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**JULY 2009 COTM Suggestion Thread!

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**JULY 2009 COTM** suggestion thread! PLEASE NOMINATE UNTIL JUNE 10.

Hi again, COTM-ers!

Welcome to the suggestions thread for our July 2009 Cookbook of the Month. Everyone has a chance to make suggestions here until the END OF THE DAY JUNE 10 (Pacific time, midnight). That's a week for suggestions, and then we'll hold a quick runoff. Again, THIS SUGGESTIONS THREAD WILL BE UP UNTIL MIDNIGHT JUNE 10. Feel free to make suggestions even if you have not previously participated in Cookbook of the Month. We're always excited to welcome new cooks to our community! Join us!

HOW TO POST:

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 mention if you have 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 Iook forward to seeing your ideas! I always discover some great new titles during the monthly suggestion process.

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 know, we now tend to mention if the book might be library-accessible too.

**If you want to second or third a title that someone else has already mentioned, please repeat the title, typing it in capital letters.** This is imperative for me when I count up the votes for the runoff thread. Just saying “I agree with So and So” may well get lost and your choice might not get counted. The more often a particular title is mentioned, the greater the chance it will be among the finalists.

The Chow Team recently treated us by creating the very cool Cookbook of the Month archive page, including guidelines for participation and a detailed list of all previous cookbooks we've used, including kind of cuisines. Check it out here:

http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

Again, it's truly a pleasure to moderate COTM and I'm always eager to see what turns up among the nominations!

Thanks so much for participating! Keep in mind as you nominate books for July that we've often enjoyed the opportunity to cook with lots of ***fresh produce during the summer months, celebrating the season!

*foxy fairy*

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  1. I've been having a lot of fun reading THE EPICURIAN (1894) by Charles Ranhofer, Executive Chef at Delmonico's in its heyday. It's a huge classic, like Escoffier, from a great American restaurant, but perhaps not as widely read. It is amazing to see what kinds of meals they served, how they made bread starting from hops to make the yeast, how they were aware of different national traditions of table service, and the phenomenal sugar work they did as part of dessert presentations that would today be reserved only for the most extravagant wedding cake. The recipe for Stanley Punch, for instance, concludes, "Arrange the punch inside of a goblet beside which is a heron made of gum paste (No. 3624) surrounded by grasses" (illustration included).

    Some of the recipes call for larger quantities than most home cooks are likely to make, but many are quite manageable or could be scaled down, and I've certainly learned a lot from this book.

    The whole massive treatise can be downloaded for free from--

    http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/c...

    Which is an excellent source for historical cookbooks. There's also a cheap paperback edition that can be found on Amazon, since it's in the public domain.

    5 Replies
    1. re: David A. Goldfarb

      David G., I have only a dial-up connection, so to download "The Epicurean" is a slow process. Do you know if it's possible to search within the pages once you've got the whole thing? Or can you only go from page 29 to page 298 one page at a time?
      Not complaining, just asking!

      1. re: blue room

        The second part has an index, so you can check the index and go back to find the page in the book. If you have Acrobat Professional, you can also add bookmarks, which I've been doing as I find interesting things. I'm not sure if Acrobat Reader has this feature.

        1. re: David A. Goldfarb

          OK, thanks!

      2. re: David A. Goldfarb

        I've been away for a couple of weeks and upon return found myself reading David Goldfarb's post first thing. What a treat! Thanks for pointing us to this massive missive. I'd write more but I must away to begin forming my gum paste heron.

        1. re: oakjoan

          If you want to see some stunning examples of this kind of work being done today, check out these photos--

          http://forums.worldpastryforum.com/ph...

          Don't ask me how they do this stuff.

      3. Well this is an intriguing challenge, David. Do you think the "Stanley Punch" would be good even without the stork statue?
        I saw this, as part of the book review, @ Amazon:
        "American recipes are not neglected. There are Apricots a la Jefferson, Striped Bass a la Manhattan, Corned Beef Hash, American Style, Boston Brown Bread, Indian Breakfast Cakes, Jambalaia of Chicken, Chicken a la Maryland, Philadelphia Style Clams, Corn on the Cob, Succotash, Roasted Canvas-back Duck with Hominy or Samp, New York Hard-Boiled Eggs, Californian Sherbet, American Style Lobster, Saratoga Potatoes, Peach Pudding a la Cleveland, California Quail a la Monterey, American Style Smoked Salmon, and Gumbo with Soft-shell Crabs. This opus shows well why Delmonico's was the premier dining room of its day."

        That appealed to me because I'm American, but will it be more of a "good read" than a book to cook from? (Though the gods know I'd love to make decent corned beef hash, just once!)

        1 Reply
        1. re: blue room

          Well, as a former Clevelander, I'm definitely there for Peach Pudding a la Cleveland.

          A lot of it is a bit impractical, but there's also a chance to rediscover some things that were part of 19th-century haute cuisine that have been lost. I've been thinking when I look at something like Keller's _French Laundry Cookbook_ that he's paying a certain kind of attention to presentation, sauces, and ingredients that one can find in Ranhofer and Escoffier, and that we've forgotten somehow in the age of the industrialized food supply and convenience foods, bearing in mind that active dry yeast, and even cake yeast is a convenience food in some sense.

          And it has, for instance, about a hundred ways to prepare chicken. Surely a few of them might not require truffles, arduously prepared sauces, or elaborate garnishes.

        2. I think the time has come for me to drop OTTOLENGHI into the mix once again. It's a stonkingly good cookbook which is perfect for summer. All those terrific salads and vegetable dishes.

          For those who have missed me going on and on and ON about it, it's Mediterranean food with a middle Eastern "twist". Some cooking reports here:

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/599767

          42 Replies
          1. re: greedygirl

            Id support OTTOLENGHI wholeheartedly.

            tho Im feeling rushed here - dont know when I will get on to Elizabeth David since Im still enjoying cooking through Cradle.

            1. re: jen kalb

              Time and COTM wait for no man, as the saying goes...!

              1. re: greedygirl

                But it looks like "Ottolenghi" is available only in the UK? I read the link that greedygirl mentioned, and several Ottolenghi recipes are online, (and sound good!),
                but @ Amazon the books are all used from private sellers ($30+). Is that right?

                1. re: blue room

                  It is available also at Kitchen Arts & Letters in NYC, but if I recall correctly, it was a lot more there (new) than $60. I don't remember off hand what I paid for the book in London.

                  1. re: blue room

                    I bought the book from http://amazon.co.uk and paid around $33 including shipping, IIRC (plus a dollar or two foreign transaction fee from my bank!). I didn't find that prohibitively expensive for a large-format, photo-rich cookbook I knew I wanted to keep, but I don't think it's necessarily a good choice for COTM if it's generally unavailable in libraries in the areas where participants live, or in bookstores where people can at least peruse it and decide if they're interested.

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      Same here. From Amazon UK with exchange rates etc. It came to about $35.00. Count me in for OTTOLENGHI. Oh when I ordered it only took about a week to arrive.

                      1. re: Candy

                        I vote for OTTOLENGHI. I also bought the book from an American seller in New Jersey via Amazon. It cost about $50 with shipping.

                        It's a magnif cookbook and I use it all the time. The only drawback is that one must convert the recipes to American measurements. Having a scale is of the utmost importance here....oh, and a conversion program online.

                        There are also many, many of his recipes online at the U.K. Guardian site, as he's been doing a weekly column for them. Some of these are not in the book, but who cares if we make the COTM both his book and the online stuff. The swiss chard fritters are amazing.

                    2. re: blue room

                      there are now books available in the $30 range.
                      look on Bookfinder.com too, in addiiton to Amazon.
                      unfortunately the cost seem to have risen a bit since I bought my book a couple of months ago for just over $20.
                      great recipes worth the investment. There are enough recipes online to make particpation easy for nonpurchasers. On the guardian website (below) and on the restaurant column as well as other places. I believe that COTM at one time did an online site rather than a physical cookbook. As long as there are plenty of recipes available to all, I dont think the price of a physical cookbook should be a bar to the choice of a book..
                      http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        There are tons and tons of recipes online because this book has been very popular with bloggers. I think most of the recipes people cooked from on the thread I found online. Also there's the Guardian column as you said.

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          Yes, jen kalb, we did Liete's Culinaria website ... or is it Leite's Culinaria?

                  2. re: greedygirl

                    What is OTTOLENGHI? Author? Name of book.
                    I can't locate on library system or ecookbooks.

                    1. re: NYchowcook

                      The title is Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, authors are Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, the owners of a food shop in London of the same name. It's very Mediterranean in feel, but the recipes aren't tied to a specific place.

                      As mentioned by posts above, it's a British book that has not yet been published in the US, but that a number of chowhounds have bought and have posted enthusiastically about in the thread greedygirl linked. Apparently, a number of recipes from the book have landed on the web, and Ottolenghi also has a vegetarian cooking column on the Guardian (UK paper) site.

                      Here's the Amazon UK listing: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ottolenghi-Co...

                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                        I'm opposed to this as COTM because it's not available in US -- in library or ecookbooks.com
                        If British folks want to post on it a la Bon Appetit, y'all, I say go for it

                        1. re: NYchowcook

                          While I underestand your concern, I note that on the Ottolenghi thread linked to above, many posters either linked to an online source for the recipe, or paraphrased the recipe in enough detail to cook from it. I understand the concern about the book not being available in libraries, but for those who do purchase books, it's not any more expensive than many of the other books we've cooked from, and there are, I think, many more recipes on line than some of the other books we've used.

                          Also, I think HC hounds tend to be quite generous in being willing to paraphrase recipes for other hounds.

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            All true, and yet, I deeply suspect that if Ottolenghi is ever chosen, fewer people will participate. Speaking just for myself, the recipes on the website didn't inspire me, and I'm not going to buy the book on spec. Mostly I've gotten COTM books from my library, but wouldn't be able to with this one.

                            There are so many great cookbooks to choose from! Couldn't the Ottolenghi supporters start their own thread/threads on Ottolenghi, as with Bon Appetit, Y'all? Why does it need to be COTM? (Wasn't there an Ottolenghi thread started already?)

                            Edited to add: I didn't mean this to sound so whiny. If Ottolenghi is chosen for COTM, it would certainly be fine with me. Maybe I'd find some recipes on-line or maybe I'd take a break from COTM that month. Whatever happens is fine, really. Democracy rules and all that.

                            1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                              Yes, there was a dedicated thread for Ottolenghi that Candy started earlier this year:

                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/599767

                              It generated quite a bit of discussion; reports on recipes? Not so much.

                              1. re: JoanN

                                I think the book did not generate as many reports on the recipes because of the season. The book is truly inspiring for warm weather when so many fresh veggies are available and so many of the salads and sides are mouth watering.

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  And Breakfast Lunch and Tea --which many people had difficulty finding in the library--had some of the lowest participation of all recent COTMs.

                                  I used to be a big believer in find a book that was available and appealing to the most number of people out of fairness, but then I realized that it's really hard to determine what's "fair"--especially with such a far flung group. Our participants live in different regions of the US and beyond. People have different access to ingredients--seafood, fresh produce, special ingredients--just as they have different access to the books.

                                  I no longer have any idea about what's "fair" given the broad level of participation.

                                  ~TDQ

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    I actually BOUGHT BLT to participate in that COTM- and found nothing much in there that appealed to me. I am still waiting to make one recipe using ricotta but it just didnt speak to me.

                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                      I think that there were also a few people who took the book out of the library and turned it back in because it didn't appeal to them, even once they saw it. I feel bad you bought it and didn't find it appealing--thankfully, it was a pretty cheap book as books go!

                                      I didn't participate because of some things that came up expectedly. However, I still think the book is interesting (I own it) and intend to cook from it.

                                      But, I think the problem with a book like that is that the more people that are participating and reporting back, the more excitement that gets generated, which snowballs (assuming people are having success). If one or more people had tried that ricotta recipe and loved it, you might have been nudged into trying it, and then maybe even other things.

                                      ~TDQ

                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                        that's too bad, Jen. Why not trade it on swaptree.com?
                                        My sister turned me onto the site -- it's free, you just pay for shipping.
                                        I hauled out a stack of cookbooks that are just taking up space, but no takers yet(!) But BLT may appeal to others, and you can choose books you want.

                                        1. re: NYchowcook

                                          I wish there was a book I wanted that I didnt buy! - that way I would have something to swap FOR. I hope to get back a cook a couple things after I use up my sour cream. This weekend I had a bale of rhubarb which took up my sweets cooking space.
                                          I felt like the book was overly precious - it was a bit interesting because she was cooking non-french baked goods in paris and had a healthfoody tinge (perhaps that was the appeal of the shop there) but the ideas did not seem so fresh from an american perspective. Also, I rarely cook for any meal but dinner, so breakfast, tea etc dishes are not very useful. then, when I turned to veg dishes (like that carrot seed salad) which would have been more useful, she used coarse seeds that my family doesnt much like so I havent gotten there yet. You will see posts on those threads from me eventually.

                                  2. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                    Ditto on lack of access to COTM. Personally, without a library copy, I have difficulty using on-line recipes. I don't have a working printer and my computer tends to crash if it's left on for too long. No way I can cook with the computer on.

                                    There are so many wonderful cookbooks out there. I have a hard time believing that we can't find a cookbook that is readily available for everyone.

                                    So, I nominate SPICE, by ANA SORTUN. The book is old enough for libraries to carry them and I vaguely remember that it is also available overseas, albeit with a different title.

                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                      I think it's great as an option for people who are interested, but, personally, I prefer cooking from an actual book.

                                      ~TDQ

                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        Absolutely, cooking from the internet is a great option, it just hasn't worked well for me. I really tried during the Leite's COTM month. I ended up only making a couple of recipes because I couldn't drag the book into bed or the couch with me. Therefore, browsing for recipes just didn't happen.

                                      2. re: beetlebug

                                        Spice is only available to buy in the UK, like most of the COTMs! So if it's chosen, I will probably not be participating as I don't feel the urge to own another Mediterranean cookbook. But hey, that's life.

                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                          greedy girl,

                                          Ottolenghi is not just "another Mediterranean cookbook." It is unique, and quite wonderful

                                          Case in point: I came home from the farmers' market yesterday with a pound of okra and was looking for something a bit different to do with it. Solution? Ottolenghi's Baked Okra with Tomato and Ginger ( and cilantro, red chili flakes and garlic). Delicious, as has been everything I've made from this book. It will spend the summer months sitting on my kitchen counter for easy reference.

                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                            Sorry - I was referring to Spice. I already own Ottolenghi and have nominated it!

                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                              Spice is nice, too!

                                            2. re: pikawicca

                                              I know it's difficult to follow which reply is to which post, but greedygirl was referring to "Spice," not Ottolenghi.

                                            3. re: greedygirl

                                              My copy of SPICE is Anna Sartoun's book and the restaurant is in Boston, MA., USA. I've had no problem purchasing it locally. Are you referring to a different by a different author?

                                              1. re: Candy

                                                No, I'm saying that you can get it in the UK, but only if you buy it. In fact, there's only one copy left on Amazon and the other sellers dispatch from the US.

                                        2. re: MMRuth

                                          MMRuth, there is no question requested recipes would be forthcoming from the COTM participants, but the cooks without books (or 35 bucks) *wouldn't know what's available*--they 'd be limited by what's out there already. We don't know if that is 1% or 99% of the book. And no pictures!

                                          (Anybody who reads Chowhound HC for 2 weeks could probably open the "Paraphrase Cafe"!)

                                          1. re: blue room

                                            Yes - I thought about that regarding the index - I tried to find one on line, without any luck, unfortunately.

                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                              I guess one of us could image the table of contents and put it up on the web if this were an issue. But I think a simple websearch probably works just as well.

                                              I made an Ottolenghi broad bean and pasta with lemon recipe last night - I googled for his name and the ingredient (broad beans, I knew there was a recipe on the guardian website) and actually got hits on more than one recipe using to this ingredient. (fresh favas).The dish included sauteed shallots to which 1/2 a bottle of white wine was added and reduced to 1 tbsp, creating a deeply flavored sauce, small pasta (I used little shells, the favas, crushed pink peppercorn, shaved pecorino (young) cheese, lemon juice and lemon zest. My husband and young adult daughter with two of her friend gobbled it down with appetite. A highly unusual ingredient combo that worked, thats characteristic of this book, - its creativity and freshness is why I recommend it. the taste combos are just so interesting.

                                              Tonight I made a salad with quinoa and red rice, pistachios, apricots, orange zest and juice and rucola. It was chewy and fresh, savory and sweet at the same time and a very pleasing complex combo for a hot evening.

                                              The orange cake with polenta, almonds and orange flow water was seriously delicious.

                                              So please give this man's cuisine serious consideration - it will be fun and worthwhile.

                                              1. re: jen kalb

                                                Great post.

                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                  I did try a websearch for the index - the books on Amazon that let you look inside usually show the indices, but the Ottolenghi book doesn't have that feature as far as I could tell.

                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                    I agree with jen kalb - this is a seriously exciting book - probably the best cookbook I bought last year.

                                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                                      jen kalb: The Red Rice and Quinoa Salad was the first thing I made from Ottolenghi's book. I made it for a large dinner party (14 people) and it was a huge hit. It's also terrif the next day.

                                                      I have also used the Guardian U.K. website which has a huge selection of his recipes (and, contrary to what somebody posted above, there are photos of every dish) and would be a wonderful second source for those who couldn't or didn't want to buy the book.

                                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                                        We all liked the dish very much but the main starch ingredients were a pain - both the black quinoa (so much for the color contrast) and the red camargue rice were new to me and took much longer than stated getting cooked (still quite crunchy and chewy at the end but and the salad was a bit wet since the recipe called for them to be boiled and drained. Im sure it will be easier next time - I may choose different starch colors, too.

                                                2. re: MMRuth

                                                  One of the big joys of COTM for me is delving into the author' s oeuvre, reading their description of the cuisine and culture, etc. Having the book in hand is a big part of that. To wit, Oseland.

                                                  So I love you MMRuth, but I'm going to press for SPICE which is old enough to be widely available, including my library. And Rubee says it's great for summer.

                                                  1. re: NYchowcook

                                                    I understand completely what you mean about having the book in hand. As you may have noticed - I haven't voted yet. ;-)

                                        3. I'll suggest Ana Sortun's SPICE: FLAVORS OF THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN again. Link to a previous discussion:
                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6018...

                                          Or Mexican - Since we've done Bayless, how about Diana Kennedy's ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO (which is a compilation of her first three books CUISINES OF MEXICO, TORTILLA BOOK, and MEXICAN REGIONAL COOKING).

                                          42 Replies
                                          1. re: Rubee

                                            I'd rather do a South American cookbook before repeating Mexican. There are a couple noteworthy Argentinian books out, but they're kinda new.
                                            How about a NOLA cookbook?
                                            I like Spice Merchant's Daughter too.

                                            1. re: NYchowcook

                                              It's been a couple of years since we did Mexican, but I do like the idea of a NOLA book or South American too. Hmmm.. I'd love to do Susan Spicer's Crescent City Cooking, though I try to recommend books I already own to keep from adding to the collection!

                                              For New Orlean's restaurant-inspired books, I have "Emeril's Delmonico: A Restaurant with a Past", and the Uglesich's cookbook, but yet to cook out of them. Emeril's Delmonico does have a nice cocktail section and so many classics I've always wanted to make (Crabmeat Remick and Crabmeat Imperial, Oysters Bienville, Eggs Pontchartrain, Crawfish Etouffee, Baked Alaska), I might have to go through the book this weekend....

                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                Just to keep it straight, we have 2 Delmonico restaurant books nominated--, "The Epicurian", from Delmonico's in New York, with recipes from the 1800s.
                                                Also "Emeril's Delmonico" , from the Delmonico in New Orleans. The NOLA Delmonico started up in the 1800s too, but Emeril took it over in 1995.

                                                1. re: blue room

                                                  Sorry for the confusion - I actually didn't put any of those New Orlean's books in caps, so while I'd love to cook from them if others would, no nominations ; )

                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                    Oh dear, "Just to keep it straight" was sure a stupid way to start THAT post, wasn't it? I'm sorry, Rubee.

                                                    Let's see if Spice and Spicer confuses me too!

                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                      I second ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO by Kennedy, or any Latin book would be cool too. I really like THE SOUTH AMERICAN TABLE by Kijac. There is a whole chapter of ceviches! Or for something more focused- anyone familiar with Secrets of Columbian Cooking, by Patricia Macauseland-Gallo? It's on my list, and has good reviews on Amazon.

                                                      1. re: yamalam

                                                        I cooked a bit from Kijac's SOUTH AMERICAN TABLE and liked it, and would love to have 'hounds company to explore more via COTM.

                                                        There are varied dishes such as quinoa soup w/ pork; watercress, lupini beans & avocado salad; roast chicken in adobo; and pernil!

                                                        The author is from Ecuador and proclaims: South American cuisine still remains of the world's best-kept secrets . . . a blend of virtually all the cuisines of the world, not just Africans, Spaniards, Indians, etc. The recipes are straightforward and not intimidating.

                                                        1. re: NYchowcook

                                                          I will second Kijac's SOUTH AMERICAN TABLE. I love the idea of South American food, particularly for our (north american) summer. I will also note that this book is widely available (many copies) in our library system in suburban NY. I too will likely not participate in a COTM without a book I can hold (and I'm not buying one without seeing it first). I would also enjoy any of Kennedy's books, including ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO.

                                                2. re: Rubee

                                                  Rubee - I've owned Emeril's book since it came out and use it all the time - the crabmeat imperial is a regular in our house - What I am looking forward to is John Besh's cookbook 'MY NEW ORLEANS" - have you seen it on amazon?
                                                  Also love Susan Spicer's "CRESENT CITY COOKING".

                                                  1. re: bayoucook

                                                    I just went through Emeril's Delmonico book last night and now I'm motivated to do some cooking (and pick up some Herbsaint or absinthe!). Would love to know other recipes you like. Thanks!

                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                      Gladly, Rubee.
                                                      LOVE the Steak Diane on page 172
                                                      Oysters Bienville on page 31
                                                      Crabmeat Remick on page 35
                                                      Crab Cakes on page 40
                                                      Oyster-Artichoke Soup page 58 - love it
                                                      Chicken Pontalba on page 148
                                                      Jitterbug's Stewed Chicken on page 160
                                                      Buttermilk Onion Rings page 206
                                                      Delmonico's Famous Eggplant Casserole page 216

                                                      These are the ones I've listed and made notes on and keep making over and over. I have probably another dozen or two tagged for use. It's a great cookbook!
                                                      Paula

                                                    2. re: bayoucook

                                                      What are you liking from Crescent City Cooking? I have it but haven't used it yet except for one incredible semolina cake with a pistachio anglaise sauce and a tart cherry wine sauce. What are you liking in it?

                                                      1. re: karykat

                                                        I'm curious as well. I had taken Crescent City Cooking out of the library and wasn't particularly taken with it. It seemed like a restaurant chef's upscale adaptations of NO food using trendy ingredients rather than the best possible renditions of traditional cooking, which is perhaps what I had been hoping for and contributed to my disappointment.

                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                          And that's what I liked about it (as a person who can't eat peppers!)
                                                          It reallly isn't traditional NO cooking at all. Just things she developed at her restaurant and some famiy recipes and other things. With New Orleans touches throughout.

                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                            First of all, I'm a fan of Susan Spicer's, love her restaurant Bayona.
                                                            The recipe I've made the most is Seared Scallops with Spinach, Bacon, and Tomatoes (51) - we have this one at least once a month, and I've made it with fish when I couldn't get scallops. Also the Peppered Tuna with Asian Guacamole and Hoisin Dipping Sauce (65). We love the Creole Buttermilk-Black Pepper Dressing (92) on summer salads. This is a must-make, had it last Sunday and we're already craving more:
                                                            Mexican Green Gazpacho with Shellfish (147). That one and the scallops were worth the price of the book for me.

                                                            I don't find it trendy at all - I've made the above plus another 5 or 6 recipes from it, and now that I've got it out, gonna try a bunch of others. To me, it's just good NOLA cooking.

                                                        2. re: bayoucook

                                                          bayoucook, there is another Emeril book called "Louisiana Real and Rustic"--do you know anything about this one?

                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                            what about one of the Paul Prudhomme books? they are supposed to be good and I even have one - Louisiana Kitchen.

                                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                                              I have Louisiana Kitchen and it contains the recipe I've made for company more often than any other: Cajun Seafood Gumbo with Andouille Smoked Sausage. I've even been asked to make it for two different wedding rehearsal dinners. When this title has been proposed before, some people have objected because of the amount of oil and butter in some of the recipes. But as we've discovered with the Dunlop books, you can often cut back on the fat with minimal impact on the result.

                                                              I think that if we decide to do a NO book we might as well go to the source. I could be behind this 100%.

                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                If we can't do Ottolenghi, I'd be interested in this too. It's really cheap secondhand off Amazon and I loved the food in NOLA...

                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                  JoanN,have you had success in cutting back the fat when cooking from Prudhomme's book? I have a copy of it, but haven't cooked from it yet.

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    Frankly, TDQ, I’ve never tried to cut back on the oils and fats in his recipes. Nearly all my cooking from the book has been for company, so I’ve been unwilling to experiment. But taking a close look just now, I see that the recipes I’ve made most often (the above-mentioned gumbo, cornbread, basic baked rice, the famous meatloaf) have from a teaspoon to one-and-a-half tablespoons of butter or oil per serving. I don’t want to mislead anyone, though. The book does contain a lot of fried foods and dishes with butter and cream sauces.

                                                                    And no, NYchowcook, no chapter on vegetables at all. As he says in his intro, “Almost all the recipes in this book in some way reflect old-fashioned Cajun and Creole cooking styles. But the one time I DON’T try to keep to the old style is with vegetables—because the old way of doing vegetables was to cook the daylights out them!”

                                                                  2. re: JoanN

                                                                    Do you think Prudhomme would be a good summer book? Fresh vegetables?

                                                                    1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                      I have 3 Paul Prudhomme books and the one I would suggest, if you're interested in lower fats & oils as I am, is Fork in the Road. The poor fellow was getting so big that he could no longer walk when I met him at a food demonstration in the early '90s. He was getting around in a mobile shopping cart. Anyway, FITR has all the tasty recipes reconfigured with less fat and oils and calories. I'd support any or all of Prudhomme's books.

                                                                      Oh, and he has lost a ton of weight and it looks as if he's kept it off too.

                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                        I think you raise an interesting issue, Gio. Many of us do try to keep to a lower-fat diet most of the time. But I’d hate to see us choose for COTM a lesser book by a major author just because it cuts back on calories (RIP “Vegetable Harvest”). I used to have four of Prudhomme’s books, but I gave away “Fork in the Road.” I don’t need a cookbook to tell me how to use artificial sweeteners, egg substitutes, fat-free dairy products and packaged puddings. I, for one, would prefer that Prudhomme (or any other author, for that matter) not be chosen for COTM than to choose a book that doesn’t reflect what it is that he’s famous for.

                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                          Ugh, was FITR like that? Packaged puddings and such? (P.S. I saw TWO Hungry Girl books at the checkout counter at the grocery store yesterday. I'm so sad that her books are getting that much attention.) I agree, I don't need a book to tell me how to do that. I much prefer Medrich's approach where she tells you how to reduce (not eliminate) the fat using real ingredients while still keeping most of the flavor (and texture!)

                                                                          I didn't realize that's what you disliked about Vegetable Harvest! HA! I gave that book away because nothing appealed to me in it. Maybe that's why.

                                                                          Gio, thank you so much for the thoughtful recommendation for FITR. I have to say that, in the past, when we've chosen the lower fat "companion" to a book for COTM I end up being the only person cooking from it. :( Then, I'm just cooking alone.

                                                                          I've kind of done a 180 on how to choose a COTM--I used to want to be the most inclusive, choose the book that fit everyone's special needs and so on, now I realize that we just have to choose the book for which there is the most passion and people either climb aboard the train if they think they might like where it's going or at least the scenery, or stay on the platform and wait for the next one.

                                                                          But, if Prudhomme is chosen for COTM, I probably will take FITR out of the library at least, so I can see if there are any tips I can glean from it. I will certainly report back on that.

                                                                          If any of the South American books is chosen, I'll probably do something similar. I have a copy of The Art of South American Cooking, Felipe Rojas-Lombardi, because it was on Bittman's list of 50 cookbooks he doesn't want to live without, so, I'll perhaps do a compare and contract of that book that I own versus one from the library.

                                                                          JoanN--has Bittman ever re-freshed that 50 books list as far as you know?

                                                                          Anyway, the bottom line is, I haven't had much time for COTM lately, which is a great disappointment for me. I always intend to participate and I do read along, but I just haven't had time to give it the kind of attention I'd like to. Still, I would love either Prudhomme or Art of South American Cooking or something similar to be chosen!

                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                            @TDQ re: 50 Books

                                                                            In April of 2008 ( http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/... ) Bittman said, “I’ve got a lot of new books to check out and then I’ll get back to you with my final list by autumn.” As far as I know, that was his last reference to updating his “rather not live without” list. I wrote to him a number of months ago and asked if he had an ETA, but I never got a reply.

                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                              Thanks for the update. I wish he'd hurry up! Maybe he meant autumn of 2009!

                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                JoanN: Bittman is just too busy (a) making a crummy tv show with celebrities; and (b) giving lectures about how we have to change our eating habits ala Omnivore's Dilemma to spend time updating his cookbook list.

                                                                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                Love (and totally agree with) the train analogy.

                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                  Passion -- yes! I love the idea of choosing the book which has ignited the most passion, Dairy Queen :)

                                                                                2. re: JoanN

                                                                                  I think I saw FITR on sale for a penny on Amazon. If we chose Prudhomme (which I would very much like to do, now or later (its maybe not a July book) maybe it could be included along with Louisiana Kitchen.

                                                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                    I agree that maybe it's a book for the colder months.

                                                                                  2. re: JoanN

                                                                                    Yes, Joan, I readily admit that FITR is not not one of my favorites, yet there it still sits on the shelf next to Louisiana Kitchen and Seasoned America. Actually, LK is the only book I've cooked from. Perhaps FITR belongs in cookbook limbo along with the Frugal Gourmet books. In the past I have had no trouble downsizing the amounts of fat and oil I've used in other COTMs at no lost of flavor and taste, so whichever book is chosen will get the same treatment from me.

                                                                                    If I were to nominate a COTM it would be one of the books of Jessica Harris, a food historian who used to guest on Sara Moulton's old show...her first show(?).
                                                                                    She writes about foods from around the world, with a focus on African, Caribbean, and Creole flavors. She has been called a national treasure and her "Africa Cookbook" has been highly acclaimed along with her other books. I must say though, she's intriguing to me but I have never cooked one of her recipes. I'm simply curious.

                                                                                    http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-B.-Harr...

                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                      Ive used her Caribbean book - its not one of the best in that category. I think of her more as a scholar than a cook, probably unfairly.

                                                                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                        Well, that's good to know, Jen Kalb I value your assessment.

                                                                                3. re: NYchowcook

                                                                                  NYChow: I was just about to ask the same question. I want a book for summer that has lots of veg recipes. Not vegetarian, but using summer produce - salads, fruit, etc.

                                                                                  Irritating that my post in response to the do you think the NOLA cookbook would be good for summer? appears way far, many responses below the original post. Therefore, I'm trying to explain more completely.

                                                                                4. re: JoanN

                                                                                  JoanN - I just pulled that one off the shelf - purchased it 6/84 !! - it is so battered and used (and recently forgotten). The recipes I've made out of there are listed on the front inside cover: blackened redfish, tartar sauce, hushpuppies, Cajun Shepard Pie, Hot sauce for beef, shrimp diane, andouille dressing, pork loin roast, bread pudding (oh yeah!), and the gumbos. Gonna keep this one out and use it again, too!

                                                                              3. re: blue room

                                                                                Yes, I've had it for years. I've made the Oyster and Spinach Soup out of there so many times I don't need the book anymore - just addicting!
                                                                                We also love the Grillades (167) b/c it uses beef and veal and fresh tomatoes. I'm often requested to bring Natchitoches Meat Pies (173) to get-togethers and picnics . Also: Corn Maque Choux (234), Brabant Potatoes (252), and Spinach Cakes (261). Once I tried his Chicken Salad (271) I never made it any other way - husband adores it. And there are many others dogeared for me to try!

                                                                        2. re: Rubee

                                                                          Rubee, which of the two books would you suggest for summer cooking. I would love to explore both the books.

                                                                          1. re: cpw

                                                                            Spice is great for the summer - lots of recipes calling for fresh fruit, and herbs and vegetables. Also, nice grilled recipes, and small plates for entertaning and sharing. There's even a chapter on "Flower Power", cooking with edible flowers like nasturtium, rose, and lavender.

                                                                            Though I'd love to do Mexican too since we have access to so many fantastic markets around here, and her Essential Cuisines of Mexico has 300+ recipes, so lots to choose from.

                                                                            1. re: Rubee

                                                                              Thanks Rubee. This makes decision easy, and small plates is a bonus. Though I hope we do Mexican also soon.

                                                                              Ana Sortun's SPICE: FLAVORS OF THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

                                                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                                                I like that you think SPICE: FLAVORS OF THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN is good for summer.
                                                                                I'd be happy to cook from it in July. I reserved at my library for a sneak preview.

                                                                          2. It does seem like all participants should have equal access to the book being used. Using Ottolenghi would mean either being limited to online recipes, or buying for $30+. Without library copies, the 1st group would be cooking from maybe 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 (?) of a cookbook? The Ottolenghi (restaurant) site shows 13 recipes, there are many more online, but why not wait a while for this one and use a book that would allow a more complete experience?
                                                                            Selfishly, I'm most interested in learning to cook stuff that has been loved for a long time, and am way behind many (most?) people here! So, I'll nominate EMERIL'S DELMONICO: A RESTAURANT WITH A PAST.

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                                              I know I'm in a minority, but I don't have library access to most of the US-published books. My only option is to buy. So it's not really possible for all participants to have equal access to the book being used. :-)

                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                Great point, greedygirl :)

                                                                              2. re: blue room

                                                                                Just one point - my understanding is that there are no plans right now to publish Ottolenghi in the States (based on calling the restaurant and talking to the people at Kitchen Arts & Letters).

                                                                                FWIW - I would be willing to (a) figure out how to distribute the index to those who wanted to participate if there aren't any copyright violations in doing so, (b) make a list of the recipes online that are also in the book, with links, and (c) help paraphrase recipes that posters w/o the book are interested in.

                                                                                I agree with those who say that it's hard to make everyone happy - even though I've participated from the beginning, there are quite a few months during which I did not participate because the book or subject (like grilling) just didn't appeal to me, and I also don't have an access to a grill.

                                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                  I'd be happy to help with that. I think I'm right in thinking that all the recipes I reported on in the Ottolenghi thread were available online in one form or another.

                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                    Greedygirl and MMRuth, I explained to my SO about this "book-without-equal-access" problem, and he said "that's easy-- just line all the book owners up and assign X number of pages for each one to post!" I laughed and told him that wouldn't work, but here you both are volunteering! Still, there will be no pretty pictures / stories/ background. To me, if something is intrinsically unfair, that is *All the More Reason* to try to make it so! Why accept a divide? The purpose of a group cooking together is -- cooking together, not separately.
                                                                                    So I'm still hoping for NOLA, a New Orleans choice.

                                                                                2. re: blue room

                                                                                  blue room: Again I will point out that Ottolenghi's online recipes are from the U.K. Guardian newspaper and they are many, many, many in number. They also all have color photos. Thus, one is not really limited to online recipes. I'd say there are enough to make a good size book and they are all in the general style of the recipes in the book.

                                                                                  1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                    Yes, oakjoan, I found that treasure trove this morning, and posted a link to it. I no longer feel like anyone will have a meager assortment to choose from.
                                                                                    I wonder why Ottolenghi isn't being published in the US? Seems like a sure bet.

                                                                                3. OTTOLENGHI!

                                                                                  1. Yesterday, when I was at Costco, I picked up a copy of VEFA'S KITCHEN, which is an amazing Greek cookbook. They had it at a great discount, and man, is it wonderful. It would be a perfect summer COTM since it is loaded with vegetable, tomato, fish, and other really seasonal recipes. I heard of it since it was on the list of NPR's best new cookbooks. I know it's new, but for those of you who do not have a Greek cookbook on your shelf, it is completely worth getting. Moreover, it is available internationally and the emphasis is on foods of the Mediterranean diet (think healthy, olive oil, etc). I will be out of the country for the better part of the next 12 months, so I will only be participating vicariously, but this is a book to consider!

                                                                                    1. OTTOLENGHI, please!

                                                                                      27 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: krista357

                                                                                        OTTOLENGHI, please!

                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                          Looks like Ottolenghi will be the winner. Even thoughI did not vote for it, I am excited about cooking from this book.

                                                                                          1. re: cpw

                                                                                            Me too! (Excited to cook from it.)

                                                                                            But, you never know, foxy fairy may determine there needs to be a run-off vote.

                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                              do all you O enthusiasts own the book??

                                                                                              1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                                                I do.

                                                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                  Me too. I think there are at least half a dozen of us that do.

                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                    I know that Candy has it.

                                                                                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                      anyone know how to purchase Ottolenghi in the US?

                                                                                                      1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                                                        There are a number of suggestions here and below:

                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6251...

                                                                                                        I bought mine in a store in the UK, where it was 25 pounds, so the prices on the UK Amazon are actually less, including shipping, than what I paid.

                                                                                                        1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                                                          NYChowcook, I own the book. My husband has been very lax about putting a new printer cartridge into our copy machine, but if i can convince him to do so, I will extend the same offer to you that I did to greedygirl when a book unavailable in the UK was picked. I can copy a few chapters and mail them to you (we just have to hope my pestering of my husband works!). Maybe some others here can offer to do a couple chapters too.

                                                                                                          I haven't voted because I'll be away for a chunk of July. I have mixed feelings about Ottolenghi wining - I have the book so would love to cook from it but will be away, as I said; and I do feel bad for those who can't get their hands on a copy.

                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                            Once my book comes in, I can make copies too and mail it out to anybody who wants them.

                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                              All: Please go to the U.K Guardian site and look at all the recipes before you decide. This is not a skimpy offering, but a very large collection of recipes along with color photos.

                                                                                                            2. re: NYchowcook

                                                                                                              you can go on Amazon.com and it links to lots of available sources
                                                                                                              Bookfinder.com is another easy way.
                                                                                                              Or amazon.uk but its not any cheaper than the cheapest US sources when you factor in the currency conversion and shipping.

                                                                                                      2. re: NYchowcook

                                                                                                        Yes, I do. But, I'm not voting because I've been really inconsistent about participating lately.

                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                        1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                                                          I don't, but I just placed my book order on amazon.uk this morning. I figured if it does not win this time, it will win some time soon!

                                                                                                          1. re: cpw

                                                                                                            Do you mind mentioning how much it was?

                                                                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                              There are well over 100 Ottolenghi recipes at this site:
                                                                                                              http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...
                                                                                                              They look amazing! I don't know if they are from the book,
                                                                                                              or if that matters.

                                                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                All the recipes on the Guardian site are not in the book but some are.. Here's a link to his blog which does have recipes that *are* in the book.
                                                                                                                http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/blog/cate...

                                                                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                  If we choose OTTOLENGHI, my suggestion for the nomination would be Cookbook + online recipes. If we are reporting on an online recipe, we can add a link to the recipe instead of giving a page number.

                                                                                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                    Oh - I definitely agree - I was assuming that we would do both so that those w/o the book could participate.

                                                                                                                2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                  Sure.
                                                                                                                  The book is 16 pounds and shipping is 7 pounds. With today's conversion rate of 1.6, it should cost $ 36.8

                                                                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                              These are just nominations which ended at midnight June 10, right? The voting comes later, doesn't it ?

                                                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                I think voting comes later; that's the way it generally works . . . .

                                                                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                  Yes... if it's necessary. I haven't made my own count so I don't know who's leading.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                    There are people who will vote now on the nominated books who didn't nominate one themselves, right?

                                                                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                      Yes. I haven't nominated any book this month only because I can't decide which one I'd like. I have several I love that haven't been COTM yet. I'll wait and see which books come up for the vote then decide what I'm going to do. Vote.... or not vote. I can still cook along using On-line recipes by the author if I want. That's the beauty of the COTMs. It's so user friendly and flexible.

                                                                                                                      Edit: Before I actively joined the cook-along I lurked, cooked some of the recipes but did not report. Once I did decide to have a voice, I felt that if I either nominated or voted I should report on the recipes I made. But that's just me. There's no obligation.

                                                                                                                  2. re: blue room

                                                                                                                    Hi BlueRoom, yes and no. These are definitely just the nominations. But, you can't always assume that there will be another, separate thread later for "voting." For instance, last month, foxy fairy concluded from the nominations thread that Elizabeth David Classics was a clear winner and did not put up a voting thread. So, it could theoretically happen this month that foxy fairy determines that (for instance) Ottolenghi is the winner and that there's no need for a voting thread. So, if you have strong opinions, express them now!
                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                          2. I'm going on holiday first thing in the morning and I don't know if I'll have web access. Could someone vote for Ottolenghi on my behalf when the voting thread is posted? Many thanks.

                                                                                                            19 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                              GreedyGirl, I'll vote on your behalf. I haven't been voting because I haven't been cooking, so, I'll be happy to cast my vote your way.

                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                Whoops, I see Gio and I crossed wires. I'll defer to Gio!

                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                  As long as I don't inadvertently vote twice and cause a scandal! GG in COTM vote-rigging shock! ;-)

                                                                                                              2. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                If and when the voting process starts, I'd be happy to vote for you by proxy, GG....

                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                  I may even vote for Ottolenghi just so we can stop having this dang discussion!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                                                                                    This is only the second time we've had it! Lots of books get nominated month after month - JoanN had almost given up hope before we chose Cradle of Flavour!

                                                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                      And then, when we finally did, she was out of town most of the month! The best laid plans etcetera, etcetera. I think that whatever the COTM is for next month, JoanN is going to be be playing catchup (or should that be ketchup?).

                                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                        That WAS a shame. I hope everything's OK now with your family and you're back in the game.

                                                                                                                    2. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                                                                                      Karen, I'm enjoying the "politics" here just as much as the thought of cooking from --
                                                                                                                      whichever encylopedia of feasting wins.
                                                                                                                      I like the push / pull, fair / not fair discussions.

                                                                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                        Yes, this has been one of our more heated suggestion threads! And, I do understand why. Anyway, if Ottolenghi wins, I promise to do whatever I can to help those who don't have the book have as good as COTM as possible should they choose to participate. (Or, rather, I'll do what I can, and hope that it will encourage those without the book to participate and enjoy participating.)

                                                                                                                        Edit. BTW - we have had occasional threads on Site Talk about the COTM process - those might be interesting to you, and I do think it can't hurt every once and a while to have such a discussion, as new people begin to participate, etc. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/529619 . There is a link in that post to the prior discussion.

                                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                          I echo MMRuth in saying I will do whatever I can do to help those who can't get a copy of this book for whatever reason. However, it's still up to foxy fairy to decide whether there's going to be voting. Sometimes, the voting threads can surprise people in how they turn out. So, it's not a done deal until foxy fairy declares it so!

                                                                                                                          For the record, since I haven't been cooking lately and don't expect my schedule to lighten up any next month, I'm not "voting". Therefore, I don't even have much of a stake in what wins, except that I do enjoy reading the threads even when I don't cook.

                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                            TDQ - oh, of course - just saying if ....!

                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3970... - and some subsequent replies. This is an example of some posters digging up online sources that matched recipes in the book.

                                                                                                                            Others:

                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5051...
                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4852...

                                                                                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                              I think the key here would be if there's some index that's available online that people could refer to to see what potentially might appeal to them. Assuming they found something that appealed to them based on the index, they'd be able to google the name of the recipe and if that proved fruitless, they could ask someone to paraphrase the recipe.

                                                                                                                              I will say that we did find a recipe index--to which I posted a link and made the same "let me know if you want me to paraphrase a recipe for you" offer -- for the Breakfast Lunch and Tea and almost no one went took me up on it. I don't know if that means that people simply didn't find any recipes they liked and wanted paraphrased or what.

                                                                                                                              Anyway, Is there any way to get a recipe index out there?

                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                I'm thinking that the index is probably copyrighted, but perhaps we could divide up the book and list the recipes in each chapter.

                                                                                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                  That would be a good idea. Maybe once FF posts the sub- threads, we would list the recipes that applied to that subthread for people. Of course, this is all ASSUMING Ottolenghi is declared the winner, which is up to foxy fairy.

                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                              "it's not a done deal until foxy fairy declares it so" --The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                              Hey, Dairy Queen, can you pass that idea along to everyone else in my life? Kidding. I am sitting down this evening to tabulate everything and check on the voting situation... will post soon...

                                                                                                                            3. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                              MMRuth, thank you for that discussion link and the offer of help--if I see something I want I won't be shy. The Guardian site has stuffed my "to try" folder.
                                                                                                                              However, I sure don't think a nomination should be considered a vote!

                                                                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                Just a note in terms of a nomination being a vote - in principal, I agree with you, but, even when I was doing this, there was I think, one occasion, where there were just so many nominations for one book, accompanied by very scattered nominations for many other books, that it was clear that if everyone who nominated the one book voted for it which is usually what happens), it would certainly win. The alternative at times has been to have a vote, and then a run-off vote etc., at which point it becomes later and later in the month for people to acquire the book.

                                                                                                                                Anyway - I'd suggest at this point that we wait and see what Foxy Fairy does, and then, if for future months we want to discuss this issue further (for example, have a vote for the top three books even if the nominations are, say 17, 4, 2), let's discuss it on Site Talk so that we don't make it even more difficult for FF to tally up the nominations at this point!!

                                                                                                                                And - fwiw - and I don't think I mentioned this when I nominated Ottolenghi - I've made several recipes, all were fabulous, and many of them would be wonderful in the summer.

                                                                                                                                OK - no more from me on this ....

                                                                                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                  I imagined a core group of cooks nominated their choices, while a much larger group of people waited until the nominations were posted, then everybody voted. But I see now the core group IS the group. So what you've described is perfectly reasonable.

                                                                                                                      2. If we do Ottolenghi, I suggest that participants arm themselves with a digital scale, if you have managed to cook up until now without one, and a "Metric Wonder Cup" (about $10 at amazon). Makes life much simpler!

                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                          I'm not sure what the wonder cup is, but my pyrex measuring cups have metric as well as oz/cups etc. on them. I've been doing fine with a digital scale that does both metric and "the other", and the pyrex measuring cups.

                                                                                                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                            Yeah, you know what it is. It's one of those push-up measuring cups--great for stuff like honey and molasses and other hard-to-measure ingredients. But all my measuring cups, not just the Pyrex ones but the plastic Rubbermaids as well, have metric markings. The Wonder Cup is neat, but it doesn't do anything that can't be done with most measuring cups on the market.

                                                                                                                          2. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                            Google has a built in calculator that is an excellent online conversion tool (as well as other mathmatical equations).

                                                                                                                            For example, if you type into Google:

                                                                                                                            1 cup in millilitres (or 1 cup in mL, or 8 oz. in mL)

                                                                                                                            and then hit "enter," Google will convert the measurement for you.

                                                                                                                            1 US cup = 236.588237 millilitres
                                                                                                                            8 US fluid ounces = 236.588237 mL

                                                                                                                            Just a friendly FYI for those interested. ;)

                                                                                                                            1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                              Good to know.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                                I've used that feature after having bookmarked innumerable conversion charts when one becomes better than the other. Google rules

                                                                                                                                This has been such an interesting discussion... I wonder if such an analysis, in such depth, has been done before any other COTM.

                                                                                                                              2. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                I just happened to notice today at the King Arthur Flour site a choice is given--you can view their recipes by weight or volume! Awfully convenient, is this common online and I've just missed it?
                                                                                                                                I KNOW it's silly to avoid getting a scale--just recently (Caitlin M., a poster here, caught it) I found simply *wrong* info online. Going from weight to weight is one thing, but weight to volume is completely different.

                                                                                                                              3. Those who have already cooked from Ottolenghi: Do you think the scale is essential? I would really not buy it till its essential. There are other things on my priority list which I would like to dream of, to fill my tiny apartment with.

                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: cpw

                                                                                                                                  The scale is very helpful, but not essential. That said, if you bake, you really should have a scale -- it makes the whole measuring process so much easier.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                    And I would say that is the one section of Ottolenghi (the baked goods) where a scale is needed, though one might be able to get by with conversions *for the specific ingredient* found online (I'd be skeptical and compare a few sources, though). For the savory dishes, you can estimate weights given easily, plus most are the sort of recipes where you can use amounts of vegetables, etc. to your taste and it will work well.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                      If you own a copy of "The Cake Bible," you've got a great reference for metric conversions.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                        That's a very good call!

                                                                                                                                    2. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                      Thanks all.

                                                                                                                                    3. re: cpw

                                                                                                                                      I think its very much simpler to cook from this and other cookbooks with a scale after having grown up with cups. - I would not have to go through conversions for every single dry ingredient. but it will not be impossible, of course. If you ever do get into serious baking a scale is best. I have a pelouze mechanical scale but I think the digitals can be quite compact.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                        I agree. A scale is a very handy thing in the kitchen--a digital scale even better. More and more cookbooks seem to be giving measurements by weight, particularly for baking.

                                                                                                                                        I find it much quicker to measure with a scale. You don't have to worry about the difference, say, between the volume of fluffed vs. packed flour, and while it's not considered great lab technique, in the kitchen I don't mind putting the mixing bowl on the scale and adding one ingredient, zeroing the scale, adding the next ingredient, being careful not to overpour, zeroing the scale again, and so on. I don't have a dishwasher, so fewer dishes to wash is a plus for me.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                          Absolutely, I have a Salter digital that's about 7 inches across and an inch thick, has a tare function, etc., and only cost $25 or so. An excellent investment.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                            The Pelouze digital scales are quite compact. I have one and it's just about 8 - 9 " square....It has the tare/zero feature and is a great asset.

                                                                                                                                        2. The voting thread is up! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/627278

                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ