Cookbook Book Club: Cooking with Paula Wolfert

Our second Cookbook Book Club met last week and our focus was Paula Wolfert. I have her Clay Pot Cooking book, and someone else was interested in her new Food of Moroccan cookbook. The idea was to find a recipe from any of her many books and bring that to share. The overall flavor profile was Mediterranean, and we served wines from Spain and Italy.

The dinner party was a success, although most agreed that Wolfert’s recipes are often overly detailed and complex, and sometimes require unusual ingredients and methods. Lisa did not love her Tangier flat bread with chickpea flour, served as directed, but it found a new life later in the week, cut into circles and topped with pesto and a smear of sour cream. Barrett thought her Herb Jam reached a good point way earlier than the recipe indicated, and that the recipe might have been a waste of two pounds of organic baby spinach. I screwed up the Artichokes by not reducing the wine before adding the artichokes, and the semolina and Greek yogurt was a little too tough for my taste.

The pasta with breadcrumbs was well received – breadcrumbs certainly enhanced the whole wheat pasta. The Greek shrimp and chicken with fennel both arrived in beautiful clay pots, as did the black eyed peas casserole. And the melon and dates were a nice finish to the dinner, with fresh flavors perfect for the warm spring evening.

For your enjoyment, here is the menu with photos from the evening:

Menu (photos are listed in order)

  • Herb Jam with Olives and Lemon (on flat bread) – Slow Mediterranean Kitchen
  • Artichokes a la Provencale Mediterranean – Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking
  • Greek Shrimp with Feta and Tomatoes – Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking
  • Casserole of Black Eyed Peas with Fennel and Tomatoes – Slow Mediterranean Kitchen
  • Pasta with Bread Crumbs – Mediterranean Cooking
  • Chicken with Fennel, Preserved Lemon, and Olives
  • Tangier flat bread
  • Melon con Anis del Mono (Melon with Anisette) – Mediterranean Cooking
  • Greek Semolina and Yogurt Cake – Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking
  • Moroccan Dessert “Truffles” with Dates, Almonds and Apples