HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

APRIL 2011 COTM NOMINATIONS.

It's almost spring, and it's time to nominate our cookbook of the month for April. Nominations recently included One Big Table, Nigel Slater month, 660 Curries, and a Japanese/Korean/Thai/Vietnam month (and/or). Whole Grains Every Day by Lorna Sass and Spices of Life by Nina Simonds were also mentioned. So what are you in the mood for for April? Please nominate your choice ALL IN CAPS and let's get ready for something new!

Deadline for nominations is March 16th at 5pm CDST.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Thanks for kicking this off bayoucook, my first thought was "Wow, is it that time again already?!!"

    I'm really not sure what to nominate for April. I'll definitely be taking a look at my bookshelf. Topics of particular interest to me at the moment are:

    - Korean cooking
    - Quick / 30 minute meals
    - Ethnically inspired dinners

    I'll be looking at my bookshelf w these themes in mind. Can't wait to see what others are thinking and considering.

    I am loving the JO COTM however one thing I am feeling this month is that it doesn't feel as cohesive as (the few) prior months I've participated in. I think that's because Jamie has so many books and, we essentially have 3 separate threads underway, it doesn't feel as much like we're all cooking together as it did in previous months. I think just as many folks are probably cooking, but because we're not always posting in the same place, somehow there isn't that "community feel" that I got from other months. . . especially the Grace Young month.

    I'll be interested to see if others are feeling this. Also, there seemed to be such a high level of energy in the days leading up to JO month so maybe once we all got cooking from separate books our combined energy has just been dispersed over the three threads.

    I'm definitely cooking just as many COTM dishes as I have in the past and as I said earlier, we've been loving the recipes so I 'm not quite sure what's making me feel this way.

    45 Replies
    1. re: Breadcrumbs

      I am with you, Breadcrumbs. I made a few JO dishes and loved most of them but the sense of the chow community cooking together did not come through for me. I think it is largely due to the fact that we selected four (!) books to cook from plus a side thread for other books. I borowed three books from the library since I do not have any of JO books and mainly cooked from The Naked Chef and Jamie's Italy - good recipes in both. The third one - Jamie's Kitchen - did not inspire me at all; maybe because it was suppose to be Jamie at Home:)
      What to cook from next month?
      I am wondering about One Big Table.
      Quick meals and cooking for one or two are very appealing to me as well - do not a book suggestion for it but will research if others are interested.

      1. re: herby

        I think one big table is too similar to the essential new York times cookbook which we just finished in January. I think we should wait a few months before selecting another compendium style cookbook.

        I agree with the comments above that multiple titles lead to a poor discussion. I always prefer the one title months. What does everyone think of a non-cookbook cookbook this month (one that recommends using your instincts rather than a set recipe).

        I have two in mind: THE FLAVOR BIBLE or Nigel's APPETITE. I have both on loan from the library and I wouldn't mind owning either of them. I think it would make for a great discussion and remind us how simple food is often the best.

        1. re: dkennedy

          I have The Flavor Bible on my shelf, but cannot locate a copy of Appetite. Must have been out of print for a while because only used ones are offered for 72.00 at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, not available at all at Borders. If anyone can find it for less please let us know!

          1. re: bayoucook

            Really, I see copies available at Amazon starting at $23.83. Maybe you didn't check all formats.

            1. re: dkennedy

              dk - rechecked by entering all books by nigel and found it in paperback and hardcover for near that price - thanks -

      2. re: Breadcrumbs

        Still looking at my bookshelves and realizing I would be very interested in a vegetarian book as well. I now have 4 Moosewood books on my shelf and have only cooked from one as yet and I'm very interested in Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian.

        I'm not ready to make a nomination yet and still looking . . .

        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          Hey breadcrumbs! One of my favorites is Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison (James Beard winner). Love the soups, salads, sandwiches, everything, and enjoyed the chapter on Foundations of Flavor: Seasonings in the Kitchen. I use many of the veggie casseroles in there to replace carb-rich sides when we're dieting too. If you enjoy this genre, you might want to take a look at it.

          1. re: bayoucook

            My go to vegetarian cookbook is Verdura.

            1. re: dkennedy

              Thanks bayoucook and dk!

              dk, I recently purchased Verdura from Abe's as it was ridiculously inexpensive. I haven't even had a chance to look through it yet but will pull it off the shelf today and do so.

              bayoucook, I'd hummed and haaa'd about whether or not to purchase Deborah Madison's book. I have her "Local Flavors" book so I thought I'd take a closer look at that before investing in another one of her books. That said, the fact that it was a past COTM (if memory serves) and, is one of the most Popular books in EYB has been influencing me.

              I ended up purchasing Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian because of the huge variety of dishes and cuisines it offered. Since mr bc isn't even remotely interested in meatless dishes, I'm going to have to make them as enticing and varied as possible. I have to say that on first pass today, I'm seeing tons of recipes I'd like to try.

              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                If you already have Verdura, look up the recipe for the potato and artichoke cake. So yummy!

                I am sick in bed so I will likely be posting all day!

                1. re: dkennedy

                  Oh so sorry you're under the weather. Thanks for the tip on that cake, I've made a note in my book and in EYB.

                  Actually, once I pulled out the book I realized I did try one dish the day the book arrived, the Bruschetta w Warm Ricotta and Oregano which we adored.

                  Thank you so much for the Potato and Artichoke Cake recommendation dk, it looks sensational and I know we'd love it. p. 266 for those of you w the book.

                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                    As a bean-loving honorary Tuscan, you should also take a look at her recipe for Grilled Bread with Rosemary-Scented White Bean Puree. Another bruschetta winner.

                    1. re: JoanN

                      Ah, you know me well Joan! That sounds amazing! I like the idea of sprinkling it with diced tomato as well. I've made a note in the book and added it to my "Bean Bruschetta" bookmark in EYB (you picked a winner for me! we love bean bruschetta so much I even have a bookmark for just those recipes !!)

                      If you happen to own Molto Gusto, I'd highly recommend the Ceci Bruschetta there.

                      Thanks Joan!

                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                        The only Batali book I have is The Babbo Cookbook. I took Molto Italiano (is Molto Gusto still another book?) out of the library when it was COTM but didn't feel compelled to buy it.

                        Speaking, though, of bruschetta, do you have Michele Scicolone's The Antipasto Table? Some marvelous recipes in that book, but not one for a bean bruschetta.

                        1. re: JoanN

                          Yes Joan, Molto Gusto is a different book and I've likely made a dozen recipes from it w no disappointments yet.

                          Funny you should ask about The Antipasto Table, it's been sitting in my cart at Abe's for a couple of weeks now. Someone else had recommended it to me and I keep meaning to look through the recipes in EYB since I wasn't familiar w the book. That said, I just "checked out" based on your recommendation, your meal choices always appeal to me! Thanks!

                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                            That's a rather heavy responsibility on my aging shoulders, but I do think you'll enjoy it. I've had a few antipasto-only parties and many if not most of the recipes have come from that book.

                            1. re: JoanN

                              Oh I'm sure I'm going to love it Joan and like you, we often do antipasto-only parties, especially in the summer time. I'm glad to be adding this to my collection, thank-you!

                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                          Antipasto only parties, how do I get on your invite list?

                          I will have to take a look at that white bean recipe as well. I am another WB fan.

                  1. re: bayoucook

                    Looks really good - saw Verdura - cooking vegetables Italian style - right?

                    1. re: bayoucook

                      Yes, that's the one! I also love a soup made with beet tops out of that book.

            2. re: Breadcrumbs

              I am still cooking through my Wolfert books (need to post some reviews of these wonderful recipes) so I am not interested in another french book right now.(AMFT). Would support a Hazan month, but I would like to use my nominations for

              (1) David Thompson THAI FOOD and secondarily This older and slightly simpler book CLASSIC THAI cooking, many cheap copies are available http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Thai-Cu...

              (2) OTTOLENGHI -PLENTY + original + online recipes. Decided to wait for a while on this but would like to get back and concentrate for a while and he has good recipes for spring veg and vegetables generally.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Too bad about amft, Jen, but I agree with you regarding Ottolenghi. Especially Plenty. I've had it for months now but haven't cooked much from it yet. His first book is one of my Very Favorites.

                1. re: Gio

                  April is a little bit early for the spring veg to have really arrived in the UK, but I was also thinking that Spring/ early Summer might be a good time to do Plenty.

                  1. re: greedygirl

                    Yes of course, GG. Early Summer would be perfect. I just hope Plenty will be readily available to those who want to cook from it.

                    1. re: Gio

                      It is available for a good price in the US at Amazon now http://www.amazon.com/Plenty-Vibrant-...

                      Most of it is on the guardian online.
                      Probably not in libraries much
                      There is a limit to how high we should build the barrier to chosing a book. anyone participating in this site has a computer and presumably at this stage could print.out dozens of online recipes if their local library didnt have it.

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        Yeah, but I DO think being able to actually LOOK at and read the book is just a more meaningful existence. And if libraries don't have it yet, for a lot of people that means they won't be able to participate, or won't be as interested.

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          Sure, Everybody has some limitations that apply to them or preferred modes - for example the only Jamie Oliver that was available in my library when I went over there this month was the original Naked Chef and it just didnt ring my bells.

                          If people dont like the mode of availability they can always vote for a different book, but once some threshhold of overall availability is reached a book shouldnt be considered ineligible for COTM.

                          1. re: jen kalb

                            Totally agree. But I think one of those thresholds that should be important is availability in libraries. Unfortunately it isn't available in mine, and I'm guessing many others.

                            1. re: LulusMom

                              I have to disagree on that one (my personal view) What you are saying, basically, is that it should be required that the participants can hold the physical cook book in your hand at no expense.. To me, if most or many of the recipes are avaialble on line, (i.e. for free) as is the case with Plenty, which is mainly a complilation of guardian online recipes, which are published with nice pictures too, and can be searched, the need for the library availability is greatly diminished and it becomes mainly a personal preference to hold the book without buying a copy. .

                              Given that we have participants in both the US and UK, and other places as well its unrealistic to expect that libraries in both places will ever hold all the worthwhile books of foreign origin we want to do. In that case an online cache of recipes is a godsend.

                              PS how long are we even going to HAVE these physical books? My 20-something daughter mostly looks up recipes online tho she does have some books.

                              1. re: jen kalb

                                In my view, access to physical books should be on of the thresholds of COTM. Many of us don't have the monetary or physical resources to buy all the cookbooks, esp without seeing/testing the book first. And, looking at recipes on the internet isn't the same. Personally, I have a really hard time browsing recipes on my computer. My attention span is shorter and all the words start blurring together. Moreover, many recipes on line aren't the same as in the printed form.

                                COTM did use an online source (Leite's) as the COTM once. My memory is that it wasn't too successful for a variety of reasons. To choose a book that isn't readily available to library systems, puts those of us who don't have easier access to a physical book in a position of not participating because of this limitation.

                                Plenty has just been released in the US. It will take a few months for libraries to buy and catalog these books into the system. And, since it is a US publication, libraries are more inclined or able to purchase this book unlike UK only publications (like the Slater, Ottolenghi, Rose Bakery books).

                                Lastly, there are thousands of cookbooks out there. Have we cooked from all the older ones that are worth exploring?

                                1. re: beetlebug

                                  Good point regarding the older books bb and I'm very happy to cook from those.

                                  I love the COTM and my primary purpose in participating is to better utilize my cookbook collection. I'm especially excited in months like this (JO month) when I'm getting an opportunity to cook from books that have been collecting dust on my shelves for years.

                                  Maybe we can make more use of EYB's "search by popularity" feature to help us make better nominations. I'm imagining that if a lot of folks have a particular book on their shelves it would be fair to assume it is more widely available.

                                  Being from Canada, I too face accessibility issues. For example, Ottolenghi's Plenty just became available here last week so most of us don't have that book as yet, even though it may have been out for a while in the UK or US. Of course I could have purchased it at a premium prior but I prefer not to do that as I spend enough on cookbooks already!! I have found Abe's books to be a wonderful source for older books I've wanted to add to my collection but, then again, you need some lead time to account for shipping. I ordered JO's Happy Days w the Naked Chef on Feb 12th and though its only coming from the US, I still haven't received it.

                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                    Plenty just came out in the us as well. My friend who bought a copy off amazon hasn't received hers yet either.

                                  2. re: beetlebug

                                    "Have we cooked from all the older ones that are worth exploring?"
                                    Not even close to debatable, the answer being *no*.
                                    If anyone's inclined, take a look at Lee Bailey. http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Bailey/e/B0...
                                    Lovely food and the books are literally pennies.

                                    1. re: blue room

                                      ;-) It was more of a (badly) made point. With all the thousands of cookbooks on there, why are we so focused on making a new, not easily accessible cookbook as COTM? Lee Bailey's cookbooks do look lovely. Maybe you should nominate a couple in the near future.

                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                        BB, not to belabor the point but the reason to do any cookbook is because we think it will be interesting, good, even exciting cooking and eating. surely you dont mean to say that a book that can be purchased on Amazon for $20 bucks and has all its recipes online is inaccessible?

                                        There are surely many dozens of cookbooks that meet a standard of interest. I have plenty ofthem in my bookshelf. But for every person who would prefer an older book there is another that wants "the latest" in a genre or a tv chef book de jour. so we have to balance.

                      2. re: greedygirl

                        when do you get that purple sprouting broccoli he uses. I have NEVER seen that here in the US.

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          In California it is avaiable at the Farmers Market during ita very short season

                          1. re: jen kalb

                            We get it for quite a long time these days as it's bedome very popular. I think the farmer's market have it for most of the year but especially in early winter and early spring. It's much nicer than regular broccoli.

                            1. re: greedygirl

                              "...nicer than regular broccoli." Do you mean the color, or is the flavor different?
                              Easier to peel would be nice, what a chore.

                              1. re: blue room

                                Much more delicious, IMO. It's a young broccoli so there is hardly any stem area to peel. At least that is how I have seen it in California.

                                1. re: blue room

                                  It's much more tasty and you eat the leaves as well. I've never peeled broccoli - not sure what you mean there.

                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                    Well, it's the stalks that get peeled -- here's a thread about it
                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/651753
                                    some say the stalk is the best part, that's a lie.
                                    http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-pee...

                                    1. re: blue room

                                      gg, which you get the big heads of broccolo, maybe not that available in the uk, the lower stem part is more edible if the coarse skin is removed (of course the woody part of the stem is discarded.

                                      blue room - well I love the crunchy stems and hate the grainy florets, so there!

                        2. re: jen kalb

                          @jen kalb, please do post your Wolfert reviews. I had a great time cooking from both of her books and would love to hear about what you've made.

                      3. I've always wanted to participate in the cookbook testing, but always seem to miss the months for the ones I really want to contribute to. I would love to have a reason to cook more south-east Asian cuisine, so I will nominate David Thompson's THAI FOOD and/or his more recently released book, THAI STREET FOOD.

                        30 Replies
                        1. re: Allegra_K

                          I love these books, so would second the Thompson nomination....can't remeber the logistics, am I supposed to capitalize that??

                          1. re: qianning

                            Yes, quianning, you need to post again with your choice all in caps. But vote for mine instead!

                              1. re: dkennedy

                                Hah... Very Funny DK. Sorry you're sick in bed. I'd be interested in a Nigel Slater book. Just one, though. I have his 30-Minute Meals and Kitchen Diaries.
                                I really prefer the 1 book 1 month format of COTM.

                                1. re: Gio

                                  I agree! One or at most two books per month would be much more cohesive.

                                2. re: dkennedy

                                  :)

                                  the concept of the flavor bible is intriguing, the nigel slater, for me, much less so...i own 30 minute meals, but never use it and so it has long since been relegated to the guest bedroom bookshelf, i.e. cookbook purgatory.

                                  but my heart belongs to asia, so, THAI FOOD or THAI STREET FOOD or CLASSIC THAI CUISINE, all by David Thompson. Notice the "or".....I agree with Gio one or at most two books a month makes things easier to follow.

                                  1. re: qianning

                                    Yes, I have a few cookbooks in cookbook purgatory, they are in a stack next to my fireplace.

                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                      Remember the idea we had sometime back about swapping purgatory books? Maybe we should revisit that! One man's junk....and all that....

                                      1. re: bayoucook

                                        Agreed, and if we couldn't do it here, what about in EYB where all members are collectors?

                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            TDQ and I had asked the mods about doing it here and never got an answer. Wouldn't hurt to ask again, I guess. Or EYB would work, too.

                                            1. re: bayoucook

                                              I have a friend who just wrote an app that would work great for this called, what else, "Swapper." But be warned, someone who have to be the admin, the files would need to be hosted [free at Heroku], and it wouldn't be here. But to be honest, chow.com isn't a good place for a book swap. Boards were never meant for that sort of thing.

                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                Sounds interesting, but I'd be concerned that an app would be too limiting. There are some luddites here (who? me?) who not only don't have an iphone or an android, but don't even want one. And I don't think anyone here wants to volunteer to be a full-time administrator of something like that.

                                                What about just setting up a group on Facebook. People could say I have this and this and I'm looking for that and that? Could that work?

                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                  Joan, web based.... no iphone or android required.... but it is complex to manage a web-based solution. Cause someone has to do it!

                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                    I'm even more of a luddite (ludditer? luddite-lite?) who wouldn't want to join facebook to take part in this, although I like the idea a lot.

                                        1. re: qianning

                                          That's a shame - there are some good recipes in the 30-Minute Meals book.

                                          I love Thai food, but I've always been rather put off by the David Thompson book because I've heard that the recipes are complicated and time-consuming. What do you think?

                                          (For Thai, I like Vatcharin Bhumichitr's books.)

                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                            Maybe I should re-visit 30 mnte meals, but I'm pretty sure it is not me.

                                            Thompson's recipes are complicated, and sometimes very time consuming. For that reason I wouldn't have been brave enough to nominate it if someone else hadn't gone first. But the thing is the end results of his recipes are so wonderful I just couldn't keep myself from adding my name to the nomination list.

                                            1. re: qianning

                                              My concern is that he is very exacting and not particularly open to short cuts or substitutions. I have read that even with a well-stocked Asian market to hand, some of the ingredients are hard to find. We do love our Asian cuisines here, but for something like Dunlop, once you'd found the ingredients, it came together pretty quickly. She has also adapted Sichuan recipes to a degree for the Western audience, in so much as she will suggest alternatives for things not easily found outside China. My impression is that for David Thompson authenticity is all.

                                              If you think back to other books with generally complicated and time-consuming recipes (I am particularly thinking of Paula Wolfert's South-West France book), take-up has not been high. Have you cooked many recipes from it?

                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                I have cooked quite a bit from all three books, mostly from Thai Food, because I've had it the longest, and I love the results. I have at least half dozen other cookbooks on thai food, (although no Vatcharin Bhumichitr, the ones I've glanced at didn't grab me), but more often chose the thompson recipe. That said, you are right, his attitude is like Marcella Hazan's. very much the perfectionist. and you are right Wolfert's that way too.

                                            2. re: greedygirl

                                              Which Vatcharin Bhumichitr book do you recommend?

                                              I also remember Rubee mentioning Cracking the Coconut in a previous COTM nomination thread.

                                              1. re: BigSal

                                                I have three but the one I've used the most is Gourmet Thai in Minutes. A Taste of Thailand is the classic, and the Asian Salads one is also good. I think they're mostly out of print now though.

                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                  Thanks. It looks like there are some inexpensive copies available on AbeBooks.

                                                  1. re: BigSal

                                                    i have Vatch's Sout East Asian Cookbook. The recipes are fairly accessible but I don't think I would be motivated to cook from it for an entire month. I think I got it last time we were discussing these titles, back in 2007, when we settled on Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet.

                                                  2. re: greedygirl

                                                    Another good Thai (and more basic, and more forgiving of ingredient substitutions): http://www.amazon.com/Original-Thai-C...
                                                    Have been using this since it came out.

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      Good points and true enough, Brennan (or McDermot's "Real Thai") is quicker and more forgiving, but no matter what Thai cooking takes time and ingredients and once I get that far for me Thompson's superior results are worth it.

                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                        I don't like "Real Thai" myself. Brennan is better.

                                                  3. re: BigSal

                                                    FWIW, "Cracking the Coconut" is a Su Mei Yu book, not Vatcharin Bhumichitr .

                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                      Thank you. I meant to say that another Thai Book that was mentioned.Have you cooked from Cracking the Coconut?
                                                      Also, what are your thoughts on Thai Street Food? I purchased it during my cookbook buying frenzy late last year, but have yet to cook from it.

                                                  4. re: greedygirl

                                                    "I've always been rather put off by the David Thompson book because I've heard that the recipes are complicated and time-consuming."

                                                    Not to mention the esoteric ingredients. I know people must cook from it, but I have never felt up to the task. It seems more like a book about thai food rather than a cookbook (what's for dinner?) to me.

                                                    1. re: sarahcooks

                                                      I would have to agree that Thompson isn't a it is five o'clock what AM I going to cook for supper kind of a book.....but it is a wonderful cook book and the recipes really do come true, which for me is the important thing. For me days when I want to cook quickly are not usually the same as days when I want to cook well and especially new.

                                          2. Just in case anyone else wants or needs to refer to it, I thought I'd paste the Historical COTM link here:

                                            http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

                                            For folks that may be new to the COTM, this is an inventory of all the books covered in the past and, links to the threads where all the reviews have been posted.

                                            I was checking to see if any of Marcella Hazan's books had been covered in the past. As I've been looking through my books today, I realized that she's another one whose books I'd like to get more use out of.

                                            13 Replies
                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                              I love Hazen - if we haven't done it before I hope we do so in the future.

                                              1. re: bayoucook

                                                I was really surprised to find that only one of her books was ever done and, it was the very first COTM (back in 2006). I wonder if anyone else has interest in this?

                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                  It was before my day as well. Really, The Classics of Italian Cooking is her magnus opus - maybe we should think about revisiting it at some point.

                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                    Agreed gg. I have that on my bookshelf and a quick check on EYB tells me that 478 others do as well.

                                                    It's the 15th most popular book in EYB which doesn't sound overly impressive until you realize there are almost 81,000 books in the EYB library!!

                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                        Oops, I should have re-stated that in my post!! My apologies!!

                                                        It's The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. I've pasted a link to the original COTM thread and, the EYB recipe list below if anyone is interested:

                                                        COTM link:

                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/325712

                                                        EYB link w a list of all recipes in book:

                                                        http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/1...

                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                      Funny, JO just hasn't grabbed me, and since Marcella was before my day, and since I got a pasta roller for x-mas, I've been on a major Hazan kick for the past week or two. Finally made Green Lasgna, it was divine!

                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                        Oh how fun qianning! Is it a manual roller and if so, how are you enjoying it?

                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                          Not manual, my eye hand co-ordination has real limits :), but the one that attaches to the front of the KA mixer. Totally enjoying it....have used it for everything from soba, to wonton wrappers to lasgna noodles to fettuncine.

                                                          1. re: qianning

                                                            Wow, that's fabulous qianning, very impressive! How would you say the home made fresh noodles compare to fresh "purchased" noodles or, dry pasta? Is this something you feel is worth the investment of time?

                                                            We're really enjoying whole wheat pasta lately however I find the varieties of noodles available is limited.

                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                              I'd say, somewhat to my surprise, there is a quantum leap in difference with the home made generally better. Of course there is a learning curve!

                                                              One of the things I've really enjoyed is being able to experiment with different flours and ratios, right now for Italian type noodles I'm using 1;1 whole wheat pastry flour to white bread flour and liking the results. Also found a local source of buckwheat for making soba and that has made a huge difference from the store bought buckwheat. Basically I've found a license to experiment.

                                                    2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                      I don't see an actual nomination here, so nothing in caps, but I'd love to plunge into Hazan. I have three of her books and there are several more at my local library, so I'd be willing to go with any Hazan. I might just pull her off the shelf and try something anyway!

                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                        In December of '08 and '10 (although not in '09) we revisited books that had previously been COTM selections. Generally, people thought that there was just so much going on cookingwise from the end of November through the end of the year that selecting a new title for that month gave it rather short shrift. Perhaps if many were interested, Hazan would be a good author to revisit this December.

                                                  2. Well, if the Thompson books would be too time consuming, am I able to suggest other titles?
                                                    I went on a dim sum making spree recently, and am in love with dumplings of all kinds. I tried numerous recipes from Andrea Nguyen's Asian Dumplings and the book is pretty much on permanent loan by me from the library (but it's on my wishlist!). The great thing about dumplings is that if you only choose one recipe to do, the prep time is really not that bad. Or have a dumpling making party and choose several types! It makes an excellent meal! Also, you can elect to make your own wrappers (and even spring roll skins!) or use pre-made ones. Either way, the outcome is wonderful.
                                                    ASIAN DUMPLINGS would be a lovely addition to the cookbook of the month, possibly supplemented with Ellen Leong Blonder's DIM SUM.
                                                    SEDUCTIONS OF RICE by Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford is another favourite of mine that I would enjoy trying more of. The great part of that book is that you can 'travel' wherever you want to be for that night. Japan, Thailand, Spain, etc. A splendid book that contains many intriguing stories that make for a good read as well!

                                                    57 Replies
                                                    1. re: Allegra_K

                                                      If we are going to be cooking out of an Asian themed cookbook again so soon, (we did a stir fry cookbook not too long ago) I would much rather see us do a dim sum or dumpling cookbook than the Thai Street Food discussed above. Thai Street Food is $37.00 on Amazon!

                                                      My problem with the Asian themed cookbooks in general (I just looked back, and we really haven't covered as many as I thought) is that although I enjoy eating Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc.I have a hard time cooking from them exclusively for a month. I might be able to get my family to go for one stir fry a week, but not night after night. Plus they end up being fairly costly to cook out of unless you have a stocked Asian pantry.

                                                      I do like the idea of an Italian themed month. I do not have any Hazan books, I had one at some point but it must have gone the way of all good things during one of my purges. However, with so many ringing endorsements, there must be something there.

                                                      Since this is the nomination thread, can I ask, will we do a separate Voting Thread once we get some momentum? If so, I'd like to add AROUND THE FRENCH TABLE to the mix.

                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                        AROUND MY FRENCH TABLE, yes! For some reason I thought you had already done this book. I definitely second this nomination.

                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                          funny, any Asian is easy for me to work on all month, and its ingredients like the lamb shanks, rabbit, parmesan, etc etc that tax my budget...further proof that one man's meat....

                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                            Yeah, even though I wasn't around for it, it does seem as if we did just do an asian month.

                                                          2. re: Allegra_K

                                                            I've been dying to get my hands on the Ngyuen's Asian Dumpling book....take it that you like it. I have only one of the Duguid and Alford books, but haven't really used, have you cooked from Seductions of Rice?

                                                            1. re: qianning

                                                              You people are a bad influence on me! I just bought Seductions of Rice from Amazon used for $4.98, not that I am saying I want to do it as our COTM. It just looks too interesting to pass up. Everyone should go on Amazon and take a look at the reviews. I think when more of us have cooked from it we can decide if it will make a good choice.

                                                              1. re: dkennedy

                                                                While we are considering a Dumpling month, here is another title to consider. I have had this book on my shelves for over 21 years, it is a lot of fun. Copies are available on Amazon starting at .01 cent. It offers dumpling recipes from everywhere in the world.

                                                                http://www.amazon.com/Dumpling-Cookbo...

                                                                1. re: dkennedy

                                                                  A couple of years ago, MMRuth posted a list of some things she had cooked from it and liked: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/613693

                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                    Speaking of MMRuth, I've been thinking about DairyQueen . . . we haven't heard from her in a while it seems. I hope she's ok, I miss her posts.

                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                      Breadcrumbs, I know that TDQ is okay, but has her hands full right now with other facets of life, and (I'm guessing) will for a while; rest assured, it's nothing bad, but keeping her pretty busy. I'm sure she'll be posting at some point in the future.

                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                        Thanks so much for sharing this Caitlin, I'm so glad to know all is well. Life is full of competing priorities and I tip my hat to DQ, sounds like she's doing a good job finding the right balance.

                                                                    2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                      Thank you Caitlin for the link.

                                                                      I have been so bad (again) lately. As of this purchase, I have 5 new cookbooks on their way to me. One day my house is going to sink into its foundation from the weight of all these cookbooks.

                                                                    3. re: dkennedy

                                                                      Qianning and others:

                                                                      So my copy of Seductions of Rice came yesterday in the mail and I am completely in love with it. A big thank you to Qianning for bringing it to my attention. I know next month we are revisiting whether or not to go with one of David Thompson's books, and I have both on order at the library in preparation but I think everyone should make a point of looking at a copy of Seductions if they can find it in their local book store. It looks that good! I am in a supper club and next time it is my turn to host I am definitely going to pull the recipes from this book.

                                                                      DH just got home so it's time for dinner, so I will continue with my review after the kids go to bed tonight.

                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                        Would love to take credit for "seductions of rice" but in fact it was Allegra who brought it up in the thread. Anyway, glad to hear you like it so well. It definitely has a different feel from some of their other books. These COTM threads definitely have a way of expanding horizons for me, that's wonderful.

                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                          I'm so glad you like it! It's one of my favourites. I've had rice for lunch or dinner probably five plus times a week since I discovered this fabulous book! And nobody in my household is complaining yet....
                                                                          That book coupled with Flatbreads and Flavours would make for an excellent variety of meals for a future cookbook of the month.

                                                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                            Hi Allegra and Qianning,

                                                                            I have ordered Flatbreads and Flavors as well so I am glad to hear the two books will compliment each other. Based on how much I am enjoying this book, I anticipate completing my Alford and Duguid collection sometime down the road.

                                                                            As for those of you who do not have the book to refer to, I am going to lay out how the chapters are set up:

                                                                            The first section of the book is, quite obviously, all about rice. And it's fascinating! I have learned all kinds of things I never knew I wanted to learn about. How rice grows, different types rice, different methods of cooking rice, and on and on.

                                                                            But the remaining chapters, for me, are even better. Each chapter covers the cuisine of different region. Not a lot of recipes in each section, maybe 25-30, but they are representative of everyday food you might eat if you lived in this region. Here's the breakdown: Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Indian, Central Asian and Persian, Mediterranean, Senegalese, and finally, North American. Each dish mentioned is intended to be served with rice or is a rice snack. The recipes run the gamut from simple sauces to pour over rice, to snack food, to dinner fare - and there are some breakfast and desserts thrown in for good measure.

                                                                            I know earlier in the thread I complained that it is hard for me to cook from an Asian book exclusively for a month (due to my family's protests) but I foresee a book like this being very easy to cook out of day in and day out without getting monotonous. In fact, I am planning on it. I hope everyone will take a look at this book before our next nomination session.

                                                                            Again, thanks Allegra.

                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                              I took Seduction of Rice out of the library after Allegra mentioned it and have not cooked from it yet but it looks great. Because of this thread, my kitchen island is littered with cook books taken out of the library and bought to the point that there is hardly surface left to cook on:)

                                                                      2. re: qianning

                                                                        I have Asian Dumplings and haven't had a chance to cook from it yet. I would love to see it as a COTM some time, but not in the next two months, please, as I'll be out of the country.

                                                                        1. re: qianning

                                                                          I have looked at the other Duguid and Alford books several times, and was a little bit deterred by the coffee-table-book vibe that they all had, although they were great to look at and read. So I was pretty pleasantly surprised when I borrowed Seductions of Rice from the library and found that it was in a more manageable size, and it seemed to focus more on the recipes than the photos (there's only a small section of pictures in this one). What recipes I have tried have been complete winners, already making it into my repertoire on an almost weekly basis for some of them. I bought it pretty much immediately. On top of that, the authors do still stick to their travelogue-type style of writing, so scattered throughout the book are delightful stories as well as a short write-up prior to every recipe. It was a great find, and I definitely prefer this one to any of their other books!!

                                                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                            I just went on the Duguid and Alford website, I considered buying their flatbread book a while back but something stopped me. Perhaps my impulse control was better then. I don't have any of their other titles though I have thought about buying Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet many times. I am very excited about exploring Seductions.

                                                                        2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                          A full month of dumplings? This just doesn't seem practical to me. Sadly, the book I was going to nominate is no longer published. So sad.

                                                                          My family is delighted to do Asian for another month. We never got tired during the Grace Young month, but something with dough every day would be too much.

                                                                          1. re: smtucker

                                                                            Just curious. What was the book you were going to nominate? I've discovered some great gems from the COTM nominations.

                                                                            1. re: BigSal

                                                                              Sure.... A Korean Mother's Cooking Notes [Paperback] by Chang Sun-Young. This is a book I bought about a year ago. I have a Korean market at the end of the street. Always hoped to investigate Korean food with the COTM group to get over my own personal "fear" factor.

                                                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                                                I have it too. I'd love a Korean COTM. I've discoved making kimchi is not as intimidating as I thought. The banchans are flavorful and often healthy ways to eat vegetables. My husband, a notorious meat and potato guy, goes crazy over korean grilled meat dishes.

                                                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                                                  I was fully intending to participate in this month's COTM, but got completely distracted when I got my hands on the Momofuku cookbook. It is truly awesome. If we do a Korean month, I'd love to do traditional recipes from AKMCN as well as the great recipes found in Momofuku. I won't nominate because I feel bad for not participating as promised last month. But if anyone else would like to...

                                                                              2. re: smtucker

                                                                                Asian Dumplings has more than just dumplings in it. In fact, the subtitle of the book is "Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More." But, yes. Lots of dough. Not in my diet right now either which is why I haven't cooked from it yet.

                                                                                Perhaps if there was enough interest, it could be paired with another Asian. There's often been talk in the nomination threads of the Charmaine Solomon book.

                                                                                I won't be here so I don't have a dog in this hunt, but in general I'd like to see more than just four months between COTMs of the same ethnicity.

                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                  I have to agree Joan in terms of liking to have a good mix of themes or ethnicities. Having spent some time w my cookbook collection today, I'm now thinking about:

                                                                                  - one or two 30 minute/express books (Slater, Nigella Express)
                                                                                  - a vegetarian book (Madhur Jaffrey - World Vegetarian, a Moosewood book...)
                                                                                  - an Indian book

                                                                                  I'd love a South American or Caribbean month but my sense is there won't be enough folks w one book to land on a leading choice.

                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                      I have and love that book dk, just not sure how many others have it. I hope there's some interest, this would be really exciting and, different for a COTM.

                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                        I just bought it. Looks like only 36 people on Eat Your Books have it in their libraries. Either way, it is a welcome addition to mine. I have nothing else like it on my shelves.

                                                                                      2. re: dkennedy

                                                                                        I just checked out the ingredient lists for recipes from this book on EYB. The combinations look very different and interesting. I'd sure be game for this, and my library has it. Pretty reasonable on Amazon too.

                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                          I just requested this from my library. I think it would be a completely original COTM.
                                                                                          Ceviche, empanadas, tamales..sounds pretty good to me, even if I can only have three bites!

                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                            So it sounds like we need to formally nominate it. I think this will make my fourth nomination, but really I would be fine with any of the four so I am ok with that.

                                                                                            THE SOUTH AMERICAN TABLE.

                                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                              THE SOUTH AMERICAN TABLE
                                                                                              Is this what I'm supposed to do to "second" a nomination? Or do I wait for the vote? I haven't been involved in the selection process before. This book looks quite exciting to me. It would be very different from what we've done recently.

                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                That's right LN.

                                                                                                THE SOUTH AMERICAN TABLE

                                                                                              2. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                The South American Table would be a problematic choice for me as it would have to be shipped from the States and last time I did that it took a month to arrive!

                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                  I didn't realize this would be a problem for people outside the U.S.

                                                                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                    Greedygirl and others out of the country:
                                                                                                    Perhaps if there is enough interest in South American Table, we could make a decision a little further in advance some month. Alternatively, those out of the country could look at recipes and ingredients on EYB. I would be willing to write out and email some recipes, or paraphrase them on this site.

                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                      I see several copies of South American Table for sale @ Amazon.co.uk --
                                                                                                      maybe it's more available than we think?

                                                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                                                        Well, that's good news, does that sway anyone's vote?

                                                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                                                            They're all being shipped from the US though, that was my point.

                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                              OK, then forget my possibly voting for that book. Doesn't seem fair, as interesting as the book sounds. I feel the same way about brand new books that haven't made it to most libraries yet.

                                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                greedygirl, I see now that most of the Amazon.co.uk books are being shipped from the US. I apologize, I *was* assuming!

                                                                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                  Obviously I will go with the group concensus, whatever that might be. But I do love COTM!

                                                                                                                  As an aside, I will be away for most of June and hopefully most of September (and hoping to meet some of you in San Francisco and beyond) so perhaps that might be a good time to explore the less UK-friendly books. :-)

                                                                                                          1. re: limoen

                                                                                                            Thanks for that. About a quarter of the book seems to be avaiable on there - from what I've seen, it's not for me. :-)

                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                              I don't see much in there that I'd actually make either, as interesting as it sounded.

                                                                                                              1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                I'm disappointed that the South American Table is getting somewhat of a thumbs down. These dishes look so intriguing to me. I don't suppose I'd want to cook them every night, however!

                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                  This is definitely something I'd be interested in doing! I've requested it from the library already so that I can give it a more thorough look before purchasing.

                                                                                                                2. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                  I've had it since it came out and didn't see much tempting in it myself.

                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                          I could easily be convinced - this sounds interesting.

                                                                                                    2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                      Ethnicity, country or continent? i.e. four months between Cantonese cooking, or Chinese, or Asian? four months between Sicilian, or Italian, or European?

                                                                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                                                                        I agree that Thai food and Cantonese/other Chinese food are worlds apart.

                                                                                                    3. re: smtucker

                                                                                                      I agree with smtucker - can't see me cooking dumplings more than once or twice in a month.

                                                                                                  2. I'll just throw out 660 CURRIES because I like it and have it and it would be a nice change to do Indian. South American sounds interesting to me too though. There is an Ecuadorian restaurant near me I just can't get enough of. I'd rather not do more Italian right after JO month. And while I love the idea of vegetarian, I would rather wait until summer when my garden is in full swing.

                                                                                                    1 Reply