September 2008 Cookbook of the Month: Your Suggestions Needed - ENDS TOMORROW!
- MMRuth Aug 5, 2008 05:08 PM
Yes, it seems too soon - to me at least - but it's time to come up with ideas for September, and I wanted to post this early in the month, so that participants will have time to get the chosen book from the library, ordered via snail mail from the U.S. (that's for greedygirl and other non-U.S.-based posters), etc. One idea that I want to throw out there - not necessarily for this month - is to have a month where we cook from past COTMs - a chance for us to use books that we may already have, and to try recipes from them that perhaps we've not tried before. So, if you love or hate this idea, please post about it as well. My initial thought on that would be that I'd set up threads with general categories, such as appetizers, soups & salads, main courses (maybe broken down in some way), side dishes, desserts, etc., and that posters could either post their reports there, or post on the original COTM threads and then link to them. Might be a nice idea in December, when we're all busy with other things ....
PLEASE NOTE: In order to make it easier for participants to scan others’ suggestions and for me to tabulate the results, I’d appreciate it if you would make your recommendations in the following format:
TITLE (in all caps), Author: Description of the book or reason you are recommending it (optional)
If you want to second or third a title that someone else has already mentioned, please repeat the title, typing it in capital letters. Just saying “I agree with Stewpot” may well get lost and your choice might not get counted. And the more often a particular title is mentioned, the greater the chance it will be among the finalists.
I'll leave this thread up until August 12th, and plan to do what I did last time, which is not to have a run-off vote, unless two books are hopelessly tied. My thought is to keep the voting period itself limited, so that posters will have more time to get the books. I’m looking forward to seeing your suggestions. And, as always, thanks for participating.
Last minute effort to drum up votes for INTO THE VIETNAMESE KITCHEN. (I've already voted, so please don't double-count this, Ruth).
Reason: Carb Lover posted the associated website in her August post. It includes plenty of text recipes, sufficient for participation amongst those of us who aren't able to come up with a hard copy of the book.
CRADLE OF FLAVOR: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore by James Oseland.
This was published in 2006 and won the James Beard award that year in the Asian cookbook category. I took this out of the library when it was in the running a month or two back and was so enchanted with it I ended up buying it. I haven't had a chance to cook from it yet and am eager to do so. Lots of info on ingredients and where to buy and how to store them. Well-written and interesting introductory text and what seems like a very thorough index.
CRADLE OF FLAVOR looks very interesting, and I too purchased the book, but haven't yet cooked from it. (I'm with Stewpot, er JoanN!)
THE SOUL OF A NEW CUISINE by Marcus Samuelsson. African cooking by an Ethiopian man raised in Sweden(!).
Ruth, I like your idea of somehow making it accessible and easy to go back and cook from the old COTM's. In my ideal world I would have listed or tabbed all the recipes that people raved about. Maybe we could do a collection like that online for each COTM, and then report in the original COTM thread. Just thinkin'
CRADLE OF FLAVOR, please. It looks like I'm going to be swamped through about the first week of September, which means I'll have to continue my COTM hiatus through August, but I hope to be able to resume participation in September. YAY!
Also, I recently checked ART OF SOUTH AMERICAN COOKING by Felipe Rojas-lombar out of the library and was thoroughly enchanted. I'd love to cook from it one of these months.
Referring to your first paragraph, MM.....
I've been considering this and my thought is to continue to have a single COTM for those who do like to collect new cookbooks, along with cooking from an old one each week, changing books each week or not. I have returned to several previous choices on alternate nights while keeping true to the current book.
Regarding my nomination for September, I'm still in deciding mode. (p_q)
For those who may be new to Cookbook of the Month or would simply like to see a list of past titles in considering MMRuth's proposal to cook from past selections, here's a list with links to the master threads.
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
Apr – Simon Hopkinson, Roast Chicken and Other Stories
May – Peter Berley, The Flexitarian Table
June - Penelope Casas
July – Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Aug. - Diane Kochilas, The Glorious Foods of Greece
Since I can't seem to tear myself away from all the recipes I still want to try from my past favorite cookbooks:
"BEST OF" MONTH - COOK FROM FAVORITE PAST COTM
For me, that would include:
Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
Judy Rodgers, Zuni Cafe Cookbook
Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid, Hot Sour Salty Sweet
Claudia Roden, Arabesque
Suzanne Goin, Sunday Suppers at Lucques
Rick Bayless, One Plate at a Time
I'd love to get a chance to do Zuni or Lucques while we still have great summer produce (we originally did them in January and May, respectively). Also, it would give those who weren't participating early on to choose from books they missed and/or presently own.
CRADLE OF FLAVOR
BEYOND THE GREAT WALL
I live in the same town, with in a few blocks of Pikawicca. She is right, it si just too hot here in Sept. and most of Oct. to think about stews etc. As for December, if i have a chance to breathe let alone do much but snack until after the holidays it will be a miracle.
re: The Dairy Queen
I spent several hours reading through some of the Dunlop posts last night. Man, am I sorry I missed that! I have both cookbooks as of May, but have yet to try them. And we could have run around town together. (Plus, I'm doing the WW Core too...first diet of my life.)
BTW, if we end up doing either Into the Vietnamese Kitchen or Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table, give me a ring. I've got them both.
Welcome clepro! You're right to be sorry you missed Dunlop Month. I think it was the best COTM we've had - shopping for ingredients, trying out substitute ingredients, reading Dunlop's wonderful descriptions of Hunan and Szechuan, and sharing photos of pickled turnips, sesame paste, black beans, etc.
I go back often to reread the messages on those threads. It was GREAT!
Hi Clepro--for what it's worth, I had to abandon Dunlop about halfway through the month because I and my partner were both gaining weight, in spite of all of the adaptations I made to the recipes. Here's a post on what I thought I did right and wrong that month from a core plan perspective http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4733...
Perhaps I should have LITERALLY been running around town looking for ingredients so I could have racked up activity points (but, it was March, and a a cold one at that, so, I forgive myself for driving...). As oakjoan says, it was a great COTM.
But, I've also really enjoyed subsequent books--Hopkinson's recipes were wonderful, though, again, not many that were core friendly. Some of his dessert recipes, as adapted by me, are especially memorably WW friendly. Here's a post about some of the adaptations I tried (no recipes thought) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5051... I really enjoyed the recipes I tried from Flexitarian Table and most of those could be easily adapted (Berley uses a lot of butter!). Penelope Casas was HUGELY core friendly, I thought.
Here are some of my favorite core friendly (though not all COTM) recipes:
Berley's butter and white wine tofu:
(you have to count the points for the wine; I use my allotment of healthy oil instead of the butter and sprinkle on a wee bit of Molly McButter if I feel I need the buttery taste).
Berley's fresh corn polenta w/sauteed cherry tomatoes:
(leave out the butter, use your daily allotment of healthy oil instead, count the points for the parm cheese, add a dash of Molly McButter if you feel you need the buttery flavor).
Gio's Chipotle Meatloaf:
(We leave out the cheese--it's still delicious).
Sweet potato fries (the corn flake mock fried chicken that I put alongside this recipe is WW friendly, but calls for a lot of non-core ingredients so you have to be sure to count all the points. That's a desperation/trying to satisfy a craving recipe at our house). This time of year, we do the sweet potato fries on the grill:
Some wintery ones:
Quinoa & Chipotle chicken hotdish http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4733...
Cuban Style Pork and Sweet Potato Stew:
Crockpot flank steak:
I've ordered my copy of Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table. I'm going to be swamped for the next couple of weeks (though I really, really want to squeeze some Greek cooking in if I can before the end of the month. We're only halfway through, there's still time, right?) and the first week of Sept, but, after that, I'll be ready to run around town looking for Vietnamese ingredients and am happy to have company for that.
Good luck with the core plan. I haven't updated my core plan thread in awhile, but maybe I'll do that now and put a link to that post here. [EDITED TO ADD LINK http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4733...] Bottom line, if you already do a lot of "from scratch" cooking, you'll get the hang of core plan in no time, although, you'll still need to get creative about finding core friendly recipes. If you don't do a lot of from scratch cooking, the key is to have on hand some core friendly convenience foods... Here's a pretty good thread on the core plan vs. the points plan http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4750...
INTO THE VIETNAMESE KITCHEN, Andrea Nguyen
The best Viet I've ever seen; passes great muster with several ex-pats in my Little Saigon. And, it's had time to get into lots of public libraries.
I would like to suggest that we combine INTO THE VIETNAMESE KITCHEN with PLEASURES OF THE VIETNAMESE TABLE. I have the latter and I don't know whether I need two Vietnamese cookbooks in my life. Do other Chowhounds feel the same - ie if you have one you're not likely to buy the other? Are they substantially different?
I would prefer INTO THE VIETNAMESE KITCHEN by Andrea Nguyen for next month.
I guess it could work to do both books, but as has sometimes happened in the past with multiple books, there has been less participation/focus. I own several Viet cookbooks, but not Pham's book. My library does carry it so I would check it out again. If we must do both books to finally get Viet food on the table here, I'm all for it!! :-)
Both books are good but pretty different from what I remember of Pham's book. I found Pham's book to be more "old school", whereas Nguyen's book has a more modern sensibility w/ apparent French influences and attention to cooking technique. Nguyen's book is extremely well-written and detailed (something that is harder to find these days), which makes learning to cook Viet food much more approachable.
re: Carb Lover
When we did two Dunlop books, I think there was still a lot of participation, though I know what you mean that sometimes there has been less focus etc. (JC, I think). In this case, I guess my feeling is that I don't object to doing two Vietnamese books, if it means more people are able to participate without buying a new book, and it might lead to interesting discussions about how the recipes of the two authors differ. (Hope it's okay for me to chime in on this topic!)
It's more than ok for you to chime in, MMRuth!! I appreciate your points. Dunlop's two books worked very well, and it would be interesting to compare both books.
Oh, and I do like your idea of revisiting previous books (perhaps in Dec?). I'm not sure if we should pick one or a cluster, but my first choice would go to Sunday Suppers. I think I've only made 2-3 recipes from that book...
re: Carb Lover
On the revisiting previous books - another thought I had on that is that maybe we would limit it to the first 12 books we did, and then we could do this again with the 2nd set of 12 books later. We could include all of them, or favorites amongst them (I think Vegetable Harvest, for example, had v. little participation.)
I Iike GreedyGirl's idea of combining both books also, as I already own Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table too.
When we combined Dunlop's book, I had one - LOP. I enjoyed cooking out of it so much, I went out and bought RCC the next month, and have been cooking from both ever since.
MMRuth, I like your suggestion of doing the first 12 months first of the past cookbooks - it will be easier to organize and focus.
And btw, I reallly like the idea of COTM Revisited. As a relative newcomver, there are lots of books that I already have (Arabesque/Hazan/Lucques for example) that I'd be interested in getting to know better. The first two especially, as I've had them for a while now.
FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT, Rick Moonen. If you've ever eaten fish prepared by him, or if you've ever heard him talk passionately about keeping our oceans alive, or if you would like to have buying, storing, preparing fish demystified for you, this is a super book.
Even tho he's a restaurant chef, he developed these recipes with co-author Roy Finamore in a New York apartment kitchen, using basic ingredients and equipment. No fancy resto dishes here.
Love the idea of doing a fish book one month, and this looks like a really good one. (I really like James Peterson's "Fish & Shellfish," also.) But I assume it's quite new since the Manhattan library system has it on order but there are no copies available yet. Perhaps we could put this off for a couple of months until those of us who rely on the library can get our hands on it?
I get the same "vibe" from both books. What shines through is the authors' encyclopedic knowledge of their subjects, and their love for each cuisine. The recipes were obviously tested (unfortunately not a given these days) and are reliable. Gorgeous photos in both. These two books are on my "keep forever" cookbook shelf.
Just a reminder that I'll be putting up the voting thread on Wednesday morning over my morning coffee, so if you've not put in your suggestions yet, please do! (I do have my morning coffee quite early, btw!)
REVISITING THE PAST 12 COTM'S
I really like this idea as I've really only participated in a couple of mo.s and would love to have the opportunity to check out some of the past books. The only thing that makes me hesitant is the idea of posting all the recipes to general category threads. It seems like it would make it very difficult to use as a reference in the future. I know I have visited old COTM threads several times for inspiration. Perhaps within the general category threads you could post the links to the original cookbook threads and ask that participants post on both? I know it'd be a lot of work, but I hate the idea of revisiting all the books and not having the reports included in the original threads..
I agree that your suggestion is the best way to handle it. For now, it looks like the Vietnamese books and Cradle of Flavor will be the runoff books (per my handy dandy spreadsheet), so maybe we can explore the past COTMs idea further. One idea that I may have mentioned is that we cull the list of 12 down to less than all 12 books.
Okay, I am up before up before you but going back to bed. INTO THE VIETNAMESE KITCHEN or CRADLE OF FLAVOR. Now I am letting the dogs back in and going to sleep, at least until 8:30. TTL my neighbor will not be having her lawn mowed at 7as she did this AM. Not my hour of the day for loud noises