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
Dorie Greenspan, Around my French Table
Mediterranean Swordfish with Frilly Herb Salad
Strawberry and Mozzarella salad
Olive Olive Cornish Hens
Tuna-Packed Piquillio Peppers
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
Mac and Cheese
OK, I'm going to try to just stick with books from this year. Keep in mind that I spent a lot of time (more than a quarter of the year) away from home and kitchen, so there are at least 4 books I didn't get a chance to cook from, and others that because of husband's travel or shorter spells away, I didn't end up getting much chance with. So, with that in mind, here is my list of COTM recipes worth repeating from this year:
150 Best American:
Chicken Thighs Baked w/ Lemon, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme
Corn Bread Salad with Grilled Sausage and Spicy Chipotle Dressing
Crunchy Cucumber, Celery, and Red Bell Pepper Salad with Cumin and Fresh Mint (even just the dressing over any chopped or regular salad)
Cherry Tomato Salad with Olives
Rigatoni alla Toto
Sear-roasted salmon fillets with lemon ginger butter
Cremini mushrooms with chive pasta
Southwestern Black Bean Burgers
Chicken Fricasee with Lemon, Saffron, and Green Olives
Baked Four Cheese Farfalle
Malaysian-Style Chicken Curry
Catfish Filets with Tahini Sauce
Ottolenghi (didn't get around to seeing/buying Plenty):
Buttered prawns with tomato, olives and arak (pernod)
White chocolate and cranberry biscuits
Jamie Oliver month:
Roasted Fennel with Cherry Tomatoes, Olives, Garlic, and Olive Oil
Spaghetti with Anchovies, Dried Chilli and Pangritata
Tray-baked Salmon with olives, green beans, anchovies and tomatoes
Buttered Taglierini with Seared Scallops, White Wine, Chili and Parsley
Proper Blokes Sausage Fusilli
Tender-as-you-like rabbit (chicken thigh) stew with the best dumplings ever
Steamed Thai-style sea bass (tilapia) and rice
JO month was a big one for us, and we've remade many of the dishes on this list, but the Bloke's pasta is one that is in heavy rotation (something that doesn't get a chance to happen often around here). That was a really big hit this year. The rabbit stew was asked for for Christmas, and made, and the Steamed Thai-Style bass (yet another different fish this time) was our new year's eve meal.
I won't call this a complete list of recipes I'd repeat, but rather a short list of favorites from the past year.
Breath of a Wok:
Shrimp & Pine Nuts Shang Palace
Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge:
Hoisin Explosion Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken
Chard Cakes with Sorrel Sauce
Zucchini on the Grill
Baked Eggplant with Yogurt and Cucumber
A Hotpot of Sausage and Apples
Strawberry & Mascarpone Tart
A Sausage and Mash Supper
The Splendid Table:
Oven Roasted Potatoes
Rabbit Dukes of Modena
Bless you, Gio. You’ve inspired me many times to keep a list in each book of what I’ve tried and what I’ve loved, but I’ve never been able to stick with it. And what's your method of keeping track, Caitlin? Big Sal? You both seem to have a list pretty much to hand as well. Because I don’t (the only way I can remember what I’ve made is by looking in my food photos file which has a separate folder for each COTM selection), it would take me the rest of the morning to go through just the recipes from 2011. So I’m bailing on this.
But I did want to mention three recipes from “The Gourmet Cookbook” that have become company standards for me: “La Brea Tar Pit” Chicken Wings, Summer Fruit Salad with Mint Sugar, and Crème Brulee French Toast. I’ve made each of those at least three times, in each case subsequent preparations being at the request of someone who had had it previously.
I've only just started a little mini-project because so many recipes that were well received ended up being forgotten. I'm going through all the old COTM threads and making an excel spreadsheet of our favorites; later I will go back to the notes in my books and add a column for those I still want to try.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Arabesque. That was such a wonderful book (for me).
Well, in my November 27 post, you'll see I posted what the thread title says, favorites from 2011 COTM, so I didn't list anything prior to last year. I'd have to go back and see about specific recipes from previous books I've cooked from, but I'm a fan of both Roden books.
To answer JoanN's question, I did take a quick spin through the threads for the books I'd cooked from to refresh my memory, but I had a pretty good sense of the list because it was all from this year. I'd like to do the same for previous ones, so I'd have a record. It would never be more than a list, though, because I'm not a spreadsheet kind of gal. And it would be easier for me because I've cooked a lot fewer recipes from a lot fewer books than someone like Joan, who's been cooking very regularly through the whole five years.
This is super-geeky, but I have a spreadsheet for COTM with a worksheet for each book. I have each recipe and a few notes. I also use this to track the recipes I want to try for each month- this helps with meal planning. So, for example, I can go back to my Italian Easy tab and see what I've tried and liked and what I wanted to try, but haven't yet. Looking forward to hearing what others do to keep track of favorite recipes.
Sounds like the way to go, although I'm not that adept with spreadsheets and the thought of going back through 5+ years of COTMs is pretty daunting. Good on ya, LLM, for the patience. Maybe I could set up something similar in a Word document table and then file it with my photographs. As it is, I have notes all over the place--computerized, Post-It notes in books, bookmarks in EYB--of dishes that others have recommended that I'd like to try. I really must figure out a system and at least get started. As far as past COTMs are concerned, like Scarlett, I'll think about that tomorrow.
re: The Dairy Queen
re: The Dairy Queen
re: The Dairy Queen
I use EYB a ton, to find recipes using a certain ingredient. But when it comes to recording my experiences, I tend to forget to go back to EYB to rate things. I have done some, but most of the time I don't go back and rate them. I would really like to get better about this, because having more recipes reviewed and rated by members would be a big plus on EYB. But so far, it isn't happening as much as I'd like to see. If you have any motivational advice, for a busy girl with a day job, pass it on. Right now, I find it hard to keep up with reviewing recipes here, entering them in my recipe software (Mac Gourmet), rating them on EYB, and other obligations.
As mentioned above, I have a ton of bookmarks in EYB, including "to try" and "recommended". The first category is for recipes that seem appealing to me when I flip through the book; the latter for recipes that all of you rave over that I eventually want to try. Threads like this one are perfect for that "recommended" category.
Actually, whenever a recipe gets recommend in a random thread (for instance sometimes in COTM nominations and voting threads recipes get recommended, or even those "What cookbooks have you bought lately" threads) I almost always add those as "recommended" right away in EYB because those random recommendations can be hard to find later.
As for my own "favorites"--I do have a category for "favorites" but I guess it really means "would try this again." Maybe I should call it that. And then add another category : "Life changing" for the real stand-outs.
Sometimes it can be a pain and time consuming to search on, then "bookmark" a ton of individual recipes in EYB. What I do in those cases is just add them in EYB to the notes for the book itself. Often, I try to just spend a few minutes doing it at the end of each month while the book is fresh in my mind. It's amazing what you can document in just a few minutes if you're power typing and if you worry more about getting your thoughts down rather than getting the exact name of the recipe correct.
What I end up with is sort of a stream of consciousness kind of listing that is enough to jog my mind later. For instance, for Ottolenghi my entry for the "note" to the book might be: "hazelnut chicken (next time: try skin off), smashed potatoes with horseradish, florentines, avoid recipe X (for Gio, AMFT's everything good in a pumpkin=recipe x).
While these may not be the exact name of the recipes in the book, if I ever go back and look at the notes, it's usually enough information to trigger my memory and find the recipe in the book.
I hope that helps.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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.
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.
In a nutshell I'd revisit everything from:
Ottolenghi: The Cookbook,
Bon Appetit Y'All
Real Fast Food,
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
The Italian Country Table: Home Cooking from Italy's Farmhouse Kitchens
Fish Without a Doubt
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/660908
The Cookbook of the Month archive page's links makes it easy to find all those recipe reports: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...
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
Very Full Tart
Chard Cakes with Sorrel Sauce
Vine Leaf, Herb and Yoghurt Pie
Farro and roasted pepper salad
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
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
Lentils Topped with Gingery Spinach and Yogurt
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
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!
re: Caitlin McGrath
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.