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Real Traditional Cooking – Cooking With Fire

July 17, 2014

Paula Marcoux captures more than flavor in a look at wood fired cooking in her book Cooking With Fire. If you’re interested in working with food history, order it. If you are among those called “preppers” or camping enthusiasts or just want something different, check out this book.

It’s part history, part how to, part cookbook and part beautiful photos. If you’re interested in what if things change tomorrow, you’ll be glad to have this book. From roasted whole rabbit to kabobs to traditional ethnic foods of several kinds, this is a chance to connect with roots as much as the wood being burned to cook with. Making a wood fired oven is something that could fit in many rural as well as urban yards. Love paleo? Cook paleo!

A detailed chapter on making a wood fired oven is included, but cooking over an open fire is also, and over a grill and a rock bed. Dozens of recipes are included and there is enough tempting photos to make you want to try them. Wood fired cooking has been an option for centuries and is a good option when there are wooded areas around!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADon’t miss the roasted tomato recipe below! From roasted rabbit to butterflied leg of lamb, seafood to breads and deep frying to grill there is variety here for everyone.

Roasted Tomatoes

This is a great use for the inevitable blemished tomatoes at the height of the season. Scoop roasted tomatoes when cool into zip-lock bags and freeze for the rest of the year, as a great base for pasta sauce, salsa and many other dishes.

3 pounds garden tomatoes

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped,

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Find a half sheet pan or other shallow baking or roasting pan that looks like it will both accommodate the tomatoes and fit through the door of your oven. Pop it into the oven to preheat for a few minutes.

Trim the core and any blemishes away from the tomatoes and cut in big chunks. Cherry tomatoes may be left whole; small plum tomatoes halved. Put them in a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients and toss together well.

Pull the pan out of the oven and dump the tomatoes on it, scraping in all the garlic and oil. Quickly return it to the oven.

After 40 minutes, draw out the pan and have a look. When they are done, the tomatoes are thoroughly condensed and even blackened on the edges. If they are almost done, give them a good shake or stir and return to the oven. Most likely, more time will be needed, depending on the heat and the tomatoes. Very juicy tomatoes may take much longer.

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