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Everything posted by Wolfert

  1. I love the book for its detailed descriptions on how to prepare "French" dishes. One fault is the book hardly deals with regional cooking. For example, you won't find any recipes for duck, goose or pork confit.
  2. La Bonne Cuisine de Madame E. Saint-Ange: The Original Companion for French Home Cooking is one of the best French cookbooks ever written. Just read the NY Sunday Times opening paragraph..... December 4, 2005 Holiday Books Cooking By CORBY KUMMER MORE than an irresistible new technique, a fantastically exotic ingredient or even the promise of a better marriage, what inspires us to go into the kitchen is the voice of a writer, seducing and prodding and bucking us up. The voice that spoke to a generation of cooks is back with the 40th anniversary edition of MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING (Knopf, $40). This time, Julia Child's name is front and center, and her collaborators, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck, are listed in small type. But the voice behind the voice is back too: Mme. Saint-Ange, whose BONNE CUISINE DE MADAME E. SAINT-ANGE (Ten Speed, $40) was the inspiration for Child's thorough, encouraging step-by-step approach. For years, readers of the 1927 French edition would marvel - or cluck - at how similar the attitude and even the recipes were. Now that the first English translation, by the former Chez Panisse chef Paul Aratow, is available, anyone can compare - and take life lessons from this delightfully opinionated cook. To make a trilogy and add some gener..............................
  3. When I plan to reduce stock to a demi glace I never brown the bones. The reason is that when you make reduction sauces, you are reducing to such an extent that there is the possibility of a bitter taste from well-browned meat and bones. On the other hand, I do caramelize the vegetables so that thesir flavor will be strong and the sauce will have good color. Color is also the reason I blacken an onion over flames or under the broiler, a process that will also offset any possible bitterness.
  4. I don't know about the marjoram but I suspect is is dried. I'm so pleased you reminded me of the Spanish variety of thyme called pebrella. I purchased some in the Valencian market and it was dynamite for flavoring home brined green olives. Here in the States, the Spanish Table sells it. Paula - I was refe ring a Spanish import, but I think that it was more of a question of processing then variety. I have some of the Mexican type (dried) and like this very much, and also the Mediterranean types obtained when in Greece and Sicily (both are similar in flavour profile). Do you know if the marjoram that is used to flavour many of the sausages/blood puddings is fresh or dried? What ever it is, it is really good stuff. ←
  5. I'm a big fan of dried Egyptian spearmint leaves with its incredible unique flavor In some of my Turkish recipes I add it along with a bit of finely ground black pepper to hot oil or butter in order to make one of those lovely black swirls on yogurt enriched soups or stews. Kalustyans has it and it seems to keep for years in a closed jar. Another favorite is herbes de Provence. or the Languedocian herbes de la garrigue which combines dried lavender, sage, savory, thyme and fennel. Either one can be sprinkled over olive oil brushed slices of bread and roasted. I use these croutes in salads or as a coaster for goat cheese. Adam: there are many different varieties of oregano in the market and some have zilch taste. In the states there is a Mexican oregano which tastes totally different from the Mediterranean variety and can easily screw up any kebab recipe. I purchase Greek oregano from a Middle Eastern market that has a large turnover . Even better, when I travel east I buy some from locals and dry it on my bedroom window sill before bringing it home. I sprinkle dried oregano on kebabs before and after grilling for a double flavor hit.
  6. I'm really sorry about this error. I've sent the correction to the publisher. Here is the correct list of meats to be used in the sausage: 4 ounces very lean salt pork without rind, washed to remove surface salt, dried carefully and cubed by hand. 12 ounces pork tenderloin, trimmed of all fat 4 ounces pancetta, at room temperature
  7. It wasn't tahini paste, but it a blend of crushed and whole toasted sesame seeds combined with chopped sauteed onions. I didn't get a recipe but I still remember it as best of all gozlemes I've ever tasted.
  8. One outstanding gozleme comes from the town of Mersin, It is stuffed wtih a combination of ground toasted sesame seeds and crushed sauteed onions.
  9. The whole bird is stuffed with a mixture of sauteed mushrooms, ham, walnuts, and boudin blanc all cooked along with stuffed onions and pan juices. The recipe for stuffed onions in the in the CSWF.
  10. Did any other eGullet members attend this event? I'd love to hear which were your favorite dishes on this menu. Paula, this dinner was a book signing event. Do you often do this kind of thing involving a meal and a book signing? Do tell us more about how this was arranged. ← My publisher's publicists arranged this event as they did a similar event at Zuni. But I would never have agreed unless I had total confidence that the restaurants would present my dishes in a brilliant way. Both restaurants came through even beyond my expectations. For this I owe Judy Rodgers and Alice Waters an enormous debt. I've known them both for many years and deeply treasure their friendship.
  11. Hello, This forum has been great for me! I've much enjoyed conversing here, just as I enjoy my daily forays into the great forest of ideas and contending views that is egullet. Thanks to all - those who've posted queries and those who've read my responses and been so supportive. It's been MY pleasure. And special thanks to Richard, Lucy, Elie and Susan for their support.
  12. I think you may find my answer in my second book, "Mediterranean Cooking," which is organized by ingredients. There're numerous common factors in this cuisines -- climate, cultural influences, etc., -- but I believe it's the products they have in common (olives, lemons, herbs, eggplants, Mediterranean fish and shellfish, etc.) that brings these disparate cuisines together. For me, these cuisines, as different as they are, represent a unity. As for your second query, my first culinary experience was with Dione Lucas, who taught classic French Cordon Bleu style cooking. When I decided to try to do a cookbook, I didn't want to write about a cuisine, such as French or Italian, that had been well covered numerous times. As you know I'd lived in Morocco, loved the food, and it was relatively unexplored territory. So that was the obvious choice for a first effort. Then I started the series of books that cut across Mediterranean frontiers. SWF was more of a serendipity situation. I was sent my a magazine on assignnment to find the greatest cassoulet in France. Gascon food was a revelation, I felt a rapport with the people, I adored the food and discovered that it wasn't well-covered in English. So I spent five years focusing on it. When that work was done, it was back to the Mediterranean -- more travel, more field work, more delicious discoveries. As I began to travel in the Middle East, I placed more and more emphasis on Eastern Med dishes. As I've written (and I believe it's true) it would take five lifetimes to uncover all the great dishes I'm certain exist in these cultures. It's a bottomless pit in the most wondrous way. I feel most fortunate that I've been able to make it my life's work. !
  13. I think there're a response to both, but primarily to the flavors of the ingredients. Also, as you know, chefs live and work in a highly competitive environment, in which there's tremendous pressure to be "new-new-new!", to present "the hot new dish," and to suggest that the chef in question has been out and about in the world, finding and bringing back delicious exotic dishes, which he or she has then adapted and made his/her own. I believe that's the main reason these dishes appear on American menus. As for putting the culinary culture of SWF in perspective, that's a huge topic -- one I don't feel qualified to expound upon. I will say this: for me it's one of great regional cuisines of France. It is in many ways, more agreable to my palette than Alsatian or Burgundian. I love Provencal food, but I adore Gascon food. As it's been said in another context (infidelity within a marriage): "I may pray in many churches, but I worship in only one cathedral!"
  14. Lucky you, indeed! I checked out my books on French Pyrenees cooking but unfortunately did not find any recipes calling for venison. (I did find recipes for other game such as wild goat, bear's paw, wild boar, hare, and rabbit .) I know that the Greeks make excellent stews with venison. There's a recipe on page 226 om my Slow Mediterranean Kitchen for a greek stew that was originally for venison. You might want to consider it. Enjoy your venison! I agree that a sauce Perigueux could go very well with some of the cuts.
  15. So glad you liked the food. I thought it was absolutely wonderful. Two of my favorite chefs, David Tanis (see this months Saveur for a story about him) and Jean-Pierre Moulle (who's been cooking at Chez Panisse for 25 years) put out a stunning dinner. Several eguleteers were there -- Hest88, Carolyn Tillie, Irish Cream, Squeat Mungry. The room was sold out at both sittings and seemed happy. Unfortunately my cell-phone photos didn't come out well.Carolyn was quite active with her camera an d if her shots were good, I hope she'll post a few. I'm doing lots of radio and print interviews to promote the book. And I will be in Philadelphia for the Book and Cook in March.
  16. Those dropped recipes will eventually surface on my website. Actually, there weren't all that many dropped, and quite a few were added. As I recall, among those dropped was a recipe for polvorones, another for a chicken and pancetta tart, and a three-day pasta extravaganza I learned from a wealthy Roman.
  17. I worked up a list of dishes I could prepare in advance and also a few that needed last minute cooking. I wanted photos of some dishes that would appeal to hard core foodies and others that wouldn't look too difficult. The photographer and I discussed my list, and narrowed it down. Thanks for your kind words. I, too, think it worked out pretty well.
  18. First to correct you (and I do so gently because everyone makes the same assumption) Christopher, despite her unique first name, is actually a woman. An extremely talented one too. I have known her for years, ever since I started writing for Saveur, where she was responsible for much of the original studio and field photo work. I agree with you: her photos for the book are stunning. On this job I believe she used a 4x5 Mimaya (spelling/?) and absolutely no artificial lighting. In fact, her trademark style is to use only natural light. She did the entire shoot at my Somoma house in four days, using only my pots and plates as props. I prepared all the food except the madeleines, which were made by my husband (who loves making them) . They were cooling on a cookie rack when Christoper walked in. She took one look and said she'd shoot them first. I offered to arrange them on a plate. She shook her head. She moved them a little but kept them at odd angles on the rack. That's her genius, I think -- her incredible eye! She brought along a great stylist, Julie Lee, who isn't at all the fussy stylist type. She and Christoper understand that "less is more." The most interesting part of the shoot was the cover photo. The suits from San Francisco came up to the house to watch, as the cover is perhaps the most important marketing tool. Bill built a fire and then fed the flames when Christopher needed a little burst in the background. And as my kitchen fireplace is in the darker half of the room, at one point three of us were positioned to work reflectors (in one case the reflector was a big paella pan!) bouncing light from the windows, to a second reflector, and then to a third, which directed it in turn onto the cassoulet. The shoot was a great experience, and it was much more fun to do it in the house than at a studio in New York. Christopher is just great at what she does, and I hope to work with her again when the time comes to shoot the clay pot book.
  19. It's easy to seal a glazed pot or an enameled casserole with a ribbon of flour and water. If you use a totally unglazed pot that can be dangerous as it might well crack. One egulleteer wrote in that he broke his sand pot trying to open the seal. I can only imagine that he put the ribbon of paste in such a way that it stuck to the unglazed part of the pot and wouldn't slip off. As to clean-up, it is a bit of a bother, but in my view well worth the trouble. And the dining room drama with attendant aromas is a treat for cook and family alike.
  20. It may be a while before the book is finished; I'm deep into it, and hope to come up with a definitive work, so time is not of tthe essence. I've been recommending the use of clay cooking vessels in all my books going back to Couscous. Up to now I've been suggesting them as an alternative, because most of my readers were invested in glazed cast-iron. In the slow Mediterranean book I started making a point of recommending clay. As for unglazed pots, I use two different kinds, romertopfs and black chambas. Each has its own purpose; I've found there're not interchangeable. Only the romertopf is soaked in water before using. The chamba you use in place of a cocotte.
  21. Prepared duck confit is sold in stores throughout France and is very popular. The moulard duck legs used for confit in SWF have plenty of fat on them so just a bit more is needed. And since duck fat is the cooking medium through SWF, it's readily available everywhere. Yes, sadly, there is a trend toward convenience foods even in SWF. But even the women who use them will go rhapsodic when describing their mothers' homemade versions of the classic dishes. Susan, thanks so much for being one my testers. You were a great help.
  22. I'm so glad you like the walnut roll. It is a favorite at our house as well. I plan to revise some of the recipes in world of food for the claypot book. The remaining recipes will find a resting home on my website. Don't hold your breathe, I'm a two-fingered typist..
  23. Hi Craig, First let me thank you for all your help in preparing the latest edition of TCOSWF. There is a recipe for confit of lamb in olive oil in the 1994 revised edition of Mediterranean Cooking, I first saw it in a Riviera restaurant served with huge amounts of garlic. From Turkey to Morocco, all parts of lamb preserved in fat are used as seasoning. See my slow mediterranean book for an updated Moroccan recipe for preserving lamb for flavoring couscous. I think quail is put up for confit in southwest France. Perhaps someone reading this will share their thoughts on this subject. I'm stumped.
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