‘Cooking With Fire’ by Paula Marcoux

Reader Contribution by Storey Publishing
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Recent research suggests that humans have been cooking with fire for almost two million years — a practice that not only informed the course of human evolution but also inspired generations of cooks from countless bygone cultures to manipulate fire and food in the creation of flavors and techniques that still form the foundations of regional culinary traditions everywhere. Storey Publishing is proud to announce the release of “Cooking with Fire” (Storey Publishing, 2014), a cookbook capturing many of these techniques and recipes — adapted for modern use and a DIY mindset — by food historian and wood-fired cooking enthusiast Paula Marcoux.

With more than 100 recipes for preparing everything from meat and fish to breads and beverages, Marcoux leads readers through a comprehensive and often humorous examination of live-fire cooking across cultures and throughout the ages. Readers begin by learning to cook with fire at its most elemental level — live fire and food on a stick — and progress to simple apparatuses such as spits, skewers, grills, and planks before moving on to pots, pans, and griddles. From there, Marcoux provides step-by-step instructions for building inexpensive structures that harness heat and maximize flavor, including a tannur and a simple wood-fired masonry oven. Fun, historic recipes and cultural references bring these techniques to life — accomplished cooks and weekend barbecue warriors alike will find new ways to amaze with dishes such as Roma-style bacon on a greenwood stick, roasted pork loin (Cormarye) on a spit, seared sea scallop lollipops on a griddle, and Vienna bread in a wood-fired oven. And don’t forget that favorite early American tavern treat, flip — a delicious concoction of rum, molasses, and beer mixed together and “burnt” with a red-hot poker!  

Wood-fired cooking is a hot trend; “Cooking with Fire” stands out from the crowd with a fun, affordable, accessible approach that mixes the DIY aesthetic with a pinch of geek, a pat of humor, and a generous serving of culinary history — and, of course, truly mouthwatering recipes.

About the Author: Paula Marcoux is a food historian who has also worked professionally as an archaeologist, cook, and bread-oven builder. She is the food editor of Edible South Shore magazine, writes on food history topics for popular and academic audiences, and consults with museums, film producers, and publishers. Paula also gives regular workshops on natural leavening, historic baking, and wood-fired cooking. She lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

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