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March 2010 Cookbook of the Month Nominations: Open until Sunday at Midnight

Yes, it's that time again. Big thanks to Yamalam for her adept stewardship of COTM for the last six months. I will endeavor to fill her shoes well.

Please suggest cookbooks for us to cook from collectively in March. This link includes a list of all the cookbooks we've done in the past (excepting the present month's, Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen), and explains how COTM works: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

IMPORTANT: Please type the names of nominated books in ALL CAPITALS to make it easier for me to pick them out from the discussion.

Nominations open until SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14 at MIDNIGHT, EST.

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  1. SAUCES, Third Edition, by James Peterson

    2 Replies
    1. re: 280 Ninth

      I love 280 Ninth's suggestion. Doing James Peterson's "Sauces" would be a lot of fun.

      1. re: gfr1111

        I'm going with SAUCES by James Peterson. I love Diana Kennedy's books, but have a lot of trouble finding the ingredients for them, and find many of them *very* time-consuming.

    2. THE ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO - Diana Kennedy

      12 Replies
      1. re: Rubee

        I'd love to do a Diana Kennedy book. As Marcella is to Italy, Diana is to Mexico. . .
        I have FROM MY MEXICAN KITCHEN

        (I've been out of the game for a bit . . . my kitchen painting -- and painter's moving everything! BTW, I painted it Mexican colors! so what's more apt than Diana Kennedy for me?!!)

        Glad to see you hardy COTMers are still at it!

        1. re: NYchowcook

          I want to amend my nomination to be DIANA KENNEDY

          Leaning toward THE ART OF MEXICAN COOKING.
          From my mexican kitchen is more techniques than recipes.
          I read that alot of folks find her recipes intimidating. Would defer to those who have cooked from her books as to which has simpler recipes.

          1. re: NYchowcook

            I know I'd prefer simpler. Anyone out there cooked from her books and can tell us which is less arduous?

            1. re: LulusMom

              I have them. I've read through them. I've never cooked from them.

              1. re: bayoucook

                I've cooked a bit from them - the most easily cookable is "Nothing Fancy" but it's the least Mexican!

              2. re: LulusMom

                I have cooked quite a few (from Essentials Cuisines). It's over 300 recipes so there are a lot of options from complicated to easy, and the complicated recipes are usually celebratory/holiday dishes. I'll post tomorrow on some of my favorites. I should add that the basis of most traditional Mexican recipes is actually how to make a large amount of something that can be shared or the use of leftovers (for example, tacos, quesadillas, chilaquiles). Which makes sense when you think about it. So once you have ingredients like tortillas, fresh chilis and/or dried chilis, queso/cheese, a batch of pot beans or braised meat, tomatoes, onions, etc. you can make a lot of dishes. Then add fresh herbs, seafood, vegetables, well then Mexican cooking is not as intimidating as it sounds...

                1. re: Rubee

                  I'm definitely excited about the prospect, just worried about time management. What you've said makes sense.

          2. re: Rubee

            I am new to this and a novice at cooking Mexican, but I see by the list of previous choices that a Mexican COTM is long overdue. I think Kennedy's book is a good choice.

            1. re: meatzaaa

              Finally, I may speak!!

              ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO or anything else Kennedy

              1. re: yamalam

                here's an article I found interesting on Diana Kennedy, and The art of mexican cooking
                http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html...

            2. re: Rubee

              I vote for THE ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO.

            3. MY NEW ORLEANS - John Besh

              If I can nominate two:

              A PLATTER OF FIGS - David Tanis

              15 Replies
              1. re: Tom P

                Back to back Louisiana food does not do it for me. A PLATTER OF FIGS, however would get my vote. I've cooked from it a lot.

                1. re: pikawicca

                  FINALLY! Someone who has cooked from PoF!

                  pikawicca, would you please give us some feedback on what you like about the book? If I recall correctly, most of the recipes serve 8. Are you finding that the recipes make too much and you're halving them to make them practical?

                  Any favorites so far?

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Two big pluses for me: The recipes are arranged by season, and grouped into various menus, so you're never stumped, wondering what to serve with your main course.

                    There are a lot of excellent soup recipes, and I always make the full recipe (for the 2 of us). We either eat the leftovers for lunch. or I freeze them.

                    I save the roasts for when we're having company.

                    Some of my favorite recipes, e.g., fish tacos, are easy to scale down.

                    There's a nice mix of ethnic recipes thrown in: classic French and Italian, but also Mexican and Moroccan. For the most part, the ingredients are easy to come by, but the author assumes you'll be using the freshest local produce and meat; the recipes are fairly straightforward, allowing the quality of the ingredients to shine. (At this time of year, I love to make the Green Lasagne with Greens with produce from our Winter Market. This yields 8 generous servings, but somehow it never goes to waste.

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      I have POF and have not yet coooked from it. I'd welcome the challenge to give it a whirl.

                  2. re: pikawicca

                    Very true! I took off this month so was not paying attention. PLATTER OF FIGS moves to #1 !

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      I love the John Besh book, but I was surprised how many of us didn't cook much out of My Louisiana Kitchen. Guess it's time to move on..

                      1. re: bayoucook

                        I have a bunch of things on my list from this month's book, but between Lulu getting sick, snowstorms making the roads hard to drive (making trips to the store difficult) and husband not being around for quite a few dinners, it just hasn't happened. Hoping to make my first attempt next Saturday. Also some of the recipes seem like they take a REALLY long time, and unfortunately I just don't have hours and hours on a meal these days. Soon, I hope!

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          The recipes I've made have been on the longer side. But, it's more inactive cooking time. I just have to plan on not going out when something is simmering on the stove for 3 hours.

                        2. re: bayoucook

                          I agree that 2x in a row for LA doesn't make sense.
                          I haven't been with y'all this month cause Louisiana Kitchen is awol at my public library. When I visit friends (out of town) who have it, I'll be checking in with that thread, so I hope people think of it outside of this designated month.
                          : )

                          1. re: bayoucook

                            I surprised myself about not cooking at all from this month's book even though I had marked quite a few recipes to make. But with time constraints and various medical happenings I haven't even felt like eating let alone cooking. I hope March brings a renewed interest. In that case, probably a jamie oliver book would do for me. I have happy days with the naked chef and jamie's italy and like them both.
                            I'm not voting but I'll wait to see which book wins then I'll decide what to do.

                            Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

                            1. re: Gio

                              And just this morning I was saying to myself "where's Gio? I hope she's all right." Welcome back!

                              Myself, I only ended up cooking one dish from this month's book. The chowpup took one look at the man on the cover and said "what are you trying to do to me?" Yesterday the book went back to the library....

                              I've never actually voted before, but count me in for KENNEDY.

                              1. re: clamscasino

                                Awwwww.....thanks Clams. Your Chowpup's comment is hilarious. (when I met him at a book signng he had to ride around in one of those wheelchair/scooters.) But, she should know that since that photo the man has lost a ton of weight. And, apparently has kept most of it off.

                                Happy Valentine Day

                              2. re: Gio

                                I've missed you too. Usually you're one we can count on when the rest of us lose our zip in the kitchen! Hope all is well.

                                1. re: LulusMom

                                  What she said.

                                  As I'm going to be away for three weeks in March (yay!), I'm not voting either, but am watching with interest.....

                        3. I haven't had a chance to look at it, and will be away for part of March, but if I'm allowed to vote anyway, I think I'll vote for THE ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO. A Platter of Figs would be great too, I know it was a runner-up last month.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: LulusMom

                            Another vote for Kennedy, here. I have had this book for ages and need a kick-start to really get to know it. :-)

                          2. DIANA KENNEDY is fine with me too, haven't used her books in a long time.