Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Cooking with Paula Wolfert's Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking


Richard Kilgore
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've slowly been making friends with my new camera, so belatedly here's a pic of "Red Beans with Chorizo, Blood sausage, and Piment d'Esplette". I can't say enough good about this dish. The blood sausage was the most difficult item to source, but I have bought ingredients from Cafe Madrid in Dallas in the past, so one call and I picked it up. Thanks guys!

IMG_0260b.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I own all of Paula's cookbooks and have cooked from them for years. I held back on this one but with the kind of reviews she is getting on egullet, I checked it out yesterday and ordered it from Amazon. I can't wait to start cooking some of the recipes! Thanks for the great pictures.

IMG_5425.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been watching this thread carefully, then much to my happy surprise my wonderful dear hubby bought me a tagine for christmas! Now I have to figure out how to use it and learn a whole new style of cooking. I am so stoked.... :biggrin:

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have Paula's old cookbook of Moroccan cooking from the 1970's and bought a tagine pot from tagines.com. I made the tagines just the way she had in the recipe and they all turned out wonderful. Then I decided to get adventurous and just started winging it with all kinds of veggies and combinations and have yet to find something that does not taste fantastic. Only miss I had was one time I cooked the chicken way too long when I got stuck in a long work-related phone call and it got a little dry and one time I added too much liquid and it overflowed onto the cooktop. Taught me that I only needed about 1/2 cup or so of liquid when I use the tagine.

I have just ordered the new cookbook so I can try more of her wonderful recipes. The ones so far have all been wonderful. I have even gotten into making my own preserved lemons. I went to the Asian market here in Queens and bought preserved lemons and found that 3 lemons cost me almost $5 whereas I could make my own for about a buck for 3 lemons. Did not realize it would be so easy to do so I now have a jar in my fridge of preserved lemons home made at all times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

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?

Ferenc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome Trout Hound. Sounds great! That's a dish I plan to cook in my new tagra also. But I need to start a new batch of preserved lemons first. Someone else may have an answer to your cinnamon question, or Paula may pop in to answer it.

Feel free to post about the omissions here so we can all learn. Paula reads this topic regularly and may have more time to post occasionally now that we are past the holidays. Between the holidays and projects, she has been buried for months.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Ferenc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Viridian Farms here in Oregon grows the peppers and dries piment d'espelette. You can contact them here:

http://www.viridianfarms.com/

They also grow padron peppers, toloso beans, and other amazing stuff, but you may need to wait for the next harvest.

Warning...shameless self-promotion ahead!

Over the past couple of years I've expanded my own olive oil and salt business to include a few beans and grains, mostly things I want to have in my own kitchen. They're not listed on my web site (woefully outdated anyway; upgrading to blogging software is a 2010 goal), so email me if you're interested. Here's what I've got:

small red beans, a variety called chiquito rojo developed at the U of Washington for the state's dry east side and based on an heirloom variety from Mexico, grown by Haricot Farms near Yakima

garbanzos, also from Haricot, incredibly flavorful on their own

emmer farro (Triticum diconum), unpearled so it doesn't get mushy like a lot of perlato and semiperlato imported stuff, certified organic from Bluebird Grain Farms near Winthrop, Washington

Kokuho Rose brown rice, an heirloom medium grain rice from California's San Joaquin Valley that requires a complex cooking regime (rinse, soak, cook, rest, fluff, and rest again) but is amazingly good

Please email rather than PM: jdixon@realgoodfood.com

thanks

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome Trout Hound to Egullet.

Thanks for bringing those errors to my attention. Actually, I saw them at the MS studio the day we were shooting the dish and was very upset. I thought that those two and a few other dropped words in other recipes had been fixed before the book went to print. Alas, I was wrong. And I am sorry you had to deal with it as well!

If this should ever happen again, you the cook have a 'second chance'----the ingredients are listed in the order they are to used.

You are right! the hot pepper goes in the charmoula and the olives go in just before the bay leaves. By the way, I didn't mention cinnamon. I think I just breathe heavily with excitement when I pronounce the words "Moroccan cumin."

Don't lose faith in the book. There are a lot of wonderful dishes to be prepared in claypots.

photo(2)-1.jpg

Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Ferenc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

IMG_4601.JPG

IMG_4609.JPG

IMG_4565.JPG

IMG_4297.JPG

Ferenc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trout, those pictures are really beautiful! I just bought the book and am amassing claypots :cool:. I have all of Paula's other books and this one looks even better as the recipe's are simpler...either that or I am just used to her awesome methods by now!

Paris is a mood...a longing you didn't know you had, until it was answered.

-An American in Paris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pork and Chicken Tourte from Languedoc

I am a sucker for rustic pies, tarts or pizzas, so the tourte on page 250 immediately stood out. A dough made with lard and a filling of pork chicken and pancetta. I could not wait to give this a shot. Due to my travel schedule, I actually had to make all the components, including the terra cotta dish with the dough already rolled in it, and freeze them (I did not freeze the onions/porcini mixture though). When it was time to bake I assembled everything and popped it in the oven. I did make an opening in the top crust, but did not put in a small funnel. In hindsight maybe I should've.

Here it is assembled minus the top crust

Pork-Chicken-Tourte.jpg

Pork-Chicken-Tourte2.jpg

Here is the setup I used. I put my FibraMent baking stone on the top rack to aid proper browning

Pork-Chicken-Tourte3.jpg

Pork-Chicken-Tourte4.jpg

I served it with a simple salad

Pork-Chicken-Tourte5.jpg

The tourte was delicious, fragrant and savory. The flavor of thyme, pork and porcini was wonderful. The crust was simply perfect, flaky, tender and very easy to work with. The filling was a bit too wet and I'm thinking the small funnel might've helped with that. I do think when I do this again, I will use boneless skinless chicken thighs as opposed to breast pieces. I like them better and I think they are much less prone to drying out.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made the Catalan Estifado of wild boar, except that even though we're inundated with wild boar here, I couldn't get any when I needed it, so I used beef. The only other thing I changed was that I cooked it over a three day period, chilling and reheating, as so many of Paula's recipes suggest. When I put it on the table for French guests without saying what it was, the first one to take a bite said "oh good, boar." It's a succulent dish, and I froze the leftovers which were just as good two weeks later.

So even if you can't get boar, don't hesitate to make this one. I used paleron of beef, which is a very lean cut that eventually shreds into filaments - I'm not sure what the US equivalent would be. But you want a meat that's pretty lean and pretty tough, to be as much like boar as possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pork and Chicken Tourte from Languedoc

I am a sucker for rustic pies, tarts or pizzas, so the tourte on page 250 immediately stood out. A dough made with lard and a filling of pork chicken and pancetta. I could not wait to give this a shot. Due to my travel schedule, I actually had to make all the components, including the terra cotta dish with the dough already rolled in it, and freeze them (I did not freeze the onions/porcini mixture though). When it was time to bake I assembled everything and popped it in the oven. I did make an opening in the top crust, but did not put in a small funnel. In hindsight maybe I should've.

*******************************

The tourte was delicious, fragrant and savory. The flavor of thyme, pork and porcini was wonderful. The crust was simply perfect, flaky, tender and very easy to work with. The filling was a bit too wet and I'm thinking the small funnel might've helped with that. I do think when I do this again, I will use boneless skinless chicken thighs as opposed to breast pieces. I like them better and I think they are much less prone to drying out.

Looks delicious, Elie. I wonder if a second baking stone below the tourte would provide more heat from the bottom that could help with the little bit of excess moisture.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made the Catalan Estifado of wild boar, except that even though we're inundated with wild boar here, I couldn't get any when I needed it, so I used beef. The only other thing I changed was that I cooked it over a three day period, chilling and reheating, as so many of Paula's recipes suggest. When I put it on the table for French guests without saying what it was, the first one to take a bite said "oh good, boar." It's a succulent dish, and I froze the leftovers which were just as good two weeks later.

So even if you can't get boar, don't hesitate to make this one. I used paleron of beef, which is a very lean cut that eventually shreds into filaments - I'm not sure what the US equivalent would be. But you want a meat that's pretty lean and pretty tough, to be as much like boar as possible.

We have lots of wild boar running amuck in Texas, but I don't think I am going to be able to chase one down this winter. From your description, it sounds like flank steak may work for beef, or then a high quality pork, of course.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I have some time now to participate. Forgive me if I begin with this last posting and not move upwards until I have even more time!!! I promise I will get to you all.

Trout Head:That tagine of fish looks terrific. Actually, I think it looks as good as the one produced on Martha Stewart's show.

You probably noticed that the carrots were a little undercooked. That's because Moroccans use them as a barrier against overheating which could overcook the fish. If you did want to serve the carrots, then you might want to steam them in a colander over boiling water for 2 minutes before layering

Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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?

Ferenc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to be so late in getting back to you. I had to track down the original notes for that particular recipe and found two versions from two testings. Actually, you could do either, add all the butter at once, or drizzle over the remaining butter as you thought. Sorry to confuse you.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Ferenc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By Rushina
      What would you like to be included in a cookbook you classify as a "good cookbook"?
      Rushina
    • By Multiwagon
      Other than the three written by Michael Ruhlman, which I have read and loved, what other books are out there that are about cooking, but not cookbooks?
    • By OliverB
      I just received a copy of "The Cook's Book - Concise Edition" edited by Jill Norman, and now I'm curious, what's the difference to the full edition? Supposedly it has 648 pages compared to 496 in this edition, and it appears to be much larger in size if the info on us.dk.com is correct. Other than that I can't find any info what the difference might be. It's a neat book with lots of photos about techniques etc, and lots of recipes. As with any DK book production values are high.
      If the contents are the same, I'm happy with the smaller version, but I'd really like to know what I might be missing on those 150 or so pages. If it's just filler, I don't care. If it's some fantastic recipes, I do care....
      Anybody here know both editions? Google was so far of no help. Lots of the full edition are to be had used as well, I'd be happy giving this one as a gift and ordering the full edition, if it's worth it.
      Thanks!
      Oliver
    • By devlin
      Say you were rounded up with a group of folks and either had a skill to offer in exchange for a comfy room and some other niceties or were sent off to a slag heap to toil away in the hot sun every day for 16 hours, what 3 books would you want to take with you to enable you to cook and bake such fabulous foodstuffs that your kidnappers would keep you over some poor schlub who could cook only beans and rice and the occasional dry biscuit?
    • By mixmaster b
      I am interested in getting some cookbooks that cover the basics of pastry and baking--not bread, necessarily, but dessert, cakes, cookies, etc. I searched a few other cookbook threads but did not have luck on finding books on pastry.
      My interest is in fairly classic French and European style baking, and I need a book that covers technique. Pictures would also be much appreciated--I like both the step by step pix or great pictures of the end product.
      Right now, I have Desserts and Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme. (I love these and have had good results from the recipes, but feel I should start with a more classic approach.) La Varenne Pratique has provided some good starting points, but I would like to find a book with more focus on baking.
      I was thinking about the Payard book. Any comments? Suggestions would be much appreciated! In case it applies, I am a home cook and am slightly more skilled than a total beginner.
      Thanks!
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...