Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking: Traditional and Modern Recipes to Savor and Share

Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking: Traditional and Modern Recipes to Savor and Share

by Paula Wolfert
     
 

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Cooking/Regional & Ethnic/Mediterranean

Before she even knew what they were used for—and long before the Los Angeles Times named her "America's queen of Mediterranean cooking"—Paula Wolfert started to collect clay cooking pots. After decades of picking up pots and companion recipes wherever she traveled, Wolfert now owns ceramic vessels in all shapes

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Overview

Cooking/Regional & Ethnic/Mediterranean

Before she even knew what they were used for—and long before the Los Angeles Times named her "America's queen of Mediterranean cooking"—Paula Wolfert started to collect clay cooking pots. After decades of picking up pots and companion recipes wherever she traveled, Wolfert now owns ceramic vessels in all shapes and sizes: cazuelas, tagines, bean pots, Romertopf baking dishes, French diables, ordinary casseroles, even Crock-pots (which have a ceramic liner). It just makes sense: For thousands of years, earthenware has been the preferred cooking method for many Mediterranean dishes.

In Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking, Wolfert 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. And don't worry if your collection doesn't match Wolfert's; for each recipe, she suggests alternative equipment.

With her inimitable passion for detail, Wolfert demystifies the process of clay pot cooking, in which fresh ingredients are transformed slowly, richly, lusciously into magnificent meals. She offers 150 recipes both classic and contemporary, all of which offer extraordinary depth of flavor. They include:

First Courses: Roman Artichokes Braised with Garlic and Mint, Clay Pot–Roasted Eggplantwith Cheese, and Greek Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

Soups: Piedmontese Bean Soup with Spareribs and Pumpkin Soup with Creamy Roquefort

Fish and Shellfish: Moroccan Fish Tagine with Tomatoes, Olives, and Preserved Lemons; Sicilian Fresh Sardines Stuffed with Pine Nuts and Raisins; and Poached Swordfish in the Style of Izmir

Chicken, Duck, and Other Poultry: Chicken Thighs Roasted on a Bed of Salt in the Style of the French Alps, Moroccan Chicken Kdra with Almonds and Chickpeas, and Cazuela Quail with Red Peppers and Pine Nut Picada

Meats: Slow-Roasted Glazed Lamb Shoulder with Spring Vegetables, Stifado with Beef and Caramelized Onions, and Pork Tiella with Wild Mushrooms and Potatoes

Pasta and Grains: Bulgur and Greens with Pistachios and Yogurt; Fideos with Clams, Shrimp, and Mussels; and Oven Polenta in a Clay Pot

Vegetables: Compote of Fennel with Onion, Pancetta, and Currants; Green Beans with Tomatoes and Garlic; and Roasted Late Summer Vegetables from the Island of Corfu

Plus you'll find savory pies and breads, glorious

egg and dairy recipes, and stunning desserts.

Whether you've got a single ceramic baking dish or a complete arsenal at your disposal, Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking will transform the way you cook, and the way you eat.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Starred Review
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)
Publishers Weekly
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.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780764576331
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/19/2009
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
567,568
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

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