HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >



I'm posting this early in April to allow time for voting on the MAY COTM and reserving at library/purchasing by mail, etc.before this month is up.

Although we had a great discussion about suggested April cookbooks, the voting went in an entirely different direction in the run-off. That's fine, but many fewer people voted, and the winning COTM garnered fewer than 15 votes. Several of the earlier popular books in the discussion thread got very few votes. This may well have been due to the lack of
time in which to vote.

I, and I'm sure you all, love reading the suggestions, pans and raves about the COTM candidates. However, when folks start veering away from the subject at hand (easy enough when one message makes one think of something about another subject) it makes it difficult for me to wade through and pick out the finalists. In other words, some veering
is okay, just not waaay off topic and followed by 15 responses.

As usual, PLEASE PUT ALL VOTES IN CAPS. non-caps will not be counted.

If you want to see the discussions of suggested books from the APRIL COTM voting and the run-off discussion, they are in the general Home Cooking thread and you can search for them "cookbook of the month April".

One more thing that you may want to consider is the availability
and/or expense of a cookbook. Putting forth a book that is not widely
available, has few online recipes and costs $50, will certainly lessen
the number of participants. This is just a suggestion.

So? What are you waiting for?

VOTING 1ST ROUND: Last day Saturday (April 12)

VOTING ON RUN-OFF: Sunday April 13 to Saturday, April 19th

I'd like to have the final book chosen by no later than Sunday, April 20th, which will give you six days to vote for the winner.

Let the games begin!
Any questions? Please post them or email me at oakjoan@gmail.com.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Indian cooking please. MADHUR JAFFREY or JULIE SAHNI.

    1. i've been obsessed with appetizers lately, so AMUSE BOUCHE by Rick Tramonto.

      1 Reply
      1. re: soypower

        After further consideration and research, I'd like to change my vote to FLEXITARIAN TABLE...


        (I am open to Berley's other books, too, except that I don't get the impression that they are widely available anymore...)

        Thank you, as always, oakjoan. I appreciate your outstanding efforts to be responsive to the community; for instance, accelerating the voting cycle so we can secure copies of the books earlier...

        EDIT: Or, since it's May, the month of Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican cookbook, perhaps by DIANA KENNEDY (since Bayless has had his moment in the COTM spotlight)


        1 Reply
        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I would really like a Mexican book, though I don't know what that would actually be.

        2. I'd like to suggest a book that has not been suggested before, nor has the cuisine(s). CRADLE OF FLAVOR by James Osland. It has been out about a year. It covers the cooking of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. A good friend who is Indonesian by birth and her Dutch, by birth husband, (both are now naturalized US citizens) have vetted this book for me and say the recipes are very authentic and so far what I have made from this book has been very good.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Candy

            Actually, it was one of nychowcook's suggestions for March. Sounds interesting. I'll go check it out. Although since we just did an Asian book with many unusual ingredients, I might prefer to come back to it in another month or two.

            1. re: JoanN

              actually many of the ingredients are not too different, just used in a different way. It is nice warm weather food. I am trying the Nonya Shrimp Curry with Pineapple and Tomatoes. The only iffy ingredient are the candlenuts but I can use macadamias in place of them if I have to but I think I know where to get them. In Bloomington, in the heart of Indiana we have a very diverse ethnic population and stores who cater to all. He is good at making suggestions for substitutes if an ingredient may not be readily available.

              1. re: JoanN

                I also recommended it back in January 2007. May have been too new then because it didn't generate any interest.

                There's a very long thread with lots of photos on egullet about that cookbook. People decided to make every recipe in the book.

                1. re: Chimayo Joe

                  I have made a few things from Cradle of Flavor - everything has been wonderful - better than good. There are, however, ingredients that can be difficult to find. I wound up having to order some on-line.

                  1. re: mirage

                    I would participate in a COTH on CRADLE OF FLAVOR> ID rather do it in summer, though, wihen tropical food feels more appropriate and the special herbs, especially the asian basils, are actually available. I had a great time cooking these dishes last summer when I could have lemon and thai basils out of my garden.

                    I also recommend finding a source of kaffir lime leaves for this cooking - Ive had dwarf tree from Four Winds Growers (see link below) for 4-5 years now, and its just wonderful to be able to go and cut the fresh leaves I need.


                    The tree summers outside and winters in thehouse, and puts on crops of new leaves in both environments (no blooming and fruiting so far, however)

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      I have just received my dwarf tree - I'm afraid of stripping the poor thing of its leaves - how quickly do they re-grow? Please email me as this is probably too off-topic.

                      We are making Javanese Grilled Chicken, for the third time, for a get-together on Friday. For dessert, the Coconut Cake from Pure Desserts - sounded like a match to me!

                2. re: JoanN

                  I just spent a few days at my mother’s house in New Jersey. There’s a HUGE Asian market not far from her on Route 27 in Edison. I’d been there often before, but mostly wandered the aisles in a bit of a daze. This time, since I had recently taken “Cradle of Flavor” out from the library and still had a few ingredients for the Dunlop books that I’d had difficulty finding in NYC’s Chinatown, I was armed with a list of ingredients from all three books. I came home with dried shrimp paste, palm sugar, tamarind pulp, frozen turmeric and galangal, candlenuts, frozen daun pandan, pickled chiles, preserved mustard tuber, yellow rock sugar, and a few other things. I was so excited I could barely stand it. My mother just laughed at me. She thinks I’m a little nuts, and she’s probably right. “Cradle of Flavor” will definitely be on my please, please list of COTM suggestions sometime soon.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    I'd be up for Cradle of Flavor for June!


                3. re: Candy

                  In response to Candy, above, we did do Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet last year. That book covers the cuisines of Southeast Asia. For reference to prior COTM's, I just posted a list, prepared, I think, by Joan N a while ago...it's somewhere a few messages below this one.

                4. I am going to re-nominate WASHOKU: RECIPES FROM THE JAPANESE HOME KITCHEN by Elizabeth Andoh, which I think was considered back in January or February. Given how much fun we all had with Chinese last month, I think another ethnic cuisine would be great. For that reason, I'll also vote for MADHUR JAFFREY (maybe Quick And Easy Indian Cooking?) and DIANA KENNEDY.

                  1. Italian - Batali's "BABBO" and "MOLTO ITALIANO"

                    Spanish - a book by Penelope Casas, perhaps "FOOD AND WINE OF SPAIN" and/or "TAPAS"

                    Sardinian - "SWEET MYRTLE AND BITTER HONEY"

                    Mediterranean - Anna Sortun's "SPICE"

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Rubee

                      Ooooh... I love SPICE. Lots of interesting recipes in there to try.

                      CRESCENT CITY COOKING: UNFORGETTABLE RECIPES FROM SUSAN SPICER'S NEW ORLEANS -- whoops, I just saw that was in the final running for Feb.; I'm still interested though.

                      And CRADLE OF FLAVOR, but I could see doing that another month, as suggested.

                    2. HERE'S THE LIST OF PRIOR COTMs so that we don't suggest something that has already been done. I think JoanN prepared this list.

                      Sept - Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

                      Oct - Molly Stevens, All About Braising

                      Nov - Rick Bayless, One Plate at a Time

                      Dec - Dorie Greenspan, Baking from My Home to Yours


                      Jan - Judy Rodgers, Zuni Cafe Cookbook

                      Feb - Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid, Hot Sour Salty Sweet

                      March - Leite's Culinaria

                      April - Claudia Roden, Arabesque

                      May - Suzanne Goin, Sunday Suppers at Lucques

                      June - Edna Lewis, Country Cooking

                      July - Nigella Lawson, Forever Summer

                      August - Chris Schlesinger & John Willoughby

                      Sept – Patricia Wells, Vegetable Harvest

                      Oct – Julia Child

                      Nov – Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, The Silver Palate Cookbook

                      Dec. – Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook AND Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook


                      Jan – Paula Wolfert, The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

                      Feb – Frank Stitt’s Southern Table

                      Mar - Fuchsia Dunlop, Revolutionary Cinese Cookbook and Land of Plenty

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: oakjoan

                        FLEXITARIAN TABLE or JAMIE OLIVER sounds good to me!

                      2. Last time, I thought a lot of people voted for JAMIE OLIVER. Whatever happened with that? I'd go with him. Or MADHUR JAFFREY.

                        1. I'll go ahead and vote for FLEXITARIAN TABLE again, although it seems like that isn't lighting everyone's fire. Also, looking through my cookbooks, I thought maybe I'd throw out these ideas:
                          JEAN-GEORGES or
                          ITALIAN EASY/ITALIAN TWO EASY (the River Cafe cookbooks).

                          1. I'm up for TAPAS and also the RIVER CAFE EASY books. I've been enjoying Jamie Oliver's new TV series, and so will also nominate JAMIE AT HOME, which is supposed to be his best book so far.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: greedygirl

                              I'm with Kagey. I'd vote for JAMIE AT HOME.

                              1. re: NYCkaren

                                I could definitely get behind JAMIE AT HOME - I bought it in an on-line moment of retail therapy, but haven't had a chance to look at it yet.

                            2. MY BOMBAY KITCHEN by Niloufer King

                              a girl can hope!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: rabaja

                                I would support any Indian cookbook if I can get my hands on it.

                                1. re: rabaja

                                  I will enthusiastically second MY BOMBAY KITCHEN!

                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    Can we get a third???

                                2. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I'd like to see ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO by DIANA KENNEDY. Everything I've made from this book has been great, but I've only scratched the surface of it.

                                  1. BATALI - the website, BABBO and MOLTO ITALIANO

                                    DIANA KENNEDY, the compeat oeuvre (heh) since there's quite a bit of overlap in the compilations and some of us have two or three of her books.

                                    Thx for putting up a schedule, and leaving a week for voting. : )

                                    1. I really like SPICES OF LIFE: SIMPLE AND DELICIOUS RECIPES FOR GREAT HEALTH by Nina Simonds

                                      It is "healthy" food, but not "health" food if you know what I mean. I think the recipes are really terrific.

                                      1. IMPORTANT VOTING MESSAGE

                                        THIS THREAD WILL STAY UP FOR THREE (3) MORE DAYS (until SATURDAY, APRIL 12) and then I'll compile the books with the most votes and put up the run-off thread on Sunday. It will run until the next Saturday (4/19)

                                        READ THIS MESSAGE!!!!!!! THIS MEANS YOU!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                          Thanks oakjoan. Since my favorite got chosen this month, I'm going to bow out of suggesting things for May - not that it matters!!

                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                            Ruth, you should vote! Your suggestion(s) are always great! And you're a dynamo contributor too.

                                            1. re: NYchowcook

                                              Thanks - I just meant that wasn't going to throw any more books into the mix this time - but I'll vote!

                                        2. I have a few suggestions:

                                          TAPAS by Penelope Casas. We haven't done Spanish yet, which is soon to be the new french, IMHO, if it's not already! She's the doyenne of Spanish cookbooks it seems, and she updated her older book

                                          CRESCENT CITY COOKING by Susan Spicer. We haven't done Nawlins. This one looks good (a la Goin, Lucques)

                                          SWEET MYRTLE & BITTER HONEY -- Sardinian! Now that's different!

                                          INTO THE VIETNAMESE KITCHEN by Nguyen

                                          CRADLE OF FLAVOR by James Oseland -- Indonesian, etc.

                                          FLEXITARIAN TABLE by Peter Berley, or perhaps one of his earlier books such as MODERN VEGETARIAN KITCHEN

                                          MADHUR JAFFREY should be COTM sometime soon.

                                          We've done Mexican so as much as I'm an admirer of Diana Kennedy (particularly over Bayless) I think we should hold off on that. Ditto for Mario when we've done Marcella. Ditto also for Jamie Oliver since we picked his compatriot Hopkinson this month.

                                          1. LORNA SASS'S “WHOLE GRAINS: EVERY DAY EVERY WAY”

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: mutterer

                                              I would endorse WHOLE GRAINS by Lorna Sass. I own it and got into barley in a big way 'cause of this book, and would love to be inspired to delve more into the book.

                                            2. Just remembered my other: MADHUR JAFFREY WORLD VEGETARIAN

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: mutterer

                                                I'd second Madhur Jaffrey WORLD VEGETARIAN. I've been using that a lot for the past few months!

                                              2. It seems we have a vote from vmorgan for DIANA KENNEDY in this thread here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/32571...

                                                I think vmorgan got confused as to which thread was the voting thread...


                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  Yes, thank you, that is correct. Diana Kennedy.

                                                  1. re: vmorgan

                                                    COMPADRES, WE'RE COMING DOWN TO THE WIRE HERE.

                                                    I'll be posting the runoff voting thread at a little after midnight Sunday morning (PDT). Voting will end next Saturday, April 19th.

                                                    I'll include a short description of how I compiled the votes, since some voted for "an Indian cookbook" or "any Indian", etc. I counted them all in one lump and included the named authors, such as Jaffrey, Sahni, etc.,as well). Please be more specific this time with your choices and try to list a specific book and author. Otherwise, I'll clump the "any Indian cookbook" votes with the author who gets the most votes. Is this anywhere near clear?

                                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                                      What do you do with folks who voted for multiple books? I don't think that this should be allowed.

                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                        This is really more of a suggestion thread than a voting thread. In the past, multiple suggestions have always been welcome. But even in the final voting thread, the book with the most votes wins. I don't see it as a problem if someone makes it known that there are two books out of three they'd be equally happy to cook from.

                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                          I'll agree with JoanN - *this* is a nomination thread
                                                          but, going into the real vote, I like the idea of multiple enthusiasms
                                                          I don't think it gives us a statistical problem or anything...

                                                        2. re: pikawicca

                                                          Pikawicca: Multiple voting is allowed on this first thread. In the runoff, only one vote is allowed.

                                                          Of course, if it got to the point that people were voting for 6 or 7 books in each post, we'd have to do something about it. Rarely do we have that. It's generally 2 or 3 books.

                                                  2. I'll toss one more in. CURRY CUISINE by David Thompson, Das Sreedharan, Sri Owen, et al. This is a collection of recipes by some big names in their areas of expertise. Thought it might appeal to people who are hesitant to buy a cookbook on a specific ethnic cuisine.


                                                    edit: Here's some info from an earlier chowhound post of mine that gives a little more detail about the contents of the book. Amazon is cheaper than Barnes & Noble if anyone is interested in the cookbook.

                                                    Cookbook-- "Curry Cuisine"

                                                    Just thought I'd mention this cookbook. The release date is supposedly Oct. 16, but Barnes & Noble had it on the shelves yesterday. It's one of those generic looking and titled books that I usually glance at the spine and don't bother taking from the shelf to give a throrough examination. Glad I did bother this time because it fill some gaps in my cookbook collection--not so much gaps in cuisines but some missing authors. From time to time I find myself thinking I ought to have a book by Sri Owen or Corinne Trang or that massive Thai food tome by David Thompson in my collection. This book has those three authors, among others.

                                                    North India(divided into sections on Rajasthan, Delhi & Punjab, Lucknow & Awadh, and Bengal authored by Vivek Singh), South India(Das Sreedharan), and Thailand(David Thompson) get the most coverage. Pakistan(usually lumped in with North India) gets a section of its own by a different author(Mahmood Akbar.) Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines are covered by Sri Owen(with only a few recipes from each country though--wish Sri Owen's section was a little bigger.) Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam are covered by Corinne Trang(again, I wish Trang's section had a few more recipes.) There's also a section called Outposts with some coverage of a few more regions: Africa(Roopa Gulati), Caribbean(Judy Bastyra), Britain(Roopa Gulati), and Japan(Yasuko Fukuoka.


                                                    Hadn't heard of some of the people, but their bona fides appear pretty decent. Seem to be a lot of London based authors involved. The recipes look pretty good--how good, I don't know because I haven't cooked from the book, yet. Most of the recipes look relatively easy. Layout of the book is good--most recipes are single page, and when a recipe is two pages they're adjacent to avoid having to flip pages. The book does a pretty good job of saying specifically where a recipe is from(Kerala or Hyderabad, for example, rather than just leaving it at "South India"), always a plus. Hardcover, another plus. Lots of color photos(about half the recipes have photos.) About 150 recipes total, so there isn't extensive coverage of the regions, but the book appears to be a very good sampler. Looking forward to trying it out.

                                                    Permalink | Reply

                                                    Chimayo Joe Oct 15, 2006 08:55AM