HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Are you making a specialty food?

Recipe so good you've made it at least 3 times: COTM Edition

The Dairy Queen Oct 20, 2009 07:53 AM

If you're a COTM'er, and you're like me, you've amassed an impressive collection of cookbooks. There are several, Dunlop, Vietnamese, Casas, I revisit repeatedly, but there are some, even ones I loved, I never get back into because I kind of forget about them.

So, in the interest of getting good use out of some great books, I thought I'd throw the question out there. Which recipes from which books do you find yourself returning to and why? I'm also curious which recipes you find especially easy or quick now that you "have them down". If there are recipes you loved so much you keep MEANING to return to them, I suppose are worth a shout-out, too.

Anyway, call out your favs, please. I'll chime in later, when I have access to my books.

Here's a link to the COTM archive to refresh your memory. http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...



  1. Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Rubee Oct 20, 2009 12:34 PM

    I'll start with Dunlop's "Land of Plenty" as it's the COTM I cook out of the most. I'll have to look through RCC later. Recipes from LOP I've made at least three times/on a regular rotation.

    Dan Dan Noodles (both versions)
    "Cooked Chicken for Sichuanese Appetizers" - this section has a lot of no-cook sauces which I use for leftover roast or poached chicken for lunches
    Strange Flavor/Bang Bang Chicken
    Ants Climbing a Tree
    Dry-Fried Beef Slivers
    Dry-Fried Chicken
    Tai Bai Chicken
    Hot and Numbing Tiny Fish (I use shrimp)
    Fish Fragrant Eggplant (my all-time favorite eggplant recipe)
    Dry-Fried Green Beans
    Chives with Bacon
    Stir-Fried Water Spinach (I do all sorts of vegs, usually cabbage) with Chile and Sichuan Pepper
    Ma Po Tofu

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rubee
      The Dairy Queen Oct 20, 2009 12:42 PM

      You have some of my favs on there! Dan Dan Noodles, Ma Po Tofu, and Dry-Fried green beans would also be on my list.


      1. re: The Dairy Queen
        Rubee Oct 21, 2009 11:00 AM

        Haven't made as many from Dunlop's RCC - Revolutionary Chinese Cooking- but these are my 3x favorites:

        Spicy Coriander Salad (really good on fish tacos!)
        Yueyang Hot-Dry Noodles
        Numbing-and-Hot Chicken
        Peng's Home-Style Bean Curd
        Cabbage with Vinegar (fast and easy side dish - stir fry cabbage with chiles, sprinkle w/Chianking vinegar. I usually use thinly sliced green cabbage)

    2. GretchenS Oct 20, 2009 02:00 PM

      Molly Stevens, All About Braising, that World's Best Cabbage recipe (just bought the ingredients to make for tomorrow) and her Veal and Ricotta Meatballs (one of my most requested recipes by friends). Mario Batali's veal meatballs braised in milk (with cornichons and pistachios in them). All three are great comfort food, easy to make, foolproof and repeatedly delicious. From the Casas books, the Lomo de Cerdo en Adobo (marinated pork loin) (Delicioso, I think) and the warm mushroom salad drizzled with concentrated balsamic (Tapas) have been great dinner party items, delicious, attractive but quick and easy. Also planning to make Mario's lamb shanks with oranges and olives a few times this winter, made it at least twice last winter, it's my favorite lamb shanks recipe yet. I don't always participate in COTM but those books alone are giant additions to my repertoire and I'm glad we are revisitng at least one this winter, I'll probably revisit all of them! Great thread idea, TDQ.

      1. MMRuth Oct 20, 2009 02:22 PM

        Great idea for a thread. I'll get started with a couple books:

        Into the Vietnamese Kitchen:

        Steamed Salmon with Garlic and Ginger - I've made this many times, and have also used the cooking method (v. healthy, quick and easy) with other kinds of fish and other flavours, so to speak.

        I lent my other Vietnamese book to a friend - but, off hand, the "quick" chicken pho, the grilled eggplant salad with scallions, the cucumber salad on the same page, her dipping sauce, and the scallion noodles.


        Boeuf a la Nicoise
        Fava Bean Puree
        Wild Salmon Salad with Beets, Potato, Egg and Mustard Vinaigrette
        Wild Salmon a la Lutece
        Grilled Pork Burgers with Rob's Famous Coleslaw
        Roasted Pear Salad with Endive, Hazelnuts and St. Agur
        Grossi Potatoes
        Grilled Duck Breasts (I've not made the whole recipe again, but use her method for cooking duck breasts now.)
        Roasted Beets w/ Horseradish Creme Fraiche (I make this quite often)
        Hazelnut-Brown Butter Cake (So easy, so delicious - I usually don't serve it with fruit)

        Hazan - from memory

        Tomato and Onion Sauce (the one with the butter and onion halves)
        The tomato sauce with sauted onion slices
        Her basic risotto recipe
        Bolognese Sauce

        5 Replies
        1. re: MMRuth
          ChefJune Oct 20, 2009 02:24 PM

          not her Roasted Lemon Chicken?

          1. re: ChefJune
            MMRuth Oct 20, 2009 02:25 PM

            No, I made it once, but, even though I've tried many many roast chicken recipes (though not the Zuni one), I still prefer my husband's method - which is cooking it at very high heat for a rather short time. The skin is always crispy, the meat always juicy.

          2. re: MMRuth
            MMRuth Oct 20, 2009 02:36 PM


            Frank Stitt's "The Southern Table":

            Pimiento Cheese (though I omit the cream cheese)
            Watermelon Margaritas
            Orange Things (a cocktail)
            Flounder with Bread Crumbs and Sauce Gribiche
            Flounder with Clam Chowder Sauce
            Spicey Baked Oysters with Carmelized Onions
            Chicken Saute with lemon, capers and bread crumbs - never reported on it, but my husband just loves it.


            Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes
            Saffron Mashed Potatoes
            His crepe recipe (first time I'd made crepes, and it works, so I've stuck with it)
            Roast Best End of Lamb with Eggplant and Basil Cream Sauce
            Salmon in Pastry with Currants and Ginger
            His Hollandaise sauce - foolproof, IMO.
            I have to mention the duck soup recipe from Second Helpings - it's quite similar to the Grouse Soup recipe in Roast Chicken.

            1. re: MMRuth
              oakjoan Oct 20, 2009 06:11 PM

              MMR: Hazan's pesto recipe changed the way I feel about pesto. Stirring the cheese in at the end instead of using the processor or blender made a heavenly difference, especially in the texture. It's never gummy.

              I don't know if the pesto recipe is in the COTM Hazan, I only have two of the older books: The Classic Italian Cookbook and More Classic Italian, etc. The volumes I have were published in the late 70s.

              1. re: oakjoan
                MMRuth Oct 21, 2009 03:23 AM

                It is the COTM book. I've had mine since the early 90s, and it's in about five pieces.

            2. JoanN Oct 20, 2009 04:36 PM

              What a great idea! But a time-consuming exercise. I can't believe so many have responded already. I've been going through the list systematically and am only up to August '07. At this rate I'm going to need to make a New Year's resolution complete this project.

              4 Replies
              1. re: JoanN
                The Dairy Queen Oct 20, 2009 06:37 PM

                Pace yourself, JoanN. There's no rule that you have to pack it all into a single post!


                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                  JoanN Oct 21, 2009 05:20 AM

                  Good idea, TDQ. Here's my list so far, from the COTMs of 2006 and 2007:

                  Julia Child: Cassoulet—I’ve made this recipe over and over, pretty much as written, even though you can now buy ingredients such as duck confit and saucisson that just weren’t available when I made this the first few times.

                  Schlesinger & Willoughby: From Thrill, and in rotation long before COTM, Grilled Rum-Soaked Shrimp with Mango-Lime Relish

                  Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Where to start? Kabocha Squash and Fennel Soup; Winter Squash Risotto; Braised Chicken with Saffron Onions; Roasted Pear Salad; Barramundi with Winter Vegetables; Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb; Onion Tart; Potato Puree; and of course the Braised Shortribs. And even though I’ve only made them once (lack of access to outdoor grill), I’m including the Grilled Pork Burgers since I know they’ll be made at every possible opportunity.

                  Zuni Café Cookbook: In addition to the chicken and bread salad, of course, NYEve Gougeres; Raw Favas with Salami; Standing Rib Roast of Pork; Endive and Fuyu Persimmon Salad; Carol’s Pickled Onions; Brandied Cherries

                  Baking from My Home to Yours: Sticky Buns (and I make her Golden Brioche Dough for loaves even when I’m not making the buns; Caramel Crunch Bars

                  All About Braising: World’s Best Cabbage; Short Ribs Braised in Porter Ale; Seven Hour Leg of Lamb

                  Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking: Even before COTM, Baked Green Lasagne with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style was a go-to party dish. Still is.

                  1. re: JoanN
                    Caitlin McGrath Oct 21, 2009 10:28 AM

                    Is the cassoulet from MTAoFC? That COTM included all Julia Child books.

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                      JoanN Oct 21, 2009 10:47 AM

                      Yes, it is. Sorry for forgetting to mention it.

              2. c
                classylady Oct 21, 2009 04:06 AM

                One of my three editions of the Pei Mei Cookbook containing recipe for Beef and Broccoli.I have made this recipe over 100 times.

                1 Reply
                1. re: classylady
                  buttertart Oct 21, 2009 06:32 AM

                  I have those books, must have a look. I love Fu Peimei, her cooking show was so fun - but her books were not used in the Cookbook of the Month threads, so this would be better off in the original "Recipe so good you've made it at last 3 times" thread I believe.

                2. JoanN Oct 21, 2009 04:01 PM

                  And in 2008:

                  Batali: The only Batali recipes I can honestly say I’ve made multiple times are the Potatoes Roasted with Garlic Cloves and the Basic Tomato Sauce, both from Molto Italiano.

                  Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Stuffed Squid; Cucumber and Shrimp Salad; Pickled Shallots; Shrimp in Spicy Tamarind Sauce

                  Casas: The Paella a la Valenciana is one of my favorite dinner party dishes and whenever I make it I nearly always have her Flan del Gran Flanero for dessert.

                  Roast Chicken and Other Stories: Roast Potatoes with Olive Oil, Parsley, and Garlic. These are similar to the Potatoes Roasted with Garlic Cloves in Molto Italiano—my two favorite recipes, now, for roasted potatoes. Scallops Saute Provencal

                  Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook and Land of Plenty: Still don’t own RCC, but I have the recipes for, and have made often, both Pock-Marked Woman’s Bean Curd and Yueyang Hot-Dry Noodles.
                  From LoP: Dry-Fried Chicken; Tai Bai Chicken; Xie Laoban’s Dan Dan Noodles; Dry-Fried Green Beans (I make these with snow peas and pea pods, also); Hot and Numbing Crispy Shrimp; Gong Bao Chicken

                  Frank Stitt's Southern Table: Ha! Should I be embarrassed to admit that the only recipe I’ve made three times is the one for Watermelon Margaritas?

                  The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen: Coddled Pork; Slow-Roasted Rack of Lamb

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: JoanN
                    MMRuth Oct 21, 2009 04:07 PM

                    Those Batali potatoes are fabulous, There are several things in that book that I've made several times, so I need to go through the book.

                    Casas - I cooked from Delicioso extensively way before Casa was COTM - so I'll post some of my favorites.

                    Julia Child - same thing - taught myself to cook w/ The Way to Cook, and turn to it again and again.

                    And, no need to be embarrassed about those Watermelon Margaritas - they are damn good.

                    1. re: MMRuth
                      Caitlin McGrath Oct 21, 2009 04:19 PM

                      Here is Joan's report on the watermelon margaritas: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4852...

                      Could one of you say how much tequila and Cointreau go with the 3/4 cup of watermelon juice, and fill in any other non-obvious details? I'd be much obliged.

                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                        JoanN Oct 21, 2009 04:41 PM

                        I'll just paraphrase the whole thing.

                        About 1/8 of a watermelon (about 2 pounds), rind removed and cut into chunks
                        1 lime
                        9 ounces high quality tequila (I used Herradura Silver, one of his recommendations)
                        1 ounce cointreau
                        4 ounces fresh lime juice
                        1 ounce simple syrup

                        Set aside 4 cubes of watermelon as a garnish. Cut lime in quarters. With colander set over a bowl, squeeze watermelon to extract 3/4 cup of juice. Rub the rims of 4 martini glasses with the lime and coat the rim with salt. Put watermelon juice, tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and syrup in a large cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds, strain into glasses, and garnish with chunks of watermelon or lime zest.

                        1. re: JoanN
                          Caitlin McGrath Oct 21, 2009 04:50 PM

                          Thanks! I'd love one right now, but I'll probably have to wait until next watermelon season.

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                            MMRuth Oct 21, 2009 06:00 PM

                            I've used v. good tequila, but, once had to use Jose Cuervo (?) and, really, it was still awfully good. I can tell the difference when I drink it straight (with Sangrita) but not so much in a cocktail.

                  2. The Dairy Queen Oct 22, 2009 05:21 AM

                    Well, here's my list. As usual, I feel like a relative slacker. I realized there are a lot of recipes I've tried twice, especially from the Vietnamese books and Ottolenghi, but not many I've tried three times or truly put into my regular rotation. Nevertheless, here's my list:

                    Traditional Dan Dan Noodles (LOP, page 87)
                    Dry-Fried Green Beans I (LOP, pg 289
                    Pock-Marked Mother Chen's Bean Curd (Ma Po Tofu) pp 313-314, LOP

                    La Cocina de Mama" "Meats," Spanish-style Hash Casserole, pg 255
                    Foods & Wines of Spain: Puff Pastry with Salmon Filling, "Sausages, Pates, and Savory Pies", pg 74 Delicious, easy and can be made from ingredients you already have in your pantry.

                    Flexitarian Table
                    Tofu with Lemon, Soy, White Wine, and Butter Sauce
                    Fresh Corn Polenta with Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes

                    Nguyen: Grilled Garlicky Five-Spice Pork Steaks (ItTVK p.143)--quick and easy


                    1. LulusMom Oct 23, 2009 09:59 AM

                      Feeling somewhat overwhelmed by this (very good) question. But here's a first shot:

                      Flexitarian: Sun-Dried Tomato Croque Monsieurs (these are so good, and so easy)
                      Chilled Asparagus Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette (easy do ahead for company)
                      Tofu with Lemon, Soy, white wine and butter sauce
                      Bulgar with Roasted chickpeas, red onin and lemon (I make with couscous)

                      Batali: Spaghetti with Caramelized Onions, anchovies and toasted bread crumbs
                      Trenette with pesto, beans and potatoes
                      Scampi (shrimp) with garlic, chiles and fennel
                      - feel sure I'm forgetting something else here
                      and of course the tomato sauce

                      Nigella Lawson: the za'atar chicken with fettoush (my husband would like me to make this once a week)
                      Rhubarb fool

                      Dunlop: Dry fried chicken
                      shrimp with chinese chives
                      cilantro salad
                      green beans (wish I remembered the name - dry fried?)

                      Mai Pham: ginger chicken (sometimes made as ginger tofu - this is the one I'd make once a week if i could)
                      vietnamese fried rice
                      grilled 5 spice chicken
                      also loved the tamarind shrimp in the other Viet. book, and love making my own version of banh mi.

                      Thats it for now. Again, great question TDQ.

                      1. Gio Oct 23, 2009 10:24 AM

                        One recipe that I've made multiple times from past COTMs is from Mai Pham's Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table: Vietnamese Fried Rice

                        Then there's Land of Plenty by Fuscia Dunlop:
                        Dan Dan Noodles (both versions)
                        Fish Fragrant Eggplant
                        Dry-Fried Green Beans

                        Mustn't forget Bon Appetit Y'All:
                        Pulled Pork (Sandwiches) with Mama's BBQ Sauce
                        Heart Healthy Cole Slaw
                        Vegetable Slaw with Creamy Asian Dressing
                        Fingerling Potato Salad

                        There are several from the Ottolenghi book but the Crumble from
                        Fennel, Cherry Tomato and Crumble Gratin has been made several times over including on fruit gratins.

                        That's all I can remember right now but there are more just out of memory's reach. Batali's right up there with his basic sauce and a few chicken dishes.

                        1. d
                          debbiel Oct 23, 2009 04:22 PM

                          I haven't been around for a long time, so I'm not sure I remember which of my recipes were from COTM. One recipe comes to mind though. I have made the brown sugar bundt cake (with pears and hazelnuts) from Baking from My Home to Yours over and over and over again. I'm often asked to bring it to holiday gatherings, and it's become a birthday request cake for a friend.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: debbiel
                            MMRuth Oct 23, 2009 05:02 PM

                            That sounds like it might be nice for Thanksgiving - I'm going to hunt around for the recipe. And I think a friend of mine may have the book.

                            1. re: MMRuth
                              debbiel Oct 23, 2009 05:13 PM

                              It's been a wonderful addition to our Thanksgiving dessert spreads. She has a primary recipe and then a variation recipe in the book. What I make is actually a combination of the two. I describe my version here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3474... (I've solved the problem of the cake falling apart)

                              1. re: debbiel
                                MMRuth Oct 23, 2009 05:27 PM

                                Excellent, thank you. I've been thinking that my Thanksgiving Buche de Noel ambitions are just too much given my space constraints, and I could still use the leaf and acorn cookies that I spend a day figuring how to make as decoration for this one.

                          2. buttertart Oct 24, 2009 08:29 AM

                            Marcella Hazan's recipe for potato and artichoke gratin is perfect with roast lamb - and is glamorous-looking in its subtle browns, greens, and beiges. Dunlop's (RCC) recipes for cilantro salad, smacked cucumbers, Mao-style red-cooked pork and beef strips with cilantro, and (LoP) "fish-flavored"chicken slivers are favorites as well. (The Dunlop recipes have a paticularly excellent ratio of effort to result - and the flavors are authentic.) The Kashmiri-style rogan josh and the chicken curry identified as "everyday chicken" in Jaffrey's Indian Cooking have been in rotation chez nous since the 80's. And Dorie Greenspan's 15-minute miracle chocolate amaretti torte IS a miracle. There are so many great recipes in these great books, virtually every one chosen is a total winner.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: buttertart
                              buttertart Oct 17, 2010 08:46 AM

                              I've been getting into the Dunlops again and love the dry-fried green beans and ma po tofu - my husband isn't crazy about most ma po doufu recipes but loves this one. The woman is a genius. Hope she does another book...soon!

                            2. LulusMom Oct 17, 2010 09:50 AM

                              Those SE Asian turkey burgers from the Gourmet book; the mushroom/goat cheese pasta from the same book.

                              1. t
                                tidecreek Oct 18, 2010 07:30 PM

                                This recipe from the Two Hot Tamales on Foodnetwork is my all time favorite I get cravings for it,


                                Show Hidden Posts