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November 2011 Cookbook of the Month Nominations

It is time for the Chowhound Cookbook of the Month nominations. COTM is open to anyone who wants to participate, and we’d love to have you join us. For more on how Cookbook of the Month works or to see an archive of books we’ve already cooked from this link can give you lots of information: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

One thing we might discuss is whether we want to do a revisit this month and/or next. In 2008 we did a revisit of one book in December, and another in January (I think it is possible that we did both these books over the two months and that the archive just doesn’t show that). In 2009 we revisited two books at the same time for November and December. Last year we only revisited one book, and only for the month of December. For more information on which books we revisited, see the above link to the archives. If you’d like to revisit something, can you please put REVISIT in all caps, along with the title of the book, and let me know your feelings about whether this should be for 2 months, should include just the one book or more – as much information as you give me, the better we can come to a consensus that will make the most people happy.

As always, when nominating, please remember to put the title/s in ALL CAPITALS if you want your nomination to be counted. Nominations will be open until noon (eastern time) Sunday, October 16th. Have fun, and nominate away!

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  1. Well.... since you asked...

    Generally, I prefer not to revisit past COTMs during Nov./Dec. because I do my own revisiting all year long. Although, in the past, like a good COTM Romper Room doobie, I went along with the revisits because I wanted to participate. My preference for cookbooks during the November - December span tend in be in the holiday mode. January tends to be pare down and eat healthy. In that regard I'm considering "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home" for either November or December or both and Bittman's "Food Matters" for January.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gio

      I agree with Gio. I don't think we should revisit, ever. There are so many great books out there that we haven't gotten to yet. Anyone can cook from a past COTM at any time and add to the thread.

    2. I can't believe it is this time of the month already! Thank you, LulusMom, for keeping us organized! I am with Gio and MeIMM on revisits - do not see the point. I would like to cook either Spanish or Portuguese but will give it more thought and post again later.

      1 Reply
      1. re: herby

        Next month I may be just a tad early - we're leaving the country on the 18th, so I will want to have the voting done by then. Sorry in advance to all of you who find it a little unsettlingly soon.

      2. I would like to nominate THE 150 BEST AMERICAN RECIPES (2006) by Fran McCulloch and Molly Stevens, which has been previously discussed on the Oct nominating thread. It has a diversified collection of recent zeitgeisty recipes (the sort of stuff "we are cooking now") but seemingly in good versions. A mix of chef, cookbook and other recipes, all with attribution to source/publication. Could be the type of recipes that would be serviceable going into the holiday season too.

        Maybe we could also have a dessert book thread running during this season too.

        31 Replies
        1. re: jen kalb

          OMGosh... I completely forgot I have this book. I have to get it off the shelf and have a look....

          1. re: Gio

            Its not my usual sort of book - I really like books about cuisines best - but it seems to have a lot of potentially well worked through and useful recipes - sort of like Hesser's "Essentials" or Green Gourmet but with with a smaller number of recipes and larger number of sources.

          2. re: jen kalb

            An enthusiastic second for THE 150 BEST!

            1. re: jen kalb

              Uh-oh. I was afraid of this. Just bought 150 Best and have made two recipes from it so far. One was stupendous, the other just very, very good. I was really hoping for this to be either a December or January selection since I'll be out of the country the entire month of November. Oh, well. Maybe I'll just have to play catch-up during the winter.

              1. re: JoanN

                Two votes for holding this until December ...

                Can you tell us the two recipes you made? Stupendous and just very, very good sounds more than promising.

                1. re: LulusMom

                  No! I'm not telling! It will only make people want to choose the book sooner rather than later!

                  Okay. You twisted my arm. Stupendous are the Brown Butter Dream Cookies, which I had made before from the original Flo Braker recipe with a different name, but just made again last weekend using the recipe in this book which includes 1/4 teaspoon of salt not included in the original. Just very, very good is *The* Lentil Soup. And, as they say, don't skip the fried pita squares (although you can shallow fry them; you don't have to use the 2 cups of oil they call for).

                  1. re: JoanN

                    How wonderfully Machiavellian that thought was!

                    The cookies are going straight on my list. Interestingly enough (at least to me), I've skipped over that lentil soup recipe because my go to lentil soup recipe is in one of their earlier Best Recipes books, and I absolutely love it. Made with red lentils (which still end up looking brown when cooked) and dried apricots (which you can't taste, but they add something). And yes, I have all the other Best Recipe books. I love them.

              2. re: jen kalb

                I really really really want to do 150 Best myself, but my husband will be gone for almost all of Nov. (meaning very little cooking will happen) and I'll be gone 1/3 of the month myself. Any chance we could save it for Dec? I'd be totally up for it - a sure vote.

                1. re: LulusMom

                  Im cool with that - alternatives??

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    Hard to recommend books you're passionate about when you're not going to be here to cook from them. That said, let me mention, again, Jean Anderson, who's always been the bridesmaid here, never the bride. Jean Anderson Cooks? The Food of Portugal? A Love Affair with Southern Cooking? Haven't yet seen her new book on braising, but that may be too new for a COTM selection anyway.

                    1. re: JoanN

                      I could back Jean Anderson for November. I have Jean Anderson Cooks and The Food of Portugal. Of the two books I *think* I favor JA Cooks...

                      1. re: Gio

                        I would love to cook from THE FOOD OF SPAIN in November. My library has only one copy and I just put a hold on it - I am no. 2 in line. Hope this is the right book - published in 1994, right?

                        1. re: herby

                          Herby, the reference is being made to Jean Anderson's The Food of Portugal. The paperback edition was published June 21, 1994...

                          http://www.amazon.com/Food-Portugal-J...

                          I have the hardcover book published in 1986.

                          Claudia Roden's The Food of Spain was published in June 7, 2011...

                          http://www.amazon.com/dp/0061969621/?...

                          1. re: Gio

                            Thank you, Gio! This is the book I put a hold on. Just checked the library again and paperback is not available until mid-December because of holds and harcopy is supposed to be returned today. So I changed my hold to hardcover, the one that you have. I have The Food of Spain and would love to cook from it too but since there was little uptake for it last month, I won't nominate it for November. Maybe in a couple of months there would be some interest.

                  2. re: LulusMom

                    I just picked up the Cook's Magazine Cookbook at Costco today, and it's a real winner. I want to throw this out there for people to put this on their Christmas lists, and visit this next year.

                    1. re: roxlet

                      Is this the same as Cook's Illustrated?

                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                        Yes. I think it's years, and years of Cook's Illustrated all in one place. And there are less extensive lab notes than in The Best Recipe.

                        1. re: roxlet

                          I dont know, I have years and years of Cooks on my shelf and that seems like enough somehow.

                          1. re: jen kalb

                            My feeling is that I can get them off the shelf, and only have a single book that covers it all.

                            1. re: roxlet

                              My thinking exactly. And that's why I just brought one home from Costco.

                              1. re: JoanN

                                what time period does it cover, do you know?

                                1. re: jen kalb

                                  The jacket says, "2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America's Most Trusted Food Magazine."

                                2. re: JoanN

                                  Well, maybe not so fast. On the throwing out of old issues, that is.

                                  Spent a bit of time with the book last night. I'm not at home so I can't check the book against my collection of the magazines. But even without checking, I see that the CI Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe isn't in the book. There are two other "thick and chewy" recipes, but not the CCC one.

                                  I guess that before I throw out the magazines I'm going to have to make sure I'm not throwing out any of my favorite recipes.

                                  1. re: JoanN

                                    This is why I love having a subscription to Cook's Illustrated.com. I don't know if they have all of the recipes, but there is a ton to look through & so much to learn from. LOVE it. I also have ATK's Family Cookbook and the ATK Skillet cookbook.

                    2. re: jen kalb

                      It's an excellent book. I recently got it and made a couple of wonderful things from it.

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        Would love to cook from this book (150 best recipes) assuming I come up for air, soon. I was going to nominate to revisit Italian Easy and Italian Easy Two, but I see the sentiment is not leaning in that direction. Plus, probably not so great after LRK month. Still, I was so inspired by Gio's best pasta ever post...

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Wasn't that sort of mind-bogglingly high praise?? I think we're all very inspired!

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            Yes, I wanted to drag that book and try that dish immediately.

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              I'm making it tonight! Just resting my pasta dough now...

                      2. OK--I am totally new to this, as I spend most of my time on the Southern New England and Italy boards--but I really start thinking about baking towards the holidays. I checked the archive and didn't see a couple of my favorites: CLASSIC HOME DESSERTS by the late, great Richard Sax or THE ITALIAN BAKER by Carol Field.

                        Please let me know if I'm commiting a CH faux pas with two suggestions in a single entry.

                        16 Replies
                        1. re: lisaonthecape

                          Not at all. This is the tossing out ideas stage and both of those are excellent suggestions.

                          1. re: lisaonthecape

                            Did you know that they are coming out with a revised version of The Italian Baker? The rosemary bread recipe is one I make over and over for our big open house every year. I double it and make rolls that are fabulous with smoked turkey and ham. It's a great recipe among many others.

                              1. re: roxlet

                                Those cookies are spectacular. Some of the best ever.

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  This refers to the browned butter ones from 150 Best American recipes.

                              2. re: lisaonthecape

                                not at all - these are two of my very favorite books - I dont really know whether the new Italian Baker is simply a reissue or an update. but the original is simply great and the Richard Sax book, well it is perfect for simple delicious desserts.

                                1. re: lisaonthecape

                                  I'll nominate Richard Sax' CLASSIC HOME DESSERTS.

                                  1. re: Jay F

                                    What have you made from the Sax book, Jay F? I've had it since it came out and only made one recipe (an apple pie).

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      Nothing yet. I don't even have the book, though I can't say why, as I've heard such good things about Richard Sax since time immemorial, i.e., pre-Martha and Alice. So many people consider it definitive, I think it behooves me to check it out.

                                      I'm going to get a copy regardless of whether anyone else votes for it. I've decided it's not in my cooking nature to stick to a single book for an entire month. I live alone, and the things I actually do are make large pots of things (Bolognese, non-meat sauce, chili) and eat them for a couple of days. Or else I eat fish, because it's so easy to make single portions of.

                                      I got really sidetracked by how much I didn't like the ragu I made from TST. I made enough to have a couple of frozen containers, but I don't want to eat them. Then I made a pot of my regular Bolognese to get the memory of that other one out of my mind and my tastebuds. And I've had a hard time going back to TST because of that sauce, so I've been eating a lot of fish.

                                      So, I kind of threw the Sax book into the COTM mix because I know it isn't going to win, but I thought it would be nice to create a little awareness for it. Thanks to Lisa in Cape Cod for reminding us of it. I make desserts as gifts, but I don't like to try something new for company, so I need to get cracking if I'm going to use a new book for Novembuary.

                                      Of course, I can always fall back on old favorites: cranberry tarts with or without chocolate; lemon curd + anything; trifles with 1-2-3-4 cake; 1-2-3-4 cake in lots of other variations; creme caramel (my absolute favorite for Thanksgiving--no pumpkin pie, TYVM). I used to make a flourless chocolate cake, but chocolate now gives me migraines, and my best friends who really liked it moved away.

                                  2. re: lisaonthecape

                                    CLASSIC HOME DESSERTS is really special. I have a copy that I haven't used enough. I'd be excited to try more from that book.

                                    1. re: karykat

                                      Well, we can have a separate thread. Do you know if there's any substantive difference between the 1994 and 2010 editions?

                                      1. re: Jay F

                                        Don't quote me on this, but I think it's simply a reissue (including the same cover), with a new intro/foreword by Dorie Greenspan).

                                  3. I'll nominate Jean Anderson's THE FOOD OF PORTUGAL and David Leite's THE NEW PORTUGUESE TABLE. I think these two books would go very well together. Two different approaches to Portuguese food.