November 2010 Cookbooks of the Month: WOLFERT's World of Food and The Cooking of Southwest France
Welcome to the general discussion thread for the November 2010 Cookbook of the month featuring Paula Wolfert's WORLD OF FOOD and COOKING OF SOUTHWEST FRANCE.
We will use this thread for discussion of equipment, ingredients and any other issues related to this COTM.
If you are new to the Cookbook of the Month, the COTM archive thread explains how this all works:
The Cookbook of The Month is open to anyone who wants to participate. Simply post a full-lenth review of any recipe, selecting the appropriate thread from below:
WOLFERT: Bread, First Course, Starches, Appetizers and Small Plates
WOLFERT: Soups, Stocks and Sauce Bases
WOLFERT: Fish and Shellfish
WOLFERT: Meats, plus Terrines and Cassoulet
To review discussions from earlier threads, you can take a look at these related threads:
Post-Vote Discussion: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/739211
Nomination Discussion: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/741222
Finally, the Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.
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I am considering making the Cassoulet and the Daube from The Cooking of SW France, but 10-12 servings is just too much for us. I am thinking about making a half recipe. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to adjust the cooking time? I'd hate to go through these laborious recipes only to find them overcooked. Any advice would be welcome. Thank you.
We always make the cassoulet for a big open house party so we double the recipe. I can tell you that cassoulet freezes really well, so if it is something you love, consider making the whole thing and freezing it in portions. A piece of advice would be to keep careful watch on the beans you cook. We have found in the past that they cook a lot faster than we had expected, and the last thing you want is mushy beans.
It freezes REALLY well. :-) I made a her cassoulet once--right after the book first came out--and chucked about half of it in the freezer. Forgot it. Hubby found it over a YEAR later, and--given how much work and time went into it, and how delicious it had been--convinced me to eat it. Tasted just fine!
Okay, yesterday I took the plunge and got my first-ever duck confit underway, following the traditional method in Cooking of SW France.. Eight thighs, and I needed all of four pounds of duck fat to cover over in my round French/Dutch oven! Duck fat is awesome.
I'm not sure I'll be able to use any of it this month, so we need to keep an eye out for the quicker recipes in this book, too.
I thought I had The Cooking of South-west France on my shelves, but when I looked for it, i realized it must have been one of the books I lost, so I ordered a used copy from Amazon, and when it arrived, it was the 1988 edition, and it seems quite different from the (newer) edition I had. So I can see why so many people are put off by some of these recipes. But i voted for it, so I'll forge ahead.
nomadchowwoman, how is it different? Different recipes, or the same recipes with streamlined methods and ingredient lists?
I didn't vote because I had just commited to 2 baking books for the same period, but I did buy (the '88 edition) so I could "follow along". Several of the recipes are daunting!
re: blue room
Well, I'm giving an impression as I no longer have the newer version and can't do a side-by-side comparison, and I also hadn't cooked much out of the book though I always meant to. I just do not remember the recipes being so daunting (or so many calling for pig's feet, snails, sweetbreads, etc.). Having said that, I read through the book carefully last night, and while there are many recipes I won't be able to do--I just don't have a good source for duck legs or vats of duck fat; I have to buy whole ducks and get what fat I can from those--there are many that are quite do-able. I'm going to try to make the lamb w/garlic and white beans later this week, and then the chicken in red onion sauce. I'll be sure to report.
I think I must have the old edition and I keep looking at it in the hope there will be something that isn't too complicated and haven't really found anything! I am seriously thinking of purging this book from my collection - something which I hardly ever do!
Anyway, I am actually thinking of trying the compote of rabbit with prunes but there is a mistake in the recipe. Basically it doesn't separate out the marinade from the rest of the ingredients. Can someone who has a newer edition please tell me what should be in the marinade? Thanks.