Synopses & Reviews
Cooking/Regional & Ethnic/Mediterranean
Before she even knew what they were used forand 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 PotRoasted 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.
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)
A one-of-a-kind cookbook showcasing modern and authentic clay pot cooking from the premier expert on Mediterranean cuisines
Paula Wolfert is legendary for her expertise on and explorations of Mediterranean cooking. Now, Wolfert shares her inimitable passion for detail and insatiable curiosity about cultural traditions and innovations, with Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking.
Here, the self-confessed clay pot "junkie"-having collected in her travels ceramic pots of all sorts: cazuelas, tagines, baking dishes, bean pots, Romertopf baking dishes, French diablos, ordinary casseroles, even Crockpots, which have a ceramic liner-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.
Wolfert demystifies the process of clay pot cooking by which fresh ingredients are transformed slowly, richly, lusciously into magnificent meals. She shares 150 recipes featuring soups, fish and shellfish, poultry, meats, pasta and grains, vegetables and beans, pies and breads, eggs and dairy, and desserts.
Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking offers
- Expert techniques and tips from Paula Wolfert, one of the world's foremost authorities on Mediterranean cuisine and now on clay pots
- An introduction to this ancient and modern-and practically foolproof-way of cooking
- A thorough clay pot primer, familiarizing you with the numerous names for different types of clay pots and tips on "Other Pots You Can Use"
- A delicious range of dishes, including Pumpkin Soup with Roquefort Cream; Wine-Marinated Chicken Thighs with Almonds and Sweet Tomato Jam; Fideos with Clams, Shrimps and Mussels; Tian of Leeks and Pancetta; Corsican Cheesecake; and Roasted Peach Gratin
Paula Wolfert in Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking will seduce you with the pleasures and benefits of cooking in clay.
Wolfert is legendary for her expertise on and explorations of Mediterranean cooking. Now, she shares her inimitable passion for detail and insatiable curiosity about cultural traditions and innovations with "Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking."
Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking
Traditional and Modern Recipes to Savor and Share
The World's Oldest
Made New Again
Queen of Mediterranean Cooking
"Most foodand Mediterranean food in particulartastes better cooked in clay. Think of the difference in taste between organically grown fruits and vegetables and typical supermarket agribusiness produce. The former always taste better. Similarly, unglazed clay vessels are also organic, since clay is a form of earth. Food cooked in them acquires a natural taste. When I taste heirloom beans cooked in a clay pot on top of the stove, I find a special sweetness in them. Just as food cooked in a wood-fired oven acquires the taste and aroma of wood, so food cooked in an unglazed clay pot acquires the taste and aroma of the earth."
About the Author
PAULA WOLFERT is an expert on Mediterranean food and the author of seven other cookbooks, including Mediterranean Cooking, The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen, and The Cooking of Southwest France. Her work has received the Julia Child Award, the M. F. K. Fisher Award, the James Beard Award, the Cook's Magazine Platinum Plate Award, and the Perigueux Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2008, the James Beard Foundation inducted her work into the Cookbook Hall of Fame. A regular columnist for Food & Wine magazine, Wol
Table of Contents
A Clay Pot Primer.
Fish and Shellfish.
Chicken, Duck, and Other Poultry.
Pasta and Grains.
Vegetables and Beans.
Savory Pies and Breads.
Egg and Dairy Recipes.