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The August Cookbook of the Month will be WORLD VEGETARIAN by Madhur Jaffrey.

bayoucook Jul 24, 2011 03:05 PM

There will be an adjunct thread for PALETAS. Full posting for WV will be on August 1st.
The Dairy Queen will post on Paletas. - many thanks to her!

  1. Breadcrumbs Jul 24, 2011 05:41 PM

    Thanks bayoucook! I know this book has received a ton of positive reviews so I’m excited to crack it open. I rec’d it as a Christmas gift but I haven’t given it much more than a cursory glance since then.

    I’d love to hear recipe recommendations from folks who have already been cooking from it as this is such a big book and, I tend to get overwhelmed by all the choices . . . especially w the added “global” focus.

    With almost 200 vegetable recipes in this book, we should be in good shape for our farmer’s market cooking next month!

    39 Replies
    1. re: Breadcrumbs
      JaneEYB Jul 25, 2011 08:05 AM

      There's actually 511 vegetable recipes in this book, 638 in total, so even more choice than you thought. I'm really looking forward to cooking from this book. I'll see if we can get Madhur involved.

      1. re: JaneEYB
        Breadcrumbs Jul 25, 2011 10:28 AM

        That would be incredible if Madhur were to participate Jane. She was on tv here in Canada in the pre-Food Network days and I always enjoyed her programs. She's so knowledgeable.

        That's great news that there are even more veggie recipes than I'd thought. In the Introduction Madhur notes that there are "almost 200 vegetable recipes in the book" but I'm guessing she must have been referring to the actual "Vegetables" chapter now you mention this.

        EYB will come in very handy this month, with so many recipes, I'll definitely need it to help me plan my menus around what's fresh at the market.

        Edited to add: I was quite surprised to learn this book was published in 1999. I had no idea it had been around so long already.

        1. re: Breadcrumbs
          The Dairy Queen Jul 25, 2011 12:13 PM

          I always worry that people will be less candid about posting their comments in these COTM threads when the author is looking on. We live and die on chowhound by people's honest opinions. Personally, I'm not a fan of inviting the author to join our discussion.


          1. re: The Dairy Queen
            L.Nightshade Jul 25, 2011 12:25 PM

            I feel differently, DQ. I think it could enhance the process if it is an author who is willing to answer questions, make clarifications, give a little history, etc. I don't have qualms about saying a dish wasn't for me if an author is "listening in." Sometimes someone who really knows the recipe and the food can even say why the dish didn't work, and can lead you toward a better outcome.

            1. re: L.Nightshade
              The Dairy Queen Jul 25, 2011 02:00 PM

              I lost my network connection right after posting my above comment (in fact, I wasn't even sure it had posted!) so apologies for my delay in responding to you.

              In my experience, it depends on the book and on the author.

              In the case of the wokkery, it was helpful because we were talking about some very specific cooking techniques and equipment that she could provide specific technical guidance about. I don't think we have a similar situation here with WV, but who knows. Furthermore, Grace Young was incredibly gracious and thick-skinned, but not all authors are (in my opinion). In fact, I'll just say most aren't. I won't name authors, but more than one author has been a bit sensitive to the point where I personally felt uncomfortable about something I had posted. (And I regretted my post and still angst over it to this day.)

              Furthermore, the tone of the threads changed with everyone falling over themselves to thank the author, etc. I felt that people were pulling back on their feedback out of respect for the author, which I think makes these threads pointless. It's pointless if people temper their comments or decline to post negative comments.

              But, I know people love rubbing virtual elbows with the writers. I'd rather rub elbows with my fellow 'hounds without having to be over-the-top-polite because I think the venerable Ms. Jaffrey is looking on. Also, I might not be as candid about my failures because I don't want to look like an idiot in front of her. Etc.

              I do feel strongly about this issue, but I don't feel strongly about this book. So, if people who feel strongly about this book do want Jane to contact the author, I will probably just fade out for August and focus on Paletas, but I did want to at least voice my opinion on this topic.


              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                herby Jul 25, 2011 07:26 PM

                TDQ, I was having a similar conversation with one of my bookclub members this evening. We have a "mystery" month in July and invite a local author to join the discussion. It is always about the writing process, where the characters came from, etc. and not about discussing the book.

                In case of COTM, however, I do not see why we could not post our cooking experience and have the author point out our mistakes if we make them. I am with BC on this - let's learn from the guru since we chose his/her book to cook from.

                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                  Gio Jul 26, 2011 05:00 AM

                  Whether or not an author of one of our COTMs is popping in to answer questions or comment on our reports is immaterial to me. I'd be surprised to hear that an author isn't already here among us and lurking. How could one not be when a simple Google can bring up any number of references to a particular book.

                  When I cooked through the Bon Appetit Y'All book I found several editing problems vis a vis ingredient amounts and cooking directions. It seems to me that VA Willis took the complaint well and corrected each one quickly and gracefully. Others, too, had some difficulty with various recipes and were not deterred from mentioning it.

                  I guess it all breaks down to saying what needs to be said respectfully without being harshly critical.

                  1. re: Gio
                    Breadcrumbs Jul 26, 2011 05:17 AM

                    Funny you should mention that COTM Gio. I was just reading your very humorous review of the Three-day slaw the other day . . . . I lost it when you gave it a name!! Very funny!!

              2. re: The Dairy Queen
                Breadcrumbs Jul 25, 2011 01:08 PM

                Having just joined Chowhound last fall, I don't have a lot of experience w this. I will say though that it was very helpful having Grace Young around during the SFTSE and BOAW COTMs. I didn't get the impression folks were holding back and I definitely learned from Ms Young's comments, suggestions and stories. Somehow it brings the book to life and, I appreciated that Ms Young stood by her recipes. I found her passion for cooking and preserving the tradition of using a wok to be infectious and inspiring. At the end of that COTM I felt I'd learned some valuable lessons and enhanced my culinary skills.

                In my experience COTM reviews seem to be written in a respectful manner, especially if the dish was a flop. In fact, I think most of us tend to think/say we've likely messed up the result by changing/omitting thus or so. I can't imagine that changing if an author was joining us. In fact, I'd hope that these instances in particular would provide an opportunity for learning. I'd be interested to know if perhaps one of my ingredients were sub-par or, I'd used a wrong technique.

                I'd love to have authors join us on our monthly culinary journeys. I think it would further enhance the COTM's wonderful culture of community and learning.

                I've loved cooking from this month's COTM and after preparing over 40 recipes, I'm delighted with the quality of the recipes. That said, I'd love to speak w Mario about the less-than-accurate photography in Italian Grill . . . . Mario, are you out there . . . ? ; - )

                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                  beetlebug Jul 25, 2011 01:49 PM

                  I agree with TDQ. While I thought it was very nice of Grace Young to pop in the discussion, I know it inhibited my discussion of her recipes. GY has a lot of knowledge about the wok and the technique, but on the most part, I found her recipes really lacking in authenticity. Stir Fry to the Sky's Edge, especially, was really geared towards western taste and was more PF Changs than chinese food. So many of her recipes had so much potential but she made these assumptions as to what ingredients home cooks would like for the recipes (I mean, what's with all the superfluous carrots, celery and green peppers in dishes where they have no business being in). Even a mild critique from HC hounds about the organization of the recipe (about how the marinade ingredients weren't separated from the rest of the ingredients) brought a defensive remark from her. To me, that inhibits discussion.

                  The same happened in one of my book groups - we had conferenced call the author in. Prior to the call, we had ripped the book to shreds because there were a lot of weaknesses and it was just a medicore book. But, when the author came on, we all became super polite and barely gave any constructive criticism on how the book could have been better because the author was so happy to be speaking to readers.

                  1. re: beetlebug
                    The Dairy Queen Jul 25, 2011 02:59 PM

                    I forgot about the "authenticity" issue with GY month. :( .


                    1. re: beetlebug
                      Breadcrumbs Jul 25, 2011 03:35 PM

                      I'd forgotten about the organization of the ingredients in GY month . . . it was probably me constantly commenting about that, it was driving me crazy!

                      Hopefully our feedback will help her better meet her reader's needs in her next book.

                    2. re: The Dairy Queen
                      LulusMom Jul 27, 2011 02:26 AM

                      I do think it depends on the author, but it definitely has made me hold back in the past from posting a full out "yuck!" review. And I have to say, as an observer during the NY Times cookbook month, I found some of Amanda Hesser's comments (watch out) self-serving. I seem to remember her saying something like "Just buy the book" instead of getting it from the library, which made me sort of gasp and laugh, but really think that we don't need THAT sort of author input.

                      1. re: LulusMom
                        The Dairy Queen Jul 27, 2011 04:23 AM

                        I was stunned by some of Hesser's comments, too. As a professional writer, she surely knows how to manage her tone on the page, so when she was being sharp, I was pretty sure she intended it.

                        Hesser worked on ENYTC for 6 years. I can only imagine the extraordinary amount of effort and commitment it would take to complete such a project. I don't blame the authors for being self-serving, sharp, defensive, whatever --who wouldn't be with a yahoo like me bumbling through their books?-- but I do their participation changes the COTM game somewhat. Most of the time, we are polite and respectful toward the material in these COTM threads, but there's no reason we HAVE to be. If we want to be full-on scornful and disgusted, we certainly could be. For instance, I remember some pretty high frustration levels with the slip-sloppy editing in the River Cafe books (even though I oddly enjoyed those books and eventually bought one of them) and am grateful I didn't have to temper my opinions for fear of hurting someone's feelings.


                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                          LulusMom Jul 27, 2011 05:46 AM

                          I'm so glad I wasn't the only one picking up on the weirdness of her tone. I have to say, it turned me off even considering buying the book (which may well mean I was cutting off my nose to spite my face). I totally agree, TDQ, that it makes sense to feel attached to your "baby" and not want to hear complaints. But nothing is perfect, and having an author around getting defensive can scare off some posters.

                          I love those River Cafe books and still use them all the time (my favorite roast chicken is from one of the - the one with the lemon and thyme). But yes, they're horribly edited, and I wouldn't have wanted one of them to be my first ever cookbook!

                          1. re: LulusMom
                            L.Nightshade Jul 27, 2011 04:55 PM

                            I feel I must come to the defense of Amanda Hesser. That was my first COTM, and I found her comments very helpful. And, wondering what you were talking about, I just went to her profile and brought up her posts. I don't find anything that isn't completely gracious and informative.

                            1. re: L.Nightshade
                              LulusMom Jul 28, 2011 03:36 AM

                              Maybe the more offensive, self-serving stuff got taken down. I definitely remember her getting uppity with a few people. But then again, that is one of the problems with communicating this way - I may read something into it totally different from what the author meant; and other may read it differently.

                              Again, I was out of the country and unable to cook during most of that month, so I was only along as a reader. Maybe if I'd been cooking, she'd have given me some wonderfully helpful answer to something. But mostly I didn't get that feeling.

                              1. re: LulusMom
                                Katie Nell Jul 28, 2011 06:52 AM

                                I don't know, I'm pretty ultra-sensitive, and I wasn't offended by anything. That being said, I am not a fan of cooking along with the chef. I mean, there's a part of me that gets a little excited (starstruck), but overall, it makes me uncomfortable. In fact, I was just thinking the other day about how a lot of people in my town like to schmooze with the local chefs and about how much I don't enjoy that. It makes me cringe when chefs respond to my postings on Chowhound or via e-mail!

                                1. re: LulusMom
                                  jen kalb Jul 28, 2011 08:22 AM

                                  it wouldnt be the first time an author got a little peeved by people saying they will take the book out of the library rather than buying it. Understandable but impolitic.

                                  1. re: jen kalb
                                    L.Nightshade Jul 28, 2011 09:03 AM

                                    And certainly unwise. I had no intention of buying ENYT, but after cooking from the library's copy, I had to buy it!

                                  2. re: LulusMom
                                    JoanN Jul 29, 2011 11:17 AM

                                    Just out of curiosity, I went back to take a look at some of Hesser's replies from last February and it seems as though *all* of her comments have been removed. I couldn't find a single one of her posts anywhere on those COTM threads. Her comments must have been repeatedly self-serving, self-promotional, and/or egregious for that to have happened.

                                    I think it must be extremely difficult for authors to participate while adhering to the mostly-unstated, or at least not readily obvious, restrictions imposed by the site. We might be putting them in an awkward position by inviting them to respond if they then discover many of their replies deleted.

                                    1. re: JoanN
                                      The Dairy Queen Jul 29, 2011 11:42 AM

                                      Joan, they are still there. I don't know if they are ALL still there, but here's one of her comments from the master thread. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/763224#6291787

                                      ETA I'm trying to click on her name to see her user profile, but that doesn't seem to be working for me right now. Not for any user, including Hesser's.

                                      OKAY, now I have it working. It looks like she's got posts in multiple of the Feb COTM threads, as I would expect. http://www.chow.com/profile/1227463


                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                        JoanN Jul 29, 2011 11:55 AM

                                        Nevermind :-(

                                        Do I feel like an idiot. I searched under her real name, not her profile name, and none of the COTM posts came up--other than those in which we mentioned her. I just forgot what a good friend of mine always used to say: Never forget that there's an "ass" in assume.

                                        1. re: JoanN
                                          The Dairy Queen Jul 29, 2011 11:58 AM

                                          Your approach was completely logical. After all, why would she not have the profile name "amanda hesser?" Is there some other user running around with that name? If there is, I have not yet encountered her. But, if her recipes are as good, I would welcome her.

                                          I am dying to try those cookies after you posted on them yesterday. In fact, I'm glad you posted about them. During Feb, I was flagging all of these ENYTC recipes to try when summer produce season was in full swing, which is now. I'm going to have to curl up with ENYTC and EYB and try some more of her recipes.

                                          And I think tomorrow we shall have Dutch Baby for breakfast.


                    3. re: Breadcrumbs
                      serah Jul 26, 2011 01:13 PM

                      Awesome! I love this book, it's got loads of great recipes in it! I love the aubergines with spicy peanut sauce, the hot and spicy bean curd and the black bean charros - I cook these all the time! I also rate the rice recipes (there's a great iranian pilaf) and the nigerian peanut kidney bean stew.

                      A lot of the sauces for the veggie dishes work really well as general stir fry sauces as well.

                      One thing to bear in mind - I find the serving sizes to be a little on the small side - I think that each recipe is supposed to be part of a meal, rather than a meal in itself.

                      1. re: serah
                        Breadcrumbs Jul 26, 2011 01:19 PM

                        serah thanks so much, I'll be flagging the recipes you've mentioned as soon as I'm home. That's really helpful and, much appreciated!

                        1. re: serah
                          MelMM Jul 26, 2011 03:36 PM

                          And there is the fried okra with fresh curry or basil leaves. p252. This is a different technique. It's not battered and fried, just fried "bare" in oil. Then a slurry of turmeric and water is added. It's odd, adding turmeric mixed with water to the frying okra. But man oh man, is this good. I can eat this stuff like popcorn. Best okra dish ever.

                          1. re: MelMM
                            Caitlin McGrath Jul 26, 2011 03:43 PM

                            That looks very good, but I am wondering, does the oil not spit and pop a lot when you add the water?

                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                              MelMM Jul 26, 2011 04:56 PM

                              I didn't have a problem with it, to my surprise. You could always use a splatter screen, if you are worried about it.

                            2. re: MelMM
                              jen kalb Jul 26, 2011 07:11 PM

                              its interesting that a lot of bengali recipes use spices in this way (mixed with water to a slurry). maybe it keeps them from scorching (that can be an issue with turmeric)

                              1. re: jen kalb
                                Caitlin McGrath Jul 26, 2011 07:33 PM

                                In the headnote for this recipe, Jaffrey says that mixing salt or turmeric in water and adding to frying vegetables is a Keralan technique that causes the seasonings to "go right into the food." She calls for 1/4 tsp. of each in 1 1/2 T. water, for 1/2 lb. okra.

                              2. re: MelMM
                                Rella Jul 26, 2011 07:49 PM

                                I'll be making this tomorrow morning for breakfast; okra is a breakfast treat for me. I usually cut the okra in small pieces as shown in this recipe, but I don't use much oil to start with, but add oil as it is needed. I do fry the okra in a hot pan. Did you feel that 3/4 cup of oil was excessive?

                                Tumeric is one of those spices (along with hing/asoefetida) that make my salivary glands go wild as first whiff.

                                1. re: Rella
                                  MelMM Jul 27, 2011 04:46 AM

                                  No, the amount of oil is not excessive. This is fried okra, not sauteed. The okra is drained before serving and the final dish is not greasy. Let us know how it works for you.

                                  1. re: MelMM
                                    Rella Jul 27, 2011 01:13 PM

                                    I made this recipe today, p. 252. I used abt. 9 oz. okra and 10 basil leaves. My pan was 8" across on the bottom.

                                    As to the oil depth, I only used 1/4" - my estimation. It was more than adequate.

                                    DH and I both liked it. I did post pictures of the finished product, but somehow, they are not there.

                                    1. re: Rella
                                      The Dairy Queen Jul 27, 2011 01:31 PM

                                      Sometimes the photos won't attach if they are too big. When you go to attach the photo, I think it tells you the max file size allowed... Yeah, it's 10 megabytes.

                                      Too bad we don't really see much Okra in MN. After all of these raves, I'm curious indeed.


                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                        Rella Jul 27, 2011 02:28 PM

                                        I should have mentioned that my photos were of proper size. I wrote an email and Engineering answered that he has no trouble with IE. I do, so have been sending them using Firefox - which is a pain because I have to change to Firefox and send pictures from there. Perhaps I'll try later to send the pics of the half-way cooked and fully cooked okra on a separate posting, hoping it might work.
                                        Thanks for your reply.

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                          Rella Jul 27, 2011 02:35 PM

                                          Here are the photos that would not attach previously. The first photo is after the okra is cooking for about 5 minutes.
                                          The second photo is when the okra is about to be taken out of the pan.

                                          1. re: Rella
                                            Breadcrumbs Jul 27, 2011 03:21 PM

                                            Lovely photos Rella, thanks for taking the time for loading them as they're helpful. No doubt this dish was as delicious as it looks!

                                            1. re: Rella
                                              The Dairy Queen Jul 27, 2011 03:23 PM

                                              They look like sunny, little flowers! I"m glad you got the photos to post, though what a pain that you have to do it in firefox.


                              3. greedygirl Jul 25, 2011 12:58 AM

                                Didn't realise the deadline was gone - I forgot to vote!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: greedygirl
                                  The Dairy Queen Jul 25, 2011 03:20 PM

                                  Good thing there's always a next month!


                                2. roxlet Jul 25, 2011 12:01 PM

                                  I looked on Amazon and saw some copies going for quite a premium. I found a new copy on abebooks.com for $18.00 and snapped it up. It has gotten almost nothing but glowing reviews on Amazon...

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: roxlet
                                    greedygirl Jul 26, 2011 01:15 AM

                                    I snapped up the only cheap used copy on Amazon which I susquently realised was an older edition. It's coming from the US, which can take either a week, or three weeks - let's hope it's the former!

                                    1. re: greedygirl
                                      L.Nightshade Jul 26, 2011 05:11 AM

                                      I wonder if mine will be an older edition also. I found a hardcover copy for $6. Since I mostly see paperbacks, maybe this is older. I very much prefer hardbound cookbooks to paperback.

                                      1. re: greedygirl
                                        Rella Jul 26, 2011 05:16 AM


                                        says that it is the same ISBN-10: 0609809237 and Publisher as my paperback copy published in 1999. However, the Amazon says their paperback is published in January 15, 2002.

                                        Is there an even newer version than the 2002 paperback listed on Amazon. If you are cooking from a newer version, maybe someone can compare a page with me to see if pages match.

                                        Red Kidney Beans (Red, Large) on page 46 on my 1999 paperback. Which edition do you have and is it on the same page? Thanks.

                                        Is there an even newer book?

                                        1. re: Rella
                                          greedygirl Jul 26, 2011 06:16 AM

                                          That's the one I've ordered. Maybe the other edition I saw on Amazon.co.uk is the British version.

                                      2. re: roxlet
                                        Gio Jul 26, 2011 05:19 AM

                                        And my "used but good" copy was $12 and change at. Amazon. I have no idea which edition it is.

                                        1. re: Gio
                                          debbiel Jul 26, 2011 06:12 AM

                                          I picked up a hard cover "used very good" for $11.50 plus shipping yesterday. Well, ordered. Expected shipping date: August 1-August 15. I may actually participate in COTM again, after years of not doing so and even more years of wanting this cookbook.

                                      3. rabaja Jul 25, 2011 12:53 PM

                                        I've purposely stayed out of CotM voting these last two months because I never seem to follow through on my intention of cooking and sharing with you all.

                                        I happen to own this book, have had it for many years and it has largely gone untouched, so thank you for giving me a reason to pull it out.

                                        Good choice for this time of year, although I will be cooking my meat and fish right along side!

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: rabaja
                                          Breadcrumbs Jul 25, 2011 01:16 PM

                                          Looking forward to cooking w you in August rabaja!! Oh, and as for the meat, mr bc gasped when I told him what the book was for August. He looked horrified and said, "I need meat"!! So, you won't be alone cooking that meat alongside!!!

                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                            L.Nightshade Jul 25, 2011 01:20 PM

                                            Funny Breadcrumbs! Same in this house. That's part of the reason we've decided to use Planet Barbecue alongside WV. Mr. NS gets his meat, and his time at the grill. I will probably try to match cuisines from each book, since they both take on the world.

                                            1. re: L.Nightshade
                                              Breadcrumbs Jul 25, 2011 01:26 PM

                                              That sounds very ambitious LN, both such big books . . . I admire your energy!! One thing for certain though, EYB can sure help you with that. I was actually searching through WV by Ethnicity last night to get a sense of the various cuisines in the book. If you created a bookmark w both books together, you'd be well on your way. Maybe I'll just cook from your menus!! LOL!

                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                L.Nightshade Jul 25, 2011 01:44 PM

                                                Well now Breadcrumbs, I didn't promise to do the entire books! The way my schedule is going lately, I'm lucky to do one or two COTM nights per week!

                                                1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                  Breadcrumbs Jul 25, 2011 01:50 PM

                                                  Oh, bummer!! ; - )

                                                  I can definitely empathize LN, August is shaping up to be a crazy busy month for me so I actually felt a little relieved when NST wasn't picking up momentum! I'm keen to cook from WV but I'll have to be realistic in my menu planning too.

                                        2. s
                                          smtucker Jul 26, 2011 05:46 AM

                                          I have ordered a copy of World Vegetarian from the library, and who knows what edition it will be. I am finding it harder and harder to cook from the Batali book since it is now "full summer" here. I buy my vegetables from the farmer's market, and buy what looks good.

                                          Because the Batali books are small, there are limited recipes for the vegetables that are in season. How many times can I make green beans with onions?

                                          Maybe 365 vegetable recipes will help with this!

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: smtucker
                                            Gio Jul 26, 2011 05:55 AM

                                            I feel the same way, SMT. Mario is getting short shrift from me these final days of the month.

                                            My copy of The New Spanish Table arrived yesterday and tonight I'm making Braised Beans with Jamon...tomorrow it's going to be a Swiss Chard with Carrots recipe from the same book. All vegetables from our local farmers market.

                                            1. re: Gio
                                              smtucker Jul 26, 2011 06:00 AM

                                              Aren't the carrots and greens lovely this year? The Hmong farm at Central Square had the most beautiful bounty yesterday. Hard not to overbuy, but I don't since the prices have really gone up this year!

                                              Last night we had our first corn and tomato of the season. I just want these kinds of food steamed, or drizzled.... in a month, I will be looking for ways to give them some zip. For now, simple is the key.

                                              1. re: Gio
                                                The Dairy Queen Jul 26, 2011 07:39 AM

                                                Yes, these are the hazards of small books. The good news is, you do get to cover a ton of ground, the bad news is, you might run out of recipes before the end of the month. It seemed like having two books would solve that problem, but you just don't always know until you're deep into the month. I hate to say it, but in months where I'm very engaged in a book, I tend to get a little bored by week 3 anyway, and start to slip back into my other books.

                                                I saw somewhere breadcrumbs said she'd tried 40 recipes from the two Batali books. Impressive. I've never gotten that far. I think 20 would be a solid attempt from me in a single month.

                                                Gio, I'd be interested in how that recipe turns out from NST. I didn't find any of the recipe titles from that book particularly appealing when I was researching it during the nominations process. I am interested in the "Spanish Table" part, and less so in the "New" part. But that sounds like a pretty traditional recipe you've chosen, so I'm curious about it.


                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                  smtucker Jul 26, 2011 08:19 AM

                                                  There were enough gems this month.... don't get me wrong. I like Batali's culinary aesthetic but my market and his books just aren't lining up right now. Small detail that explains why even though I renewed the books, I haven't been writing any new reviews.

                                                  1. re: smtucker
                                                    The Dairy Queen Jul 26, 2011 08:41 AM

                                                    My experience is similar to yours this month. Plus, all of the recipes have been tried by everyone else. Not much to add other than, "Me too."


                                              2. re: smtucker
                                                MelMM Jul 26, 2011 08:03 AM

                                                I was also a bit disappointed in the number of vegetable recipes I could make with what is in season from the Batali books. I thought that Molto Gusto was more vegetable-centric than it turned out to be. I think there was only one pasta recipe that called for fresh tomatoes, and I have a ton of tomatoes I need to be using up right now. I know World Vegetarian is going to be a lot more useful.

                                                1. re: MelMM
                                                  The Dairy Queen Jul 26, 2011 08:47 AM

                                                  I'm not sure I was disappointed as much as I was surprised. When I read the intro of Molto Gusto, there was a lot of talk about how there's this new way people are eating that is mostly vegetarian and how the food at his newest restaurant reflected that, etc. So, I just assumed there would be a lot more vegetables.

                                                  I hope (and assume!) you're right about WV. I could look at the recipes on EYB, but I think I'll just wait for my copy of the book to arrive. Lazy me.


                                              3. The Dairy Queen Jul 27, 2011 06:02 AM

                                                Woohoo! My copies of Paleta and World Veg are in! Can't wait to have a peek.


                                                1. The Dairy Queen Jul 28, 2011 07:01 AM

                                                  Those of you who are familiar with this book, would you mind chiming in with some of your favorites? It is a huge book, and organizing alphabetically by primary ingredient is not that inspiring. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to dive into this giant trove of recipes? I'm sure there are some wonderful recipes in here.

                                                  I flipped throug it last night and, sorry to say, not much grabbed my attention, which surprised me as I am generally interested in all kinds of dishes from all kinds of cultures. I was looking at the recipes for buckwheat, millet, and quinoa (three grains I want to cook with more) and nothing looked that unique or interesting. There were only 3-4 zucchini recipes, all pretty ordinary.

                                                  I really want to cook more vegetarian meals, though, and of course, use all of the glorious August produce.

                                                  If you've got some favorites from this book or any recommendations on how to get into it (it is HUGE), I'd love to hear about it.


                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                    Rella Jul 28, 2011 07:33 AM

                                                    Homemade Indian Cheese - Paneer p. 561; Homemade White Latin American Cheese - Queso Blanco p. 564.

                                                    These are basically the same recipes; the second Queso Blanco says to heat the milk to 185F, whereas the Paneer does not.

                                                    I have made her recipe for Paneer for years, although I have simplified her preparation under "To prepare firm ... patties large and small for frying, slicing, or cubing."

                                                    I often have used a portion of the paneer to "prepare soft .... curds" and have used them in a stir-fry, such as p. 567, "Delicate Stir-fry of soft cheese curds and vegetables."

                                                    I like especially p. 568, ".... with Tomatoes."

                                                    There are none of these Paneer recipes that I would not like.

                                                    I pay close attention to the recipe whether or not "I" would like to pre-fry (or pre-saute?) the paneer. Be careful, it is terribly stick-to-the-pan when you do this previous to putting into the dish you are cooking. Her recipes do call for when to add the paneer, but I use my judgment based on how long it is to cook with how much liquid.

                                                    Re: Homemade Syrian Cheese p. 566, some years ago, I bought liquid vegetarian rennet to make this recipe, but never made it, and I suppose the liquid vegetarian rennet still sits or has been tossed, or is out-of-date.

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                      Rella Jul 28, 2011 07:51 AM

                                                      Basic Red Lentils - p. 60.

                                                      Indeed this is a basic recipe, and at the end she says, "you may proceed with your chosen recipe." However, I don't see the any recipes, save one? which actually calls for "RED" lentils.

                                                      My go-to recipe has been for years, her recipe in "World of the East Vegetarian Cooking" p. 96, which calls for either Mung or Masoor dal. Masoor dal is "red lentils."

                                                      In this recipe she lays out final flavorings to be added (a tarka, I think it is called) at the end of the cooking, whereas you have a choice of a different set of spices to be added to hot oil for a short time (10 seconds), then added sizzling hot to the red lentils. I believe there are four different tarkas; I have used all of them, and find them excellent (salivating).

                                                      1. re: Rella
                                                        The Dairy Queen Jul 28, 2011 08:02 AM

                                                        This is all fantastic, thank you Rella!


                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                          oakjoan Jul 28, 2011 03:00 PM

                                                          I have been having a brain lapse since I logged on today after being away for a while. I was CERTAIN that World Veg was a co-COTM with Deborah Madison's Veg Cooking for Everyone a while ago. When I looked it up, however, I found that it was ONLY the Madison book. I think what happened was that I REALLLLLY wanted Jaffrey to win and thus cooked out of her book, too during that month.

                                                          In any case, i really love this book and am over the moon that it is the next COTM.

                                                          I do love Jaffrey and have been a fan for years. I've even seen an old BBC series about spices in South and Southeast Asia (fab., by the way). I also loved Vanya on 42nd Street and her autobiog.

                                                          1. re: oakjoan
                                                            The Dairy Queen Jul 28, 2011 03:17 PM

                                                            Well, better late than never!

                                                            I hope you will be joining us for August, OJ.

                                                            Do you have any favorites to recommend from this book?


                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                              The Dairy Queen Jul 30, 2011 04:48 PM

                                                              oakjoan I just found a post of yours from 2006 listing some of your favorites: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3293...


                                                            2. re: oakjoan
                                                              LulusMom Jul 30, 2011 04:46 PM

                                                              I've missed the heck out of you, Oakjoan. Look forward to hearing reports from you in August.

                                                      2. s
                                                        sarahcooks Jul 30, 2011 08:49 AM

                                                        I picked up World Vegetarian at the library yesterday and am really excited. I know I checked it out a few years ago, but I never made anything from it. My indian pantry is much better stocked this time. There are so many simple, quick recipes. I'm very happy about that since there's so little time for cooking in the summer. I've also made three popsicle recipes from Paletas already and I'm looking forward to reporting on them! I think I need to buy some more molds.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: sarahcooks
                                                          Breadcrumbs Jul 30, 2011 08:59 AM

                                                          Hi Sara, your excitement is infectious! If you have some time, would you mind sharing the names of a few of the quick recipes you've found? I've only had a chance to look at one chapter of the book so far and it would be wonderful to get a jump start to my menu planning w some recipes you've already identified. Thanks so much!

                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                            sarahcooks Jul 30, 2011 06:34 PM

                                                            I still haven't gotten through the whole book, but I did put 'penne with zucchini and basil' and 'bean curd with tomatoes and cilantro' on my list for the week. And I'll probably do one of the green bean recipes.

                                                            1. re: sarahcooks
                                                              The Dairy Queen Jul 30, 2011 06:42 PM

                                                              Wow! You are really rolling with Paletas. I can't wait to read all about it.

                                                              I've got that bean curd with tomatoes and cilantro on my list, too!


                                                        2. The Dairy Queen Jul 30, 2011 04:44 PM

                                                          Here some old World Vegetarian threads (including some input from oakjoan who, hopefully, will join us in August) that might be useful:




                                                          And Nomadchowwoman (as do all the 'hounds who tried it after her) recommends this dish:



                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                            BigSal Jul 30, 2011 06:05 PM

                                                            Thanks for the links, TDQ. It is helpful to start with recipes that others have had success with as I am having a hard time choosing recipes...information overload.

                                                            The recipe that nomadchowwoman references is delicious indeed, but it is not from World Vegetarian. I believe it is from Indian Cooking. The World Vegetarian lentil recipe, although similar, does not include cumin seeds.

                                                            1. re: BigSal
                                                              The Dairy Queen Jul 30, 2011 06:12 PM

                                                              Oh, I missed that very important detail. Thank you for pointing that out.

                                                              And, I agree. Complete information overload. Hopefully once we get rolling and people start having successes, I think we'll be fine.


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