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**May 2009 COTM** suggestion thread! NOMINATE UNTIL APRIL 7.

foxy fairy Apr 1, 2009 07:20 AM

Hi, COTM-ers!

Welcome to the suggestions thread for our May Cookbook of the Month. We're offering everyone a chance to make suggestions here until the END OF THE DAY APRIL 7(Pacific time, midnight). That's a week for suggestions, and then we'll hold a quick runoff if necessary. Again, THIS THREAD WILL BE UP UNTIL MIDNIGHT APRIL 7. At that point, hopefully a clear winner will have emerged for us. That way, participants can order the book and access it via library or bookshop in time for May 1.


Feel free to toss out any book that you think would be a hit for Cookbook of the Month here at chowhound! When you recommend a book, please try to mention if you've cooked from it or not, why you think it would work for COTM, and feel free to add in your own critique of the book ---- but please, please use all CAPITAL LETTERS FOR THE TITLE for your actual suggestion. I'm excited to see the ideas!

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 but preferred)

**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 So and So” 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.

If you'd like to take a peek, here are lots of other ideas from last month's suggestions thread:


Again, it's truly a pleasure to moderate COTM and I'm always eager to see what turns up among the nominations! I will be online each evening, so I will respond each night to any questions or concerns.

Thanks so much for participating!

*foxy fairy*

  1. foxy fairy Apr 9, 2009 09:39 AM

    It's voting time!



    1 Reply
    1. re: foxy fairy
      The Dairy Queen Apr 9, 2009 11:20 AM

      Shoot, those books all look great. I can't possibly chose "just one"!


    2. c
      cpw Apr 7, 2009 07:46 AM


      1. tcamp Apr 7, 2009 07:01 AM

        Hi, new member here. What a neat idea and I look forward to participating. I love indian so any of the aforementioned indian books get my vote. I am currently cooking from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer; truly, a curry for EVERY taste, plus sides, breads, etc.


        1 Reply
        1. re: tcamp
          MMRuth Apr 7, 2009 07:06 AM

          Welcome - we have a lot of fun, and the more the merrier!

        2. billieboy Apr 6, 2009 07:24 PM

          BON APPITIT Y'ALL and hello to Virginia Willis. How very nice of you to come on board.

          Y'all come on back, Y'hear? :-)

          1. NYchowcook Apr 5, 2009 10:00 AM

            CRADLE OF FLAVOR by James Oseland. Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

            I've successfully and happily cooked from it. No need to wait for the summer for this. Sambals with lemongrass and hot chiles. Ginger, lemongrass and chiles are the predominant fresh ingredients; no basil needed so far in the recipes I've read.

            Beef rendang and cucumber and carrot pickle, which I made to the delight of a visiting Indonesian!

            The only difficulty is locating kaffir lime leaves. I hear they're at Whole Foods. I visited a friend w/ an indoor tree and have a bagful of leaves in the freezer, and my plant (!) is on its way to me from White Flower Farm.

            2 Replies
            1. re: NYchowcook
              dkennedy Apr 6, 2009 08:42 AM

              Looks like you are located in NY, but here in L.A. you can get kaffir lime leaves at the Wednesday Farmers Market on 3rd Street Promenade.

              1. re: dkennedy
                oakjoan Apr 6, 2009 12:17 PM

                Yeah, our local Indian markets also carry kaffir lime leaves. Lucky us, eh? Okay, we DO have earthquakes....

            2. s
              SocksManly Apr 3, 2009 09:51 PM

              Surprised there haven't been any James Peterson books on that list....

              1. b
                Brunhilde Apr 3, 2009 03:47 PM

                I don't see any Indian cookbooks on the list, so I'll nominate my old standby
                INDIAN COOKING - Madhur Jaffrey

                21 Replies
                1. re: Brunhilde
                  SocksManly Apr 3, 2009 09:48 PM

                  I was thinking Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking by Julie Sahni, that's my go to indian book. I'm a total carnivore, but when you wanna cook vegetables and grains, who better to teach you than an indian? :)

                  1. re: SocksManly
                    JoanN Apr 4, 2009 05:01 AM

                    There was a bit of a discussion last month regarding Indian cookbooks and it seems as though Madhur Jaffrey books are readily available in the UK whereas Julie Sahni is not. I have, and have cooked more from, Sahni. But for the benefit of our UK participants, do you have any Jaffrey books you’d consider recommending?

                    1. re: JoanN
                      MMRuth Apr 4, 2009 05:14 AM

                      I'd be really interested in doing an Indian book - we've never done one. I only have Mangoes and Curry Leaves, and would defer to those who know more about the various books out there. So, if I can, my suggestion would be AN INDIAN COOKBOOK.

                      1. re: MMRuth
                        The Dairy Queen Apr 4, 2009 06:24 AM

                        Okay, I DID read JoanN's comment above that Sahni 's books aren't readily available in the UK and I know I'm the only person who probably has any interest in this, but I've been dying to try "Moghul Microwave: Cooking Indian Food the Modern Way by Julie Sahni". I read about this book in a piece Mark Bittman did on cooking with the microwave. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the microwave is the most energy efficient kitchen appliance.

                        Oh crud, I see that Amazon doesn't even sell it. Available from 3rd party sellers only. There are about 15 available, all less than $16 (about $20 with shipping), but, not available enough for a COTM, I think.



                      2. re: JoanN
                        moh Apr 4, 2009 05:24 AM

                        I like Madhur Jaffrey's books very much, her recipes are very clear and easy to follow, and make you brave enough to try new recipes. The suggestion of Indian is a lot of fun, and normally I would be very much in favour. But for personal reasons, it might be hard for me to participate heavily if we did a whole month of Indian. But she has a book called World Vegetarian which has a mix of her Indian recipes, as well as recipes from around the world which could be an interesting alternative. That way people who aren't as interested in solely Indian cuisine can still participate. Anyhoo, just a suggestion! I finally have a bit of time, and I am hoping to participate this month. I've missed all you guys!

                        1. re: moh
                          foxy fairy Apr 4, 2009 01:15 PM

                          So you are suggesting WORLD VEGETARIAN by Madhur Jaffrey?

                          1. re: foxy fairy
                            moh Apr 4, 2009 01:20 PM

                            oops! Yes indeed foxy fairy! Thanks for picking up my dropped ball!

                            I am indeed suggesting WORLD VEGETARIAN by Madhur Jaffrey.

                            1. re: moh
                              dkennedy Apr 4, 2009 01:49 PM

                              Since we seem to be heading in the direction of Indian cuisine for this month's selection, I'd like to toss two other choices out there for your consideration. The first is a personal favorite of mine, THE BOMBAY CAFE COOKBOOK by Neela Paniz, the second is THE WORLD OF STREET FOOD by Troth Wells.

                              Madhur Jaffrey's books, in my opinion, while offering a good foundation for Indian fare, are invariably too high in the heat scale for my taste. After several efforts at trying to love her books, I finally gave up and I no longer cook from them.

                              That is not to say I don't like cooking Indian food, because I do! And I'd further like to qualify my response by saying that I like my food spicy, just not MJ spicy.

                              The recipes in Bombay Cafe are amazing. It is written by the original owner of the Bombay Cafe here in L.A. and up until the change of ownership, it was "the" place to eat Indian. I am particularly fond of her one pot rice with chicken and her layered eggplant appetizer.

                              Moving on to The World of Street Food, I am convinced this would make a wonderful discussion book. While not strictly Indian fare, it covers street fare from African, Asian, Latin American, Caribbean, Middle East, and North African cultures. My all time favorite Indian recipe from this book is for Ragda patties, which are hard to describe, but delicious to eat.

                              I hope everyone will take a look at these two books on Amazon (I am not good at providing links) before voting. They are both truly exceptional books for Indian fare.

                              1. re: dkennedy
                                Brunhilde Apr 4, 2009 05:03 PM

                                The World of Street Food looks really interesting, thanks for suggesting it. My local library has a copy, so I'm definitely going to check it out.

                                1. re: dkennedy
                                  foxy fairy Apr 5, 2009 05:27 AM

                                  Here are the Amazon links for these two suggestions:

                                  Bombay Cafe:

                                  World of Street Food:

                                  1. re: dkennedy
                                    greedygirl Apr 6, 2009 01:54 PM

                                    I'm surprised that you find MJ too spicy to be honest. That's not been my experience at all.

                                    I have that Street Food book but have never cooked from it (it was a gift). Must have another look.

                                    1. re: greedygirl
                                      oakjoan Apr 6, 2009 09:09 PM

                                      re: dkennedy and greedygirl

                                      don't find Jaffrey's recipes too spicy either, but reaction to spiciness is such a personal thing. I've found dishes too bland and not that interesting which others here have touted to the sky.

                                  2. re: moh
                                    foxy fairy Apr 5, 2009 05:24 AM

                                    :) thank you!

                                    1. re: moh
                                      oakjoan Apr 5, 2009 10:22 PM

                                      Jaffrey's World Vegetarian is not an Indian cookbook. She has numerous books in print and most of them are really good. I like a huge volume I have which contains both An Invitation to Indian Cooking and the more recent A Taste of India which features recipes from the various regions/states of India, e.g., Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, etc.

                                      I agree with jenkalb that Jaffrey's recipes are accessible. She's also a charming writer and includes lots of personal recollections and info on customs, etc.

                                  3. re: moh
                                    jen kalb Apr 4, 2009 06:58 PM

                                    If we do Indian, specifically Madhur Jaffrey, I hope we can do more than one book. I have and like WORLD OF THE EAST VEGETARIAN COOKING, INDIAN COOKING, INVITATION TO INDIAN COOKING and at least one other, but Im not on a hunt for any more of hers. I have dozens of other indian cookbooks but I still think Jaffrey's are exceptionally accessible.

                                    1. re: jen kalb
                                      clepro Apr 5, 2009 01:28 PM

                                      Another nomination to throw into the Indian mix: Raghavan Iyer’s THE TUMERIC TRAIL: RECIPES AND MEMORIES FROM AN INDIAN CHILDHOOD, a 2003 James Beard Award finalist. Or even better, his more recent and intriguing 660 CURRIES: THE GATEWAY TO INDIAN COOKING. It's available for $22, is getting great reviews (example: http://jugalbandi.info/2008/05/660-cu...), is not limited to curries (abt 1/3 of the recipes aren't curries), and unlike many Indian cookbooks, spans multiple regions. If you have the time, read the blog post I linked...it gave me a really good idea of what's in the book, its tone, and why I have to! must! add it to my collection.

                                      I've got his Tumeric Trail, Sahni's, and a number of Jaffrey's among other Indian cookbooks on my shelves. I'd be happy if any of them were chosen. Or pretty much any of the cookbooks being discussed, Indian or otherwise! There are many good suggestions in this thread.

                                      1. re: clepro
                                        Emily Hope Apr 7, 2009 05:12 PM

                                        I'll second the 660 curries nomination--I have numerous Indian cookbooks, most of which sit untouched on a shelf, but this one has really grabbed me for some reason. The recipes seem relatively accessible, and the things I've cooked out of it so far have worked well. (Plus, it would be an incentive to work my way through the long list of recipes I'd like to try!)

                                        1. re: clepro
                                          foxy fairy Apr 17, 2009 02:55 PM

                                          clepro -- I can't thank you enough for turning me on to 660 CURRIES. Wow! . Last week after I posted this thread, I stopped at the book store to investigate the options.... and I was absolutely smitten by 660 Curries and walked out of the store with the book. I have cooked a fair amount of Indian (grinding my own spice mixes, which is always a thrill) but I've wanted to branch out. I would be really delighted to cook Indian soon with COTM.

                                          I want to make SO MANY of these recipes! Iyer's writing style charmed me as soon as I cracked this book open! His opening remarks were touching. Something else I really think is adorable -- Iyer's son actually tested each recipe (while he was between the ages of 4 and 6)!

                                        2. re: jen kalb
                                          oakjoan Apr 6, 2009 12:15 PM

                                          jen kalb: World of the East Veg. Cooking is one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. If we're going Indian, however, this book is more pan-Asian than Indian. It includes veg recipes from all over South, Southeast Asian, China, Japan, Korea, etc.

                                          1. re: oakjoan
                                            jen kalb Apr 6, 2009 03:00 PM

                                            true, however, since it is packed full of recipes (unlike cookbooks like Indian Cookery that have just one per page) it is actually her fullest and most comprehensive accumulation of indian vegetarian dishes. Wonderful. I dont go for her other asian recipes in the book so much because she leaves out ingredients like fish sauce. Has a lot more indian recipes recipes than Rose Bakery has savory recipes! Anyway like I said above, I hope we just nominate JAFFREY, since she has so many books and our younger participants might be more likely to have some of the more recent titles and editions.

                                  4. re: Brunhilde
                                    greedygirl Apr 6, 2009 09:57 AM

                                    I'll also nominate INDIAN COOKING by Madhur Jaffrey. I picked up a cheap secondhand copy recently and have cooked a few things from there that I've liked. I also have A TASTE OF INDIA by the same author but I've never made anything from it for some reason.

                                  5. yamalam Apr 3, 2009 12:36 PM

                                    FLATBREADS AND FLAVORS, Alford and Duguid

                                    I know we've done an Alford/Duguid book in the past(Hot Salty Sour Sweet) but I wanted to share my newest cookbook LOVE. I have tried the pita, naan with cumin and onion, and lavash, and all have been delicious, but surprisingly easy, and so fun and satisfying to make and eat. Each flatbread recipe is paired with traditional dips or accompaniments, and I've only tried a lentil dish and an eggplant tomato salsa, but both were unusual, simple and delicious. It is now available in paperback for $15 new at Amazon, and was originally published in '95, so libraries are likely to have a few. I don't know what season this would be best suited for, but I wanted to throw it out there as a COTM possibility!

                                    From the publisher: "In their James Beard Award-winning cookbook Flatbreads and Flavors Alford and Duguid share more than sixty recipes for flatbreads of every origin and description: tortillas from Mexico, pita from the Middle East, naan from Afghanistan, chapatti from India, pizza from Italy, and French fougasse. In addition, they provide 150 recipes for traditional accompaniments to the flatbreads, from chutneys and curries, salsas and stews, to such delectable pairings as Chinese Spicy Cumin Kebabs wrapped in Uighur nan or Lentils with Garlic, Onion, and Tomato spooned onto chapatti. Redolent with the tastes and aromas of the world's hearths, Flatbreads and Flavors maps a course through cultures old and intriguing, and, with clear and patient recipes, makes accessible to the novice and experienced baker alike the simple and satisfying bread baker's art."

                                    1. Rubee Apr 3, 2009 12:34 PM

                                      Great suggestion Emily! I second Ana Sortun's SPICE: FLAVORS OF THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Rubee
                                        pitu Apr 7, 2009 06:27 AM

                                        I could get into either Ana Sortun's SPICE, or CRADLE OF FLAVOR.
                                        (If we're allowed multiple nominations, which I think we are. I also stick by the CP Veg etc)

                                      2. emily Apr 3, 2009 11:08 AM

                                        I will nominate SPICE (which never wins) because I love the book and really want to see what others cook out of it. Some of my favorite recipes are the pistachio beef kebabs with aleppo pepper and Turkish red pepper paste and the muhammara (a blend of roasted red peppers, walnuts, pomegranate molasses and more).

                                        19 Replies
                                        1. re: emily
                                          The Dairy Queen Apr 3, 2009 11:15 AM

                                          Keep nominating! Sometimes, it just takes awhile for these books to rise to the collective consciousness. If enough people hear about it and investigate it, I'm sure it will gain support. Part of the problem, too, is that there is sort of an unofficial backlog, it seems, of books waiting for the right time...Cradle of Flavor has been on the "let's try that one soon list" for the longest time and I think it will win eventually, but timing is everything. People didn't want to cook from it so soon after Vietnamese month, and then there were the holidays and everyone wanted to bake, and then there was the New Year and everyone wanted to cook light, and then everyone wanted to wait until there was a wider array of fresh vegetables in season... so on.

                                          Also, you could start your own thread like Gio did for Bon Appetit and Candy did for Ottolenghi. That might help people get more familiar with the book...

                                          Anyway, can you tell me more about the Turkish red pepper paste from Spice? I've been looking for a Turkish red pepper paste I had once had as a mezze (sp?) for the longest time. I'm wondering if that recipe might hit the spot!


                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                            Caitlin McGrath Apr 3, 2009 12:02 PM

                                            I have been considering starting a thread on Spice soon, as I know several posters here have expressed real enthusiasm for it and I'd like to hear which recipes they've liked (I'll be able to pick up my reserve copy from the library in a few days). If Emily doesn't beat me to it, I'll do it once I have it in my hands,

                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                              The Dairy Queen Apr 3, 2009 12:37 PM

                                              Sounds great. I'm definitely looking forward to learning more about this book, from you, from Emily and from all of those enthusiastic others. When I'm going to have a chance to cook from all of those wonderful sounding books is the real question! By the way, this is the book "Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean"" by Ana Sortun, right? I was just looking at it on Amazon. Wow it does sound very interesting! I'd cook from that book in a heartbeat!


                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                Rubee Apr 3, 2009 12:48 PM

                                                Hi DQ -

                                                Here's a link from last month's discussion on the nomination thread for Spice:


                                                1. re: Rubee
                                                  The Dairy Queen Apr 3, 2009 12:51 PM

                                                  Ah! Thanks for that. It does sound appealing. Have you had a chance to try any of those recipes yet?


                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                    Rubee Apr 3, 2009 12:55 PM

                                                    No, not yet - those were ones I was looking at if the book won. If I do though, I'll be sure to report back!

                                                    If it helps, I'm cutting and pasting another response I posted from that discussion (it's buried in the Ottolenghi and NWTC tangents)

                                                    While it covers similar cuisines found in Arabesque like Egyptian and Moroccan, it's mainly Turkish and Armenian influences with a smattering of dishes inspired by Greece, Italy, Portugal, North African, France, Spain, etc. The main difference is her recipes have more of a modern, sophisticated flair as she tends to use spices and traditional flavors along with her French training to come up with her own creative take on a dish, for example:

                                                    Celery Root Skordalia
                                                    Eggplant souffle
                                                    Corn Cakes with Nasturtium Butter
                                                    Beet Tzatziki
                                                    Caramelized Onion Tart with Poppy Seeds, Bacon, and Dates
                                                    Squid with Avocado "hummus"
                                                    Sweet Potato Bisteeya
                                                    Ricotta and Bread Dumplings with Red Wine and Porcini Mushrooms
                                                    Fideo with Chickpeas, Vanilla, and Saffron
                                                    Braised short ribs with riesling and tamarind
                                                    Grape-leaf wrapped swordfish
                                                    Rhubarb Rose Jam with Quail
                                                    Potato risotto with green olives, rosemary, and walnuts
                                                    Cod with truffled leek sauce and sweet potato "tots"
                                                    Desserts like Sicilian Cremolata with Sugared Almonds, Strawberry and Lavender Tart, and Frozen Jasmine Souffle with Tropical Fruit Syrup.

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                      JoanN Apr 3, 2009 01:06 PM

                                                      I took “Spice” out of the library when it was being recommended last month. I made one recipe (Crispy Lemon Chicken with Za’atar) and photocopied another. The Crispy Lemon Chicken was her take on chicken-under-a-brick. I had some problems with it; mostly timing (and the fact that it wasn’t all that crispy). Just checked my notes and see the summation is, “Too many other chicken recipes I like better, most with not so much added fat.” The recipe I photocopied is Maria’s Shrimp Saganaki Flambeed with Ouzo. Haven’t tried that yet.

                                                      1. re: JoanN
                                                        The Dairy Queen Apr 3, 2009 01:57 PM

                                                        Interesting. It might be good to hear some other reports from this book, too, especially since yours was so-so.

                                                        Did you only take two recipes because that's all that seemed interesting to you? Or, did you just run out of time and/or dimes?


                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                          JoanN Apr 3, 2009 02:13 PM

                                                          While I wasn't as taken with it as I had expected to be, I wouldn't at all mind seeing it chosen as COTM in the hope that people find some real gems there. I think a lot had to do with my own personal quirks. Love squid, not all that crazy about avocado. Would have liked a different take on the Bisteeya; somehow the sweet potato part just didn't turn me on. Would have preferred something more traditional. That kind of thing.

                                                          1. re: JoanN
                                                            jen kalb Apr 3, 2009 03:01 PM

                                                            Im not all that interested in another mideastern chef book, with Ottolenghi coming down the pike and with a bookshrlg full of wolfert and other straightup ME books.

                                                            I am just hoping for Ottolenghi (just received and my mouth is watering) and Cradle of Flavors this summer - dont want to have that "oh not another" reaction. when the time comes....

                                                            1. re: jen kalb
                                                              JoanN Apr 3, 2009 03:26 PM

                                                              Cradle of Flavor isn't middle eastern, but good point nonetheless.

                                                              1. re: JoanN
                                                                jen kalb Apr 3, 2009 04:04 PM

                                                                as usual Im unclear. Joan - I was more thinking of Ottolenghi - another ME oriented chef's book.

                                                                It seems like we sort of decided to wait a bit on this but I went ahead and bought my Ottolenghi (will learn the centigrade/gas mark conversions!) whenever the time seems ripe Im totally ready for this one - and for Cradle.

                                                              2. re: jen kalb
                                                                jen kalb Apr 3, 2009 03:56 PM

                                                                I was talking about Ottolenghi - although he has other influences, ME flavors are predominant in his fusion

                                                                1. re: jen kalb
                                                                  Caitlin McGrath Apr 4, 2009 12:43 PM

                                                                  I think Ottolenghi is less likely to be chosen, for the reasons discussed in last month's thread: no US edition on the horizon, so libraries don't carry it, etc. There's already a lively thread on cooking from it here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/599767 , and there are enough people cooking from it that I think that will go on, regardless of whether it ever becomes a COTM.

                                                          2. re: JoanN
                                                            emily Apr 3, 2009 05:20 PM

                                                            That was a recipe I wanted to try. Kind of stinks you didn't like it so much, but I'll end up trying it eventually. I do tweak her recipes a bit, and end up liking them much more.

                                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                    emily Apr 3, 2009 05:28 PM

                                                    The Muhammara recipe in the book is Sortun's take on a classic ME dip. Paula Wolfert has one, as well, but Sortun's sounded more interesting to me. You roast red peppers and then grind them up with scallions (I used onions), pomegranate molasses, urfa peppers, aleppo peppers, panko crumbs (not traditional), lemon juice, garlic, walnuts, pine nuts and some other stuff. Really tasty, though I admit the first time I made it was the best and it hasn't lived up to that experience subsequently.

                                                    The Turkish red pepper paste is an ingredient that you buy in a jar that goes into the pistachio beef kebabs. Pistachios may sound weird, but they're ground up, and the end result is *really* good! As I said below, though, I tweak her recipes and double the spices in this one. The quantities given just didn't seem like it would give enough flavor.

                                                    I'd love it if someone started a thread. I'm in the midst of a mini kitchen remodel, so I'm not cooking anything for the next few weeks. But I'm putting in a Wolf rangetop grill so I can cook those kebabs in the house!

                                                    1. re: emily
                                                      The Dairy Queen Apr 3, 2009 06:20 PM

                                                      Great insights, emily, thank you. Good luck with the kitchen remodel!


                                                      1. re: emily
                                                        oakjoan Apr 5, 2009 10:13 PM

                                                        I love the Wolfert muhammara recipe and have used it for years. It can also be made, in a pinch, using jarred roasted peppers. It's a great dip.

                                                    2. re: emily
                                                      pikawicca Apr 4, 2009 01:24 PM

                                                      SPICE is nice -- it's got my vote (again).

                                                    3. pitu Apr 3, 2009 07:50 AM

                                                      CHEZ PANISSE VEG + the other CP (Fruit, Cafe, whatever)

                                                      1. beetlebug Apr 2, 2009 08:32 AM

                                                        As great as Bon Appetit Y'all sounds, personally, I would love to see us nominate cookbooks that are accessible to everyone. This includes books that are readily available to hounds on both sides of the pond. Even though BAY has been out since summer of 2008, my extensive library system only has 10 copies in the system. There are many of us who can't buy the books every month, not only because of finances, but just out of space on our shelves. And, it just isn't the same, using links off the web. I like to hold the book in my hands.

                                                        I'm sure with the multitude of cookbooks out there, we can find cookbooks that are older than a year and can be accessed by hounds almost everywhere.

                                                        9 Replies
                                                        1. re: beetlebug
                                                          Gio Apr 2, 2009 09:57 AM

                                                          As a matter of fact, even though I'm cooking from the "bay'a" book on my own, so to speak, I'd really like to cook from one of Jamie Oliver's books. He has so many, I just don't know which one.....

                                                          1. re: Gio
                                                            dkennedy Apr 2, 2009 10:14 AM

                                                            I recently read a review of STAFF MEALS FROM CHANTERELLE by David Waltuck and was so intrigued, I immediately bought the book. Chanterelle is an upscale French institution in Manhattan, but the recipes in this book are for the staff meals, not those off the restaurant menu. All the recipes are homey, comforting, and entirely approachable for the home chef. Vote for my choice! Check out the many reviews available on Amazon.

                                                            1. re: dkennedy
                                                              JoanN Apr 2, 2009 10:42 AM

                                                              I have "Staff Meals" and like it a great deal. Good recipes that work, well written, and--as you say--comfort food. I'd be happy to see this as a COTM choice, but I really don't think it's appropriate for May. Most--not all, but most--of the recipes are quite hearty. They are, almost by definition, one-dish meals. I think this would be a better choice for, say, October or next April.

                                                              1. re: JoanN
                                                                oakjoan Apr 2, 2009 12:23 PM

                                                                JAMIE OLVER, any of his books (NAKED CHEF, NAKED CHEF TAKES OFF, JAMIE OLIVER'S KITCHEN anyor all of his books or books and online.

                                                                This guy gets overlooked except as a celebrity, yet his recipes are fabulous. I find myself using them again and again, e.g.:

                                                                Chocolate Orange Ricotta Mascarpone Tart
                                                                Prosciutto-wrapped Salmon and Lentils with Spinach, and Yoghurt
                                                                Orange and Polenta Biscuits (cookies)
                                                                Pan-Baked Pork Chops with Herby Potatoes, Parsnips, Pears and Minted Bread Sauce
                                                                Risotto with Radicchio, Bacon, Rosemary and Red Wine
                                                                Semifreddi (various flavorings)
                                                                Spicy Roasted Squash (I've probably posted about this 500 times)
                                                                Pork Chops with Thyme, Lemon and Pesto
                                                                Fish Baked in a Bag with Marinated Cherry Tomatoes, Black Olives and Basil
                                                                Arugula and Watercress Pesto
                                                                Ravioli with Potato, Watercress and Cheeses
                                                                Ravioli with Smashed Fava Beans, Mint and Ricotta
                                                                Baby Spinach, Fresh Pea and Feta Salad
                                                                Radish and Fennel Salad
                                                                Soups - lots of really interesting ones
                                                                Baked Figs with Mascarpone, Oranges, Pistachios and Hot Cross Buns (he also subs croissants or brioche)
                                                                Baked Pears stuffed with almonds, orange and chocolate in flaky pastry
                                                                Hazelnut Torte
                                                                Bread and butter pudding with baileys (liquor) and bananas
                                                                Roast chicken stuffed with fragrant couscous and cooked on a sweet potato stovie
                                                                Deep-fried Oysters with fried arugula and tomato dressing.
                                                                Ligurian Braised Rabbit with rosemary,olives and tomatoes
                                                                Dark, Sticky Lamb Stew
                                                                Haddock baked in a bag with mussels, saffron, white wine and butter
                                                                Steamed pork buns
                                                                Parpardelle with amazing slow-cooked meat.
                                                                Quick marinated red snapper with crispy ginger, shallots and citrus dressing
                                                                Stir-fried warm salad of shrimp and baby zucchini
                                                                Shaved celeriac salad
                                                                Fava bean and crispy pancetta salad with pea, pecorino and mint dressing

                                                                Sheesh, overkill again! In any case, Oliver is a treasure and available at libraries all over the place.

                                                                1. re: oakjoan
                                                                  Karen_Schaffer Apr 3, 2009 07:39 AM

                                                                  Great list! I'd love to do Jamie's books sometime, but I'm actually hoping not in May because I won't have much free time to cook that month. Selfish, eh?

                                                            2. re: Gio
                                                              oakjoan Apr 2, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                              See my nudgy post below, Gio. Okay, okay, I'll stop poking you and shouting "Oliver, Oliver, Ziss Boom Bah!"

                                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                                Gio Apr 3, 2009 05:30 AM

                                                                Thanks, I'm not a great fan of poking (in the ribs). Quite a list of recipes you like. If you had to choose just 1 of his books which would it be?

                                                                1. re: Gio
                                                                  bayoucook Apr 3, 2009 07:41 AM

                                                                  Yum on those recipes, I'd like to know which one too!

                                                                  1. re: Gio
                                                                    foxy fairy Apr 9, 2009 08:56 AM

                                                                    I am curious too. I'd like to request a couple of his books from the library and comb through to see what strikes me. Favorite(s)???

                                                            3. margshep Apr 1, 2009 03:04 PM

                                                              I second BON APPETIT, Y'ALL. Just got it and it looks wonderful. I am gonna gain 20 lbs. :-)

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: margshep
                                                                DGresh Apr 2, 2009 09:11 AM

                                                                Personally the last thing I need is a book that will make me gain 20 lbs :)

                                                                I'd like to nominate VEGANOMICON by Moscowitz and Romero

                                                                I'm not a vegan, nor even a vegetarian, but I have recently been *really* trying to change the way we think about "main courses" in our house. This book has a lot of very interesting recipes that are not at all like you are starving yourself or giving up something. I've just started really hitting this book hard (I had my recently-become-vegetarian daughter go through it to give me a list of things she'd like-- she gave me about 50 recipes!) and had some real successes. For example we loved the quinoa with cashews and pineapple. It has plenty of recipes that don't rely on "fake meat" like seitan (though it has that too)-- I prefer grains and veggies that aren't trying to be something else.

                                                                BTW this was published in 2007, so I would hope it would be relatively widely available in libraries--my library system (Westchester County NY) has 9 copies, which is quite a lot for a cookbook.

                                                                Also, I know people have not wanted to do vegetable oriented cookbooks anytime other than summer, but I don't think that really applies here-- these recipes really span the year.

                                                              2. bayoucook Apr 1, 2009 02:51 PM

                                                                BON APPETIT, Y'ALL by Virginia Willis.Have had it since June 08 and it is well used and well loved. Have cooked many things from it - will get to those later. Great book.

                                                                1. coll Apr 1, 2009 02:08 PM

                                                                  Around Christmas, someone suggested THE JOY OF COOKING (although, I know, which edition?). I stopped collecting cookbooks a while ago, this is one of the few I never got rid of, but I just use it for roasting meat guidelines mostly. I'd love to know what else is in there as everyone seems to love it so.

                                                                  1. foxy fairy Apr 1, 2009 07:26 AM

                                                                    A list of past COTM, for your perusal:


                                                                    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 Chinese 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

                                                                    September - Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham and Into the Vietnamese Kitchen by Andrea Nguyen

                                                                    October - Mario Batali: Babbo, Molto Italiano & Simple Italian Cooking

                                                                    November - Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food

                                                                    December '08/January '09 - Revisiting Sunday Suppers at Lucques and The Zuni Cookbook


                                                                    February -- A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider

                                                                    March -- Fish Without a Doubt by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore

                                                                    April -- Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery by Rose Carrarini
                                                                    (this thread will go up later today; see top of Home Cooking page!)

                                                                    1. MMRuth Apr 1, 2009 07:22 AM

                                                                      Hi - just to clarify "At that point, hopefully a clear winner will have emerged for us." Will we have a voting thread as well though? Thanks.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: MMRuth
                                                                        foxy fairy Apr 1, 2009 07:27 AM

                                                                        Yes, we will have a voting thread. I think I borrowed that line from a previous suggestions thread months back -- LOL. We will certainly vote. thanks for clarifying! :)

                                                                        1. re: foxy fairy
                                                                          MMRuth Apr 1, 2009 08:09 AM

                                                                          It was probably one of mine - I kept screwing that up!

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