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November 2006 Cookbook of the Month: Cast Your Votes Here

We're trying to select the cookbook of the month a little earlier to give hounds time to reserve them from their libraries. After careful consideration, I've decided to follow the suggestion of postponing the Zuni/Sunday Suppers cookbook selection until January 2007, when folks will have more time to cook.

November marks the beginning of the busy holiday season for many of us, and since there's been so much enthusiasm for Rick Bayless' cookbooks, I thought he would be a good choice for us. This is food to wake up the palate after a heavy dinner of Thanksgiving turkey. Rick Bayless has done a wonderful job of translating Mexican recipes for the American kitchen, and in some of his cookbooks, he gives traditional as well as contemporary renderings of Mexican recipes.

I'm going to list his first three books as possible choices. Please select the ONE you would most like to cook from next month. I have omitted the most recent book since some folks thought it was a bit weaker than his previous work-- also, libraries and hounds are more likely to own the older volumes.

Of course, you should feel free to choose any of his cookbooks to cook from, but we'd like to focus the discussion on one cookbook. So, hounds, which will it be?

-- AUTHENTIC MEXICAN by Rick Bayless
-- RICK BAYLESS' MEXICAN KITCHEN by Rick Bayless
-- MEXICO, ONE PLATE AT A TIME by Rick Bayless

Please post your votes on this thread. Voting will be closed on midnight, Thursday, October 12th. I'll post the selection on Friday, October 13th.

Thanks for participating and happy cooking!

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  1. I have been cooking from his Salsas That Cook book for awhile now and love it. I have been wanting to buy another one of his so I am game for any of them as I have no opinion of the ones chosen. Sorry for not being more definitive.....

    1. Love them all, so would be happy with any. But if I had to pick, I'd say "Mexican Kitchen" - so many good recipes, but especially because of that chapter on "Essential" sauces. It has about 15 different sauces, salsas, seasoning pastes, etc. At the end of each one, he suggests a variety of recipes to use that particular seasoning sauce in. So you can make a batch, and use it throughout the month in different recipes. For example, one of my favorites is the "Sweet-and-Smoky Chipotle Seasoning Salsa". It makes about one and a half cups and for most recipes you only use a tablespoon or two (it's piloncillo (or brown sugar), chipotles, and garlic). Recipes in the book using this include spicy clams or mussels, spicy cheese spread, black bean-masa cakes, chipotle chicken, and chipotle shrimp (this is fantastic).

      1. Before you get too far into this, have you considered a cookie cookbook for this time of the year?

        3 Replies
        1. re: yayadave

          seems like December is the time for a cookie book - cant see two months of cookie baking!

          anyway, on Bayless Id vote for one of the first two since those are the ones I have.

          1. re: yayadave

            Hmmm, don't know if I'm alone in this but I'd really rather keep this on cookbooks as opposed to baking books. Maybe that could be a separate of-the-month? I'm honestly just not much of a baker or sweets-person so maybe I'm being selfish...

            1. re: mellycooks

              I just thought it was timely. But since I'm not contributing to the activity, just lurking, maybe I should just butt out.

              But, getting the book chosen early seems a good idea.

          2. I've never cooked with Bayless and all three are available from the library. I have no opinion and am no use for this vote. But, I am excited to delve into one of the Bayless books and Mexican cooking in general.... ;-)

            2 Replies
            1. re: beetlebug

              I'm with Beetlebug, excited to try one of the Bayless books but no opinion on which one.

              Thanks to Redwood for all of your work on this I love following the posts but I'm feeling guilty for only having done one braise so far!

              1. re: llinza

                I'm with beetlebug and liinza--all are available at my local library. I have no experience (but certainly some interest!) in cooking from his books, so can't make a rec but am eagerly awaiting the decision.

            2. Tough choice, but I would have to toss my vote to Mexico One Plate at a Time. I like all his books, but I found this one to be simple with very distinct tastes. I really liked the section on Taquieria tacos. as usual he does a great job with explanations, suggestions and make ahead information. I also appreciated the "tips for American cooks."