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 of South West France - Wolfert and Pancetta


Boris Abrams
 Share

Recommended Posts

So I am a big Wolfert fan and am looking to complete my collection of her works! 

 

However, I am unsure if I can justify purchasing this book, as I dont eat pork products. I know - being S.W. France, pancetta/salt pork is going to find its way into a great number of dishes. And a brief look at the Eat Your Books index seems to confirm this. I was wondering - where cured pork seems to appear as a secondary ingredient (as oppose to a main dish - say something like the Chicken with red onion sauce), could it be left out? Substituted with added duck fat, perhaps? Or would I really be looking a lot from the dish by not including pancetta etc?

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pork is a main ingredient in many recipes, and over the years I've experimented with omitting pork products from any number of recipes, sometimes intentionally, sometimes by circumstance (not having the ingredient on hand), and sometimes by accident.  In just about every case, the dish suffered by leaving out the pork component.

 

That said, sometimes another ingredient can be substituted (such as smoked turkey thighs in place of smoked ham shanks or hocks) in some dishes.  Other times you end up with a much different dish than intended by the recipe, which is not always a bad thing.

 

I think you'd have to try each dish you're interested in, and see how it works for you, or your guests.  For example, there are some ingredients Toots doesn't like, and I either eliminate them or substitute something similar.  IMO, many of those dishes suffer because of the omission/substitution, and it sometimes bothers me a lot that the change was made, yet Toots is happy and content, and that's what matters most to me.  However, when I make the dish for myself, I wouldn't omit or substitute the ingredient.  So I compromise ... we each get what we want, but not necessarily in the same dish at the same time.

 

All that said, just because you may not prepare some (or many) of the recipes in a particular book, isn't, IMO, reason enough to not have it to complete your collection of the author's books.  If you're buying the book as a collector, it's a different situation than if you're buying the book to cook from, although it seems you're looking to do both.  I'd buy the book and be done with it.  You can never tell when one of the recipes you'd never cook may come in handy, even if only for an idea or to share with someone else.

 

I cherish my signed, first edition of The Cooking of Southwest France even though only one recipe from it has been prepared.  I've learned a lot just from reading the book, which was enjoyable time spent.

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah thanks for the response! 

I had a feeling it would be detrimental to removing the ingredient! I guess it wont be the same as just not adding fresh parmesan to a pasta! 

I may still buy the book though, especially seeing how much you enjoyed reading it! 

Can I ask, what recipe did you prepare from it? How did it turn out?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Repaire de Bandits Catalans, or more commonly described as Lemon Garlic Chicken. Turned out just fine, and if I were to make it today, it would be a lot better as I'm now a more experienced cook.  One day I want to make Chicken with Garlic Pearls and Sauterne Wine Sauce, Poulet aux Perles d'Ail Doux et au Sauternes - no pork in either of these dishes.

 

Remember, though, you can add other cheese ... not the same but often just as good or better.

 

Ah thanks for the response! 

I had a feeling it would be detrimental to removing the ingredient! I guess it wont be the same as just not adding fresh parmesan to a pasta! 

I may still buy the book though, especially seeing how much you enjoyed reading it! 

Can I ask, what recipe did you prepare from it? How did it turn out?

 ... Shel


 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

This is one of my favorites as well.  I used my prior paperback edition until it completely fell apart and was thrilled when the revised version was reissued.

 

There are certainly recipes for which the pork cannot be omitted (sausage recipes, certain cassoulets), but there are many other good ones that don't call for pork or for which a substitute like duck fat would be fine.  I personally love the cassoulet made with fresh favas and they are lot of good simple recipes for veggies and desserts.  To me, the confit and duck ham (i.e. dried duck breast) recipes are worth the price alone.  At minimum, it's worth leafing through a copy to decide.

 

Enjoy!

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...