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Apr 12, 2011 10:49 AM


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.


            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!

              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?


                        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: 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: 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.


                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      Adding my Congratulations TDQ. All hail The Prince.

                                        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

                                                        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).