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April 2010 Cookbook of the Month Nominations

Please suggest cookbooks for us to cook from collectively next month. Here are all the cookbooks that have been done in the past, and how COTM works: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

Please type your nominations in ALL CAPITALS, so they're easier for me to pick out from the discussion. Discuss nominations through Sunday, March 14, Midnight EDT.

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    This book just came out, the recipes seem exciting and delicious, and the pictures are dreamy.

    1. I would love to do THE DUMPLING: A SEASONAL GUIDE by Wai Hon Chu. I am a sucker for anything remotely dumpling-like.

      10 Replies
      1. re: ElenaRose

        Have you made any recipes out of this one? I have the book and really like it, but haven't made anything so far.

        1. re: emily

          No, I'm looking for an excuse to buy it and cook from it! The list of recipes I've seen online look amazing.

        2. re: ElenaRose

          Elena, any thoughts on how that book compares to Andrea Nguyen's Asian Dumplings: Mastering Spring Rolls, Gyoza, Samosas... I notice Nguyen's was just nominated for an IACP cookbook award.


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            TDQ -
            I have the Nguyen dumpling book and it's great, but it's very specific - just dumplings, whereas the other book seems to have soup recipes, dessert recipes etc, and they do use the term dumpling much more loosely which I think makes it a better option for COTM.

          2. re: ElenaRose

            I'm a dumpling novice, but I'd love to be in the company of others who are trying new dumpling recipes. Maybe Nguyen's ASIAN DUMPLINGS could be used along with THE DUMPLING.

            1. re: CindyJ

              oooh, I'd love to do a dumpling month!

              1. re: ElenaRose

                I've never participated in a cookbook of the month but I'd love to start. Nguyen's ASIAN DUMPLINGS is my vote as well. Yeah, its just dumplings, but there is a lot of variation within that topic. Her basic wheat-based dumpling dough never fails, especially when you use Gold Medal AP flour. Alas, I've only tried a few things out of the book and want to get motivated to try more.

                1. re: CoconutMilk

                  I'm reading it and am struck with the fantastic precision and accuracy of her instructions, both for making the doughs and fillings and for the various types of pleating and folding. No small job translating actions like that to words. ASIAN DUMPLINGS gets my vote.

            2. re: ElenaRose

              I'd be into THE DUMPLING: A SEASONAL GUIDE by Wai Hon Chu - got it, haven't worked with it. It's wonderfully broad on what it takes as "dumpling" <-- very international

              How about FAT? It won a Beard award. Full title is "Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes", Jennifer McLagan. I like it. I took it out from the library and made one very delicious dish from it.

            3. Maybe this is too obscure, but I love VEGETABLES EVERY DAY by JACK BISHOP (he's the Cooks Illustrated guy who does the tastings on America's Test Kitchen). It's alphabetic according to the vegetables, and he has wonderful ideas for all of them. They're mostly side dishes although some can easily become a main course. There's a roasted beet salad with goat cheese and walnuts that's wonderful, squash with orange zest and allspice, rutabaga fries (don't laugh, they're good!), and much more. I turn to this book regularly and have always been happy with the results.

              This book would be a great choice for anyone who wants to eat more healthy, tasty vegetables. Also great for folks with CSA boxes, gardens, or farmers markets with more vegetables than you know what to do with.


              3 Replies
              1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                Also, I should mention that while it's about vegetables, it's not a vegetarian cookbook. He calls for things like bacon or pancetta sometimes.

                1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                  Love the idea of a vegetable book but the timing is awful for those of us in the NE (and, i imagine, other cold northern climates). There are so few fresh veggies around now, most of the CSAs are closed for the season, and it'll be June before we start getting much more than lettuce in our farmer's markets. We don't even see ramps (first sign of spring) until the end of April.

                  1. re: Westminstress

                    Oh, good point. Maybe I should bring it up again in July or August?

                2. Mark Bittman's HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING. When it came out I HAD to buy it. Never cooked from it but hear raves for his recipes all the time. Would be great to have guidance on what to cook from that huge book.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: shaebones

                    I've been keeping out of COTM discussions so far, but I'm hoping that our kitchen will be finished in the next few weeks so that I can participate in April's COTM. I'd also be interested in doing HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING. I have it, and use it on occasion, but definitely have not maximized its huge potential. The book also has a lot of simple recipes, which is all I can handle right now given everything else that's going on in my life.

                    1. re: shaebones

                      HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING is a great idea. I have it but have hardly used it at all.

                      1. re: shaebones

                        Great idea. Everything we've made in this book has been great! It's huge, though!

                        1. re: wholefoodie

                          You know, I wouldn't hate this...so many people have the Bittman book...
                          I don't use it all that much because I find it too basic, but it's very solid and I'd love to hear more specific recipes folks love in this book.

                          1. re: pitu

                            I have this book and refer to quite a bit actually. I can't say I"ve cooked a large amount of anything out of it but the recipes I"ve used have all been well-tested and I"ve always been pleased with the results. I have both actually the - the yellow and the green, vegetarian, version. I'd like to see this book done if only to get more of an idea what's in it. I never have time to cook along with my school stuff but enjoy reading the threads and digging them up when I do have time to cook something from a certain book(was just digging around the Arabesque threads last weekend for instance).

                            SO...long way to say, while I rarely vote I would like to see BITTMAN HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING this time around. Both versions actually - YELLOW COVER AND GREEN COVERED VEGETARIAN VERSION

                      2. Just popping in from on holiday to suggest that we pay homage to the fabulous Rose Gray, who passed away recently, by cooking from some of the River Café books. My personal preference would be for the River Café Easy books, which are called Italian Easy in the States. I am also thinking that take-up for COTM hasn't been that high recently, so maybe some simple but good recipes would be the answer.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: greedygirl

                          I like this idea, GG. Simple but good has been the order of the day here at Casa Gio lately with just a few insertions of COTM recipes, certainly not the aggressive cooking by the book we've done in the past.

                          1. re: greedygirl

                            I'm Totally onboard with the ITALIAN EASY and ITALIAN TWO EASY books. I use the second a lot, and got the first for Christmas and would love to delve in.

                            1. re: LulusMom

                              I am onboard too, with ITALIAN EASY and ITALIAN TWO EASY

                            2. re: greedygirl

                              I didn't realize that she had died. I have cooked quite a bit from what I think is The River Cafe Cookbook, but I have had issues with some of the recipes, in terms of quanties of ingredients called for. Some of them just haven't made sense. When I was in London last month, I did buy The River Cafe Pocket Book: Pasta and Ravioli, which looks very nice. A friend there made me the pesto recipe using Cavalo Nero, and, while I was only able to take a bite of it that day, it was delicious.

                              P.S. There is a great chapter in Julian Barnes' book "The Pedant in the Kitchen" (which I highly recommend as an amusing read) about the flourless chocolate cake in that book. I also failed in my attempt to make it.

                              1. re: MMRuth

                                MMR, thank you for reminding me of the Julian Barnes. Such fun to read, I was chortling on the subway this morning. There is a bit of a disconnect between the kind of cook he says he is (strict recipe-folower down to exact temperature and time shown in a recipe) and his favorite cookbook authors (David, Grigson, and de Pomiane), don't you think? They're all much more of the "you know what to do and cook it until it's done" school of writing, it seems to me. I love this book.

                            3. Love the idea of HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING. It would offer such a great variety.
                              I also like the suggestion of The River Cafe cookbooks. I only have LONDON RIVER CAFE COOKBOOK, but the Easy Series would be welcome additions to my library.

                              1. A couple of suggestions:

                                THE RIVER COTTAGE COOKBOOK by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

                                BOUCHON, or AD HOC AT HOME by Thomas Keller

                                STIR by Barbara Lynch

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: wholefoodie

                                  I just borrowed Ad Hoc at Home from the library (I always do that to try it out before buying a cookbook) and there are some very intriguing recipes in there.

                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                    I've made a few from Ad Hoc and love it - the brownies are amazing. The monkfish over leeks with romesco is delish. Our favorite so far though is the chicken mar y muntanya. Grest suggestion - I'd love to try more from the book!


                                    1. re: ladyberd

                                      Ladyberd - you made the chicken y muntanya! That recipe has been talking trash to me for about a month!!!

                                      The chicken thighs with fennel in Ad Hoc is sensational as is the honey mustard rack of lamb.

                                      The Stir book is fantastic - love the cannelloni and sausage and the bread pudding is great (better on day two!)

                                2. I would love to cook from HOW to COOK EVERYTHING.

                                  1. Alice Waters' IN THE GREEN KITCHEN. It has just been released and is a slim book that came out of the Green Kitchen featured at the Slow Food Nation gathering, which was held in San Francisco.