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January 2010 COTM: Recommendations Please!

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:

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

HOW TO POST:

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. EVERYDAY HARUMI, a great introduction to Japanese home cooking.

    4 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca

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

      1. re: pikawicca

        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

          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.

          ~TDQ

      2. + 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

          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

            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

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

            1. THE SOUTHERN ITALIAN TABLE: AUTHENTIC TASTES FROM TRADITIONAL KITCHENS by Arthur Schwartz

              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

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

                1. re: jen kalb

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            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:
                            http://www.culinate.com/books/collect...

                            1. re: Gio

                              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

                                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

                                  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.

                                  ~TDQ

                            2. re: LulusMom

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

                              1. re: greedygirl

                                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

                                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

                                  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

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

                                  2. re: Gio

                                    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

                                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

                                  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

                                  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

                                    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. The original comment has been removed