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November 2010 Cookbook of the Month Nominations (Through Sun., 10/17)

Once again, it is time for the Chowhound Cookbook of the Month nominations. The Cookbook of The Month is open to anyone who wants to participate. Simply make a nomination, then vote and cook. There are no dues to participate; no secret handshake to learn. Join us!

Please note that nominations are counted and only the top vote getters make it to the voting round. If you want your choice to advance, make sure you participate in the nomination round.

But please type the title of the book you are nominating in ALL CAPITALS, if you want your nomination to be counted. Nominations will be open until Midnight, EDT on SUNDAY, OCOTOBER 17.

Here is a list of the 50 previous COTM selections:
http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

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  1. Presently I'm cooking from a couple of books and the current cotm's on-line recipes but it's those other books that I'd like to spend more time with. One is The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman, the other is Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. Although it would seem that the two books are at opposite ends of the culinary spectrum, each is sensible and judicious regarding use of fats and salt yet big on flavor.

    Bittman, in this latest cookbook, focuses on healthy, well-balanced dishes using grains, pulses, beans, vegetables with meat playing a secondary role instead of being the star attraction. All aspects of cooking with an eye toward fresh seasonal produce is covered. So far I've made a couple of veggie dishes, a curry, a chicken tagine and a roasted pork shoulder with apples and onions. Each was delicious, satisfying and well suited for weeknight meals. There's no skimping on zesty bold flavors with these dishes.
    Three recipes:
    http://blog.plummelo.com/mark-bittman...

    Although I've only made one dish from the Greenspan book, her vegetable soup with pistou, as I read the recipes I can see this is a very approachable book. It's the kind of food she cooks for her French friends in her home in Paris. Here are 3 on-line recipes:
    http://www.finecooking.com/item/20974...

    Anyone interested?

    13 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      Either of these books would be super, but I'm not sure how widely they are available in libraries, since they've just been published.

      1. re: pikawicca

        Bittman's new book is featured at Costco this month. I didn't notice the price though.

        1. re: pikawicca

          I looked in my local libraries. One has the Bittman and none have the Greenspan. I live in the SF Bay Area.

          1. re: oakjoan

            Are you sure it's the "Food Matters Cookbook" OJ and not plain old "Food Matters" (which was issued last year (2009)) that your library has?

            (My library has all of the above, so, I'm lucky, but it sounds like it may not be representative.)

            ~TDQ

              1. re: pikawicca

                pika, could you clarify, are you saying you checked your library and it has also (same as Oakjoan's library) has a copy of the new Food Matters Cookbook (released in 2010) and not any of Around My French Table?

                ~TDQ

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Sorry, careless reading on my part. My library has neither.

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    I didn't notice if the book was the Food Matters Cookbook. Will check it out. Hadn't realized there were 2 books. Sorry.

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      TDQ, et al.

                      I just checked and both the Berkeley and Oakland libraries have the Food Matters Cookbook. Thanks for clarifying.

                      However, I'm still voting for Wolfert.

            1. re: Gio

              I've a little soured by BIttman's ever-presence, although I am very curious about this book because I'm generally interested in the topic. One thing we could do if people are concerned about the book being new is pair it with Food Matters, which came out last year and has 75 recipes..., all of which appear in the new Food Matters cookbook, I understand.

              I would really love to do the new Greenspan book. REALLY want to!

              ~TDQ

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                Well I tell you... I have Bittman's The Best Recipes... and really don't like it. Made several recipes and they were ... awful. However, I have to say there are some recipes he's posted on his various blogs that were really delicious. But this book, "The Food Matters Cookbook" brings together all that is good about cooking less meat and more vegetables, fruit and grains, etc. These recipes do work and the premise makes such sense.

                ETA: The recipes published in the smaller Food Matters book are included in the newer The Food Matters Cookbook.

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Here's a recipe pikawicca tried and liked from Food Matters Cookbook http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7340...

                    ~TDQ

            2. On 31 August Pikawicca started a dedicated discussion thread for "Around My French Table" and Joan N has been posting reports of the recipes she has nade. That's where my one and only report is too.
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7313...

              2 Replies
              1. re: Gio

                Once again, I'm nominating PAULA WOLFERT'S WORLD OF FOOD. Maybe someday I can wear you all down. It's in my local libraries and is probably available in paperback since it was published quite a while ago. I set out a bunch of the recipes in my nomination for last month's COTM if you want to check it out.

                1. re: oakjoan

                  PAULA WOLFERT'S WORLD OF FOOD

                  It's indexed on EYB, it's in my library, you can buy a copy for a penny on Amazon.

                  Here's Oakjoan's descriptive post from last month. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7326...

                  Oddly, the recipes oakjoan listed did not grab me, but when I scanned the listing of recipes on EYB, I found several that really did appeal to me! It's funny how I think oakjoan never steers me wrong, and, yet, our tastes are still so different.

                  ~TDQ

              2. Although I would love to do 'Around My French Table' I think it's just too recent to be generally available. So I'm going again for PLENTY plus OTTOLENGHI revisited just because I don't feel I have got my teeth into those books and I really want to.

                1. SWEET MYRTLE AND BITTER HONEY

                  Told you all I would try again.
                  Thanks, smtucker!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: rabaja

                    rabaja--I haven't seen that book, and would love to cook from it someday, but I'm just wondering, given the climate in Sardinia, if most of the vegetables the recipes will call for will be out of season in November. It seems to me that sm&bh would be a book to do in spring/summer. Or, am I mistaken?

                    ~TDQ

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      I just finished going through it page by page and yes, there are many recipes calling for fresh tomatoes and zucchini, along with basil here and there.
                      Yet, there is also a strong representation for crab, bottarga and a selection of fall/winter fruits and vegetables, with cooking methods that would translate well with the colder weather.
                      I have to say, I model my basic minestrone after his and make this dish all winter, using winter squash instead of summer, or any other easy substitution.
                      Whether we do it now or next year, it would be a joy to cook from together. His recipes for fregula with baby clams, lamb ravioli with lamb ragu and cauliflower with olives all just made my mouth water. Nice photography to inspire you to get into the kitchen.
                      Did I mention the chicories? The citrus? The nettles and salt cod and braised meat?!?!

                      1. re: rabaja

                        Here's MMRuth's dedicated thread for SMaBH srarted 13 Nov 2007:
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/460138

                        1. re: Gio

                          Thank you, apparently I really needed that.

                          Good to know I can cook and post away now, before all of the squash and tomatoes are gone!

                  2. It's that time of year:

                    THE COOKING OF SOUTHWEST FRANCE by Paula Wolfert

                    1 Reply
                    1. any WOLFERT book, preferably a couple to give people who have them a choice. Id particularly like world of food, southwest france, clay pot cookery.

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: jen kalb

                        jk: I like this idea. I'd choose the first two you mention. We've already done a Wolfert but it was one of her specialized books, i.e., the slow cooking one. Clay Pot Cookery sounds like another specialized tome. I agree with world of food and southwest france if we're doing 2.

                        1. re: oakjoan

                          This quote from Publishers Weekly scares me, "Be advised: although Wolfert does allow for less fattening substitutions, like olive oil for duck fat, this is not a cookbook for dieters. And many of these recipes will take hours, if not a full day, of preparation, but the food is worth the wait, and the weight."

                          http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Southwe...

                          I'd be more inclined toward "Clay Pot Cookery."

                          1. re: Gio

                            there are a range of recipes, not all time consuming and not all fattening. dont worry, whatever way. The Pub Weekly comment is not very smart.

                            1. re: jen kalb

                              Oil is just as fattening as animal fat (or more so). WORLD OF FOOD Paula Wolfert (or others of hers).

                            2. re: Gio

                              I am worried that The Cooking of SouthWest France would have low participation due to the complexity and richness of the recipes, a bit like the Paul Prud'homme month.

                              1. re: greedygirl

                                I think Southwest France is significantly more diverse and interesting than Paul Prudhomme - but I do recommend pairing it with another wolfert book. I hope folks will take a look at the book itself before dismissing it out of hand. Its not just confit, cassoulet and heavy cream by any means.

                                1. re: jen kalb

                                  Yes, I agree jen kalb. We took a look through it before I nominated it. GG mentioned that she was afraid that it might have a low participation, but this month's BC has a pretty low participation rate and it is exceedingly simple.

                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    I own the book but have yet to make anything from it as I have found it somewhat intimidating. Will have another look before nominating. I agree that BC is too simple - am really glad I decided not to buy it.

                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                      I haven't found a recipe of Ina Garten's that a) I want to make AND b) that isn't already online. I own Back to Basics but am thinking about getting rid of it. No point in having it clog my shelves if all of the recipes are available online, the collection is not particularly interesting or unique, and there aren't interesting photos etc. Especially since a master index of all her books is available. http://www.barefootcontessa.com/index... I seldom opt for "online" recipes over a hard copy book, but in this case, I think I might.

                                      ~TDQ

                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                        gg: Have you looked at PW's World of Food?

                                        I know that Southwest France has some recipes that are both difficult AND very rich. It also has a lot of other recipes that are not. I have found that I can make some of the recipes skipping parts - my favorite meat marinade comes from a recipe that also includes a container that is supposed to drip ham fat onto the meat and coals as the pork cooks. I've never made that part of the recipe, yet it's a huge success every time I serve it.

                                        The same goes for other recipes.

                                  2. re: greedygirl

                                    The reality is that the month's of November and December are usually low participation given the amount of holidays in the US. I *think* we've actually re-visited previous COTMs during these months. Or, maybe we combined the two months? It's a bit hazy and I'm a bit too lazy to look them up at this point.

                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                      The last two years we've done both, I think. Combined months and picked 2 former COTMs to re-visit for those combined months, except that in 09 we combined Nov/Dec and in 08 we combined Dec/Jan.

                                      November/December 2009 Roast Chicken and Other Stories
                                      November/December 2009 All About Braising

                                      January 2008 Zuni Café Cookbook
                                      December 2008 Sunday Suppers at Lucques

                                      ~TDQ

                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        I'm impressed with your research powers in the early am. I just aim to check my email, HC boards and then off to the gym or a run. Any more checking and I'm at the computer all am. ;-)

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          People went nuts for those books as I recall, partucularly the last 3.

                              2. Wolfert's THE COOKING OF SOUTHWEST FRANCE

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                  Wolfert's THE COOKING OF SOUTHWEST FRANCE

                                  I purchased this about a month ago and am really enjoying it so will give it my vote.

                                  1. re: marsprincess

                                    THE COOKING OF THE SOUTHWEST FRANCE

                                2. THE COOKING OF SOUTHWEST FRANCE

                                  1. PAULA WOLFERT'S - WORLD OF FOOD

                                    I've ordered The Cooking of SW France from Abe books but it hasn't arrived yet! I think it would be great to do both books but wasn't sure if I could nominate two.

                                    1. so - was there a result from this nomination? I have never participated but would like to give it a try.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: smilingal

                                        Neva-mind! I found the more current thread. See you all there!