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MAY 2011 COTM NOMINATIONS ARE NOW OPEN

Hope some of you have been thinking about what to cook from during May. Some of the books recently nominated and discussed were:

Marcella Hazen's books

David Thompson's books

Nigel Slater's books

Korean and Thai books

The South American Table

660 Curries

Asian Dumplings and Seductions of Rice

Ottolenghi and Plenty

Please feel free to nominate any of those books or any new or old ones you've been wanting to try and discuss. Nominations will end SATURDAY APRIL 16TH AT 5PM CDST [revised from Thursday, April 14th, at 5pm CDST]. Please enter your nominations using ALL CAPS. Let's get started!

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  1. Thanks so much bayoucook. . . . lots to consider for May. I'll definitely be favouring books w recipes that call for a variety of produce during the growing season. It's so exciting to see the Farm Markets and stands opening up again!

    I'm guessing the nominations will end on "April" 14 (it says May 14th above so you may still be able to "edit". )

    6 Replies
    1. re: Breadcrumbs

      Thanks BC - I even read it before I entered it! Yes, our farmer's markets are open down here and we're happy about it. We also have tomatoes planted and they're about the size of golf balls now - should be ready by June or so. Also got my herbs replaced and repotted and bought some annuals for the back deck. I love this time of year, and all the azaleas!

      1. re: bayoucook

        You are making me feel very jelous, Bayoucook, since we still have dirty snow in the northen corners of our yards.

        I think it would be wonderful to cook spring vegetables, fish, lamb, etc. in May. Wonder if there is a great "spring" book out there - must research.

        1. re: herby

          It's funny how we all are - we usually have very little winter here and very rarely any snow. When we were in Paris in December it snowed, a lot, and we couldn't stay out of it! It was just magical and surreal. Had our first snowman and snowball fight - at ages 58 and 70. Fun and memorable.

          1. re: bayoucook

            Great story, bayoucook. It's never too late for your first snowball fight!

            1. re: bayoucook

              I love the first snow too, and the second, and even the third, especially when it comes down slowly in huge snowflakes. But definitely not in April when the first one was on Haloween as it was this winter. When I first moved to Ottawa, I thought it was the coldest capital city! I soon discovered that the coldest is Ulaan-Baatar and Ottawa is #7 on the list; guess, I should not complain about cold:)

          2. re: bayoucook

            I agree w herby and I'll have to live vicariously through you bayoucook!!. Though we don't have herby's snow, our soil is still quite firm and the only thing brave enough to poke through at this point are my chives!! But hey, I'll savour all these small victories as they come!

        2. I'm really liking Rozanne Gold's RADICALLY SIMPLE - bright, fresh flavors, short ingredient lists. Just the right kind of food for spring.

          34 Replies
          1. re: pikawicca

            Somehow, I had never heard of her. Went to Amazon to see her book - it IS pretty amazing; I may have to order it, especially if it becomes COTM.

            http://www.amazon.com/Radically-Simpl...

            1. re: pikawicca

              Didn't she used to have a column in one of the food magazines? I seem to remember getting one or two good recipes that are similar in concept.

              1. re: LulusMom

                Here's her bio. This woman has really flown under most people's radar, especially considering how talented she is -- FOUR James Beard awards!
                http://www.rozannegold.com/bio.html

              2. re: pikawicca

                Pikawicca, how did you come across this chef? I never heard about her and not only she won rewards but published 12 cookbooks! I read the bio you posted and followed Bayoucook's link to amazon - very much like what I see. I think Seductions of Rice and particularly 660 Curries will be wonderful to cook from in the fall. I second Picawicca's nomination - RADICALLY SIMPLE.

                Just wanted all of you enablers to know that this site is very-very bad for my pocketbook - now I want to buy Radically Simple... :)

                1. re: herby

                  I have ordered a copy of RADICALLY SIMPLE. I don't know whether anyone else wants to concentrate on it, but it looks good to me. I third the nomination.

                2. re: pikawicca

                  pikawicca, have you cooked much from this book? I've got one of the older 1-2-3 books from her, which I cooked from a long time ago. As I recall, the recipes were decent for quick dishes with short ingredient lists, but nothing that kept me coming back. The recipes in this book, however, look more interesting.

                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                    Things we have liked so far:

                    Carrot Jam (fantastic with Greek yogurt or good cream cheese)
                    "Whole Buttered" Onion Soup (used the truffle honey)
                    Fettuccine with Tahina, Pine Nuts & Cilantro (added the ground lamb)
                    Spaghetti with Aged Gouda & Frozen (!) Olive Oil (this technique is worth the price
                    of the book)
                    Cardamom Chicken with Chickpea & Orange Couscous
                    "Peking" Pork with Scotch and Scallions - really, really good
                    Spinach, Ricotta & Basil Puree
                    Coconut-Espresso Creme Caramel

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      Everything there (minus the pork, just because I don't eat it) sounds incredible. You've sold me on the book - just wish I was going to be around next month for cooking.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        pikawicca, I was very curious about this Gold book right around the end of 2010 when it made a lot of "best of " lists even though I couldn't find out much about it. How "easy" are these recipes? Say, if you're an exhausted new mom with an infant?

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          TDQ, I have (mild) dyslexia that kicks in every now and then, and when I first read that, it said

                          "...if you are an exhausted infant with a new mom"

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            I think most of the recipes require 15-20 minutes prep, then most go into the oven to cook.

                            1. re: pikawicca

                              I think I can handle that.

                              ~TDQ

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                DQ, sincere congratulations on your new addition. Though I miss you're thoughtful contributions here, I'm delighted for you and send you the very warmest of wishes. . . .what a lucky little baby!

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  Congrats, DQ! Nothing like a little fella around!

                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                Sounds like congratulations are in order, TDQ!

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  Oh!! new Dairy Prince or Princess?

                                  1. re: blue room

                                    HAHA! Prince. He's not much of a chowhound yet, but he does take some medication (nothing serious, just to sooth his tummy) with meals that we like to refer to as his amuse bouche. :).

                                    Thank you, everyone. Not to worry, I'll be back once into the COTM swing once I get my bearings back.

                                    ~TDQ

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      Adding my Congratulations TDQ. All hail The Prince.

                                      1. re: Gio

                                        TDK,

                                        Congrats!!!

                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        Congratulations!

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          Congratulations! I love these little glimpses into chowhounders lives!

                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            Congratulations! So happy for you. Welcome to the world of sleep deprivation, irrational worries and profound joy! Enjoy-- it really does go by so fast. My newest little one is already 3 and a half months and I don''t know where the time goes. The newborn periord is so fleeting!

                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              Huge congratulations TDQ! Those tummy problems go away fairly quickly (although it doesn't seem that way at the time). Lulu being half Scottish (by way of Canada), we called her The Gassy Lassy. Amazing things coming out of sweet little babies, huh? But really, his little tummy will be fine soon. I'm so thrilled and excited for you!

                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                Go easy on yourself! It gets better - and easier - as time goes on. My son is 10 months old and it is only recently that I've been able to do such things as cook dinner more often than once a week! Funnily enough, my newfound energy coincided with his finally sleeping through the night.

                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  Congratulations, TDQ. There's no better reason to be too busy to Chowhound -- enjoy every moment, even the exhausted ones!

                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    Yes, yes, yes, many congratulations! My pup's tummy hurt too sometimes. Then I figured out that it was only when mommy (you must learn to speak in third person) ate peanut butter.

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      Congratulations, Dairy Queen. I suppose the only thing more exciting than having a baby would be...*being one*!

                                                      Here's a cake for the new babe--

                                                      thought tres leches/dulce de leche would be appropriate!

                                                       
                                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    Welcome to the Dairy Prince! Wonderful news.

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      :-) TDQ!

                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        Congratulations, TDQ, on your new dairy prince!

                                                  3. re: pikawicca

                                                    I'm really intrigued with this book, Pikawicca. Both by her credentials and her cookbooks. The few recipes she has on her website look very promising and the reviews are stunning. I might just get it regardless...

                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      I must say I'm very surprised by the positive responses for Rozanne Gold's books. She certainly managed to make a brand of her 1-2-3 gimmick, but nearly all of her books seemed to me to be cashing in on the fad du jour. Perhaps she's developed as both a cook and a cookbook writer, but the few recipes I tried, granted many years ago, from her earlier books tasted as though they only had three ingredients in them. I'll have to take a look at her new book once I get home, but until then color me skeptical.

                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                        "Radically Simple" is nothing like her 1-2-3 books.

                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                          Oh, she's the 1-2-3 lady -- I didn't look into those books at all, but do remember being surprised to hear very good things about them.
                                                          "1-2-3" sounded too good to be true of course.

                                                    2. I still have a few months of longing before any farmers markets and fresh produce abound where I live, and have just recently started seeing the ground again. Looking forward to that time where rustic, glowing flavours burst and simplicity rules. Alas, I am still living vicariously through the cooking of tropical countries, and because of that, would like to nominate SEDUCTIONS OF RICE and FLATBREADS AND FLAVORS by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                                        I love this idea. Seductions of Rice is one of my favorites and I wouldn't mind delving into it more. I bought Flatbreads and Flavors a while back but have not had a chance to explore it at all. It is quite an interesting book, though.

                                                        1. re: Westminstress

                                                          Flatbreads and Flavors really does look great!! I haven't tried making anything yet, but have always wanted to. By using both books for the COTM, it would offer a wide enough variety that would keep testers satisfied throughout the month. Sick of rice? Try injera or other wheat-filled goodness! I also love that the books are organized by country, which makes meal planning so much easier.

                                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                                            Second the nominations for SEDUCTIONS OF RICE AND FLATBREADS AND FLAVORS.

                                                            Here are my notes from the April nomination thread:

                                                            I ordered Flatbreads and Flavors 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 Seductions 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 have now read Seductions cover to cover and I think it would make an ideal COTM.

                                                      2. I nominate 660 CURRIES (again), especially because the author has said he'll make himself available for questions! I think that adds so much to COTM.

                                                        After all the talk about The South American Table last month, when I saw it at the library I picked it up. I like it a lot more than I thought I would, the ingredients and recipes are more accessible than I imagined. I made a soup from it tonight (pork, quinoa and potatoes in a peanut broth) and enjoyed it very much. There are a lot of amazing soup recipes in there and I plan on trying more. So thanks for whoever brought it to our attention!

                                                        16 Replies
                                                        1. re: sarahcooks

                                                          I have been quite intrigued by the discussions on this board about 660 CURRIES, so I second sarahcooks's nomination of that book.

                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                            I'm sitting like a zombie in front of my computer screen. I want to vote for the SLATER books, but don't have the energy to go check out my old notes. I have (and enjoy) his Real Fast Food book, but I wouldn't want it to be COTM. Better check this out a bit more.

                                                            I just got Around My French Table yesterday in the mail so will be concentrating on that for the next few weeks.

                                                            1. re: oakjoan

                                                              oakjoan how exciting to have AMFT in hand, can't wait to read about your adventures w it!

                                                              Before joining Chowhound last September, I'd never heard of Nigel Slater (I know, I know . . .how was that possible!!?) Since then of course, I managed to find an excuse to purchase 4 of his books and I'm especially interested in cooking from Tender (v.1) but I'm thinking it would be best to use it during the summer months when produce is most abundant here so I'm holding off on my Slater nomination for now.

                                                            2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                              I cant get it up for 660, with the 50 OTHER indican cookbooks on my shelf. Id much rather work with a cookbook on a specific indian cuisine such as Bombay Kitchen or Dakshin rather than a compendium like this.written by a Tamil chef who probably has not even tasted many of the dishes. If a compendium of the whole country is required, why not Neelam Batra's 1000 curries? I have had success with some of her recipes.

                                                              1. re: jen kalb

                                                                i would love to do my bombay kitchen!

                                                                1. re: Westminstress

                                                                  bought "my bombay kitchen" at a borders closing sale a month or so back....really enjoying it so far.

                                                                2. re: jen kalb

                                                                  Then let's nominate it! I'll throw MY BOMBAY KITCHEN into the ring.

                                                                  1. re: MelMM

                                                                    And I have just ordered it. So I'll nominate MY BOMBAY KITCHEN, too.

                                                                    1. re: Jay F

                                                                      I can't believe what I am seeing! I've tried to nominate this book in the past, thank goodness someone else is excited for this book now too.
                                                                      MY BOMBAY KITCHEN!!!

                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                        If I like it, I'll probably be cooking from it anyway.

                                                                        1. re: Jay F

                                                                          i think you'll like it, what I've made from it has been excellent and it's a whole nother kind of Indian food. MY BOMBAY KITCHEN.

                                                                  2. re: jen kalb

                                                                    @Jen - I'm perfectly fine you "can't get it up " for 660 Curries but please don't make a judgement without any knowledge about what i tasted or did not taste. I don't think my "tamil chef" categorization precludes me from anything - i do want to assure you (for what it's worth) that every recipe I write, i personally test AND taste. Thanks for taking the time to write.

                                                                3. re: sarahcooks

                                                                  I'm not ready for a capital letter nomination yet, but the idea of the author making himself available for questions is very appealing. Has he said he is available in May, or any time we do his book?

                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                    I think whenever we do the book. He participated in a thread about the book on the cookinglight message boards a while back, so I think he maintains an internet presence.

                                                                  2. re: sarahcooks

                                                                    I second the nomination for 660 CURRIES! Okay, so I have been a delinquint COTMer (we are looking for a new house and that just seems to be sucking all of my limited free time), but I got this book recently and I am very excited to cook out of it. I think COTM would be the push I need to really jump into it. Plus, recently discovered that our 2 year old LOVES indian food. Go figure. Her older brother is world's pickiest eater, but she can't get enough Vindaloo and Chana Masala.

                                                                    1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                      My first recipe from this book is tomorrow night... an eggplant and potato curry. Sounds delicious on paper. i could go for this book given all the on-going Ottolenghi objections.

                                                                  3. any of the books mentioned in the thread look good to me, with the possible exception of radically simple, only 'cause my library system doesn't have it (they do have some of her earlier 1~2~3 books).

                                                                    1. Ok, so last night I'd pulled a bunch of books as I was pulling together my Easter menu and lo and behold, I came across I'd love to cook from and, that I think would be a great "Spring" cookbook.

                                                                      That said, I'm going to nominate "THE OLIVE AND THE CAPER" by Susanna Hoffman for this month's COTM.

                                                                      While I haven't cooked from it yet, I have flagged a TON of recipes and the book is jam packed w lots of great info and stories. I'm finding Hoffman's writing style to be especially engaging.

                                                                      Also, it seems to be widely available, quite popular in EYB and, very reasonable priced.

                                                                      Anyone else interested in this book?

                                                                      16 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                        Olive and the Caper sounds like a 1920s mystery novel :)

                                                                        1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                          It does doesn't it Sarah, very funny!!

                                                                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                          Never heard of the "olive and the caper" before, but I just read the index on amazon and it is very interesting. Funny since olives and capers are two flavors Mr. SMT doesn't like, but the index includes far more than these two items.

                                                                          1. re: smtucker

                                                                            mr bc is the same as mr SMT!! This is a Greek cookbook and I should have said that in my post above!! It's such a great book, chock full of photos and stories in addition to well-explained recipes w lots of cook's notes and tips which I love.

                                                                            Last night I was excited to see 4 different versions of Skordalia! I've only tried the original and an almond variation so I'm really interested to check these out. The pistachio version and a sweet potato one were calling my name!

                                                                            Here's a link to Amazon if folks are interested in taking a look:

                                                                            http://www.amazon.com/Olive-Caper-Adv...

                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                              Mmm. Just the mention of skordalia makes my mouth water. I love it with roasted beets.
                                                                              As far as the main dishes in this book, is it terribly lamb-heavy, as Greek food sometimes is? I've had a hard time buying decent lamb in this area (unless I want to go for a fluffy little animal).

                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                My understanding is that Greek food is not that heavy on Lamb, but Mutton (i.e. Adult Sheep give more Milk and Wool than a Spring Lamb...so more animals are raised to adulthood).

                                                                                When I say heavier on Mutton, I mean, relative to Lamb...not necessarily Fish and Seafood in general, as proteins go.

                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                  Not at all LN, I'd say the representation of proteins is pretty balanced w lots of chicken, beef, pork, bean, lamb, fish and shell-fish dishes. If anything, fish and shellfish are likely the most represented.

                                                                                  The book is indexed in EYB. Here's a link to the index if you'd like to take a look at some of the dishes:

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

                                                                                  There's a great Meze section and some not as common sections such as Bread, Sustaining Grains, Eggs and Savoury Pies. As you'd expect, there are great Salads and Vegetables sections as well.

                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                    BC, with Lamb versus Mutton, would you say that Greek food leans more towards one over the other?...again, specifically within the context of Sheep versus Sheep and not including all of the other options.

                                                                                    I am not asking about the book, but the country and culture in general.

                                                                                    1. re: DougRisk

                                                                                      By no means am I an expert on Greek cuisine Doug but that won't stop me from answering your question!! ; - )

                                                                                      It is my understanding that the Greek prefer Lamb for it's tenderness and most dishes call for "spring lamb" (very young) or young lamb (under a year).

                                                                                      It wouldn't surprise me if Hoffman speaks to this in the book. Aside from being a passionate cook, she's also a respected anthropologist and as a result the book is a tremendous resource for understanding how culture and cuisine come together. I've been loving her stories.

                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                        I am glad I asked. Thank you.

                                                                                    2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                      EYB, of course, don't know why I didn't think of that. These recipes look great. I'm ready for some retsina marinated octopus!
                                                                                      No caps yet, lots of great possibilities here, so still mulling.
                                                                                      There just aren't enough months in the year!

                                                                                2. re: smtucker

                                                                                  My husband just made a face too - he hates olives and capers!

                                                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                                                    Mr. Gio doesn't favor Greek food period. He suffered through The Glorious Foods of Greece by Diane Kochilas when it was COTM in Aug 2008. I wonder how Olive and The Caper differs. They are 2 separate books, right?

                                                                                    ETA: OK... I just chcked and it's one book.

                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                      Hi Gio The Olive and the Caper is one book. I don't have "The Glorious Foods of Greece" so unfortunately I'm not able to answer your question. O&C is definitely a Greek cookbook though and has a mix of traditional and modern adaptations of Greek food (think stuffed veal w fennel and breadcrumbs, tzatziki w beets, phyllo pie w mixed greens, fennel and ouzo, chicken baked w eggplant and olives and sesame-crusted roast chicken in tahini caper sauce). What I especially like is that Hoffman is an anthropologist who has lived and worked in Greece for 30yrs and as a result, the book is rich with stories of the origins of the food, cultural traditions and tales of folks she met. She notes that a number of dishes are inspired by the "housewives" she met through her travels. As I looked through it I saw a number of dishes that I'd say were Greek meets middle-eastern flavours.

                                                                                      Hoffmann started her cooking career at Chez Panisse and co-founded Good & Plenty Cafe in Oakland Ca. w Victoria Wise. According to a bio Hoffmann is "a regular contributor to Saveur, Fine Cooking, Bon Appetit, Gastronomia and Greek Gourmet Traveler as well as numerous other food publications. Hoffman has appeared on cooking shows from coast to coast, including Good Morning America, The Food Network, Oprah, Discovery, CNN, and PBS."

                                                                                      Here's a link to some of her recipes:

                                                                                      http://www.saveur.com/article/Kitchen...

                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                        Many thanks, BC. I think I'll have to wait and see on this one.

                                                                                  2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                    I would like to also nominate "THE OLIVE AND THE CAPER".

                                                                                    Would be very interested in exploring Greek food as COTM.

                                                                                  3. Hi Bayou,
                                                                                    I am new to the COTM process. So, with that in mind, when you say something like:

                                                                                    "Marcella Hazen's books", or
                                                                                    "David Thompson's books"

                                                                                    Do you mean, one specific book by Hazan would be chosen, or, her whole catalog?

                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: DougRisk

                                                                                      Those are just culled examples from previous months' nominations. Generally better to target a specific book that captures your fancy.

                                                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                                                        OK. I am glad that we/you usually choose just one book, that would be my personal preference.

                                                                                      2. re: DougRisk

                                                                                        Here's a link to the archive of COTM's of the past FYI Doug:

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

                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                          Thank you.

                                                                                        2. re: DougRisk

                                                                                          Glad you got your answer below, DR! I used just the author's names because their books had been discussed both individually and collectively. COTM is a great deal of fun and I hope you'll join us on a regular basis from now on.

                                                                                          1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                            I definitely will join the COTM process at some point. I wish I had been around during the Paula Wolfert month, I love her stuff.

                                                                                            Put me down as one more person who would love to see a book that would be "appropriate" for this time of year.

                                                                                            1. re: DougRisk

                                                                                              .. which depends heavily on where you are located! We don't even plant until Memorial Day while others are already ripening their tomatoes.

                                                                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                I completely understand. That is why I used the word "appropriate". I figured that would cover a lot of ground and the specifics could be fought out by people other than myself. Since I am in the Mid-Atlantic, I would have no problem cooking from something that had either a cold weather or warm weather focus.

                                                                                              2. re: DougRisk

                                                                                                Doug, please go ahead and cook from your Wolfert book and just post on the old threads. Some (most?) of us love going back and reading those, and all comments are very helpful.

                                                                                          2. The correct choices should be:

                                                                                            All John Thorne
                                                                                            Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way - Francis Mallmann
                                                                                            The Raw and the Cooked: Adventures of a Roving Gourmand - Jim Harrison

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: j8715

                                                                                              oops forgot all caps

                                                                                              ALL JOHN THORNE BOOKS

                                                                                              SEVEN FIRES - FRANCIS MALLMANN

                                                                                              THE RAW AND THE COOKED - JIM HARRISON

                                                                                              1. re: j8715

                                                                                                I checked out Seven Fires from the library in anticipation of this month's nomination process. It did not impress me.

                                                                                                1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                  what more could you want from a book about grilling?

                                                                                                  makes me want a lake side cabin in the andes.

                                                                                                  1. re: j8715

                                                                                                    Well,

                                                                                                    I still have it here on my desk and the only thing it has motivated me to do so far is not return it (and I just got a new BBQ, so I am really grill motivated at the moment). Guess it is just not for me.

                                                                                            2. Nothing is really grabbing me so far. Seductions of Rice sounds interesting but I would have to get it from the States and last time I did that it took a month to arrive! I don't need another Greek cookbook and I get bored with Greek food very quickly.

                                                                                              So as Spring will be well and truly here in May, I'm going to nominate PLENTY and revisit OTTOLENGHI.

                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                I would have interest in Ottolenghi based on positive reviews from the last COTM and I like that the Plenty recipes are nearly all available online for free.

                                                                                                1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                  Last time I checked the old thread, the links to the recipes at The Guardian were no longer working. Are they all still available?

                                                                                                  1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                    http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/yot...

                                                                                                2. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                  FWIW, I jus bought SEDUCTIONS and FLATBREADS used on Amazon from practically nothing. So, if you are leaning, you might want to acquire a copy while they are still a multitude available used.

                                                                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                    I presume you mean Amazon.com. I'm in the UK. :-)

                                                                                                3. PLENTY and revisit OTTOLENGHI:THE COOKBOOK

                                                                                                  42 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                    From those who have cooked from Ottolenghi before, I'd be curious to know how his recipes/books compare to:

                                                                                                    a) Claudia Roden's
                                                                                                    b) Ruth Rogers/Rose Gray
                                                                                                    c) Jamie Oliver's

                                                                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                                                                      I would in no way compare Ottolenghi to the River Cafe or Jamie Oliver books.

                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                        How about Roden?

                                                                                                        1. re: qianning

                                                                                                          More like that, if I had to pick one, just because there are a lot of middle eastern influences in Ottolenghi.

                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                            thanks lulusmom, i haven't seen either ottolenghi book in person, so my impressions were pretty all over the place.

                                                                                                      2. re: qianning

                                                                                                        Qianning, I think there is no comparison. The first two cookbook authors focus on specific regional cuisines quite well, with JO being all over the place.

                                                                                                        Ottolenghi's recipes are inventive, personal, and relatively easy to accomplish. Some of his dishes do have quite a few ingredients and several steps but everything seems to come together quickly. I did have to mail order a couple of ingredients, rose water and orange water for example, but in other parts of the world they may be readily available at market. IIRC everything we made during his COTM month was delicious. If your library network has copies of his books check them out. If not, a nearby book seller is the next best thing, I find.

                                                                                                        A few of the stand outs in Ottolenghi:The Cookbook for us are:
                                                                                                        Caramelized Endive with Serrano Ham: Pg. 49,
                                                                                                        Chargrilled Cauliflower with Tomato, Dill and Capers: Pg. 51,
                                                                                                        French Beans and Mangetout with Hazelnuts and Orange: Pg.36,
                                                                                                        Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar and Lemon: Pg. 122
                                                                                                        Roast Chicken and Three Rice Salad: Pg. 125
                                                                                                        Green Olive, Celery, and Raisin Salsa: Pg. 13

                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                          thanks gio. my library system has plenty on order, but it isn't in yet, not sure how soon after it arrives i could get it. looking on amazon and at the previous threads for the ottolenghi month, some of the flavor combinations reminded me of Roden's recipes, but the approach and pictures more like River Cafe books or Oliver's. But without actually seeing a recipe in detail these are very unsubstatiated "hunches" on my part.

                                                                                                          1. re: qianning

                                                                                                            Here are 15 recipes from Ottolenghi. I loved this book when it was COTM. http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/blog/cate...

                                                                                                            I didn't participate in Roden or Oliver months, but I can't really say this book compares in any way to the River Cafe "Italian Easy" or "Italian Two Easy" (which are the only two River Cafe books I am familiar with) except for the emphasis on fresh ingredients.
                                                                                                            Also, the Ottolenghi recipes were pretty flawlessly written whereas I found the Italian Easy and Italian Two Easy books (though I enjoyed them) replete with typos, measurement mistakes, ghost ingredients (that would appear from nowhere) and disappearing ingredients (appearing early in the recipe never to be mentioned again.)

                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                              thanks for the link TDQ. It gives me a totally different impression of Ottolenghi than I was getting from the amazon preview.

                                                                                                              1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                Additionally, here are Ottolenghi recipe pages from The Guardian:

                                                                                                                http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/yot...

                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                  Just a quick note that the Guardian column (and the book Plenty) is vegetarian, whereas Ottolenghi (the cookbook) is for omnivores. Great use of grains and vegetables in Ottolenghi, though.

                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                            2. re: qianning

                                                                                                              A lot of the recipes from Plenty are online as the author has a column in The Guardian newspaper. If you do a search, you'll find tons of them.

                                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                Plenty is a good one to use EYB for. Find a recipe title on EYB, then search for it on the Guardian site. Be forewarned, though, that he apparenlty tweaked a lot of the recipes for inclusion in the book (or so I understand.)

                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                              2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                You're welcome. I will add that many of his recipes seem to have unusual combinations of ingredients and may deter some people from cooking them. But,
                                                                                                                "The proof of the pudding is in the eating" which for us meant exceptional meals.

                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                  Hmmm, i am intrigued, but writing from nh, and looking more at plenty than ottolenghi, i'd be way more up for it in august.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                    I will second this. I have only cooked from Ottolenghi but everything we made from this book was delicious and in surprising ways.

                                                                                                                    My only negative comment is that they use FAR more oil than needed to get the flavors. Not unusual for a restaurant cookbook though. Turns out that successful restaurants use far more oil than the average home cook. It was however, no issue to reduce and still have delicious food.

                                                                                                                    1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                      SMT: I've always reduced the amount of oil I use in any recipe if I think I can get away with it and we haven't regretted it yet. Knock on youknowwhat.

                                                                                                                      Q: You know you Need Ottolenghi...

                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                        :) I'm the cautious type, prefer to road test my cookbooks before purchasing.....many years ago I bought lots of cookbooks sight unseen through the good book guide, and the early days of amazon, most of them are still doing time in cook book purgatory, thereby reminding me of my ill spent youth.

                                                                                                                      2. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                        I would echo your comment about the deliciousness of the Ottolenghi recipes. Even my husband who is not generally a fan of Middle Eastern flavors loved Ottolenghi month.

                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                  2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                    I loved the Ottolenghi month when we covered it but I think it is too soon to revisit, IMO. I paged through Plenty the other day at my son's book fair but it didn't grab me. That said, I am sure I would participate if it is wins

                                                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                      Do we all need for time for nominations? I can extend it until tomorrow morning if need be.

                                                                                                                      1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                        I think that two work-week days for nominations is very short. For those of us who work, this leaves very little time to research, ponder and/or find consensus.

                                                                                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                          Have requested the mods to change the time to SATURDAY APRIL 16TH AT 5PM CDST. Seems like we need more time for research and consideration.

                                                                                                                          1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                            Done.

                                                                                                                        2. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                          I think there are 11 books nominated so far, only 2 or 3 seconded. Maybe a little more time? Or a nice looong voting period.

                                                                                                                          I don't make so many meals from the books as some, so will just go along with the chosen book, but I sure love the discussion here.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                        Just a note for those that don't have Plenty in their homes or libraries. It is on special order on Amazon. I ordered it several weeks ago and it hasn't even shipped yet.

                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                          it looks like there may have been a reprint scheduled recently (based on my library site)....i truly would be interested in this book, but would much prefer to see us do it in the july-sep time frame after making sure it is available, and when produce is at its peak.

                                                                                                                          1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                            Addendum: Just spoke to Amazon, publisher has not been fulfilling orders on this book. They now expect to receive it in three or four months. Maybe that has to do with the reprint? There are used copies around, between $35 and $185. Yikes. Of course, perhaps most of you have it already.

                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                              My library system has one copy of Plenty and 33 people on the waiting list...

                                                                                                                          2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                            I have the same problem; Ottolenghi isn't available through Amazon.ca, and if I order through .com, I would most likely be paying customs fees and exchange fees, etc.....like others, I like to try before I buy....I've just had too many duds when I buy books without first looking through them. My library system has neither of the books, and since Plenty is relatively new, it will probably be at least a few months before they even order it, if they approve my purchase request.
                                                                                                                            I have a hard time looking at books online. I would much rather curl up on a comfy chair and slowly peruse the pages, making notes and bookmarks and shopping lists. As it is, I'm still waiting for Around My French Table to come in from the library. I'll be lucky to receive it before the month is up.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                              I liked Ottolenghi: The Cookbook so much that when I heard of Plenty I immediately pre-ordered it from Amazon UK so I've had it since May 2010. One of the few times I chose well...

                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                I just found out that I can preview Plenty through the amazon.com website (not .ca for some reason), and it really looks great!! I'd be pretty excited to try something like this, if i could get my hands on the book. I put in a request at my library for them to purchase it. Here's hoping. Although it looks like I may just have to bite the bullet and take a risk on a new purchase......if there is any cookbook advice I would take, it would definitely be from chowhound members!

                                                                                                                                1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                  If you were going to buy one book (and there are only two!), I'd go for the Ottolenghi Cookbook rather than Plenty, because it includes meat, fish and desserts, whilst Plenty is a vegetarian book. I think the Ottolenghi Cookbook is in my top ten of cookbooks ever.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                    I echo this sentiment.

                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                            2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                              I am pretty certain that Plenty is available at Kitchen Arts and Letters for a reasonable price. They are on 95th and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. They ship everywhere.

                                                                                                                              1435 Lexington Avenue
                                                                                                                              New York, NY 10128-1625
                                                                                                                              (212) 876-5550

                                                                                                                              http://www.kitchenartsandletters.com/
                                                                                                                              From their web site:

                                                                                                                              Yotam Ottolenghi. PLENTY.
                                                                                                                              Here is an remarkably appealing collection of 120 vegetarian, largely Middle Eastern recipes from a chain of London takeout shops. Roasted parsnips and sweet potatoes with caper vinaigrette, or swiss chard, chickpea, and tamarind stew represent the Levantine influences, but you will also find the likes of soba noodles with eggplant and mango and the vigorously flavored black pepper tofu. Enticing stuff. color throughout. cl. $55.00

                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                FYI Jessica's Biscuit has two copies of Plenty left, $23.10.
                                                                                                                                http://www.ecookbooks.com/showproduct...

                                                                                                                          3. re: qianning

                                                                                                                            much more creative than any of the above, mixing ingredients from different cuisines, very fresh and heathy and bright flavors and dishes

                                                                                                                          4. re: Gio

                                                                                                                            As much as I love these books, I would prefer to cook from them when we are getting some decent local produce, and after the Spring lambs are a little bigger.

                                                                                                                            Feeling torn in Boston....

                                                                                                                            1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                              COTM nominations always tear me up.

                                                                                                                              I guess I think Ottolenghi's books are practical for all seasons. However, I'm surprised to hear how difficult it is to get Plenty. And, I've read recently that Autumn is the best time to buy lamb.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                I am actually in the process of purchasing a whole lamb from a small farmer in NH. I will need to pick it up, already butchered etc, in late August or early September. As he says, the exact date is not really determined by him, but by Mother Nature.

                                                                                                                                And I agree that these books are good year round. I use them all the time. But they are spectacular when the vegetables are in season locally.

                                                                                                                                I still have the download from the Guardian that they uploaded to their website before Plenty was released. Almost immediately I purchased the book, but somehow need a COTM to investigate fully. Silly, but true.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                  Like smtucker, I really feel this combo would best shine in the summer months, which would also provide some time for libraries and hounds to acquire the US version of Plenty.

                                                                                                                                  Incidentally, many of the Guardian recipes were re-edited at least slightly for the book, so they're very similar but not always the same as what's in Plenty, from what I've seen.

                                                                                                                              2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                I am torn about ottolenghi. I think we will and should eventually repeat ottolenghi and do plenty as COTM. The availability is an issue, though, unfortunately. Personally, I am planning to be in London in May and visiting his shops and checking out the food is on the itinerary, so I know I'll be more excited about his books in the summer.
                                                                                                                                Until then, however, neither book is in our library system. It's great that a lot of recipes are on the web, but I agree with the sentiment that it's just not the same as having the book to curl up with.

                                                                                                                              3. VOTING HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL SATURDAY APRIL 16TH AT 5PM CDST - seems we need more time to discuss and decide!

                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                  Likely a good idea bayoucook. My sense is that participation on the boards has been lighter than usual in the past week. I just checked Boardreader and indeed participation on the Home Cooking board in particular is way down relative to Jan thru March #'s.

                                                                                                                                  Perhaps the warmer weather has drawn folks outside!

                                                                                                                                  Yesterday I put a link to this thread in the April nominations thread (which had HUGE participation) just in case folks were just checking for updates vs "strolling around Chowhound" reading boards etc. I figured some folks likely didn't realize it was nomination time again. I know that I feel like time has been flying these days!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                    Warm weather? I just woke up to a blanket of snow. What a surprise for April in the Northwest!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                      Yikes LN! I'm afraid that system is heading our way for the weekend. While today it's sunny and the grass has been greening up over the past two days, they are now calling for a "chance of snow" on Saturday night/Sunday.

                                                                                                                                      If you could just send it in a different direction, we'd really appreciate it up here in the great white north!!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                        No problem. I'll stand on my roof and blow to the southwest!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                          You're the best! ; - )

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                          Out here in sunny California I had to threaten my kids with hiding their shorts to get them to wear pants to school today!

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                        Thanks BC - I felt like we needed more time.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                          I know I've been doing a lot of spring cleaning, and I haven't found much in AMFT that is quick and easy enough, as well as appropriate for my family. Plus my oven stopped working and it took a week to get it fixed! I'm hoping next month's cook book is a better fit for me. I think a lot of people are going to be busy in May, it would definitely make sense to choose a book with lots of fast and easy recipes.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                            I am not the best judge of fast and easy, as I tend to go with long and complicated, but AMFT has a lot of easy dishes. The armagnac chicken is super easy, sower the veal chops.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                              I agree Sarah. Donna Hay is terrific for simple tasty meal but I don't hear much about her on these boards so I'm not sure if she's that popular amongst Chowhounders.

                                                                                                                                              I have all her books and love her style of cooking. She's definitely one of my faves.

                                                                                                                                        2. How about "My New Orleans" by John Besh? It's a terrific book.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: BernieMSY

                                                                                                                                            BernieMSY,
                                                                                                                                            To nominate, you need to put the book title in all caps --
                                                                                                                                            it's just for the ease of locating in a long thread.

                                                                                                                                          2. I'm feeling the overchoice. I definitely want to do Ottolenghi and Plenty, but hopefully when Plenty is actually available.
                                                                                                                                            I would very much like to do The South American Table, but I think there was some earlier discussion about postponing that possibility to the summery months.
                                                                                                                                            I've got Seductions of Rice, so I'd be happy to work from that until I get sick of rice; I am not interested in Flatbreads and Flavors at this point in time.
                                                                                                                                            I also have 660 Curries, which looks great, I'd welcome the opportunity to delve into it further.
                                                                                                                                            However, if I can second the nominations on two books (it seems I've seen that done on prior threads), I'm probably most curious about:
                                                                                                                                            RADICALLY SIMPLE - The dishes pikawicca listed sound interesting, as do others from EYB.
                                                                                                                                            or
                                                                                                                                            THE OLIVE AND THE CAPER - I'm with Lulu here, two of my favorite foods, plus the other recipes sound great.

                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                              Those books are the ones singing to me too - so much so that I've put them on my amazon wish list. But I'm not going to vote since I won't be around.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                Bayou Cook, oh great leader and moderator! May I PULEEZ change my vote from "Slater's Books" to OTTOLENGHI and PLENTY?

                                                                                                                                                Thank you and the check is in the mail.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                                  So my Flatbreads and Flavors book just arrived in the mail and I am even more excited about this one then I was about Seductions of Rice. I already gave my pitch above but I really want everyone to check out the recipe index through EYB:

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

                                                                                                                                                  Here are some of the recipes that have caught my eye:
                                                                                                                                                  Apricot noodle soup served with Persian pebble bread
                                                                                                                                                  Fresh rice paper with grilled lemongrass beef and peanut dipping sauce
                                                                                                                                                  Date bread morsels with pomegranate yogurt dip
                                                                                                                                                  Ethiopian injera bread with curry
                                                                                                                                                  Savory Georgian quick breads - filled with things like potato, cheese, or beans
                                                                                                                                                  Pueblo chile rubbed pork with fry bread

                                                                                                                                            2. I also like the idea of an Indian cookbook, maybe more than Rozanne Gold, but because I am so new to cooking Indian, I'll accede to someone else's choice of a title.

                                                                                                                                              So I'll nominate an AS YET UNSPECIFIED INDIAN COOKBOOK.

                                                                                                                                              1. I am pretty surprised at all of the mentions of Ottolenghi: The Cookbook since it has already been a COTM...especially when you consider that there must be well over a hundred very good cookbooks out there. I mean, I am sure it is good, but wanting to repeat it so soon is interesting to me.

                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: DougRisk

                                                                                                                                                  I think the reason it is coming up as a possible revisit is that people are interested in doing Yotam Ottolenghi's newer book Plenty, and if doing another book by him, it makes sense to couple it with revisiting the first. Too, Plenty is all vegetarian, and Ottolenghi: The Cookbook includes both meat/seafood and baked goods/desserts, so it opens up the cooking possibilities to include the latter. I doubt anyone would be bringing up a revisit if not also wanting to include Plenty.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                    Oh, OK. Thanks

                                                                                                                                                2. As I was looking through my bookshelves last night I came across a couple of really good books that I think would make great COTMs and I wondered whether these books had been nominated in the past, the both seem quite popular in EYB:

                                                                                                                                                  The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

                                                                                                                                                  A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes by David Tanis

                                                                                                                                                  36 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                    Breadcrumbs, you are full of good ideas. I've got both of these in my Amazon wish list, would be happy to push them to the top!
                                                                                                                                                    This COTM can become a bit of a spendy activity, can't it?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                      I'd recommend both books in a heartbeat LN. I was so captivated by A Platter of Figs that I asked for (and rec'd) "Heart of the Artichoke" for Christmas. I haven't had an opportunity to look at it in any detail as yet but if it's anything like his first book, I'm sure I'll love it.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                        I have both POF and HotA and have only cooked 1-2 dishes from the former (with good results); nothing from the latter. What do you recommend from POF?

                                                                                                                                                        Also, I will say HotA is quite a bit different from POF. It has 3 sections. The first is recipes for 1, and calling them "recipes" might be a little strong. Some of them are just ideas, almost food essays. The last section is cooking for crowds, sort of a celebration section. The middle section is exactly that--in the middle of these two extremes. It all looks fantastic, but it is quite different in concept than PoF.

                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                          I'd love to know what your favorites were in Platter of Figs. I've had the book since it came out and haven't cooked a single thing from it. Just doesn't light a fire under me. Maybe I need a push. Recommendations?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                            It’s been a while since I cooked from it so I had to pull it off the shelf since the book pre-dates EYB and my awareness of Chowhound so I don’t have any notes on-line I can reference.

                                                                                                                                                            Here are some of the dishes we enjoyed:

                                                                                                                                                            Fava Bean Salad w Mountain Ham and Mint (I used fennel fronds instead of mint though)

                                                                                                                                                            Apple Tart

                                                                                                                                                            Ambrosia

                                                                                                                                                            Olive Relish

                                                                                                                                                            Wild Salmon w Vietnamese Cucumbers

                                                                                                                                                            Rhubarb Kumquat Compote

                                                                                                                                                            Deconstructed Salade Nicoise

                                                                                                                                                            Blueberry Blackberry Crumble

                                                                                                                                                            Cherry Tomato Crostini w Ricotta (would love to do this again w homemade ricotta now!!)

                                                                                                                                                            Fish Tacos w Shredded Cabbage and Lime

                                                                                                                                                            Tomato Bread

                                                                                                                                                            Fish Soup w Mussels and Chorizo (I used hot chorizo)

                                                                                                                                                            Spiced Olives

                                                                                                                                                            Celery Root Mashed Potatoes (ooooh!)

                                                                                                                                                            Also we had the Orecchiette al Forno w the home made fennel sausage at a friend’s house and it was outstanding. That dish inspired me to purchase the book.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                              Thanks BC, it is good to see what has worked for someone else.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                              I bought Platter of Figs when I was in New York eighteen months ago, and haven't cooked from it either! I'd welcome it as COTM at some point as well.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                          BC, I think that you need to put those books in ALL CAPS, if you want them to be nominated.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DougRisk

                                                                                                                                                            DougRisk, sometimes we discuss various titles before we actually nominate a book. In that case we don't capitalize so as not to confuse the coordinator. Perhaps that's what BC is doing here...

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                              Thanks Gio, you're right. I actually nominated a book up-thread but was interested to know whether there'd been any talk of these books in the past. I think they'd make great COTM's and would be happy to nominate one if others were interested.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                btw Gio, all 3 of my Edward Giobbi books have arrived now and I'm loving reading through them. I'm actually making my first EG dish tonight, the Pasta Con Ricotta from Italian Family Cooking. The wonderful (7 mins from my house!) Persian Market I discovered during Arabesque month gets the most amazing fresh product in and has been partnering w local farmers to purchase incredible meat and dairy items. Yesterday I stopped in and he was loading some fresh, sheep's milk ricotta into the fridge!! My heart started racing!! I came home and found this recipe. Can't wait to try it tonight!!

                                                                                                                                                                . . . .that said, wouldn't one or two of Giobbi's books also make an amazing COTM!!?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                  Oh I'm so glad you're enjoying the Giobbi books. I do think his books would make a wonderful COTM, but recently I read one poster who thought we've had enough Italian books for now... personally, I don't but it is good to vary cuisines.

                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't had a chance to read your account of fresh ricotta making but I know it's there. making my own ricotta is something I've wanted to do for some time. Lucky you that you have a nearby supplier, though. I love really fresh ricotta, it has such a nice clean refreshing flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                    I'm loving making my own ricotta Gio; you're so right, it has such a clean flavour. That said, I've been using regular milk as I haven't found a source for sheep's milk which is why I was elated to find it at that market!

                                                                                                                                                                    I'll post about the Giobbi recipe in WFD but I'm confident we'll love it. I'm especially loving the artwork in the books, so cute!

                                                                                                                                                                    I'd welcome an Italian COTM. I've been here since Sept and there hasn't been one. Maybe someone else will weigh in here, I know Giobbi has some fans here.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                      Gio, I'm curious -- I think it was you that planned to put cookbook buying on hold--
                                                                                                                                                                      have you held firm?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                        Hah. That lasted about 32 seconds, blue room. I simply had to have A Little Irish Cookbook by John Murphy, Revised edition of Eat Right Eat Well the Italian Way by Edward Giobbi my first edition of his original book is litterally falling apart, and 660 Curries bt Raghavan Iyer. I Love Curries.
                                                                                                                                                                        Just Had to have all of these you understand. But, I haven't bought any others since 25 March.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                          Gio - I've always loved and collected cookbooks, but I've bought a lot more than usual since I've been a 'Hound. And I will say this: it's been worth every penny - all of the cookbooks highly recommended on here have become favorites of mine. The only ones that don't appeal are the curry and Thai ones because DH doesn't like that cuisine (I go out for lunch and get my fix!).

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                            Can she make it a full month, ladies and gentlemen??

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                              No she can't. She's just ordered Antonio Carluccio's "Italia" But it's used. Does that count?

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                              Too funny, Gio -- I've given up trying
                                                                                                                                                                              This whole process illustrated here:
                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EjJsP...

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                          Make the chicken with cauliflower and olives from Italian Family Cooking. I've been making it for years and years.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                            Oh that sounds scrumptious bt! It's funny you mention that because I picked up a cauliflower at the market last night as I was considering making the gratin from AMFT along w that chicken in a pot but now you've really piqued my interest in this one...

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                              Has vinegar and plum tomatoes in it too...quite scrummy.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                      Each of those books has been mentioned on various nomination threads over the years, but iifc, only the Tanis was actually nominated. That one was passed on at the time because it was too new and not enough libraries. I think we'd also recently come off a rather unsuccessful Walters month and without much opportunity at the time to really take a look at the book, people were a bit leery that it might be too much of the same.

                                                                                                                                                                      Again, iifc, not many seemed familiar with the Kasper book, although all of us who were had high praise for it. I think the Kasper, in particular, would make an excellent COTM when we're ready for another Italian. That is, if Giobbi doesn't beat her out.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                        If I could I'd give the edge to Giobbi over Kasper but that's just me.

                                                                                                                                                                        Here's a link to The Splendid Table's blog recipe page:

                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.publicradio.org/columns/sp...

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                          BTW, I have both Splendid Table cookbooks. As I said, I love, love, love the Emilia Romangna one, but I hate, hate, hate the second one, based on their talk radio show. Highly disappointed in it based on my experience with their first book.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                            I have both, too. Out of the second one i've made only two recipes - the Black Bean Stew (79) and The Mac and Cheese (182). I see I've tagged about a dozen recipes in there, including Pho (which I love but have never attempted to make - any recs for that recipe?). I get the Splendid Table newsletter as well. I made a kind of curry off that one a year or so ago - one with *gentle spices* that DH actually liked. Need to find that one again.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, I like the gentle spices curry. It's good for when we feel like a good British style creamy curry. Can be a bit *too* gentle though.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, I usually add a bit more curry spices to my portion after I serve DH.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                              I don't have the second one and perhaps I should avoid it! I do have LRK's Italian Country Table and have enjoyed recipes from that book.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                I agree 100%, DK.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                            BC,

                                                                                                                                                                            I have The Splendid Table and it is my all time favorite Italian cookbook. Because I was so inspired by the recipes in this book, I spent a week in the Emilia Romagna region during a recent vacation. I would highly recommend this book.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                              I've had that one for some time and haven't gone through it yet - pulling it out for a browse tonight...

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                                                                There is a hazelnut semi freddo in the dessert section that will blow your mind. All the
                                                                                                                                                                                r-agus are yummy (had to spell it that way or my computer would change it to argues - very aggravating!). And lots more to tempt you. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                Wow, that's great to know Joan and dk, thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                I think we can nominate 2 books and I've only nominated one so far and it hasn't had much interest. I would LOVE to do an Italian book. I'm excited to think there might be some interest in Kasper.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                  I wouldn't give up on your other book yet. By my rough count there are six books that all have 3 to 5 nominations thus far, which seems rather close.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                    One thing to keep in mind, Breadcrumbs, is that sometimes books take a while to catch fire for COTM (for just one example, oakjoan brought up Jamie Oliver about a zillion times in nomination threads over the last year or two before his books finally carried the day, and were, over all, pretty popular I think). So, go ahead and nominate books ypu're excited about and make a case for them, even if you have to keep nominating them. You never know.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. Im trying a couple of recipes in Pam Anderson's Perfect One Dish Dinners and would appreciate others reactions to that book.

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DonShirer

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Don. I've tried four recipes out of there and have many more marked. The Cassoulet-Style Italian Sausages and White Beans on page 51; the Pineapple Upside-Down Biscuits on page 156, Deviled Eggs on Butter Lettuce with Honey-Mustard Dressing on page 180, and the Warm Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Red Bell Pepper Salad on page 198. All were delicious and will be made again now that I've pulled the book off the shelf! I love the desserts section in the book.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. RICK BAYLESS - ANY OF HIS BOOKS

                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: vickstersb

                                                                                                                                                                                    This is the second time that I am participating in COTM selection and amazed that people were very passionate about Marcella Hazan and David Thompson books last month and not a peep about these this month but a lot of other passionate nominations. What happened to Hazan and Thompson lovers? Have you given up? Or just get carried away by other possibilities? Could we do the nominations differently?

                                                                                                                                                                                    I am wondering if we could brainstorm and choose the cuisines/authors/themes/etc we would like to cook for, say, the next 4-6 months; decide which month this cuisine/etc. we will cook and then nominate books to cook from for that month. Am I explaining my idea clearly? Say, we decide that:

                                                                                                                                                                                    June will be Indian month

                                                                                                                                                                                    July, an Italian month

                                                                                                                                                                                    August, Thomson month

                                                                                                                                                                                    September, vegetarian month, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                    In June, we will nominate our favourite Indian books and vote one to cook from; do the same in July with our favourite Italian book and choose a vegetarian one in September.

                                                                                                                                                                                    What do you think?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                      Herby, this is *such* an informal enterprise. Like you say, the Thai (Thompson) book is forgotten and at least 10 others have taken its place! I can offer only my own opinion, of course, but as long as there is a final vote that results in one book, I'm happy. All the rest of the discussion and suggestions are haha the icing on the cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Edit -- I think this month may be more scattered than most!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                        We tried a process somewhat similar to what you suggest soon after the inception of COTM and people were not shy in saying they felt it hindered discussion, held back new people from joining, and often eliminated the expressions of passion that emanate from the nomination thread. Also, it's not unusual, and this thread is a perfect example, for a last-minute or casual suggestion to take hold and go on to become the selection either that month or soon thereafter.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Ok, I've slept on it. I did nominate one book up thread but I'd like to make a second nomination to see if others have any interest in nominating this:

                                                                                                                                                                                      THE SPLENDID TABLE by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

                                                                                                                                                                                      Some merits of this book:

                                                                                                                                                                                      - Winner: James Beard Awards and Book of the Year: Julia Child Cookbook Awards

                                                                                                                                                                                      - Indexed in EYB and, one of the most popular Italian cookbooks (on193 shelves)

                                                                                                                                                                                      - Many recipes widely available on-line including "The Splendid Table" Public Media Website

                                                                                                                                                                                      - Widely available to purchase new & used in US, UK and Canada

                                                                                                                                                                                      - Not just another "Italian" cookbook. Recipes are specific to Emilia-Romagna. A great opportunity to explore regional cuisine w lots of info on the region, specialized techniques and origin of dishes in the book and on-line.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Ok, I'm done. Off to get another coffee!

                                                                                                                                                                                      15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                        BC - took it out and read it again last night - if I participated in the nominations I'd be right with you!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                                                                          Since I am only allowed two nominations, I can't second The Splendid Table, though I agree it would make an excellent COTM. I already nominated Seductions of Rice and Flatbreads and Flavors to be used as a set.

                                                                                                                                                                                          If it doesn't make it this month, I think it would be an excellent choice for the colder months. Yes, I realize some of you are still in the throws of the colder months!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't see a rule about 2 nominations in the OP. Have I missed something in my month away?

                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                              There's no rule, TDQ, just self-restraint on the part of some of us.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                                                                            bayoucook, I wasn't aware that you don't nominate -- because you're "in charge" now? I'd hate to miss out on a good book due to your silence!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                              It has always been the MO that the coordinater during her or his reign abstains from nominating and voting. I don't know that it actually would sway things, but that's generally the way things have been done.

                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                            I've had interest in this book for some time - it seems to be universally loved by those who've cooked from it. I've passed on buying it a few times though, because when I looked through it, the recipes appeared quite rich as well as labor intensive, which means it would get only rare use at our house. Can those who've cooked from this book comment on this impression of mine?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi Westminstress, let me start things off and maybe others w more experience than I have can weigh in. When I first rec'd the book, I shared your impression that the recipes appeared to be quite labour intensive and noted that most are 1.5 to 2pgs long. That said, once I started reading this book, I fell in love w it. What I realized is that it's chock full of information.

                                                                                                                                                                                              So, while the recipe itself may be simple to execute, the text is quite lengthy as head notes, tips, "work ahead" plans, wine matches and menu suggestions are always included. Also, LRK provides you w the option of making your own pasta to accompany sauces so is lots of information on how to make, shape and cut dough etc. That said, she does provide recommendations for dried pasta if you choose for forgo that step. Her recipes also include suggested substitutions for example a 14-16oz can of tomatoes if tomatoes are out of season or you just can't be bothered chopping up a pound of fresh ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                              In my experience, the recipes in this book aren't rich. Now, I haven't cooked from it extensively so I pulled it off the shelf and did a quick "flip through" and I'd say my impression was accurate but I'd certainly encourage someone else to weigh in here.

                                                                                                                                                                                              The book has been indexed in EYB so if you're interested, you can take a look at some of the ingredient lists there. Here's that link:

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

                                                                                                                                                                                              Also, I would say that the recipes call for ingredients that are readily available at a typical supermarket.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I know this isn't exactly what you were looking for but I hope it's of some help Westminstress.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks, bc, very helpful, and I'd still love to hear from others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                                                  WestMisnstress

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am weighing in. Labor intensive: probably have to say yes. Difficult: no. Like many Italian recipes, the layering of flavors requires many steps; things to be reduced down before adding the remaining ingredients. Absolutely essential in my opinion if you want a rich, flavorful, authentic result.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The recipe that comes to mind is the stock I use for tortellini in brodo. I think I originally got if from this book. It has a mixture of beef bones and chicken. There is roasting involved, poaching, skimming, but the result, well...you have to try the recipe or go to Emilia Romagna if you want to find out!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here is a link to a thread I started on Italian cookbooks. It lists a few of my favorites from the Splendid Table.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/773211

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for pasting that link dk, I don't know how I missed your thread. I have more Italian cookbooks than any other cuisine. According to EYB I have 114 of them! I'll have to think about it and weigh in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, please do BC. I was hoping people like you could get me to use mine more! I have two other threads going re my Mexican cookbooks and my French (this one has sparked some controversy, btw), so I'll post links for these two as well:

                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/773290

                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/773225

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fabulous! I'll save them all to my profile too. Thanks dk!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Similarly I started a "Favourite Produce/Seasonal" cookbook thread that you may be interested in:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7777...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Of course the danger of threads like these is that undoubtedly, you'll be tempted to buy more cookbooks!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just checked out your link BC and I am salivating! I will post my favorites tonight when the kids go to sleep. I see some but not all of my favorites listed amongst your selections.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I really like The Splendid Table (as well as Kasper's Itallian Country Kitchen book) and will support it for COTM another time, but I really think of her cuisine as cool weather food dont you? The cuisine was a little rich for summer when we were in E-R a couple of years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Why is it so hard to choose each month? I did succumb to the siren's call and purchased 660 curries and some of Giobbi's books. I've only made a couple recipes from the Splendid Table, but enjoyed them both. A couple more Italian cookbooks that focus on specific regions that interest me are My Calabria (have not cooked from it yet, but I really like the look of the recipes) and Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey: The Mediterrarenan Flavors of Sardinia (I think MMRuth and others have had some success with this one). Platter of Figs sounds intriguing too, but my vote goes to OTTOLENGHI and PLENTY for now. Thank you Paula for sorting through all of this and giving us more time to decide.

                                                                                                                                                                                              P.S. Congrats to TDQ!

                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                                                                Since their is no restriction, I second THE SPLENDID TABLE (the original,Italian cookbook).

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks DK!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Don't you hate when you spell a word wrong and then you catch it when it is too late to edit?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                      . . . didn't even notice until you mentioned it dk! It's amazing any of us can spell any more with all the acronyms and abbreviations in text messages!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Hey, y'all! We've got about three hours to go and it is CLOSE. Plenty and revisit Ottolenghi has 5 votes, tied for second with four each are Radically Simple and My Bombay Kitchen. If you have any more nominations or votes, now is the time! -Paula

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                                                                                    We are having a separate voting thread, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, which reminds me, can I make a request that a link to the voting thread by attached to the bottom of this nomination thread. That way, everyone will find it in time to vote!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Here is the link for the run-off voting:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/779094

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I thought I'd mention that today I made dishes from The Olive and the Caper and, The Splendid Table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here's a link to my notes and some photos in the WFD thread in case anyone wants to take a look:

                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7790...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Hi Everyone, I just thought I'd let you know that bayoucook has posted the June (how can it be June already!!) nomination thread here:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7841...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here we go again!!!