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November 2007 Cookbook of the Month: Cast Your Votes Here


I know, I know. About a third of the United States is in the midst of a heat wave and we don’t even want to *think* about Choucroute Garnie no less prepare it. But there are no expiration dates for postings to any of the Cookbook of the Month threads and, whether it feels like it or not, Thanksgiving is less than six weeks away. So here we go.

Quite a few people suggested a compendium cookbook for one of our selections. Since many of us, from many different traditions, will be either preparing or contributing to a Thanksgiving dinner, this seemed like a good month to be able to choose among a wide variety of essentially North American recipes.

Please vote for one of the following four choices for November Cookbook of the Month

The Dean & DeLuca Cookbook by David Rosengarten

The Gourmet Cookbook edited by Ruth Reichl

The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

by posting your vote to this thread. Voting will be open until Monday, October 15th and I'll post the November Cookbook of the Month on Tuesday, October 16th.

  1. Silver Palate is my go to book. I have the others, but I've had my Silver Palate book for a long, long time and I trust their recipes!

    1. I have How to Cook Everything and have not cooked from it in a while, it has lots of simple and great things. It gets my vote

      1. I may pass in November - I don't have any of them, and am behind on my Julia Child cooking (and posting!). Also my husband is travelling a lot (which means I don't cook much!) and still have lots of Lucques recipes I want to try.

        All great choices from what I've read about them though - and I used to cook quite a bit from a friend's Silver Palate cookbook. I like their last book together, the name of which is currently escaping me.

        4 Replies
        1. re: MMRuth

          I'll probably pass November as well. I'm way behind with TAOFC ... instead of her stuffed pumpkin that I planned for this past weekend, I ended up cooking something entirely different. I wish I knew what everyone liked about Silver Palate though. It's been sitting on my cookbook shelf since it was first published. None of the recipes within ever appealed to me. Guess I'll have to re-read and try to find some redeeming factors.

          1. re: Gio

            Which recipes did you try? I've had great success, especially for entertaining. My experience is that since most of the recipes are favorites from their gourmet catering business, I haven't had a clunker yet. I do cook more out of their "Good Times" cookbook, though.

            1. re: Gio

              I've had the Silver Palate since I had my first apartment in NYC in 1989. Back then, I found the book inspirational -- the recipes were fresh and interesting, especially compared to something like The Joy of Cooking. However, over time I've found that while they sound good, many of the recipes need tweeking to *taste* good -- I think this is the reason I rarely consult either the Silver Palate or The New Basics these days. One foolproof recipe is the one for zucchini bread, which is excellent (p. 250).

            2. re: MMRuth

              Was it The New Basics? That's the only one of theirs I have. My sister says that Silver Palate is low on her list - too much sweet and savory stuff for her. I haven't ever seen it, but I trust my sister's instincts in recipe like/dislike.

              Also have developed a prejudice against Reichl. She's gotten too cutesy and Gourmet is even more luxe and flashy than before.

              I voted for Dean & DeLucca somewhere in this thread, but any of the others (with exception of the 2 above) are fine with me. I must say, however, that all the choices seem sort of unexciting to me.

            3. Silver Palate. The Silver Palate Good Times cookbook has great recipes also, especially for the holidays; the Grand Marnier Apricot Stuffing is the one I serve at Thanksgiving.

              1. I'm going to vote for The Dean & Deluca Cookbook, since it's the one I'm least familiar with and they have it at my library. It sounds more appealing to me to explore something new this month, since the month of October is old favorite, Julia Child, and the other books up for the vote this month are all books I've cooked out of before.

                1 Reply
                1. re: DanaB

                  Dean and Deluca! I've made many recipes from this book and everything has been really good. I don't even LIKE D&D in person....waaay overpriced! However, cookbook is great.

                2. Silver Palate, it will be fun to cook from it again, I haven't used it in a while, but I love a lot of the recipes.

                  1. Silver Palate, please, to celebrate the book's 25th anniversary.

                    1. Dean & Deluca! The bread & butter stuffing is a Thanksgiving must-have for me.

                      1. How to Cook Everything would be my choice.

                        1. How to Cook Everything gets my vote... its the new basics cookbook now. Rosso and Lukins had their day, but the recipes are fussy and tired to me now.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sabrosina

                            I actually go back to the New Basics quite often - love the gravlax recipe.

                          2. Silver Palate all the way. Any excuse to make my very favorite Applesauce Raisin Cake!

                            1. The Dean & DeLuca Cookbook!!!

                                1. how to cook everything

                                  1. One (lonely?) vote for the Gourmet cookbook.

                                    1. I'm gonna go for The Silver Palate Cookbook. I received this book as a gift from my mother at the age of 23, when I was a budding foodie, and I still enjoy it 20 years later.

                                      1. My vote isn't a book at all. It's Google and the internet. There are so many recipes available on all kinds of sites one would never be able to find on his/her own. Written by specialists in their own culinary field.

                                        I also like to study the variations of a particular dish, contrast and compare the preparation of a "star" chef versus a home cook who learned the dish from her grandmother, etc.

                                        There was a wonderful article about the cookbook author Claudia Roden in a recent food issue of the New Yorker (about 2 months ago), which described how she researched the variations of a single dish, and how she selected the preparation for her book. I think one can do the same thing with a good internet search engine!

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: MartinDC

                                          Off topic a bit, but everyone on this list should read the Claudia Roden article in the NY'r. It's beautifully written, interesting, funny and altogether wonderful. Didn't the article say she's writing a Spanish recipe book now?

                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                            Agree - great article - yes, she is writing a Spanish recipe book.

                                            1. re: oakjoan

                                              Anyone know if it is still available online?

                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                  You can find copies in local libraries. It's worth a special trip, it really is.

                                                  1. re: oakjoan

                                                    Thanks ladies! (but I'm knocking my head ... was just at the library yesterday). I'll be sure to look for it.

                                              1. re: oakjoan

                                                what's the date of the New Yorker mag w/ Claudi Roden article? I must have it around my living room somewhere!

                                            2. Sorry ... I should have stayed on topic and voted for one the choices (though I'm wondering how the list of four choices came to be).

                                              They are all fine cookbooks, and complement each other. When I want an authorative source for a master recipe, I always turn to David Rosengarted (Dean and DeLuca). Particularly when cooking for guests.

                                              My pasta making by hand has improved markedly from his instructions, from choice of flour to rolling technique. And the Daube Provencale is exactly right.

                                              Mark Bittman is good for weeknight cooking (family meals). At least that's what I use if for.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: MartinDC

                                                "(though I'm wondering how the list of four choices came to be)."

                                                Hi Martin. You must be new to the Home Cooking Board. We've been doing this for over a year, and the choices are made based on past suggestions from the Chowhounds. (For example, in the past, we've done a Roden book, and also cooked from an Internet website - LeitesCulinaria.com). Here's an idea of how this works, to get you started, along with links to past Cookbooks of the Month:


                                              2. Bittman--his recipes are more comprehensive & basic than Reichl or Rosengarten, and taste better than Russo & Lukins (or am I the only one who can't get their recipes to work?)

                                                  1. My vote is for Dean & DeLuca.
                                                    I've read through it and it looks very good and I can get it out of my library again.
                                                    Gourmet Cookbook left me underwhelmed.
                                                    Silver Palate is so . . . over! Been through it and out. It was nouvelle in its day (25 years ago, but don't think it has withstood the test of time overall to be worth a rehash as COTM)
                                                    Mark Bittman is a standby, but it's so varied it's hard to see it as an ouevre on its own. (If I had a second choice vote though it would go to that so fellow hounds could inspire me to dig deeper in the book)

                                                    1. How to Cook Everything. I like Bittman's recipes a lot, they are simpler, tasty and easy to follow. Especially good for a novice like me. This would be my first time participating the Cookbook of the Month thread.. Exciting!

                                                      1. Oops. I thought I appended a note to this thread early this morning but it seems not to have been posted. As many of you have already realized, voting for the November book ended in a tie and I've begun a new thread http://www.chowhound.com/topics/451164 for a runoff vote.