Cooking with Fire and Clay Pots.
Favourite books from my library that feature fire and cooking with clay. Most clay cooking pots are from those societies that still produce traditional clay pots for everyday use. See also Brunyfire’s Cooking Pot Collection.
Clay Pot Cooking: Traditional and Modern Recipes to Savor and Share by Paula Wolfert. At first, a bit of a disappointment in that there are very few images of the clay pots that Wolfert uses in this book. However, she does talk about them, and her recipes do help to highlight the cultural connections between place and produce.
The Magic of Fire by William Rubel is sadly no longer in print – a shame as it deals with cooking on an open (indoor) fireplace. The book’s contents are illustrated rather than photographed, which is a bit too cutesy for my liking. But he does refer to a number of clay pot recipes, and in particular, the Italian method of bread making between tigelle – terracotta discs. Check out Rubel’s website which covers a diverse range of fire related cooking topics, including a section on wood-fired ovens.
Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy by Diana Kennedy. A fabulously gutsy book by a fabulously gutsy ex-pat Brit who has lived in Mexico since 1957. She has spent the past 45 years traveling through Mexico researching cooking techniques and the history of Mexican cooking. This book gives a tantalising glimpse into the clay cooking pots used in traditional Mexican cuisine.
Wood-Fired Cooking: Techniques & Recipes for the Grill, Backyard Oven, Fireplace and Campfire by Mary Karlin. A thorough and no nonsense approach to cooking with fire in a controlled manner. Whilst not specific to clay pot cooking alone, it provides some terrific recipes for open hearth cooking. Karlin’s writing style reflects her role as a teacher. Check out her website.
The Taste of Colombia by Benjamin Villegas. A fabulous book featuring the black ware of La Chamba. This beautiful book illustrates really well the connection between the cooking pots (unique to this region), the produce, the seasons and the locality.
Al Brown is a well known Kiwi chef with a love of the outdoors, and particularly for cooking on an open fire. In his new book, Stoked: Cooking with Fire Brown forages and fishes in the New Zealands glorious environment. Of particular interest is the section on the various woods he uses for the specific flavours it imparts to the food. A fabulous new book to my collection.
Jack and Reg Absalom, uncle and nephew, explore the possibilities of creative cooking over a campfire with a camp or Dutch oven. Using ingredients found to hand on the trail and from the bush around them, they rustle up a lot of traditional dishes with wild goat, kangaroo, yabbies, quandongs (wild peaches). Favourites include Spotted Dick and Treacle pudding with custard – all delivered with plenty of bush wit and wisdom.
From roasts to rissoles, salads to savouries, dampers to deserts, A B C will help understand camp cooking on an open fire. Easy recipes have all been planned for simplicity and good eating, using basic ingredients – and all road tested by the authors in the great outdoors. A B C discusses different types of bush cooking gear, advice on menu planning and hints on building the right type of cooking fire. There’s even sage advice on how to brew up a great cup of billy tea!
Recipes that push the boundaries of live-fire cuisine that introduces the incendiary dishes of South America’s biggest culinary star, Chef Francis Mallmann. Born in Patagonia, trained in France’s top restaurants—abandoned fussy fine dining scene for the elemental experience of cooking with fire. Evocative photographs showcase Mallmann’s home turf in Patagonia, Buenos Aires, and rural Uruguay.
The book that inspired Brunyfire’s trip to Sri Lanka, October, 2013. Influenced by his family cooking traditions and his love of Sri Lanka, the recipes in Kuravita’s book is part memoir in that it reflects his growing up in the country his father was born in, where he spent his formative years and where he learned to cook from the women in his family.
Written by a couple of dedicated cooks rather than professional chefs, this book reveals some authentic dishes, using the exotic ingredients of the ‘Spice Island’ in reflecting some of the regional dishes from around the island. What makes it more exciting is the claim that cooking in the traditional clay pots over an open fire adds an extra dimension of flavour to the finished dish.