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January 2010 COTM: Recommendations Please!

yamalam Nov 9, 2009 07:14 AM

This will serve as the nomination and discussion thread for next January's COTM selection. I'll keep this post up for a week or so, and then we'll do a voting thread in time for everyone to put the selection on their list to Santa:)

Feel free to make suggestions even if you have not previously participated in Cookbook of the Month, as we're always excited to welcome new cooks to our community! For more information on what the heck COTM stands for and how to participate, plus a list of past books we've covered, check out our archive at:



In order to make it easier for participants to scan others’ suggestions and for me to tabulate the results, please make your recommendations in the following format:

TITLE (in all caps), Author: Description of the book or reason you are recommending it (optional but preferred).

If you want to second or third a title that someone else has already mentioned, please repeat the title, typing it in capital letters. Just saying “I agree with TDQ” 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.

Also, feel free to nominate and discuss multiple books, you can wait for the voting thread to make your final decision.

Thanks for participating!

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  1. pikawicca RE: yamalam Nov 9, 2009 07:18 AM

    EVERYDAY HARUMI, a great introduction to Japanese home cooking.

    4 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca
      yamalam RE: pikawicca Nov 9, 2009 08:11 AM

      Hmm, Japanese might be a good choice for post-holiday calorie cutting...

      1. re: pikawicca
        c oliver RE: pikawicca Nov 15, 2009 12:43 PM

        I've not participated in COTM so perhaps shouldn't nominate. But I know nothing about cooking Japanese food and would love something basic. So I'll third the nomination fro EVERYDAY HARUMI.

        1. re: c oliver
          The Dairy Queen RE: c oliver Nov 15, 2009 01:21 PM

          No prior COTM experience required to nominate, vote, cook or post! Please do join us. One small word to the wise, though, to be sure the COTM organizer will see and count your nomination, you must list the title of the book in all caps, as I, "I third the nomination for XXX book" , otherwise, she might overlook it. If it's not to late, you might edit your post; and, if it is too late, just reply to yourself, repeating your nomination in the recommended form, so you'll be counted.


          1. re: The Dairy Queen
            c oliver RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 15, 2009 01:29 PM

            Thanks; edited.

      2. pitu RE: yamalam Nov 9, 2009 09:00 AM

        + GET SAUCY Grace Parisi (wildly versatile, since it's built around sauces, dressing, marinades, etc. It's published in trade paperback, avail at libraries. Everything I've had from it has been spot on -- she's a Food and Wine magazine recipe developer.)

        + THE NEW PORTUGUESE TABLE David Leite (love Leite's website...he was great about checking in here when the site was COTM) leitesculinaria.com/the-new-portuguese-table

        + YOLELE Recipes From the Heart of Senegal : Pierre Thiam (I took it out from the library...nice to switch things up after the holidays)

        3 Replies
        1. re: pitu
          Gio RE: pitu Nov 9, 2009 09:56 AM

          I did a little research after you mentioned Yolele, pitu, and I'm very interested. Have you made anything from it yet? And if so what's your verdict? From what I read there are multi-national culinary influences in the cuisine of Senegal, and much of it is the base for American specialties made by slaves....There's also a reference to Italian influences!!

          1. re: pitu
            leanneabe RE: pitu Nov 12, 2009 11:25 AM

            THE NEW PORTUGUESE TABLE by David Leite.

            Full disclosure, I was a recipe tester for this cookbook, so I know which recipes I love. But I'd be curious to hear what other people think of the dishes and their expectations. Most of the dishes are good for the modern kitchen, and a few have really opened by eyes to the versatility of salt cod. The website also has a few sample recipes posted.

            1. re: leanneabe
              jen kalb RE: leanneabe Nov 12, 2009 12:14 PM

              If this one is on the table, I would propose adding JEAN ANDERSON's
              book of portuguese cooking to the month. Its a very fine book and what's more I already own it.

          2. b
            bxgirl RE: yamalam Nov 9, 2009 11:44 AM

            GET SAUCY
            I would love to expand my (very limited!!) repertoire of sauces.reat idea, pitu

            1. f
              Fleur RE: yamalam Nov 9, 2009 02:05 PM


              LIDIA COOKS FROM THE HEART OF ITALY: A FEAST OF 175 REGIONAL RECIPES by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali

              These are two beautiful books with wonderful recipes that I have recently added to my collection.

              Another delicious one is NIGELLA'S CHRISTMAS, but it will be too late for that..

              20 Replies
              1. re: Fleur
                jen kalb RE: Fleur Nov 9, 2009 06:33 PM

                I really like ARTHUR SCHWARZ's book on the cooking of NAPLES> ID support a south Indian SCHWARZ month.

                1. re: jen kalb
                  Gio RE: jen kalb Nov 10, 2009 02:46 AM

                  Jen, do you mean south Italian instead of "south Indian?"

                  I've been cooking from a book by Wanda Tornabene and her daughter Giovanna. The book is "Sicilian Home Cooking: Family Recipes from Gangivecchio." Everything I've made so far has been wonderful. Now I'm interested in Venetian cuisine after seeing Ruth Reichl's latest PBS show last Sunday.

                  1. re: Gio
                    jen kalb RE: Gio Nov 10, 2009 07:55 AM

                    I sure did, sorry.

                    I have one of the Gangiavecchio books too. I dont know that there is an excellent specifically venetian cookbook but Hazan among others includes many venetian recipes in her book.

                    I was really just posting to support Schwartz. I think his Campanian book produces very good results and is very true to the wonderful cooking one finds in the region.

                    1. re: Gio
                      LulusMom RE: Gio Nov 10, 2009 10:43 AM

                      Hi Gio, How meaty is the Sicilian book? Given that it is an island, I'd hope it would have lots of fish, which would make it more appealling to me. Can you give me some idea of what percentage (guestimate) of the book is meat? Thanks!

                      1. re: LulusMom
                        Gio RE: LulusMom Nov 11, 2009 04:16 AM

                        Good Morning LulusMom... To answer your question about the meat and fish in the Sicilian cookbook:

                        There are 16 various meat recipes including poultry and 13 seafood recipes.
                        In total there are 13 chapters and they follow the usual Italian dinner courses from Antipasti to Dolci with chapters about Cuscus, Riso, Vino e Liquori included.

                        I've liked everything I made so far and much of it seems very familiar to me. My mother grew up in Trieste but went to university in Naples, so perhaps that influenced her cooking.

                        1. re: Gio
                          LulusMom RE: Gio Nov 11, 2009 06:49 AM

                          Thanks Gio. This sounds like something I could definitely get behind.

                          That said, any interest out there in Patricia Wells BISTRO COOKING? I know we did another book of hers that wasn't a great success (certainly wasn't with me), but I really like Bistro cooking a lot, and would love to have more reason to use it.

                          1. re: LulusMom
                            Gio RE: LulusMom Nov 11, 2009 07:27 AM

                            I don't have any Patricia Wells books, but I just found a recipe from her Bistro book for a Chicken Bouillabaisse! Sounds easy and quite tasty with all the ingredients:

                            1. re: Gio
                              oakjoan RE: Gio Nov 14, 2009 09:09 PM

                              BISTRO COOKING is one of my old faves. My favorite chicken bouillabaisse, however, is Eric Ripert's.

                              The Wells' book has a lot of really good recipes in it, including a fine pear cake.

                              Maybe we should combine Wells' Bistro Cooking and Trattoria books?

                              1. re: oakjoan
                                Karen_Schaffer RE: oakjoan Nov 14, 2009 10:03 PM

                                Ooh, I'd love that (combining Bistro Cooking and TRATTORIA). I've made several recipes from Bistro, but have hardly touched the latter.

                                1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                  The Dairy Queen RE: Karen_Schaffer Nov 15, 2009 03:30 AM

                                  Me too! I'd love to do Bistro+Trattoria. (Writing this in lower case since I haven't participated much lately).

                                  I also have Well's Paris Cookbook but haven't cooked from it yet.


                            2. re: LulusMom
                              greedygirl RE: LulusMom Nov 11, 2009 07:35 AM

                              I like Bistro Cooking as well. I recently made her sorrel soup from there and it was lovely.

                              1. re: greedygirl
                                LulusMom RE: greedygirl Nov 11, 2009 08:53 AM

                                The fish with cumin seeds and capers (which sounds really odd) is absolutely wonderful, although I always sub butter for the olive oil.

                              2. re: LulusMom
                                Karen_Schaffer RE: LulusMom Nov 11, 2009 09:21 PM

                                I love BISTRO COOKING and have several favorite recipes from it. I'd be happy to have the incentive to explore a few more.

                                1. re: LulusMom
                                  nomadchowwoman RE: LulusMom Nov 12, 2009 07:18 AM

                                  I would love to give Patricia Wells's BISTRO COOKING a go. I've made a couple recipes from it and then had forgotten about it until you mentioned it.
                                  I have a soft spot for Wells's recipes, as some of my first attempts at French cooking, 20+ years ago, were made using the smattering of recipes in Wells's Food Lover's Guide to Paris, which was just out then. It was, still is, an excellent guide book, but I credit it too w/ making me popular (at least as a cook!) in grad school. Good friendships, even romantic relationships, ensued after my experimentation with madeleines, pissaladiere, a rabbit w/mustard recipe (though I used chicken), pear cake. Even the simple croque monsieur recipe was a revelation: I made it for breakfast for a boyfriend, who literally swooned. (Today, my husband loves nothing better for breakfast than a grilled cheese sandwich w/good ham and grated gruyere.)
                                  Oh, I do digress--but the mention of Wells sent me walking down food memory lane.

                                  So I could get behind BISTRO COOKING--as well as some of the other good suggestions.

                                  1. re: LulusMom
                                    greedygirl RE: LulusMom Nov 15, 2009 04:55 AM

                                    I'm officially voting for BISTRO COOKING by Patricia Wells. Thanks.

                                  2. re: Gio
                                    jen kalb RE: Gio Nov 11, 2009 11:54 AM

                                    Id say the first Gangiavecchio book (the one I have) is overwhelmingly vegetarian. The range of fish is rather limited (Gangiavecchio is an inland farm) but the range of veg dishes is fantastic.

                              3. re: jen kalb
                                Fleur RE: jen kalb Nov 10, 2009 11:36 PM

                                I agree. I love Arthur Schwartz's books. They make for great reading and great cooking. If you likes his book on Naples, you will love his new book He just writes so well, it is a pleasure to read.

                                Am I nuts, or do you love to read your cookbooks too?

                                1. re: Fleur
                                  buttertart RE: Fleur Nov 11, 2009 10:49 AM

                                  Nuts? Are you kidding? If so, me too. I love to read cookbooks, almost as much as cooking from them. Even the duller ones that are just compilations of recipes without commentary. I find I sort of make the dishes in my head as I go along. (Almost) nothing better than a long hot bath reading a good cookbook balanced on the tub rim.

                                2. re: jen kalb
                                  greedygirl RE: jen kalb Nov 11, 2009 03:56 AM

                                  As the Southern Italian one is brand new, I agree that it would be better to include the Naples one as well. How different are they, I wonder.

                                  1. re: greedygirl
                                    jen kalb RE: greedygirl Nov 11, 2009 11:57 AM

                                    We just got back from naples and the Naples book is an extremely true representation of the type of cooking they do there. Pretty much all the recipes are attributed to specific regional individuals and sources. Id imagine Schwartz followed through on this approach in the second book.

                              4. g
                                ginnyhw RE: yamalam Nov 10, 2009 03:03 AM

                                NEW ENGLAND SOUP FACTORY COOKBOOK
                                by Marjorie Drucker and Clara Silverstein

                                Boston area hounds are lucky to have tasted some of these yummy soups and sandwiches at Marjorie's restaurants.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: ginnyhw
                                  Gio RE: ginnyhw Nov 10, 2009 03:35 AM

                                  That book has been on my shelf for a year and I cook from it almost every Tuesday night during Autumn and Winter. Tonight I'm making the root vegetable soup.

                                2. roxlet RE: yamalam Nov 13, 2009 12:21 AM

                                  I'm thinking that the new Thomas Keller book might soon find its way onto a lot of bookshelves, especially considering that it is #7 on the New York Times list, and Christmas is coming. So I nominate AD HOC AT HOME.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: roxlet
                                    pikawicca RE: roxlet Nov 13, 2009 10:33 AM

                                    Have you looked at this? There are no recipes that scream "Make me now!" Pretty photographs, but kind of a letdown.

                                    1. re: roxlet
                                      oakjoan RE: roxlet Nov 14, 2009 09:13 PM

                                      I was given the first Thomas Keller cookbook and ended up giving it away. Gorgeous photos but the recipes were way too fussy for my taste. I'll have to give a look at this new one...maybe it's less difficult and precious.

                                    2. thaichile RE: yamalam Nov 14, 2009 09:08 AM

                                      STIR by Barbara Lynch, chef/owner of several restaurants in Boston including No.9 Park which I had the opportunity to dine. It is a wonderful dining experience and I would love to make some of the dishes from the book.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: thaichile
                                        Rubee RE: thaichile Nov 15, 2009 09:31 AM

                                        I'll second STIR. We were regulars at No 9 and I'd love to be able to learn to cook some of her signature dishes now that we're out in Phoenix.

                                        Reading Amazon reviews, it's nice to see that a favorite chef/author of a past COTM (Suzanne Goin) says "I love this book!".

                                        Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition

                                        1. re: Rubee
                                          pikawicca RE: Rubee Nov 15, 2009 12:15 PM

                                          Stir is a lovely book, and I'd be interested in doing it at some point. It has, however, just been published, so probably won't be available to COTMers who depend on their libraries.

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