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bayoucook Feb 8, 2011 05:51 AM

While we're enjoying cooking from this month's COTM, it's time to think about nominations for March 2011. Some of the books that were nominated or discussed last month were:

Nigel Slater - any or all of his books
Jamie Oliver - March as Jamie Oliver Month
Spices of Life by Nina Simonds
Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way by Lorna Sass
One Big Table - one of the most praised nominations

Nominations for those books or any cookbook of your choosing are now open to everyone. Please feel free to vote and participate; the more the merrier. Let us know why you like the cookbook. List any links to favorite recipes from the book, or be careful to paraphrase shared recipes (see Guidelines for Posting Recipes for more information).

Please nominate your book USING ALL CAPS FOR THE TITLE AND AUTHOR. To prevent any future confusion, I ask that you resist seconding or thirding a nomination; they can get out of order on the thread or be misconstrued by this coordinator.

Voting will end on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 12 noon, Central time. If the vote is too close to call, a run-off may be needed.

Looking forward to this and the next five months of nominations. Have fun and enjoy sharing!


  1. JoanN Feb 8, 2011 02:59 PM

    Thanks for stepping up to the plate, bayoucook.

    Could I ask you, please, to clarify something. If we aren't supposed to second a nomination, doesn't that mean there will only be one nomination for each book? Or do you mean that if we want to second a nomination we repeat the title and author in all caps rather than just say something like "+1" or "I second that"? And am I correct in interpreting your comment about "a runoff might be needed" to mean that if one title gets a majority of the nominations that will be the selection and there will be no vote?

    Just want to clarify, since this seems to be a change in procedure from the past. Nothing wrong with that. Just want to make sure we all understand just what the rules are.

    3 Replies
    1. re: JoanN
      bayoucook Feb 9, 2011 05:34 AM

      Hi JoanN - sorry about that confusion. I had noticed in reading other COTM threads that a few of the 2nd or 3rd-ing of a vote got "out of line" and it was a little hard to tell what they were seconding until I noticed who the 2nd or 3rd was referenced to. Of course you can still do it that way and I'll just be very careful to get the count right. Probably shouldn't have mentioned a run-off - I know that confused another voter as well. A run-off to me would have to be two or more books with the same number of votes; then it would be only fair to to do. I'm mostly t rying to abide by the posting rules of CH; I'm not a big rules person when it comes to enjoying things like this. My first time out might be a little shaky, but I promise it'll get better!


      1. re: bayoucook
        JoanN Feb 9, 2011 09:21 AM

        Apologies, bayoucook, if I was being a bit dense. Atherosclerosis of the brain cells as I dodder into senior citizenhood, I'm sure. Just wasn't sure what you meant when you said no seconding or thirding. And after the mini hoohah last month over there being no voting thread, I just wanted to make sure I was on the same page as everyone else.

        It's hard for me to believe that COTM has been going strong for four-and-a-half years now. New people have come; old people have gone. It doesn't hurt to reflect every once in a while on whether or not current procedures work best both for the coordinator and the participants. If you have a better way of doing something, I'll be first in line behind you. And I don't see any shaking at all. You're looking steady as a rock to me.

        1. re: JoanN
          bayoucook Feb 10, 2011 04:46 AM

          Thanks JN, please don't apologize, I think i was unclear on a couple of points. As far as the second- and thirding go, that's just me - i'm sure the next coordinator won't mind it at all. I may be relaxed about rules sometimes, but it's important to me to be *correct* and thorough. I wanted to get the best count of votes I could. I appreciate your support so much. -Paula

    2. LulusMom Feb 8, 2011 03:17 PM

      Alrighty then. I get back home March 5th, and would absolutely love to play along to JAMIE OLIVER MONTH. But I'm also happy to wait until April, since I have a feeling extreme fatigue will take over (or get even more extreme).

      4 Replies
      1. re: LulusMom
        blue room Feb 10, 2011 05:57 AM

        I was thinking to myself exactly that --that you'll be too tired/busy from 2 months out of the country to enjoy this! Do you feel like you wanna "come down" a little first?

        1. re: blue room
          LulusMom Feb 10, 2011 10:10 AM

          (picture me fuming in a hotel room after 6 weeks away) My husband has just informed me that he'll be gone *at least* 10 days over the months of March and April, I'll be happy to jump in and play whenever the chance comes up, but won't be doing quite as much as I would normally, I guess. Grrrrr.

          1. re: LulusMom
            The Dairy Queen Feb 10, 2011 11:09 AM

            Now is the time to dabble in a cuisine he doesn't prefer. For me, that would be Indian.


            1. re: The Dairy Queen
              LulusMom Feb 10, 2011 12:09 PM

              He eats most everything, and usually, when he is away, Lulu and I take advantage of his guilt and have ladies night out on his tab. Saves me the trouble of cooking for just me and a kid. I used to love to experiment with cooking while he was away, but now I often find myself so busy that it doesn't seem worth it. Soon, when Lulu can help a bit more (she already does some stuff, and it is great!), maybe this will change.

              but ... now that you mention it, there was that arugula pesto that people raved about during Fish without a Doubt month ...

      2. a
        anthony.izzo Feb 8, 2011 03:48 PM


        1. j
          JVHcook Feb 8, 2011 06:05 PM


          1. m
            MelMM Feb 8, 2011 06:06 PM

            I think we've been expecting this to be JAMIE OLIVER MONTH for a while, and I'd like to go along with that. I have three Jamie Oliver books, and I don't think I've cooked a single recipe, so this is the perfect opportunity to decide if these books deserve to stay in my collection.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MelMM
              JVHcook Feb 9, 2011 04:57 AM

              Looks like I'm going to be outnumbered on this one, I don't have any of his books yet. Any recommendations if I'm just going to buy one that might encompass some of his best recipes?

            2. Gio Feb 9, 2011 04:13 AM

              JAMIE OLIVER MONTH.

              I guess I'll jump on the JO bandwagon too. There are 2 of his books in my cookbook library and IIRC I've only cooked two recipes in two years from them. .

              1. g
                gembellina Feb 9, 2011 06:12 AM

                JAMIE OLIVER MONTH

                This is the only time I've owned one of the COTM books in advance of the month so he definitely gets my vote! Nigel Slater month would result in a lot of very fat Chowhounds - he's not shy about cream and butter...

                8 Replies
                1. re: gembellina
                  Gio Feb 9, 2011 07:29 AM

                  LOL, gembellina...! If we could survive Ina Garten we can survive anyone. Well, maybe not Paula D come to think about it. But I'm really waiting for a Japanese month. I just don't know which book to research first...

                  1. re: Gio
                    MelMM Feb 9, 2011 07:50 AM

                    Oh, I would love a Japanese month! Elizabeth Andoh's books would be a good choice.

                    1. re: MelMM
                      Gio Feb 9, 2011 07:54 AM

                      Thanks Mel. I have heard of her, actually. (maybe we can lobby for next month. Shhh... don't tell anyone yet.)

                    2. re: Gio
                      smtucker Feb 9, 2011 08:09 AM

                      YES! Washoku is the one I want to try, but not nominating this month 'cause the winds are blowing across a different ocean.

                      1. re: smtucker
                        The Dairy Queen Feb 9, 2011 09:11 AM

                        Yes, Atlantic ocean!


                      2. re: Gio
                        BigSal Feb 9, 2011 04:41 PM

                        I would also love a Japanese month (and a Korean and Thai month too).

                        1. re: BigSal
                          Breadcrumbs Feb 9, 2011 04:46 PM

                          yes, yes and yes! and can I add Vietnamese to the mix please!

                          1. re: Breadcrumbs
                            The Dairy Queen Feb 9, 2011 04:47 PM

                            We've already done a Vietnamese month (Sept 08), though I'd love to do another! I'd really be on board with a Thai month.



                    3. The Dairy Queen Feb 9, 2011 09:07 AM

                      Thank you, bayoucook! Not to worry, you're doing great so far.

                      Lots of people seem to be jumping on the Jamie O bandwagon, which is no problem because I like that band and would be happy to jump on board the wagon, but are you all basically just nominating Jamie's entire oeuvre? I wasn't participating in COTM back when we did Julia Child month, but I had always understood that people thought that month was too scattered which resulted in low participation. A glance back at the threads do show that poultry and meats seemed liveliest, but other threads seemed somewhat neglected. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4463...

                      Anyway, I own Jamie's Food Revolution, so, that's what I'll cook from if that's the direction we go...although, I'll probably want to ask oakjoan (longtime and delightfully persistent driver of the jamie oliver bandwagon) to remind us of what are her favorites of his books and try to get one or two from the library.


                      31 Replies
                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        smtucker Feb 9, 2011 09:40 AM

                        That is a lot of books, isn't it? I think you have a good point here tDQ.

                        1. re: smtucker
                          Mistral Feb 9, 2011 10:23 AM

                          JAMIE OLIVER MONTH

                          1. re: smtucker
                            LulusMom Feb 9, 2011 10:38 AM

                            I think it is a good point too, but I fear that the JO push will fall apart since, because he has so many books, everyone has a different one. I believe i have 2, maybe 3, but aside from the Italy one, am not sure which ones they are (not at home right now)

                            1. re: LulusMom
                              The Dairy Queen Feb 9, 2011 10:55 AM

                              Hmmmm...I don't want to derail jo month either.

                              Maybe we can table this discussion for now and should "jo month" win, then we can have a discussion either official (with bayoucook counting votes if she feels up to it and/or if she feels it necessary) or unofficial with people just weighing in with their favorite jo titles?

                              Even if we didn't "officially" narrow it down with an actual post-nomination vote, we might gravitate towards a couple of his books that most people own/and or like best?


                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                smtucker Feb 9, 2011 11:13 AM

                                For those of us with no Oliver books, could we consider posting some favorite books though? I have no idea what I would order from the library system. [Probably nothing with Kids or Revolution in the title. :-) ]

                                1. re: smtucker
                                  The Dairy Queen Feb 9, 2011 11:20 AM

                                  Ha! Ha!

                                  I always love to hear about people's favorite cookbooks, so, anyone who wants to chime in with his or her favorites will always get a warm reception from me!


                                  1. re: smtucker
                                    JoanN Feb 9, 2011 12:45 PM

                                    I'm with you, smtucker. Don't own a single one and wouldn't know where to start. I do, however, have a wonderful Jamie Oliver recipe in regular summer rotation: Seared Carpaccio of Beef with Roasted Baby Beets, Creamed Horseradish, Watercress and Parmesan. I think I saw him make it on one of his TV shows and it's on the Food Network site. I would be very interested to hear from those who do have his books which ones they like best and why.

                                    1. re: JoanN
                                      greedygirl Feb 10, 2011 01:09 AM

                                      That's from the second of the Naked Chef books. It does sound good - I have most of those things to hand so that might be dinner one of these days!

                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                    JVHcook Feb 9, 2011 04:50 PM

                                    Definitely agree with this. As I posted above if we end up doing this focusing mostly on one of his books would be best for those of us who don't have any yet. From the response so far, it sounds like it will be delicious.

                                  3. re: LulusMom
                                    LulusMom Feb 9, 2011 04:03 PM

                                    Ok, did a search on amazon to see what looked familiar, and Cook with Jamie - My guide to making you a better cook is definitely one I own, and possibly Jamie's Kitchen (probably, actually). And I haven't even touched Cook with Jamie - not even the preliminary go-through, because I was so hoping it would eventually get picked.

                                    Oh OakJoan, where are you when we need you???

                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                      The Dairy Queen Feb 9, 2011 04:45 PM

                                      OK, here's an oakjoan post from Nov in response to my question, which of JO's books was his best. She said she didn't know if he had a best, but she preferred one of his older books or a combo of his older books and tossed out

                                      The Naked Chef + Jamie's Kitchen (combo)


                                      The Naked Chef Takes Off + Jamie's Kitchen (combo)

                                      Hopefully she'll pop in with her own insights in her own words soon, but here's a link to her post I was citing.



                                    2. re: LulusMom
                                      Gio Feb 9, 2011 04:47 PM

                                      Well, I own "Jamie Oliver's Italy" (whodahthunk) and "Happy Days with the Naked Chef". Can't remember off the top of the old bean what I cooked from either but G reminds me that whatever it was he liked "it." Great recommendation, that. But I'll look through my files and see what recipes worked for us. Having said that we really should narrow it down to 1 book or 2...

                                      1. re: Gio
                                        BigSal Feb 9, 2011 04:57 PM

                                        I agree. Narrowing it down to 1 or 2 books would be very helpful. I have felt overwhwelmed working through the The Essential NYT tome and would welcome having fewer choices. I will look to those of you that have cooked from Jamie Oliver's cookbooks for guidance. In my cookbook buying frenzy this fall, I managed to acquire a number of his books, but have not cooked from them yet.

                                        1. re: BigSal
                                          sarahcooks Feb 9, 2011 05:14 PM

                                          I'm thinking maybe The Naked Chef (as the JO "classic") and Food Revolution (as a recent and very well known book) would work well together. Of course, I have neither, so I could be wrong. I'm ambivalent about doing JO, he's not really my style, and I have a complicated love/hate relationship with English food. My husband is English, so I think I can get away with saying that. Personally I'd love to do 660 Curries :)

                                          1. re: sarahcooks
                                            Breadcrumbs Feb 10, 2011 01:38 AM

                                            660 Curries is yet another wonderful but highly under-used book on my shelf Sarah
                                            ...I'd be up for a month at that point!

                                        2. re: Gio
                                          Gio Feb 11, 2011 03:18 AM

                                          Here are recipes I have cooked from the JO books I own:

                                          "Happy Days with the Naked Chef":
                                          Pot Roasted Pork
                                          Baked New Potatoes with Sea Salt and Rosemary
                                          Broccoli and Anchovy Orecchiette

                                          "Jamie's Italy":
                                          Roast Chicken (from the Arrosto Misto recipe)

                                          As I thumbed through the books I recalled that each recipe was very well written and the final dish delicious.

                                          1. re: Gio
                                            Jay F Feb 11, 2011 07:51 AM

                                            I would be interested in making JAMIE OLIVER's fresh pasta from JAMIE'S ITALY or COOK WITH JAMIE (and maybe others).

                                            Here's his "basic pasta dough recipe" I found online: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pa....

                                            Anyone else interested?

                                            1. re: Jay F
                                              The Dairy Queen Feb 11, 2011 08:09 AM

                                              I'm not especially interested in making fresh pasta because I have issues with carbs and I'm not especially interest in JO's Italy because I fear it will have too much overlap with the River Cafe books that were COTM's last summer...

                                              BUT for those of you who are interested:

                                              I noticed both "The Naked Chef" and the "The Naked Chef Takes Off" include that basic pasta dough recipe and many recipes that take off of it. I noticed a lot of ravioli recipes, for instance.

                                              The Naked Chef Takes Off also seems to have a few recipes that called for dried pasta. I didn't notice that in The Naked Chef, but perhaps it's because I flipped through that pasta section very quickly in a "that's not for me" sort of way.

                                              I also noticed a pretty decent bread baking section in "The Naked Chef."

                                              Here's a link to a search on EYB for "The Naked Chef" and "Pasta". Note that the results include ALL of his books that have "The Naked Chef" in the title, not just the two I mentioned, but at least this will give you a sense:



                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                Gio Feb 11, 2011 08:57 AM

                                                TDQ: As I thumbed through Jamie's Italy last night I didn't notice any recipe that reminded me of or overlapped any River Café recipe. Jamie's recipes are very thorough. Directions are explicit. When he gives a choice of ingredients they are precise or says something like, "the choice is yours" as in *which* Chardonnay to use, for example, but that's rare.

                                                1. re: Gio
                                                  The Dairy Queen Feb 11, 2011 09:06 AM

                                                  Oh, that's good feedback, thank you. The funny thing was, last night, as I was flipping through The Naked Chef Takes Off, the way he titled the recipes by their ingredients kind of reminded me of the way it was done in the River Cafe books, which let me to worry about JO's Italy a little. I'm still waiting for my copy of Italy to arrive from the library, so it's good to have your feedback on it!


                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                    LulusMom Feb 11, 2011 11:22 AM

                                                    One recipe (not really written as a recipe, more as an aside of things you can add to an antipasti plate) in the Italy book has become a staple in our house, and is Lulu's favorite food. In other words, I make it about twice a week - bean salad. It is lovely. I use canned white beans, mince a bit of shallot, add olive oil and lemon juice and some S&P. Delicious, healthy, and easy.

                                              2. re: Jay F
                                                roxlet Feb 11, 2011 04:03 PM

                                                I was watching an episode of No Reservations set in Tuscany, and AB decided to cook a recipe from JO's Italy book, and his Italian guests turned up their noses when he cooked a variety of carbonara that included (horrors!) meatballs. I think it was done as a gag, but I guess that says something about Jamie's Italian book.

                                                1. re: roxlet
                                                  smtucker Feb 11, 2011 04:14 PM

                                                  Gordon Ramsey has also done some Jamie recipes to "boos" on some of his shows. These guys all have big egos and like to do that dog-sniffing thing around each other.

                                                  1. re: roxlet
                                                    LulusMom Feb 12, 2011 09:10 AM

                                                    Even JO, on his own show (the one that went with the Italy book) would learn a recipe in one town, then try it the next town over only to be told how wrong it was. He became frustrated by the Italians always thinking a recipe was only right if it was done exactly they way they make it in their own town (or the way their own mama made it).

                                            2. re: LulusMom
                                              MelMM Feb 9, 2011 05:59 PM

                                              OK, a very good point about narrowing down the J.O. books. My suggestion would be perhaps to have a runoff vote to narrow them down. I have three, and haven't really cooked from them, but I pulled them all out tonight and here are my comments:

                                              Jamie at Home - this was the first I bought, and i was very impressed. It's partly a gardening book, which appeals to me. This book borders on being "Slaterish", to coin a term. Lots of text around the recipes, ingredient oriented, includes growing tips.

                                              Cook with Jamie - I bought this after Jamie at Home, because the latter was so impressive. This book is just full of great looking recipes. Broad in scope. Ingredient and technique advice scattered throughout. Recipe-wise, this is the one I am most anxious to explore.

                                              Jamie's Food Revolution - this is the one that has me asking why I bought it. Well, I bought it sight unseen. This book is about him getting people who don't cook at home to give it a shot. I am obviously not the target audience. The recipes in this book looked too basic for me, so it got shelved without me giving it much of a chance. So in one way, this is the least appealing book for me, but in another way, that is why I would like it to be COTM. It will force me to give it a fighting chance. This is very much family style home cooking. Lasagna, meatballs, hamburgers, and such. But a closer look shows me that there are some more interesting recipes. Pan-fried curried cod, for example. Who knows?

                                              These are all fairly recent books. I have not had cable since 2004, and even before that, I only saw J.O. on TV a couple of times, so I can't say I was a fan from TV. Seems fair to me to include one of the more recent books with an older one perhaps.

                                              1. re: MelMM
                                                greedygirl Feb 10, 2011 01:02 AM

                                                I would say definitely NOT Jamie's Food Revolution - as MelMM says we are not the target audience and it's too basic for us. My friend who's not an accomplished cook loves it though, and when we went round for dinner the other day all the dishes were JO!

                                                I have all the Naked Chef books, Cook with Jamie, Jamie's Kitchen and Jamie's Italy. I'd probably go with the Naked Chef, as the original, and Cook with Jamie.

                                                sarahcooks: Jamie Oliver trained at the River Café in London, and I'd say his food is heavily influenced, on the whole, by Mediterranean flavours. Not that there won't be the odd English classic in there, like chicken pie. Funnily enough, curry is considered very "English" these days - chicken tikka masala is one of our national dishes! I'm always surprised by what people consider to be "English food", because it bears no relation to my own opinion.

                                                1. re: greedygirl
                                                  sarahcooks Feb 10, 2011 04:26 AM

                                                  I have no problem with English classics (that's where the love part comes in), but I don't care for anglicized food from around the world. I think it might have been you who said you thought NYTCC was American but you couldn't identify exactly why. I can't always put my finger on what's different about a group of English recipes, but there's something different about them. Of course JO is a very talented chef so I'm willing to give his recipes a try! My opinions probably aren't fair in any case - I've spent at least two cumulative years in the UK, but I've never been able to afford eating at the best places, and my in-laws cooking skills vary....

                                                2. re: MelMM
                                                  herby Feb 10, 2011 05:45 AM

                                                  Jamie at Home sounds like a book I would enjoy reading and cooking from.

                                                  1. re: herby
                                                    sarahcooks Feb 13, 2011 08:30 AM

                                                    I agree, I've looked through them all on EYB and that's the one that stands out to me!

                                              2. re: smtucker
                                                Breadcrumbs Feb 9, 2011 10:41 AM

                                                That got my attention DQ. I just checked EYB and was shocked to see that evidently I own 8 Jamie Oliver books!! Not only do I have no idea where they might be, but I don't remember ever cooking from them except perhaps the Italy book but I might just have pulled it to compare a recipe w others.

                                                I'm definitely going to have to take a look tonight.

                                                I do think the sheer volume of recipes would be a little overwhelming. I know how much of my time it took to give thoughtful consideration to the numerous recipes in this COTM (ENYT). I thought Young's 2 books were manageable however neither were very big.

                                                I'll have to give this some thought.

                                              3. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                bayoucook Feb 10, 2011 04:50 AM

                                                Thanks, TDQ! The only one I own is Jamie At Home and I haven't read it yet. My library system is small so I doubt I'll be able to get my hands on all of his books. I know who he is, of course, but I've never made one of his recipes!

                                              4. w
                                                wineos Feb 9, 2011 01:57 PM

                                                JAMIE OLIVER MONTH!

                                                I have made a handful of recipes from Jamie at Home with much success. I also own Jamie's Food Revolution, which I haven't cooked from.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: wineos
                                                  herby Feb 9, 2011 02:58 PM

                                                  JAMIE OLIVER MONTH

                                                  I do not own any of JO books but watch and enjoy his TV show and recently made his leeks and turkey pie from his web site and it was decilious.

                                                  Let's select a book or two to cook from. I am looking to hear about everyone's favourites.

                                                2. Gio Feb 10, 2011 03:29 AM

                                                  There are a great many recipes at JO's website. Take a look, those of you without his books, and see what you think:

                                                  Personally, I'd probably go with Happy Days with the Naked Chef, just cuz I own it.. and one other book TBD.

                                                  1. j
                                                    JaneEYB Feb 10, 2011 01:01 PM

                                                    JAMIE OLIVER MONTH

                                                    I'm a big JO fan and own most of his books - just missing Food Revolution (too basic) and Jamie Does.. (haven't got around to buying it yet). So I would be happy with any of them but my favorites are Cook with Jamie, Jamie at Home and Jamie's Dinners. His new one Jamie's 30 Minute Meals is great but that's no good as it's only been published in the UK so far (it was the fastest selling non-fiction book EVER in the UK).

                                                    If it helps make up anyone's mind here are the recipe counts and a brief description of each book:

                                                    30-minute Meals - 118 recipes, quick dinners set up as menus, but only available in UK so far
                                                    Jamie's America - 199 recipes, his twists on American classics
                                                    Jamie Does... - 108 recipes, recipes from his travels to Marrakesh, Athens, Venice, Andalucia, Stockholm and the Midi Pyrenees region of France
                                                    Jamie's Food Revolution (called Jamie's Ministry of Food in the UK) - 170 recipes, Jamie's campaign to get families eating healthy, affordable home-cooked meals
                                                    Cook With Jamie - 165 recipes, a guide to making you a better cook (not too basic, lots of good recipes)
                                                    Jamie at Home - 120 recipes, part gardening book, part cookbook
                                                    Jamie's Italy - 131 recipes, as it says on the box
                                                    Jamie's Dinners - 158 recipes, family meals, appealing to kids and parents
                                                    Jamie's Kitchen - 118 recipes, a cooking course, how to shop & cook
                                                    Happy Days With the Naked Chef - 129 recipes, general
                                                    The Naked Chef Takes Off (titles The Return of the Naked Chef in the UK) - 147 recipes, general
                                                    The Naked Chef - 170 recipes, the start of it all!

                                                    So that's a total of 1,733 recipes which probably is rather too many for a month's review.

                                                    25 Replies
                                                    1. re: JaneEYB
                                                      Breadcrumbs Feb 10, 2011 01:10 PM

                                                      Thanks Jane that's very helpful!! Great context.

                                                      1. re: JaneEYB
                                                        JoanN Feb 10, 2011 02:56 PM

                                                        Curious why none of the Naked Chef titles are among your favorites. Before reading your post, I would have thought at least one of the seminal titles should be among the books selected. (Spoken, I repeat, as one who has never read a single one of his books but was rather fond of his early shows.)

                                                        1. re: JaneEYB
                                                          The Dairy Queen Feb 10, 2011 04:54 PM

                                                          Now that Jane's said that Jamie's 30 MInute Meals isn't readily available here, I really want it.


                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                            sarahcooks Feb 10, 2011 05:25 PM

                                                            Hah, I thought the same thing. Hope we decide quick because my MIL is coming to visit in less than a week and I can have her bring me a copy!

                                                            1. re: sarahcooks
                                                              JaneEYB Feb 10, 2011 05:53 PM

                                                              Sarah, I think it would be worth her bringing it anyway, even if it's not a COTM, but then, as I said, I love Jamie. I was trying to think Joan why I didn't list any Naked Chef books amongst my favorites, as they are the books I have had the longest. I think it's to do with Jamie's own life stages. When he wrote the Naked Chef books he was a young, cocky Jack-the-lad (is that just a Brit expression?) with no kids, well he had his first by the third NC book. But with the subsequent books he had a growing family so his cooking became more family oriented. Since I'm usually cooking for my family, those are the books I have gravitated more to.

                                                              Also, as he has got older he has gotten involved in causes for which I really admire him. He set up the Fifteen charity which provides culinary training to young adults who would have struggled to find employment. He has set up several Fifteen restaurants around the world that employ the trainees. Then he has his school lunches campaign trying to improve the dire quality of the food we provide to our children in schools. And finally he is trying to educate low-income parents in how to cook healthy, affordable food for their families. As you can maybe tell, I think the guy's a saint (well, a cheeky chappy type of saint).

                                                              1. re: JaneEYB
                                                                The Dairy Queen Feb 11, 2011 03:52 AM

                                                                Jane, I'm still curious about 30 minute meals. Have you actually cooked from it yet and, if so, what are your impressions? [I'm not suggesting this particular book as COTM, but I might wish to cook from it in an adjunct thread similar to what we did for Indian month or Ina Garten month.]

                                                                I reserved all of JOs books I could get my hands on from the library. Last night two had come in: "The Naked Chef" and "The Naked Chef Takes Off", which I brought home. I realize these books are about 10 years old, but how old (or more accurately), how YOUNG is this guy? [EDIT: per wikipedia he's 35 now, which would have made him 25 then.] He looks about 16 and there are numerous photos of him throughout the book. Sorry to say, totally turned off by the idea of getting cooking advice from a teenager. (I realize he's probably older than he looks...)

                                                                I think I prefer his newer books. I have Food Revolution (got a super good deal on it) and even though I think it's too basic for COTM, I would still rather cook from it than these two early books.

                                                                I don't say this to disuade anybody from their choices, this is just my impression.


                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                  greedygirl Feb 11, 2011 05:41 AM

                                                                  I looked briefly at 30-Minute Dinners, and rejected it on the basis that I wasn't interested in the premise of the book.

                                                                  1. re: greedygirl
                                                                    The Dairy Queen Feb 11, 2011 06:12 AM

                                                                    Yes, it's a very different kind of book and, in a way, I'm interested in it for that exact reason. But, I do have reservations, that's for sure.


                                                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                    JaneEYB Feb 11, 2011 06:30 AM

                                                                    I haven't actually cooked much from it as it went off to be indexed as soon as I got it from the UK. But I have read it from cover to cover and I want to cook most of the recipes (my criteria for a great cookbook). BTW, you can get it through The Book Depository with free international shipping though of course it would be UK measurements and ingredient names. Not a problem for me (I still prefer scales to cups even after 12 years being an "American") but it may be an issue for others.

                                                                    But the couple of recipes I have cooked - Cauliflower Macaroni and Tray Baked Chicken with Squashed Potatoes and Creamed Spinach - were really good everynight dinners. I didn't mind the menu format though it does make it slightly more difficult to follow if you aren't doing the entire menu. But a great idea for people who want to get an entire dinner on the table quickly. I agree that the timings are a bit off. I do think when cookbooks claim 30 minutes for recipes that they never allow for finding the ingredients! Searching through the fridge for those scallions you know you bought, finishing the soy sauce then having to hunt for the new bottle, etc.

                                                                    I wouldn't be put off TDQ by his young age when he wrote the Naked Chef books. He had been cooking almost his entire life (his parents owned a pub) and worked at the very good London restaurant The River Cafe (a favorite in my expense-account days). His writing style is rather cheeky chappy (that toned down as he got older) but there are some great recipes in those books.

                                                                    1. re: JaneEYB
                                                                      The Dairy Queen Feb 11, 2011 06:49 AM

                                                                      Jane, voice of reason, as always. :) Okay, I won't be put off the early books by Jamie's youth. I enjoyed the river cafe books very much when they were COTM. Jane, were you posting then?

                                                                      I continue to be interested in 30 Minute Meals. You're not doing anything to dissuade me! The dishes SOUND delicious when I read them.

                                                                      Like greedygirl, I was initially turned off by the premise of the book, but the more I looked at the menus, the more interested I became. And many people on Amazon UK who gave the book good ratings also mentioned they were intially put off by the format but we're pleasantly surprised once they started cooking from it.

                                                                      Hey, I figure you just can't OD on Jamie Oliver during JO MO, which is very clearly where we are headed for March, unless there's a sudden tidal wave of support for some other book!


                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                        JaneEYB Feb 11, 2011 08:28 AM

                                                                        No unfortunately I hadn't joined in on COTM when you did River Cafe. I used to cook a lot from those books but they have dropped out of my rotation a bit so it would have been good to rekindle interest. Too many cookbooks to cook from, too little time!

                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                          greedygirl Feb 13, 2011 08:02 AM

                                                                          Well, I've just watched an episode of the 30-minute meals TV programme and I have to say it was pretty good. I also reckon that us whizzo cooks could manage most of it in 30 minutes.

                                                                          Express COTM is a great idea btw.

                                                                          1. re: greedygirl
                                                                            The Dairy Queen Feb 13, 2011 08:19 AM

                                                                            I think I'm going to try a few of the 30 minute menus from his website before buying the book sight unseen...


                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                              Breadcrumbs Feb 13, 2011 08:26 AM

                                                                              Good plan DQ. Also, w any luck, our UK friends will cook from this book next month and share their experiences w us. I did look through the recipes on EYB and I must say, they did sound interesting.

                                                                              It's just that full-menu prep format that has me questioning it's utility in my kitchen.

                                                                    2. re: JaneEYB
                                                                      JoanN Feb 11, 2011 05:10 AM

                                                                      Thanks, Jane. Very helpful. Makes sense that someone who needs to cook for a family would get more use from books speaking directly to that need. What I enjoyed about one of the earlier JO TV shows (no idea which) was the whole concept of making a fun meal and then inviting your friends over to tuck in. Although I only actually cook like that perhaps no more than twice a month on average, I tend to prefer books that inspire that kind of cooking (with major caveats for all Chinese cookbooks and for Fish Without a Doubt, which are the books I use more than any other to get my own quick dinners on the table).

                                                                    3. re: sarahcooks
                                                                      The Dairy Queen Feb 11, 2011 03:43 AM

                                                                      Sarah, how lovely to have your own personal cookbook courier! Even if this particular book isn't chosen and you still wish to cook from it, it might not be a bad idea to set up an adjunct thread for "all other JO recipes" similar to the one we did for "Indian" month. It's not an official part of cookbook of the month, but it's a fun way to dip into the author's other recipes. It seems we all own different JO books.

                                                                      If you are curious about this book, you can have a look at some of the recipes of the book on JO's website. The book is set up somewhat unconventionally. http://www.jamieoliver.com/jamies-30-minutes-meals/

                                                                      He has about 14 "recipes" from the book on the website, but each recipe is really a recipe for an entire meal (3-4 courses), including dessert, for instance:

                                                                      piri piri chicken (which sounds really good!), dressed potatoes, rocket salad, quick portuguese tarts.


                                                                      tasty crusted cod (also sounds good!), my mashy peas, tartare sauce, warm garden salad

                                                                      The entire meal is treated as a single recipe with the steps intermingled. If you plan on cooking the entire meal, I'll bet it's terrific. But, if you just want to cook, say, the main dish, then I wonder if it might be frustrating to wade through just the directions for the particular dish you have in mind. I seldom eat dessert so, I know I will perpetually be cutting out the dessert steps. I've been reading comments on the Amazon UK site and people don't seem to mind wading through the recipes just to cook a single dish, so, that might be a non-factor.

                                                                      Also, I am perpetually making substitutions to accommodate my diet. For instance, I see a recipe where he calls for egg noodles. I'd want to use whole wheat noodles, and I could see how that would throw the steps off, but, then again I should have extra time since I'm skipping the dessert steps!

                                                                      This book is marked as "index soon" on EYB. It will be interesting to see how they index. Will they treat the entire "meal" as a single recipe?

                                                                      One consistent comment on Amazon UK is that it really takes more than 30 minutes (especially the first time around), more like 45mins to an hour. Still, that's not bad!

                                                                      Here are the menus I've cleaned from various sources:

                                                                      ~Smoked salmon, potato salad, beets & cottage cheese, rye bread & homemade butter
                                                                      ~Broccoli orecchiette, courgette & bocconcini salad, prosciutto & melon salad
                                                                      ~chicken skewers, amazing satay sauce, fiery noodle salad, fruit & mint sugar
                                                                      ~steak Indian-style, spinach & paneer salad, naan breads, mango dessert
                                                                      ~mustard chicken, quick dauphinoise, greens, black forest affogato
                                                                      ~Spring lamb, vegetable platter, mint sauce, Chianti gravy, chocolate fondue
                                                                      ~Trapani style rigatoni, griddled chicory salad, rocket and Parmesan salad, limoncello kinda trifle.
                                                                      ~tapas feast: tortilla, glazed chorizo, manchego cheese, cured meats & honey, stuffed peppers, rolled anchovies
                                                                      ~green curry, crispy chicken, kimchee slaw, rice noodles
                                                                      ~pregnant Jools’s pasta, crunchy chicory & watercress salad, little frangipane tarts
                                                                      ~spinach & feta filo pie, cucumber salad, tomato salad, coated ice cream
                                                                      ~roast beef, baby Yorkies, little carrots, crispy potatoes, super-quick gravy
                                                                      ~thai red prawn curry, jasmine rice, cucumber salad, papaya platter
                                                                      ~piri piri chicken, dressed potatoes, rocket salad, quick portuguese tarts
                                                                      ~Tray baked chicken, squashed potatoes, creamed spinach, strawberry slushie
                                                                      ~Tasty crusted cod, my mashy peas, tartare sauce, warm garden salad
                                                                      ~pork chops and crispy crackling, crushed potatoes, minty cabbage, peaches and custard.

                                                                      You can also go to Amazon UK and read about 400 reviews there. Overall it has 4 1/2 stars.


                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                        The Dairy Queen Feb 12, 2011 05:23 AM

                                                                        I noticed that Jamie's 30 Minute Meals is now indexed on EYB, that is in the past 24 hours. (Also, "Jamie does...") So, now nearly all of Jamie's books, certainly the ones discussed in this thread, have been indexed. There are a few seemingly obscure ones that haven't been indexed. And remember, you don't have to be a member of EYB to look at the listing of recipes (and related ingredients).

                                                                        I was wondering how EYB was going to index 30 Minute meals, whether they were going to treat an entire menu as a single recipe the way Jamie does or make them separate recipes. They did the latter, listing them as separate recipes, but then also include the rest of the menu as "accompaniments." Also, it's pretty easy to figure out the menu if you look at the recipe listing sorted "in book order."



                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                          Breadcrumbs Feb 12, 2011 05:29 AM

                                                                          Thanks for sharing that DQ! I find the "Accompaniments" feature on EYB to be especially helpful.

                                                                          In this month's COTM, Hesser suggests dishes that would work w the recipes she's included so once I'd bookmarked all the recipes that interested me in EYB, I printed out a list to help me plan menus. The "accompaniments" also appear on the recipe lists so it made menu planning that much simpler.

                                                                          EYB makes COTM so much easier!!

                                                                    4. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                      LulusMom Feb 10, 2011 06:55 PM

                                                                      It's like we have some sort of sickness isn't it? i thought the same thing. But surely it will be out in the US soon.

                                                                      1. re: LulusMom
                                                                        The Dairy Queen Feb 11, 2011 03:55 AM

                                                                        I'm certain it will, though it's not available for pre-order or anything like that on Amazon as far as I can tell!


                                                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                        Breadcrumbs Feb 11, 2011 12:57 PM

                                                                        Gosh that's funny, I thought the very same thing as well!! Then I was totally relieved to learn I wasn't alone as I read further along down the thread!

                                                                        All this talk about 30 Minute Meals made me think it would be fun to do a "30 Minute or Express COTM" at some point. There seem to be a number of popular books like this . . . authors//books that come to mind right away: Nigel Slater, Jamie Oliver, Cooks Illustrated, Martha Stewart, Weight Watchers, America's Test Kitchen, Nigella Lawson....

                                                                        I find that when I'm selecting COTM dishes, I'm always looking for the quick and easy ones for weeknights anyway and I wonder if other folks are in the same boat ?

                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                          The Dairy Queen Feb 11, 2011 01:01 PM

                                                                          What an interesting idea! I would be on board with that!


                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                            LulusMom Feb 12, 2011 09:13 AM

                                                                            Oh me too! The more quick but very tasty meals I have in my pocket, the better. I can highly recommend the sausages (I use turkey) in spicy tomato sauce over polenta in Nigella's book.

                                                                          2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                            sarahcooks Feb 11, 2011 04:53 PM

                                                                            Definitely, that's all I have time for. I just can't participate when the cookbook is too hardcore. Wouldn't mind a healthy cooking month either.

                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                              greeneggsnham Feb 12, 2011 07:31 AM

                                                                              Excellent idea! I am in the same boat, exactly-- although weekends are hardly any better these days! I would love a COTM express month!

                                                                        2. The Dairy Queen Feb 11, 2011 04:42 AM

                                                                          JAMIE OLIVER MONTH WITH RUNOFF VOTE FOR 2-3 BOOKS, ADJUNCT THREAD FOR THE REST.


                                                                          1. v
                                                                            vickstersb Feb 11, 2011 04:48 AM

                                                                            JAMIE OLIVER

                                                                            1. s
                                                                              smtucker Feb 11, 2011 06:56 AM

                                                                              I find myself feeling great empathy for bayoucook on her first month of coordinating this free-flowing group.

                                                                              Could we suggest that bayoucook list all the Jamie Oliver books in the "run-off" and we each vote for two? The two books with the highest number of votes are the "official books" with a third thread for online and other books?

                                                                              Feedback welcome, of course.

                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                              1. re: smtucker
                                                                                Gio Feb 11, 2011 07:16 AM

                                                                                That's the method we used for Ina Garten's month. One "official" book and a separate report thread for her other books and on-line recipes. Seems to me that worked quite well.

                                                                                1. re: smtucker
                                                                                  The Dairy Queen Feb 11, 2011 07:34 AM

                                                                                  Yes, that's exactly what I was proposing in my nomination above.



                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                    smtucker Feb 11, 2011 07:47 AM

                                                                                    So you did! Good idea. :-)

                                                                                    1. re: smtucker
                                                                                      greedygirl Feb 11, 2011 07:47 AM

                                                                                      Maybe the Naked Chef books could count as one as it's likely that people have one and not the other?

                                                                                      1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                        The Dairy Queen Feb 11, 2011 08:14 AM

                                                                                        According to EYB, there seem to be three Naked Chef books, though. That's a lot of books to count as "one" book...unless we choose just those three and not a "second" book because now that would be four books, which I think might be too many.

                                                                                        I personally would be fine with just the three by the way, though obviously others may feel differently.

                                                                                        Or, are some of these the same books, with different titled for the US & UK versions?

                                                                                        The Naked Chef (USA)
                                                                                        The Return of the Naked Chef (US)/The Naked Chef Takes Off (UK)
                                                                                        Happy Days with the Naked Chef


                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                          JaneEYB Feb 11, 2011 08:24 AM

                                                                                          I think that's a good idea to count the Naked Chef books as one - they jointly contain 417 recipes which is the size of many cookbooks we have covered. With 12 books to choose from, the danger is that no two books will get an overwhelming vote, as most people will likely vote for the book they own or can get from their library. Excluding the NC books (which collectively would probably be the top choice) it's likely the other choice would be one of these three - Jamie's Italy, Cook With Jamie and Jamie at Home.

                                                                                          Good luck with this one bayoucook!

                                                                                        2. re: smtucker
                                                                                          The Dairy Queen Feb 11, 2011 08:15 AM

                                                                                          Great minds think alike as they say, although, your mind is greater since you're a former coordinator. :)


                                                                                      2. re: smtucker
                                                                                        bayoucook Feb 12, 2011 05:59 AM

                                                                                        Hey S. ! That would work for me.

                                                                                      3. g
                                                                                        greeneggsnham Feb 12, 2011 07:33 AM

                                                                                        I will get on the bandwagon and go for JAMIE OLIVER MONTH. I think Jamie's DInners appeals to me the most. I have Jamie's Kitchen and have only cooked a few things out of it, but was happy with what I cooked. I will have to dust that one off as well. I think the idea of an "other sources" thread makes a lot of sense. I didn't realize he was such a prolific cookbook writer.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: greeneggsnham
                                                                                          The Dairy Queen Feb 12, 2011 08:21 AM

                                                                                          He apparently has a magazine, too.


                                                                                        2. The Dairy Queen Feb 12, 2011 09:15 AM

                                                                                          The run-off thread is up! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/765656


                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                            Gio Feb 12, 2011 09:26 AM

                                                                                            Right... Let The Fun Begin. (^^)//

                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                              herby Feb 18, 2011 04:41 PM

                                                                                              TDQ, how did you know that the thread is up? I am so lost at finding things on the site it is pathetic!

                                                                                              1. re: herby
                                                                                                The Dairy Queen Feb 18, 2011 04:45 PM

                                                                                                It was stuck to the top of the home cooking board when I noticed it. I was kind of on the lookout for it, since bayoucook said the nominations would go through Feb 12, noon. You know the "winners" have now been announced, right? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7661...


                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                  herby Feb 18, 2011 05:15 PM

                                                                                                  I am having hard time searching. The other time I wanted to see what COTMs there were and couldn't find a single one!

                                                                                                  Yes, I know that winners were announced - thanks to you:) - and already put holds on the Naked Chef and Jamie's Italy at the library. Jamie's Kitchen is available at my library branch which is amazing because my branch is tiny and almost always never has the books that I want - cookbooks and others. I really wanted to cook from Jamie's Kitchen (love the show and recipes but never made any) and will do so posting to the adjacent thread. This is going to be a fun month:)

                                                                                                  1. re: herby
                                                                                                    Caitlin McGrath Feb 18, 2011 05:23 PM

                                                                                                    herby, this is a really useful page, which shows ALL the current and past COTMs: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

                                                                                                    It is usually included in the current COTM thread at the top of the board, but it's handy to bookmark it, too.

                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                      herby Feb 18, 2011 05:31 PM

                                                                                                      Thank you very much, Caitlin! I bookmark it to my Yahoo bookmarks but there must be a way to do it in Chow, no?

                                                                                                      1. re: herby
                                                                                                        smtucker Feb 18, 2011 06:07 PM

                                                                                                        You can make it a favorite in Chow. The button is called "Save to Profile." You should see this button at the top of every thread.

                                                                                                        To get back to it, click on your name in the upper right corner of the window, and then there is a navigation tab across your profile, below the title, above your recent posts. Go to "Favorites" and you will have a list of your favorites waiting for you.

                                                                                                        This is really non-intuitive, but it sure does work.

                                                                                                        1. re: smtucker
                                                                                                          Caitlin McGrath Feb 18, 2011 06:22 PM

                                                                                                          Unfortunately, that nifty trick doesn't work for the COTM Archive page, because it is not a CH thread or a Chow recipe or whatever other Chow content you can save to your profile with a button (at least, there is no button on that page). And since there doesn't seem to be a link indexed anywhere, you pretty much have make a browser bookmark for it.

                                                                                                    2. re: herby
                                                                                                      The Dairy Queen Feb 18, 2011 07:52 PM

                                                                                                      I am pretty overwhelmed by JO books at the moment, since I have 7-8 of them (and a couple of DVDs) out of the library. I've flipped through all of the books quickly, just to get a sense of them, but I'm going to have to go through more systematically now and mark recipes with post-it notes or something. I'm trying to eat less refined carbs, so I think I will narrow it down at the outset by skipping all of his recipes for fresh pasta, risotto, bruschetta, and sandwiches. Also, I'll probably skip the dessert at first. I might try his pizza topping recipes, but see if I can't find a whole wheat crust recipe somewhere (I'm open to recommendations if anyone has one to recommend!). So, hopefully that leaves me with meat, fish, poultry and vegetables. Opps, I mean "veg." HA!

                                                                                                      And, you're right, Chowhound's search function can take a little getting used to.

                                                                                                      But, for COTM, the most important threads are usually included in the "sticky topics" at the top of the Home Cooking Board. If you don't have it bookmarked in your browser for whatever reason (if you're using an unfamiliar computer perhaps?) the link to the COTM "archive page" is usually included in one of the "sticky" COTM links. For instance right now the link to the COTM archive is included in the February COTM "Master Thread." http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7632... You can reach all of the current month's threads via the master thread. And you can reach all prior month's master threads via the COTM archive page that Caitlin linked.

                                                                                                      Any thread you post in will appear in "MY RECENT THREADS" on your profile page, which you can access by clicking on your user name (profile) in the upper right hand corner of the screen. I try to comment early in the month in each of the COTM threads (work hard to find something interesting/useful to say!) so that anytime someone posts in one of those threads it will pop up as "new" on my "My Recent Threads" list, which I check obsessively.


                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                        Caitlin McGrath Feb 18, 2011 08:00 PM

                                                                                                        Soup, don't forget soup! I picked up Jamie's Italy from the library today, and have only taken the barest look, but immediately flipped through the soups (the dank, rainy weather has put me in a soup state of mind), and there seemed to be a number of healthful choices. Next week I'll get some NC books, which are in trasit to my branch library.

                                                                                                        Having finally laid hands on ENYT a week before the end of Feb., I may start with the soup chapter...

                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                          The Dairy Queen Feb 18, 2011 08:06 PM

                                                                                                          I finally flipped through the soup chapter in ENYTC and there are some very appealing recipes in there. (I need to enter the recipes I flagged into EYB so I can find them easily.)

                                                                                                          This is a perfect time of year for soup, so you're right, I should be on the lookout for those in JO books, too!


                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                            The Dairy Queen Feb 18, 2011 08:10 PM

                                                                                                            P.S. I'm glad you were able to get your hands on the book! It's so frustrating to watch from the virtual sidelines. Fortunately, this is a book that will take a lot longer than a month to make a dent in anyway, so no worries, I think we'll all be posting in those ENYTC threads long after February.


                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                              Caitlin McGrath Feb 18, 2011 08:54 PM

                                                                                                              It. might take longer than a month just to skim through, but yes I will be returning to threads, I'm sure.

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