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Jan 1, 2008 07:05 AM

The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen: Recipe Discussion and Planning, Links, and Previous Picks and Pans

January 2008 Cookbook of the Month. Use this thread to make general comments about The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert, discuss which recipes you are planning to try, and to post short reviews of recipes you may have already tried. This thread is also the place to post links to recipes that are available online. Full length recipe reviews should be posted in the appropriate section thread, which you can find here

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Thanks for participating!

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  1. Just ordered it. Am looking forward to revisiting some Morroccan dishes.

    Am now formally semi-retired, and I get to play in the kitchen.

    I think my next purchase will need to be a freezer!

    1. Some recipe links:

      Avocado-Sardine Toasts
      Chickpea Soup with Hot Chili Sauce

      Lamb Shanks with Almond-Chocolate Picada

      Chilled Green Pea and Borage Soup

      Paula Wolfert site:

      1. Here are a couple of others:

        Herb jam with olives

        Slow-Baked Quince

        Sesame-Studded Tomato Jam

        Sweet Squash with Walnuts
        • Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder
        • Glazed Carrots with Green Olives

        Small Semolina Griddle Breads

        Some more Moroccan recipes from Wolfert:

        Knife-and-Fork Tuscan Kale Bruschetta

        1 Reply
        1. re: jsaimd

          jsaimd: Glad you posted the slow-baked quince recipe. I posted it, too, but on a thread that was separate from the COTM threads.

        2. Has anyone tried the Expatriate Roast chicken with lemon and olives (pg. 136)?

          The flavors look delicious but I was concerned with the roasting time and temperature. The recipe calls for the chicken to be placed on a rack with boiling water in the pan. The pan is placed in a COLD oven with various seasonings in the water and the oven temperature is then turned on to 550 degrees. Chicken is then roasted for 45 minutes.

          After the 45 minutes at extreme high heat, the oven is turned down to 275 for another 50 minutes. Within that 50 minutes, there is various turning and basting of the bird.

          Total time in the oven is about 1 hour and 35 minutes. This seems extremely long, especially given that the oven is at 550. I do realize that the oven starts cold and heats up to the 550 as well as the last 50 minutes is at a significantly lower heat. I'm just used to roasting a la Zuni - high heat for 30 minutes, lower heat for 30 minutes. Both birds are around the same size.

          Hints or suggestions anyone?

          7 Replies
          1. re: beetlebug

            That seems like a lot of time in the oven - we usually do 550 for 20 minutes, then 425 for another 30. But - with the cold oven, and then the very low temp, it might be ok. My husband is currently roasting a chicken (after making an announcement on Wed. night that he would be doing so) and he seems to think that 30 minutes at 500 will do the trick. We will see. When I asked him if he wanted anything with it, he said "a knife and fork".

            1. re: MMRuth

              By the way, it did take more than 30 minutes, but since I wasn't in charge, I don't know how much longer it took. It was good though.

            2. re: beetlebug

              It does seem odd, but many of her techniques do. That's part of what is so exciting about this book. I'd trust her. Especially after cooking pork in oil for nearly four hours. Who'da thunk? Hope you try it. Can't wait for the report.

              1. re: beetlebug

                Based on MMRuth, JoanN and Mirage, I've taken the leap of faith. The chicken is in the oven now, but my first roasting time will be at 500 degrees. That's as high as the oven goes without hitting "broil."

                I'm serving the chicken with the green beans (on cold veggies page) and white rice.

                Report will follow later this week.

                1. re: beetlebug

                  I'm looking forward to your report!

                2. I have extremely mixed feelings about this cookbook. A lot of the recipes look great but they aren't sure things. For example, I loved the expat chicken with the roasted lemons but jfood had a disaster. I also really liked the coddled pork with the white beans and arugula. But, the recipe directions themselves could be better. I think some of the cooking times are inaccurate and given how expensive some of the ingredients are as well as the time expended, it's a huge leap of faith. However, her cooking techniques are different and interesting and when it works, it's great. But it seems that there are more misses (according to the reports) or just ok results for all the labor.

                  I do have a huge tabbed book since there are a lot of recipes I want to try. Personally, this will remain a library book and not a home owned book.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: beetlebug

                    Gee, perhaps I'll have to go back and look at the reports again, but it sure seemed to me there were significantly more picks than pans. I've only tried the rack of lamb and the coddled pork so far, but thought both were excellent. And based on very positive reports here, I've bookmarked the Pork and Orange-Flavored Beans, the Fall Apart Lamb Shanks, the Pork Stew with Prunes and Onions, the Maghrebi Meatballs, the Chicken Marrakech, and the Slow-Cooked Duck. And those were only ones with enthusiastic reviews that appealed to me.

                    I agree the directions might be better written, although I haven't had any problems with timing. And as far a labor is concerned, there may be lots of steps, but none take much time or attending to. I find it's more a question of organization--as it is, as a matter of fact, with many of Goin's recipes.

                    Anyway, I've decided exactly the opposite from you. I do want this in my collection, although I'll probably shop for a "deal" on it.

                    1. re: JoanN

                      I think I am still scarred by the slow cooked eggs.

                      Funny, after COTM with Goins, I immediately bought that book. This one, I don't have that same urge. I also have extremely limited cookbook space so I tend to use library books most often (even books that I really liked, like HSSS. That book is too big for my shelves).

                      But, many of the recipes that you and mirage have tried or want to try, is also on my list. Esp the chicken smothered with ham and onions.

                    2. re: beetlebug

                      We haven't had any real misses. Let's see:

                      Avocado-Sardine Toasts, p. 9 - quite good
                      Green Beans w/Turkish Pepper, p. 53 - quite good
                      Leeks simmered in Olive Oil, p. 54 - good, I liked a lot husband said "eh"
                      White Bean and Escarole Soup, p. 76 - Very good (though doesn't stay "soup" long!)
                      Salmon Poached in Olive Oil, p. 120 - Excellent
                      Monkfish and Clams w/Burned Garlic Sauce, p. 130 - Very, very good
                      Chicken in Onion Cream w/Ham, p. 144 - Very, very good
                      Pork coddled in Olive Oil w/Beans and Arugula, p. 164 - very, very good
                      Pork Stew w/Prunes and Onions, p. 175 - Very good
                      Oven Baked Polenta, p. 177 - Very good
                      Seven Hour Garlic Crowned Lamb, p. 204 - Excellent
                      Fall Apart Lamb Shanks w/Picada, p. 210 - Very, very good
                      Potato Gratin w/Prunes, p. 264 - Quite Good
                      Golden Potato Gratin, p. 265 - Very good

                      I obviously like this cookbook.