Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 27, 2011 10:47 AM

2011 COTM (Cookbook of the Month) Recipes Worth Repeating

I was thinking back on all the recipes I’ve tried this year through COTM and which ones I’d make again. Below is the list I came up with. I’d love to see what others would repeat in the hopes of finding a great dish I’ve overlooked (like LLM mentioning Ayam Panggang Pedis,Grilled Chicken with Hot Spices, from The Complete Asian a 2010 COTM).

Grace Young, Breath of a Wok

Millie Chan’s Chili Shrimp

Martin Yan’s Genghis Khan beef

Grace Young, Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge

Vinegar Glazed Chicken

Chinese Burmese Chili Chicken

Amanda Hesser, The Essential New York Times Cookbook

Bademiya's Justly Famous Bombay Chile and Cilantro Chicken

Braised Ligurian Chicken

Nina Simonds's Broiled Halibut w/ Miso Glaze

Jamie Oliver, Jamie’s Italy

Cauliflower Risotto

Dorie Greenspan, Around my French Table

Mediterranean Swordfish with Frilly Herb Salad

Strawberry and Mozzarella salad

Olive Olive Cornish Hens

Tuna-Packed Piquillio Peppers

Ottolenghi, Plenty

Green couscous

Royal Potato Salad

Yotam Ottolengi, Ottolenghi

French beans and mangetout with hazelnuts and orange

Couscous and mograbiah with oven dried tomatoes

Chargrilled asparagus, courgettes and manouri (made with haloumi)

Marinated rack of lamb with coriander and honey

Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, Seductions of Rice

Arroz a Banda

Thai Fried Rice

Mario Batali, Italian Grill

il galletto al mattone (Chicken Under a Brick)- made with fennel pollen

T-bone Fiorentina w/ sauteed spinach

Tagliata of rib eye w/ arugula

Tuna like Fiorentina

Mario Batali, Molto Gusto

Arugula with Tomato Raisins

Lynne Rossetto Kasper,The Splendid Table

Fresh Tuna Adriatic Style

Ruth Reichl, The Gourmet Cookbook


Pan Bagnat
Mac and Cheese

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Great idea for a thread, Sally. Here's a thread called 'Recipe so good you've made it at least 3 times: COTM Edition' that might give some inspiration from prior-to-2010 COTM:

    The Cookbook of the Month archive page's links makes it easy to find all those recipe reports:

    Here's my 2011 list (so far) of things I'd find worth repeating.

    The Naked Chef:

    Roasted Trout with Thyme
    Fish Baked in a Bag with Marinated Cherry Tomatoes, Black Olives and Basil

    Around my French Table: Strawberry and Mozzarella salad

    Almost everything I've made from the Ottolengi books qualifies, but especially


    Multi-vegetable paella
    Very Full Tart
    Chard Cakes with Sorrel Sauce
    Vine Leaf, Herb and Yoghurt Pie
    Farro and roasted pepper salad
    Green Couscous
    Barley and pomegranate salad
    Celeriac and lentils with hazelnut and mint

    Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (some based on the first go-round in August 2009):

    Marinated aubergine with tahini and oregano
    French Beans and Mangetout with Hazelnuts and Orange
    Whole wheat and mushrooms with celery and shallots
    Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar and Lemon
    Plum, marzipan and cinnamon muffins
    Carrot, apple and pecan muffins
    Sour Cherry Amaretti

    Molto Gusto:

    Roasted Peppers with Capers
    Hot & Cold Summer Squash
    Green Beans with Charred Onions
    Arugula with Tomato Raisins
    Sweet Corn Gelato
    Hazelnut Straciatella Gelato

    Italian Grill: Grilled Vegetable Salad Capri-Style

    World Vegetarian:

    Lentils Topped with Gingery Spinach and Yogurt
    Carrot Raita
    Gujarati-Style Hot Sweet-and-Sour Potatoes

    Kitchen Diaries: Zucchini and Lancashire Cheese Crumble

    Tender: Spinach and Mushroom Gratin

    The Gourmet Cookbook:

    Hot Garlic Dressing
    Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Lasagne
    Bulgur Pilaf with Pine Nuts, Raisins, and Orange Zest
    Cheddar Scallion Drop Biscuits
    Coffee Coffee Cake with Espresso Glaze

    4 Replies
    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

      Caitlin, thanks for the link for some of the previous years’ COTM favorites. I’ve saved it for future reference.

      I had forgotten about the gelato recipes. I’m planning on making the hazelnut one over the Christmas holiday with some of your suggested adjustments. And I’m always looking for new ways to eat more grains so I will be trying whole wheat and mushrooms with celery and shallots, farro and roasted pepper salad, and the Bulgur Pilaf. The hot garlic dressing is on my to do list too. Thanks for sharing!

      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        And to add in more from the end of the year...

        150 Best American Recipes:

        Sweet and Spicy Pecans
        Fennel, Red Pepper, and Mushroom Salad
        the salad dressing with cumin and mint
        Corn Bread with Sage Leaves and Feta
        Brown Butter Dream Cookies

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          I loved that Fennel, Red Pepper and Mushroom Salad as well. Am still perusing COTMs to find faves.
          These are two of my very favorite COTMS from last year. They will be placed in the USE ALL THE TIME section. They both made my heart sing and woke up a slumbering cook. Some of my faves are listed below.

          KITCHEN DIARIES, Nigel Slater

          At first I couldn't get into Slater. He was a bit too something or other - arch? trying too hard? I started with Tender and the descriptions of his garden turned me off. It was probably jealousy since I have no real garden - just pots. After reading his recipes and cooking many of them, however, I now place him among my all-time favorites.

          Here are a few faves:

          Broad bean and dill "hummus" - so simple, just favas, dill, olive oil and lemon. Great stuff and so refreshing. Great on crackers or pita or rustic bread...probably even good on shoe leather.

          Zucchini cakes with dill and feta, p. 228 - I must have made these 10 times in the past few months. Amazingly good dipped into yoghurt with a bit of the Universal Spice mix I always have in my fridge(chopped all kinds of raw chilies and lots of salt, mix, put into jar, keep in fridge (it's good forever).

          A Wonderfully Moist Fresh Plum Cake, p. 278 - This is another version of one of my favorite cakes - uses almond meal - the first of which was Jamie Oliver's recipe. Very good and pretty simple.

          Baked Onions with Parm. and cream, p. 338 - All I can say is "deeeeelish"!!!

          Mushroom Lasagne with Basil and Cream, p. 348
          This was a bit disappointing because I thought it'd be one of the most amazing things I'd ever tasted. I think that my mushrooms were less than fresh and flavorful I added the dried porcini (a great idea), but it wasn't enough. I'm going to try this again with better mushrooms and Parm cheese because I'm sure it would be great.

          Taleggio and Parsley Cakes, p. 366 - another great fritter recipe. Mmmmmm!

          Bean Shoot Salad with Coriander and Mint, p. 378
          Very refreshing and delicious. How could it miss with cukes, carrots, green onions, small red chilies, bean shoots ( I added pea shoots, too), sesame seeds, cilantro, mint leaves. Dressing is soy, rice vinegar and sesame oil - Toss all together.

          Bramley Apple Shortcake, p124 - really good, moist cake with loads of apples.

          AROUND MY FRENCH TABLE, Dorie Greenspan

          Orange and Olive Salad (had forgotten this salad - used to make it from Rodin and Wolfert books) - glad to have the memory jolt), p. 117
          Reconstructed BLT and Eggs, p. 133
          Skate (I used cod) with Capers, Cornichons, and Brown Butter Sauce, p. 291
          Marie-Helene's Apple Cake, p. 432
          Savory Cheese and Chive Bread, p.34
          Lamb and Dried Apricot Tagine, p. 284
          Chicken Breasts Diable, p. 217 (this is an old chestnut, but a really good interpretation)
          Creamy Cheesy Garlicky Rice with Spinach, p. 221

          These two books made my cooking year at a time I was getting a bit bored.

          I also loved (and continue to love) anything by Ottolenghi! I already have posted a bunch of stuff about those books and so won't kowtow to his greatness here again!

          As Jacques Pepin says "Appay Coo Keen!" I saw him interviewed by Charlie Rose. He's such a charmer.

          1. re: oakjoan

            Oh, I'd completely forgotten about the Creamy Cheesy Garlicky Rice with Spinach from AMFT. Delicious comfort food!

      2. Excellent thread topic Sal ! And thanks for the link on pre-2010 Caitlin.

        My list for this year:

        Breath of a Wok- Florence Lin's Bean Curd w/ Cilantro relish

        Essential New York Times-Staff Meal Chicken

        Around My French Table-Med. Swordfish (usually another fish for us) w/ Frilly Herb Salad, Savory Tart Pastry Dough.

        Seductions of Rice- Hilary's Sticky Rice Rolls, Gobindavog Rice

        Plenty- Shakshuka, Marinated Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato

        Italian Grill- the Gorgonzola Sauce from the Black Pepper Coated Drumsticks

        All of these have made multiple appearances around here, and definitely improved the general recipe rotation for us.

        2 Replies
        1. re: qianning

          The staff chicken meal and tofu with cilantro relish sound like great ways to liven up the eveyday menu.

          1. re: BigSal

            The tofu w/ ciltantro relish is such a great simple and quick dish for rounding out an everyday Chinese meal, I turn to it again and again.

            Staff meal chicken is a Mr. QN favorite, it is often his answer to "What do you feel like having tonight?"

            Although late to the party, I've really become an Ottolenghi convert, seeing yours and Caitlin's lists reminds me to go back through the books some more.

        2. In a nutshell I'd revisit everything from:

          Ottolenghi: The Cookbook,
          Bon Appetit Y'All
          Kitchen Diaries
          Real Fast Food,
          Gourmet Today
          Land of Plenty
          Around My French Table (w the possible of "that dang pumpkin")
          The New Book of Middle Eastern Food
          Italian Easy and Italian Two Easy
          Indian Cooking
          The Italian Country Table: Home Cooking from Italy's Farmhouse Kitchens
          Fish Without a Doubt

          6 Replies
          1. re: Gio

            I forgot you had such bad luck with that dang pumpkin from AMFT! Unfortunately, that would be on my list to try again.

            Also, from Ottolenghi I liked:
            Roast chicken with saffron, hazelnuts and honey
            Almond and orange Florentines
            Crushed new potatoes with horseradish and sorrel

            I liked many recipes from the River Cafe books but none enough that they individually stand out...

            I don't see either of the Vietnamese books on your list nor Plenty nor Revolutionary Chinese and am surprised to see those missing. Did you not have as much success with those or were those books you didn't cook from?


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              Oy, don't mention that dang youknowwhat. But TDQ... Land of Plenty is on my list. We loved almost everything we made from that book. I didn't like Revolurionary as well.

              Admittedly I did leave off a couple of books that should have been included because I simply forgot about them at the time I posted my list. For instance.. I refer back to both Vietnamese books from time to time , especially Nguyen's recipe for poached chicken. As for Plenty, although I absolutely love Ottolanghi's recipes, I didn't cook enough from this book to really get a good grasp of it. It's on my shelf, though so I should revisit it every so often.

              1. re: Gio

                That recipe for poached chicken of Nguyen, is that that one where she has you put a whole chicken in a pot? It sounds so easy!


                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  It is absolutely delicious and really easy.

                  1. re: LulusMom


                    But I've even used just a few chicken parts to make a quick broth for a recipe that needed a couple of cups of stock the very night I was cooking that recipe.

                    1. re: Gio

                      Fantastic tip, Gio. And around here, a bit of stewed chicken will never go to waste.

                      BTW, thanks for another tip of yours I read and thought *Bingo!" and have now put into effect. I've bought 2 different colored cutting boards - one for meats and one for fruits and vegetables (and saved the white one for garlic, onions, shallots, etc.). I wish I'd thought of it myself earlier, but wanted to thank you and give you props.

          2. I'm wondering what the consensus was on Breath of a Wok vs. Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge. If I had to buy just one of those, which do you think it should be?

            10 Replies
            1. re: LulusMom

              I would probably choose Breath of a Wok because of the stories and the history of the wok, but it may not be necessary if you have Dunlop's books. I enjoyed this COTM very much, but I missed Fuchsia Dunlop's month, although I am slowly catching up. I do recall several comments being made about Dunlop's recipes being better and how Grace's recipes were Americanized, as well as the flavors were more subtle (not enough garlic, etc). I was not as concerned about authenticity because I was focused on gaining an understanding of cooking with a wok and the books definitely delivered. Even my husband was getting into wokking. I hope some of the others will chime in to give you their opinions too.

              1. re: LulusMom

                Tough call, LLM. I'd have to say that my favorite, most memorable recipes from the books are split about 50/50 between the two.

                I guess the one thing that might decide if for me is what you want to use your wok for. if your primary purpose is stir-frying and you don't really ever intend to use your wok for the following techniques: smoking, braising, boiling, poaching, steaming and deep-frying, you might be better off with SFFTSE in terms of sheer usability of the recipes.

                But if you want a book that covers the breadth of wok techniques, then BoaW might be a better choice. Also, like BigSal, I found the stories and history in BoaW very captivating. SFTTSE had great stories too, but BoaW edges it out.

                I pretty much only use my wok for stir-frying so if I had to choose only one, I suppose SFTTSE might be my choice... I think BoaW has the more traditional recipes, but even so, they aren't that "authentic" compared to Dunlop, so if authenticity your primary interest, then these books might not be for you anyway.

                I'm not sure if this helps, but those are my thoughts.

                P.S. not only could I not choose between these two books, when the month was over, I purchased a copy of Young's "Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen." Haven't cracked it yet, though.


                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Thanks so much to both of you. Maybe it is time for a trip to the library to check them out (if available) and see how I feel. Your info is very helpful. In all likelihood I'll only end up stir-frying in my wok, so maybe BoaW is the way to go. But I do have both Dunlop books and love them, so ... maybe save the money? Anyway, really appreciate both of you chiming in.

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    LLM, I think what TDQ was saying is that if you were only going to stir-fry, Sky's Edge might be the way to go. It focuses on the stir-fry, while BoaW covers a broader range of techniques. I like both books. I appreciate them much more after having them as COTM. BoaW covers, as noted, a wider range of wok techniques and also has more standard Chinese and Chinese-American recipes. Sky's Edge sticks to the stir-fry, and as the name implies, is not strictly Chinese. What makes it interesting and different from the other Chinese cookbooks in my library is that it has "Chinese" recipes from around the world. Trinidad, for example, and India. If you already have Chinese books that you like, this one would be more likely to offer something different.

                    1. re: MelMM

                      Thanks so much for clearing that up for me Mel. That's what reading posts at 5 a.m. will do! TDQ was clear as can be, but I misread it. And thanks too for the info on Sky's Edge having recipes from other parts of the world.

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        HI LM, I don't thing you'd go wrong w either book, I just loved them both. FYI, I posted all my recipe reviews in EYB in addition to posting here on CH . . . not sure if that may help if you're searching EYB for recipes that appeal. I seem to think I made approx 20 dishes from each book and we had great experiences most everything.

                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                          I'll definitely be going through the old threads as I choose what to make from each book. I've put Stir Frying on hold at the library. I think I'll take them out one at a time, given how little time I'll have to cook over the next few months. I will definitely check out your reviews (and photos!).

                    2. re: LulusMom

                      A couple of points to add to what others have said: One of what I think is a selling point for BoaW is that she includes recipes that specifically highlight the versatility of a wok so there are sections on braising, smoking, steaming, deep frying. If you think you'll only use your wok for stir-frying, you may find more recipes that interest you in SFttSE.

                      It could be either a plus or a minus that SFttSE includes what the dust jacket calls "crossover" recipes, recipes that are cooked using the stir-fry method but that aren't meant to be authentically Chinese.

                      I do think it's a good idea for you to take both out of the library and compare them. You could well end up making a decision based not much on the recipes, but on the introductory and how-to information that speaks most directly to you.

                      1. re: JoanN

                        I concur with what JoanN and the others have said, LLM. Although I don't think I'll ever be smoking or deep frying BOAW offers many recipes that give me a sense of Cantonese food while S-FTTSE gives me a sense of the Chinese diaspora, if you will. I'm glad I have both books on my Asian shelf.

                        1. re: Gio

                          Wow, I'm glad I read this thread! I'd totally forgotten about smoking in a wok. I did it a couple of times years ago! Time to open all the windows and get smokin'!

                2. I go back to so many of the COTM books, but especially Dunlop, the two Young books, Around My French table, Fish Without a Doubt, Plenty, Ottolenghi, and Cradle of Flavor.

                  I tend to not spend much time with the big compilations like the two Gourmets, Today NYTimes, etc.

                  But I really rely on EatyourBooks to find recipes these days which sometimes means I land in books that are just sitting on the shelf unloved.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: smtucker

                    The December COTM was the first I'd ever participated in, and halfway through the month I wrapped up the book as a gift for a family member, so I feel only technically qualified to join in. But... the carrot soup with ginger oil in The 150 Best American Recipes is a keeper.

                    1. re: smtucker

                      What are some of your favourites from Cradle of Flavor? I've borrowed it from the library several times, but have only made a handful of recipes out of it. I recall the beef rendang and the gado-gado as being spectacular, but nothing else sticks out. Would love to try more. It's a fascinating cookbook.

                      1. re: Allegra_K

                        butting in here, the chicken satay recipe from COF is wonderful.

                        1. re: Allegra_K

                          Off the top of my head since I can't get to the book right now: the fried chicken with dipping sauce, all of his quick pickles, the chicken satay and especially the dipping sauce that goes with it. [Bango with lime and chilis I think.]

                          That is all I can remember right now. I found the entrees to be a lot of work [i.e. time] so the appetizer section is where I spend my time for everyday cooking.

                          1. re: smtucker

                            Yes, that Nyonya-Style Spiced Fried Chicken was a big hit for many of us. Another favorite of mine was the Spice-Braised Tuna. I think you were a big fan, too, smt.