The definitive Moroccan cookbook

Eating at Tajine sent me to my food encrusted copy of Paula Wolfert’s classic cookbook, “Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco.” Published in 1973 but released in paperback by William Morrow in 1987, it was the first American cookbook on real Moroccan cooking, and it remains the best.

Wolfert lived in Morocco for two years, moved to Paris for eight, and then returned to Morocco to do research. As she says in her preface, she developed a recipe for every dish she loved. The result is a brilliant collection that enables the home cook to create authentic dishes. I found recipes for every dish on Tajine’s menu. Tajine’s are easy. Everything cooks slowly together without preliminary browning. Water is used, not stock, yet the resulting flavors are huge. I’m cooking my own Chicken with Eggs, Lemons and Olives — one of Wolfert’s favorites — tomorrow. And I’m going to make my own huge bowl of tomato and pepper salad. Peppers, tomatoes and eggplant are everywhere now. It’s the Moroccan cooking season. Get your hands on this book now.

ONLINE CULINARY AUCTION

Les Dames de Escoffier, an international women’s culinary society (to which I belong), launches an online auction from Oct. 1 to Oct. 27 to raise money for culinary fellowships and its Green Tables program.

Auction items include cooking school stays in Sicily and France; winery weekends; and dinner and tequila tasting with Rick Bayless at Chicago’s incomparable Frontera Grill. Visit www.ldei.cmarket.com to bid.

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