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« September 11, 2005 - September 17, 2005 | Main | September 25, 2005 - October 1, 2005 »

September 24, 2005

Zuni Cafe


Dear Friends

Zuni Cafe is delighted to celebrate Paula Wolfert and the new edition of
The Cooking of Southwest France

The brilliant cookbook is full revised, updated and enriched with many
wonderful new recipes. It is as essential as the original edition from 1985.

On Thursday, October 13th 2005 our dinner menu will feature
a number of our favorite dishes from the book.

Books will be available and Paula will be here to meet you and sign books.

                  Reservations are limited. Please call 415-552-2522
                              and please mention you are coming for
                                The Cooking of Southwest France


The Cooking of Southwest France


                         "AN INDISPENSABLE COOKBOOK"

—Jeffrey Steingarten, Vogue

The culinary classic, now completely revised and enhanced with sixty new recipes 

The Cooking of
Southwest France

Recipes from France’s Magnificent Rustic Cuisine

Paula Wolfert


Continue reading "The Cooking of Southwest France" »

September 22, 2005

Return to Timbuktu by Camel, Part 2

by Clifford A. Wright
It’s strange to think of Timbuktu, this town at the end of the earth, as cosmopolitan but in a curious way it is because the potpourri of people there mirrors the rest of Mali, a country with more than thirty different ethnic groups and languages.  But the population of Timbuktu is predominantly Songhay and Touareg.  In the fourteenth century Timbuktu was one of the leading scholarly centers of the world and even today it’s rapidly deteriorating private libraries hold thousands of priceless manuscripts of history, linguistics, geography, astronomy, and other sciences from the early Islamic period.  You can read more about this at Libraries of Timbuktu.
    When I was researching my new book Some Like it Hot:  Spicy Favorites from the World’s Hot Zones, forthcoming in October 2005, I had come across a famous Songhay dish called tuvasu (also called tukasu).  Well, maybe it wasn’t exactly famous, but it was the only Songhay dish I had heard about.  And all I had heard about making it was that it was a “recette difficile mais succulente!”  I didn’t know much about it as I didn’t know much about the Songhay, who live mostly in Niger, but it sounded intriguing and I knew that it was not a dish we would encounter unless I made arrangements.  During one of our little pow-wows to plot our daily affairs with Youssouf, our Bambara guide who accompanied us throughout Mali and Haliss, our Touareg guide here in Timbuktu, I inquired about tuvasu.  They both knew I was a food writer and Youssouf was already impressed with the fact that I ate local food, as he called it, without ever a cringe of the nose, as opposed to expecting tourist food as is most common among Western travelers.  Haliss said he would have to arrange it, since no local restaurant served it, and restaurants are entirely for tourists in Mali as people are too poor to be eating out.  In any case, it’s a dish prepared for special occasions and wouldn’t have appeared on a menu anyway.

Continue reading "Return to Timbuktu by Camel, Part 2" »

September 20, 2005

Tunisian Chicken Chorba by Anis Toumi

This is one version of Tunisian chorba. Chorba means soup.  Why is it different from a Moroccan chorba? The heat from peppers of course. If you read a recipe for spicy, as in hot, Moroccan dish chances are you are reading a recipe that is Tunisian or Eastern Algerian that someone is just calling "Moroccan" for the sake of touristy imagery. Traditionally Moroccans did not embrace the chili pepper. Harisa became a restaurant item in Morocco for tourists than Moroccans started using it at home. There is a huge gap in the way Moroccans and Tunisians spice the same dishes. This huge gap is called the country of Algeria. I will leave the job of filling in the gap to Farid.

Tunisia is the smallest country in the Magrheb and it is also the most unified. Algerians can argue endlessly about the spicing and seasoning for a dish. I have seen this with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears. Sometimes there is much shock, "you put peppers in that?!?!?" Or, "you put nutmeg in your chorba?!?!?!" Or, "you put cinnamon in your mesfouf or bil zbib??!!?"

The Moroccan specialty is to argue they invented the cuisine of the Magrheb. They will incorrectly claim that pastilla and chicken with olives and preserved lemons  were "invented" in Morocco. I have a recipe for a spicy Tunisan fish pastilla that I will post later.

A Tunisian chorba should have the robust flavors of garlic, peppers and spices. This is not about delicate flavors, it is about big, bold satisfying flavors. Tunisians will usually agree that most dishes should be hot. A wife who does not love her husband makes him mild dishes.

Continue reading "Tunisian Chicken Chorba by Anis Toumi" »

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