy them from Toque Blanche. You may also want to read more about them at Tierra Negra web site from the UK. I own a 4 quart and a 6 quart "soup pot." They both get used a lot. I'd recommend the following bean recipes from Paula's book: "White Beans with Tuna" and "White Beans with Tomatoes and Sage." In order to make those, you first need to cook the beans as described in "Tuscan White Beans with Sage and Garlic." Once you make the beans per the latter recipe, the first two are easy to prepare and are simply delicious. I've made them dozens of times. I had an Italian gourmet cook try these dishes and she said they were as good as her mother's. I get my (Cannellini) beans from Rancho Gordo. As for the cazuela's, they're not expensive at all. I own about half a dozen of them in different sizes; the largest is 11" in diameter. Paula recommends getting ones made in Spain. Here're some sources: La Tienda, The Spanish Table, Bram, and Clay Coyote. Cazuela's can be used on the stove top. (I always use a heat diffuser with my clay pots.) Not sure how your casserole would do on the stove top. Would it get heated evenly on the wider side? I own two Roemertopf's, one to bake a chicken in, the other to cook a turkey. They're great pots. Though cleaning them is a bit of an exercise. Cooking birds in clay is a revelation. No more dried out breast meat! I'd like to recommend one more recipe and then I'll stop rambling: Zucchini Musakka with Tomatoes and Chickpeas. This is another delicious recipe, which is not difficult to make. You can get the Turkish sweet red pepper paste from Tulumba on the web. They also sell guvec in different sizes, should you want to own a Turkish clay pot. Tulumba often has promotions which include inexpensive shipping. Regards
  4. @ Bella S.F. Hi, I noted a few errors in the book on this thread myself. Please don't think less of this book because of it. It's also not Paula's fault that corrections didn't get into the first edition of the book. I bought this book as soon as it came out on Amazon. (You can see my review there.) It has been my favorite and most frequently used cookbook since. By now I own most of the claypots Paula used to make the recipes in her book. They're worth every penny I payed for them. I'm the cook in the family and my wife is envied at work for the meals she takes for lunch. All thanks to Paula and her book on claypot cooking. My suggestion is that before you you decide to make a dish, read the recipe carefully. If there's an error, pick a different recipe, or post a question here. In some cases you can figure out what to do (see Paula's earlier comment on this thread). Don't let a few errors taint your impression of this book. By the way, tonight's dinner was Moroccan Fish Tagine with Tomatoes, Olives, and Preserved Lemons, which I made in a Moroccan tagra. It was wonderful. Regards
  5. Over the weekend I made "Stoneware Beer Can-Chicken Baked with an Italian Rub" in the Clay Coyote pot mentioned in the recipe. I was very happy with the result. However, I was wondering about the instruction that reads: "Slip the lemon slices into the cavity." If one does that, the lemon slices will likely fall into the "beer can" portion of the pot as the chicken is placed on the beer can--as it happened with me. If this is intended, then why not put the lemon slices in the beer can to begin with. So I thought I must be doing something wrong. Can someone clarify this for me?
  6. FoodMan, your photos inspired me to make this dish (Casserole of Lentils, Eggplant, and Mint) and it was delicious. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, I put the lid back on the cazuela to make sure that the top layer was fully cooked. The next time I make this dish, I'll cut the top layer of eggplant slices crosswise to allow the hot sauce to bubble up more evenly throughout the pot and cook the top layer of ingredients. (I live at 6200 feet altitude and wonder if I need to raise the heat a bit more for this dish.)
  7. I think I finally got it right making "Fried Spatchcocked Chicken." I did make some modifications. One problem I had before was that during the second phase of frying, the chicken skin stuck to the bottom half of the mattone. This time I used more olive oil before adding the chicken, which seems to have fixed this problem. The second problem for me was that the chicken parts closest to the edge of the clay pot were not cooked through. I fixed this problem by forming a "tent" using heavy duty aluminum foil to fit over the mattone, while allowing enough ventilation for the gas flame. Thirdly, I cooked each side for 12 minutes instead of 8-10 minutes, as called for in the recipe. I checked the temperature of the chicken in multiple places after cooking was done and I registered 165 degrees. Exactly what I wanted. I can say that the chicken turned out just *perfect*--one of the best we've ever had. We did end up with some left over olive oil in the pot. My wife had a great idea: fry slices of baguette in the olive oil (with the heat turned off). I fried both sides of these baguette slices and rubbed raw garlic into the fried bread. It was heavenly.
  8. Lately I've been buying some heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo, a supplier mentioned in Paula's book (p. 243). Yesterday I made Tuscan White Beans with Sage and Garlic (p. 246) in my La Chamba bean pot using Runner Cannellini beans. I then used these beans to make White Beans with Tomatoes and Sage (p. 247). Though, the first recipe takes about 3 hours to make (not counting soaking the beans), there's very little preparation involved. The second recipe is quick and easy. However, the result was a very pleasant surprise. Given the few ingredients and minimal labor, the outcome was absolutely delicious. In fact, it was so good that I'm making it again today. I'll use half the beans for a repeat of White Beans with Tomatoes and Sage and the other half to make White Beans with Tuna (p. 247).
  9. Yesterday I got around to making Chicken with Red Wine Vinegar, Tomato, and Shallots in a 12 inch cazuela. I used store bought red wine vinegar. The dish came out great. The sauce was pleasingly tangy while the aroma of the tarragon added sweetness. My wife was "intrigued by the complexity" of the sauce. I'm not sure how much better the sauce could have been if home-made vinegar was used. (I'll get the chance to find out because my wife is getting me a vinegar jug from French Gardening as a present.) We sopped up every drop of the sauce with fresh baguette. A nice thing about this dish is that it's relatively easy to make. So I'll be making it again and again. Attached is a picture of the dish hot off the stove.
  10. Paula, Thanks for the clarification. And no need to be sorry about anything. I made this dish twice already and each time it was very tasty. Richard suggested that I bring up any omissions I come across in the book on this forum. (If you have a preference, please let me know.) I'm having a blast making all the recipes. Tonight it'll be Chicken with Red Wine Vinegar, Tomato, and Shallots. Sadly, I had to buy the Red Wine Vinegar. But I'm plotting to make my own. However, my wife is increasingly concerned over the new claypots showing up at our door on a regular basis. ("But Honey, this should really be the last one." only gets me skeptical looks these days.) Best regards.
  11. I came across a small omission in the "Sautéed Asparagus with Brown Butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese" (page 3): In step 3, the recipe calls for half of the clarified butter. However, the other half is not mentioned. Would the second half of the butter go over the grated cheese?
  12. Paula, Thanks for your kind note and the advice about the carrots. Yes they were a bit firm. I'll try your suggestion the next time I'll make this dish. Regards
  13. Tonight I made "Moroccan Fish Tagine with Tomatoes, Olives, and Preserved Lemons" again. This one recipe is worth buying Paula's book for. Just incredible! We had this dish with nothing but some high quality baguette. It was delicious.
  14. Related to posts #60 and #61 I think I got it this time. I don't think I should go with a chicken any larger than 2.5 pounds because the breast is too thick on the larger birds.
  15. This week we invited some friends over for dinner. They had never tasted Moroccan food before. I decided to make Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Sweet Onions and Raisins (page 97). A La Chamba casserole was used to prepare the onions and a Souss tagine to cook the chicken. The result was absolutely delicious. After a couple of bites my wife told me that she wants me to make this dish again in the future. Our friends were equally impressed. I served the dish with good quality, fresh baguette and mild cucumber and yoghurt salad on the side. I have a gas stove, but still use heat diffusers with all my claypots now. I'm sure that it's not necessary with every pot, but after making a dish in an Emile Henry tagine once, I found that the food burnt to the bottom of the pot in places near the gas flame. I got my heat diffusers in Hungary for $1 a piece. They're held in place on the stove top with binder clips. Each diffuser is made of two metal disks with offset perforations. I'll attempt to include some pictures below.
  16. Paula, Thank you, thank you! Yes, it helps. My version was definitely NOT done correctly. Now I know how to do it right. Best regards
  17. Thanks Paula for the quick reply and for the clarification on the cinnamon. There's no chance that I'll loose faith in this book, or the others I own that were written by you. The previous dish I made was my wife's favorite: Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Winter Squash and Toasted Pine Nuts. I'm still struggling with the Fried Spatchcocked Chicken, however, which I made a couple of times in a mattone I ordered from Sur La Table. The chicken pieces closer to the edge of the pot don't seem to get cooked through as well as the pieces closer to the center. I may be doing something incorrectly prepping the chicken. So if you, or someone else could post pictures of what the bird is supposed to look like after steps 1 and 4, I'd be very grateful. Last time I used a 2.5 pound chicken and I let the bird marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Thanks again.
  18. Thanks for the warm welcome. The omissions are: the crushed hot red peppers and the olives are mentioned in the ingredients list, but are not added during preparation. It is pretty clear from the introduction that the crushed hot red peppers should go into the charmoula. The recipe on the Martha Stewart site mentions the olives in step 4. They're to be added along with the diced preserved lemon peel and bay leaves.
  19. I'm a new member and this is my first post, though, I've been reading the forums for months now. A few months ago I got into claypot cooking. I'm immensely grateful for Paula's book on the topic. Yesterday I made Moroccan Fish Tagine with Tomatoes, Olives, and Preserved Lemons in my new tagra. It came out great--just as all the other recipes I tried so far. I also watched the preparation of this same dish on the Martha Stewart web site. While making the charmoula in the video, I thought I heard Paula mention cinnamon while she was adding the ingredients to the blender. However, this ingredients is not listed in the book. Should I add cinnamon in the future? If yes, what kind? I also noted a couple of small omissions in this recipe. What is the appropriate way to let Paula know of these?
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