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September 2010 Cookbook of the Month VOTING (Through Mon., 8/23)

Phew! There was a lot of discussion, but at the end it came down to two options.

Option 1:
Claudia Roden THE NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD
Claudia Roden ARABESQUE: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon

Option 2:
Thomas Keller AD HOC @ HOME

VOTING: One Chowhound, one vote. You can cast your vote in the form of book title, author name, or option number but you MUST type your vote in ALL CAPITALS if you want it counted.

Voting will be open through MONDAY AUGUST 23.

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  1. THE NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD and ARABESQUE

    1. THE NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD and ARABESQUE

        1. THE NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD and ARABESQUE

          1. THE NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD and ARABESQUE

            1. AD HOC. After a year in Egypt, I'm sick of Middle Eastern food!

                1. THE NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD and ARABESQUE

                          1. re: runwestierun

                            I don't understand how Plenty didn't make it to the voting stage. I love Arabesque, but we've done that. Plenty is worth a close look. I disliked Ad Hoc At Home so much that I gave my copy to Candy.

                            1. re: pikawicca

                              pikawicca, you're not interested in The New Book of Middle Eastern Food?

                              ~TDQ

                              1. re: pikawicca

                                Pika... I didn't cook from Arabesque when it first was COTM and if it wins for September, I'm still not going to. I only be cooking from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. As for Ad Hoc... I'll be cooking from Plenty. LOL

                                1. re: Gio

                                  Gio, I also did not cook from Arabesque the first time around and was hoping to "secondarily" dip into that while also cooking from The New Book of ME Food. However, the more research I've done into TNBofMEF the more excited about cooking from that book.

                                  ~TDQ

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    TDQ, I have 2 fabulous books on Mediterranean food that I Love. Both books were written by Joanna Farrow and Jacqueline Clark. So, I was not interested in another when Arabesque came along.
                                    http://www.amazon.com/Mediterranean-J...

                                    However, when I saw the revised edition of TNBoMEF... well, I had to have it.

                                    1. re: Gio

                                      Arabesque is worth adding to your collection, especially if you're an eggplant fan: 20 recipes using this veg. I've made 13 of them so far, all excellent, a few remarkably so.

                                      1. re: Gio

                                        That book does sound lovely, but my attraction to Arabesque is my specific interest in Turkish cuisine. I noticed TNBoMEF mentions that the region it covers includes Turkey, but I couldn't tell (by looking at it on Amazon) whether it really had many specifically Turkish recipes.

                                        ~TDQ

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          About a third of the recipes in Arabesque are Turkish, roughly 25-30 percent in TNBoMEF are, although this is sometimes a difficult distinction to make. The Ottomans spread their cuisine throughout the region, adding recipes from their empire to their own repertoire.

                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                            Oh, good to know that TNBoMEF has a lot of Turkish recipes, too.

                                            ~TDQ

                                        2. re: Gio

                                          Arabesque isn't a book about Mediterranean food, really, or not as I would define it. It covers only three countries - Turkey, Lebanon and Morocco. To me, Mediterranean when used to refer to cooking is almost meaningless, as it covers so many countries which have defined cuisines of their own, including France, Italy, Spain and Greece.

                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                            Ah well... yes, you are correct. Arabesque zeros in on three countries, whereas the other books cover a more widespread area. My groaning cookbook shelves are going to complain...

                                        3. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          Me too (on the Arabesque front).

                                          And Turkish food is great.

                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                            I've done some searching of NBofMEF on EYB and several of my favorite Turkish recipes do seem to be in there, manti, sahleb, etc. There are also several that don't seem to be in there or in books index (per Amazon). So, I'm pretty encouraged. I think I might try to get both books out of the library and if NBofMEF has most of what I'm looking for, I may not need to acquire Arabesque anyway. I'm particular interested in Turkish sweets and I can tell (per the index on Amazon) that NBofMEF has at least a discussion of Turkish sweets, but I don't really know what it has for recipes. There are a zillion gorgeous Turkish sweets that I don't know by name. I would just love to tackle a bunch of Turkish sweets recipes.

                                            ~TDQ

                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              Ghillie Bhasan is very well regarded when it comes to Turkish Cooking, btw. I am currently on the hunt for a second-hand copy of her book (which is also recommended by Ottolenghi). Buttertart said they crop up fairly regularly in NY so maybe you'll be lucky.

                                              http://www.amazon.co.uk/Classic-Turki...

                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                You should get yourself to Gulloglu here and have some chestnut baklava. Oh my goodness.

                                              2. re: greedygirl

                                                Weird that we're doing a repeat of an earlier COTM. Has COTM been going on for so long that we're doing duplicates? Sheesh.

                                                1. re: oakjoan

                                                  Wow, COTM has been active since September 2006. We cooked from Arabesque in April 2007. It really doesn't seem like 3+ years since we explored that book.

                                                  1. re: beetlebug

                                                    Isn't that amazing? 2006 seems so long ago!

                                                    EDIT--if my count is accurate, that's 59 books, counting Julia CHild's ouevre as "one" (I don't know how else to count it.) The math doesn't work out exactly as you'd expect because some months we've done up to four (Casas) and we're repeated a couple of books around the holidays. Still, now I understand why my bookshelves are bursting with cookbooks!

                                                    ~TDQ

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      I have learned SO MUCH from doing COTM. It's really mind boggling to me. And, the time really has flown. I guess the adage of time flies when you're having fun is really true.

                                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                                        I completely agree. Really diving in and cooking has boosted my confidence so much. I would really love to do a book along the lines of "Think Like A Chef" one of these days to help me feel less reliant on recipes. That would be the next level for me.

                                                        ~TDQ

                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                          Me too. I feel I've benefited SO much from taking part in COTM. I feel much more confident as a cook, I've explored cuisines I probably wouldn't have without it, and I've made some great friends too. I can't tell you how often I go back to threads when I'm deciding on what to make for dinner. All of you other cooks help me so much, without even realizing it.

                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                            Oh I do that too... return to threads for inspiration. I really feel privileged to be cooking with this group of intrepid and knowledgeable home cooks.

                                      2. re: pikawicca

                                        We can still cook from Plenty anyway! But I am surprised that Plenty didn't make it onto the voting list. Did it not have enough nominations?

                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          I would definitely vote for Plenty next month as I love Ottolenghi's recipes. I just really wanted to do Ad Hoc soon as I feel I've neglected it and there are lots of great recipes I want to try. I'm really pleased at how joining COTM has pushed me to be more adventurous. I hadn't used CAC before but I've cooked so many new recipes that I will want to repeat.

                                        2. re: pikawicca

                                          Oh dear.... should I be defending the choice I made?

                                          My notes indicate the following nomination count:
                                          Plenty & Ottelgheni 3
                                          New Middle East & Arabesque 5
                                          Ad Hoc @ Home 5
                                          Greens and Grains 3

                                          I did the count two times. It was either the top 2, or all 4. I thought the goal was to vote on the books that had the greatest consensus. Please correct me if I have misunderstood what I have been watching for the past two years.

                                          1. re: smtucker

                                            smtucker, I think the COTM coordinator has to exercise judgment in order to keep the process clipping along. Even though I've never been a coordinator, your judgment looks fine to me. You have to draw the line somewhere! Though people might express disappointment about the outcome of the nominations and voting, I don't think they are expressing disappointment in your judgment. Thank you for organizing this for us!

                                            EDIT: P.S. I didn't nominate and don't plan on voting as I won't be around much in the first part of Sept, but I look forward to cooking from the winner(s) in the latter part of Sept! Maybe I'll be able to catch up on CAC too!

                                            ~TDQ

                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              What she said!

                                              I too was disappointed that Plenty didn't make the cut, but perfectly well understand -- and agree with -- your approach to culling the list. Thank you for taking this coordinator gig on. (And I too did not nominate given demands in Sept and less likelihood to be culinarily adventurous, but hope to join in and, at the least, follow along as an avid fan.)

                                            2. re: smtucker

                                              OK, so I guess that I wasn't thinking because I assumed that Plenty would be in the voting thread since it had been nominated, and I stupidly did not add to the nominations. Oh well. I will think next time...

                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                Ditto what TDQ said. Also, in my experience as an observer, when there are too many choices in the voting list (basically more than two), the votes themselves get really diluted. Then there are observations that the winning book only "won" with 4 votes or something like that.

                                                Thanks for organizing.

                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                  You have absolutely nothing to defend, SMT. The decision looks fairly straightforward to me. The top two books are tied, and that what we're voting on. Thank you for taking on this coordination.

                                                    1. re: smtucker

                                                      I did a rough count and think plenty had 4, and A&H and Roden 6 so I have no problem with the decision, tho I dont favor it. next month is a new month.

                                                    1. THE NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD and ARABESQUE.

                                                      1. THE NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD and ARABESQUE. Please and thank you.

                                                        1. AD HOC--although I won't be able to get to it until toward the end of the month.

                                                            1. THE NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD and ARABESQUE

                                                              1. I want to return to the cotm clan and vote for ARABESQUE 'cause i own it. Eggplant, mmmmm.

                                                                If it wins, we should probably have a link handy to the prior thread.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                    In the past, if Arabesque wins, we just report directly on the older threads. Makes research (for me) that much easier.

                                                                    Welcome home.

                                                                    1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                      I'm making a Syrian eggplant and lamb dish from TNBoMEF for dinner tonight. It has a yogurt/tahini sauce and pinenuts.

                                                                    2. Long time lurker, first time poster in the thread. Looking to join with
                                                                      AD HOC

                                                                      1. THE NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD and ARABESQUE
                                                                        I haven't been cooking along (or even reading along), but I am hoping I will be able to do so next month.

                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                        1. re: cpw

                                                                          THE NEW BOOK and ARABESQUE...even though I don't want either of them. I don't want AD HOC more.

                                                                          Signed, Peevish on the Left Coast.

                                                                          Also, I think we should have a time limit for books that have already been COTM...anybody agree?
                                                                          I mean, not for x years after they're first chosen.

                                                                          Actually, if a huge number of folks want to continue on with a chosen book for an extra month, that should be allowed.

                                                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                                                            OJ..agree! I really just want Roden's new book but the old one came with it. Maybe it's time for a board meeting? LOL

                                                                            Signed: Anticipatory on the Right Coast

                                                                            1. re: oakjoan

                                                                              What about the new book of middle eastern food makes you peevish, OJ? It's a book we've not done before.

                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                              1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                If people are interested in doing The New Book of Middle Eastern Food (as I am), it makes perfect sense sense to me to revisit Arabesque, by the same author about the same region. It's not like the choice is between doing a new book and revisiting a book, as a new book is coupled with the revisit. If someone (like Gio) is interested in the new book and not the revisit, it's easy to just not cook from the latter.

                                                                                I don't think anyone should feel compelled to vote if they're not interested in any of the choices. There will surely be months when the nominated books, or the winner, will not appeal to some of us, and while it might not be as much fun to sit a month out for that reason, I feel it's just an inevitable part of this democratic process.

                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                    <"If someone (like Gio) is interested in the new book and not the revisit, it's easy to just not cook from the latter.">

                                                                                    That's what I'm going to do, Caitlin. I really do prefer cooking from one book at a time. It's less confusing for me and an immersion into the thinking of the author rather than pitting 2 authors against each other.

                                                                                    Echoing TDQ regarding the extended voting thread so folks who haven't voted can place their votes there instead of here:
                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7295...

                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                      Gio, just a small point of clarification, option 1 isn't pitting two authors against each other (the way "Vietnamese" month, "Southern" month, and "Indian" month, were), it's exploring two books from the same author about the same region of the world, more akin to Dunlop month or Italian Easy month. I'm not challenging your preference for one book, but I'm just pointing out that in this case, it's two books, one author.

                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                        Oh I know that's what happening this month TDQ... I was just mentioning my preference for one book. Thanks.

                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                            LOL... after re-reading my post I see that I wasn't very clear... I shouldn't post anything before 10:00AM and after 8:00PM.

                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                              I'm the same way, Gio, I shoudn't ever post before the caffeine takes effect. I completely understand your preference for one book, though. That part was clear!

                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                              2. Not that I think my vote will swing it, but I vote for TNBoMEF

                                                                                1. WARNING: My internet has been totally wonky today. If the winner isn't announced at midnight, it simply means that I can't get on to count. Your patience will be appreciated.

                                                                                    1. I'm just pointing out the thread smtucker has added to extend the voting by one more day through the end of the day Tues the 24th. New votes only, she said. Apparently the votes in this thread were tied! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/729597

                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                        Thanks for adding that link DQ. I was exhausted and ready for bed at 12:30 when I was done counting [twice.] Just didn't think to add. ::bowing::

                                                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                                                          You are welcome. And thank you for organizing. I'll bet it is harder on the organizer when the race is so close!

                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                          1. re: smtucker

                                                                                            Yes, thank you you so much for organizing this - and now a dead heat. Let's hope it doesn't get to the Supreme Court.

                                                                                            1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                              Because then the loser would win...

                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                that is hysterical! Thank you for the morning laugh!

                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                  Very funny! But let's send it to the Supreme Court so we can do Ad Hoc!

                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                    You know, since Ad Hoc is comfort food, I think it would be PERFECT for October. Of course, I don't know how that's going to sit with the groundswell of people who want to cook from Plenty...I own both AHAH and Plenty, so, I would love to do either.

                                                                                                    Also, did we ever resolve the issue about that Wolfert book and whether we want to "prevote" on that?

                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                      I agree that Ad Hoc would be great in the fall.
                                                                                                      Looking at the Roden books I am very excited for this COTM. I just hope I can get them from my library.
                                                                                                      One of the reasons I voted for Ad Hoc was I got it at the right time at my local library. I would like to cook from it once the weather turns.
                                                                                                      Off to put in my requests!
                                                                                                      These two books and the previous posts on them are appetite whetting, and perfect for the last of Summer's bounty.
                                                                                                      Good choice people!

                                                                                              1. Winner announced:

                                                                                                September 2010 Cookbook of the Month: THE NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD & ARABESQUE
                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/729856