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February 2012 Cookbook of the Month Nominations

It is time for the Chowhound Cookbook of the Month nomination process. 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...

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 midnight (eastern time) Monday (going into Tuesday), January 16. Have fun, and nominate away.

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  1. This is my sixth month as COTM coordinator, and the time has come for someone to take over for the next 6 months. Please let me know if you are interested and willing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LulusMom

      OK, I know it's early in the game, and others may step forward, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility that I would be willing to coordinate for six months. Let's see who else might want to also...

    2. First of all, thanks so much for hosting the COTM for the past 6 months LM. Though My participation has been limited of late, I'm sincerely grateful for, and always impressed with, the trmendous job you do coordinating this and making sense of all our chatter, debates, discussions and brainstorming.....huge thanks and congratulations!

      I'll be travelling in Feb so I'm not sure how actively I can be participating in the COTM but, on the other hand, our kitchen reno will be complete by then so I'll be excited to test out my brand new cooktop and ovens so I'll try to remain optimistic that I'll be able to cook along.

      So, which book? That is the question w soooooo many to choose from. I'm ready and keen to try something new or different. . . Perhaps time for an ethnic book or, a book focssed on a technique or cooking method.....I'll have to peruse my shelves and give this some thought.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Breadcrumbs

        Thank you so much for the kind words, Breadcrumbs. It's been a lot of fun. I hope I haven't scared everyone off with my request!

      2. You've done a great job LulusMom, and you've been a fun coordinator!

        Nothing in caps yet, but I am in the mood for something different, maybe something like "The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa" or "The Olive and the Caper," or perhaps even something Latin American.

        6 Replies
        1. re: L.Nightshade

          I have both those books and would love to try cooking from them. (and thanks!)

          1. re: L.Nightshade

            My library has "The Soul" but not "The Olive". February is going to be a busy month for me - not sure if I will be able to participate much. Japanese book would be really nice to cook from.

            Thank you LulusMom for the great coordinating job you did! It will be difficult for the next person to fill in your shoes:)

            1. re: L.Nightshade

              Yes, many thanks LLM for the work you've done.

              I'm with L.Nightshade on being ready for something different. Not ready to nominate yet, but I'll throw out some things we've discussed in recent months, just to get the discussion rolling.

              Claudia's Roden's Food of Spain has been a close contender
              The South American Table by Maria Baez Kijac
              A Japanese book - I'd like to cook from E. Andoh's books
              I'd be pretty happy with just about anything Asian
              The Food of Portugal by Jean Anderson, possibly done alongside David Leite's New Portuguese Table

              1. re: MelMM

                I had more or less forgotten about The South American Table, that sounds very appealing for a winter month. I'd be happy with Roden's Spain also.

              2. re: L.Nightshade

                The Olive and the Caper is wonderful!

                1. re: rasputina

                  I really like The Olive and Caper. Would love to see it as COTM. There are so many interesting recipes that I'm eager to try. Another plus for me... I own it and won't have to do battle with DH about buying 'yet another' cookbook on a limited income.

              3. Echoing everyone's accolades and adding... I can't believe six months went by that fast. You have done a superb job, LLM, given that many months we made the nomination and voting threads just a tad crazeee.

                Now I'm ready for something different to cook. I like the sound of perhaps African cuisine but then there's the elusive Japanese cooking that we have yet to come to terms with. I need to have a serious think about this and a discussion with DH because in the past I just went ahead and chose what I thought I wanted. But since he's the second half of this cooking and eating team he ought to have a say as well...dontcha think?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Gio

                  As long as he isn't too opinionated and doesn't disagree with you, sure! :-)

                  Another big thank you to lulusmom. Haven't been inspired to cook the books over the past few months, but ready to jump back in.

                2. I have a couple of new books calling out to me from my shelf:

                  Mourad: New Moroccan by Mourad Lahlou
                  The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria by Ferran Adria

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: Abby0105

                    I would be delighted to cook out of either of those books, but there would probably be some difficulty finding them in libraries, or finding used copies, as they are both so recent. Since our last book was hot off the press, some of us might appreciate a more available book this coming month.

                    1. re: Abby0105

                      Right, aren't they both basically new books?

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        They are - both published late last year. I was lucky enough to receive both for Christmas.

                        Since I usually get my COTM from the library, I agree that an accessible book is a good option. Just thought I'd see if anyone else was itching to share notes from these two!

                        1. re: Abby0105

                          Hi Abby, I got Mourad for Xmas too, but haven't been inspired to cook anything from it yet. Would love to hear if you've made anything. I have to admit, I am not really feeling it so far. Recipes seem difficult and nothing has jumped out at me.

                          1. re: greeneggsnham

                            Honestly, I've hardly looked through it. I really enjoy Aziza (his restaurant), so I was hoping to find some recipes we can enjoy at home.

                            I'll come back and post when I've tried a recipe or two.

                            1. re: Abby0105

                              Oh! I didn't know that cookbook was from the Aziza guy!

                              Must. Have!

                              ~TDQ

                              1. re: Abby0105

                                Please do. I have to admit, this cookbook makes me a little grumpy. I don't know anything about his restaurant (being an east coaster currently tethered by kids)but some of the recipes seem very chef-y. Like foam and emulsifiers and the like. Plus I love a cookbook that gives measurements in weights (he gives both) but his weights are down to the tenth of a gram for spices! I just can't keep a straight face when he tells me to use 5.2 grams of something.

                                Although I am sort of tickled that there is a chapter called "Dude. Preserved lemons."

                                1. re: greeneggsnham

                                  Loving that chapter title. Not loving the measurement business. I'd probably end up tossing the book across the room in irritation.

                                  1. re: greeneggsnham

                                    I think it is good to see that chefs take their cookbooks finally serious and use accurate weight (and not the stupid volume) measurements - might be a good influence from Modernist Cuisine

                                    1. re: honkman

                                      I am all for using weights. I wish all cookbooks used weights, to be honest, but I think going down to the tenth of a gram is sort of rediculous. Just imaging myself measuring out to the tenth of a gram is reminiscent of organic chemistry. Where is the fun in that? Luckily, my scale doesn't even go down to a tenth of a gram. So, when (if?) I do get around to cooking from this book, you better believe rounding will be employed!

                                      1. re: greeneggsnham

                                        I can't think of weighing anything offhand for a tenth of a gram except saffron. Now that I wouldn't mind.

                                        A pinch of saffron, a teaspoon of saffron -- before or after it is rolled around between your fingers?

                                        1. re: greeneggsnham

                                          You know what this means - more English cookbooks! They all use weights.

                                      2. re: greeneggsnham

                                        I wonder if these are large restaurant recipes scaled down for the home cook. You can get a lot of weird measures if you take a recipes designed to feed 30 and cut it to feed 4-6.

                                        ~TDQ

                            2. Although I seem to have resorted to lurker status (having gone from under-employed to over-employed in 2011) I too like the idea of Asian. I've noticed a lot of "revisiting" of threads such as the Breath of a Wok, Complete Asian, etc. Even the "Big Old Yellow Chinese Cookbook" has gotten some attention lately. (I made a wonderful scallop dish from it a few nights ago!) So I'm gathering that there might be an interest in flocking back to the wok? I know I am, especially since I just got a "real" wok for Christmas. Yippee! I've been tempted ever since we did the BOAW book. That was so much fun!

                              Okay, so I'm not actually going to go out on a limb and nominate it, but I will just throw out the idea of The Encyclopedia of Chinese Food and Cooking by Wang and Kutscher (aka The Big Old Chinese Cookbook). I know there are lots of hounds who already own this under-used treasure so it might be fun to tackle it together.

                              And I echo those thanking LLM for her excellent coordination. Thanks!

                              12 Replies
                              1. re: clamscasino

                                Which scallop dish, please? Love scallops. Tend to forget that the "Big Old Yellow" book is on my shelves.

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  Stir Fried Scallops with Chinese Vegetables or Tsao Gahn Bei Ding on page 206.

                                  I don't have any dried Chinese mushrooms so I used three shitakes about 3 1/2 inches across, cut into strips. I removed the stems and nuked them in some water to make up for the soaking liquid. Worked like a charm. And instead of "dicing" the scallops, I just halved them across the waist.

                                  Ah yes, it's a book forgotten on the shelves....but I really want to play with my nice new wok...

                                  1. re: JoanN

                                    Broken record: the scallop recipe in Mighty Spice is really good. I'm making it again in the next few days. Something like scallops with chilies and basil.

                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                      I realize that Mighty Spice has had its own thread going for quite a while, but perhaps it would still make a good COTM? There seems to be a hankering for Asian, but not a specific country in mind. Not sure what the availability is in libraries, but it is on Amazon for under $15.

                                      Another that has had a lot of interest, and its own thread, but not yet a COTM is Radically Simple.

                                      1. re: MelMM

                                        I love both of these books. But they do both have pretty healthy threads of their own already. What do others think?

                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                          I would be extremely interested in Mighty Spice. More people need to be aware of this book. After reading all of the reviews in the thread, every single one of them positively glowing, I became convinced that I *needed* to try it out. Glad I did; it's now on my wishlist. I wouldn't mind having a good excuse to buy it now!

                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                            Mighty Spice just arrived on my bookshelf, Allegra, after reading all the reviews in LulusMom thread, "Cooking from Mighty Spice Cookbook by John Gregory-Smith." I haven't been able to read through the entire book yet, but it really looks mighty appealing. It wouldn't be the first time a cookbook that has it's own popular thread becomes a COTM...

                                          2. re: LulusMom

                                            I don't know how I missed that Mighty Spice thread, but I'm catching up now. It looks like there is a lot of variety, and the flavors sound pretty compelling. My library doesn't have it, unfortunately, but it's not too expensive. There is no peek inside function, but it sounds like it has photos. I'm hungry for visuals!

                                            I'd definitely be on board with Mighty Spice (even though I know I'm contradicting my post about choosing a single cuisine).

                                    2. re: clamscasino

                                      clams I'd be thrilled to cook from this book. Like so many books on my shelf, this one earned its spot because of great feedback on these boards. Love this idea!!

                                      1. re: clamscasino

                                        I'm interested in this book, Clams. It's available from Amazon resellers for less than a song...
                                        http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Ch...

                                        1. re: Gio

                                          Just bought a copy- thanks for the tip. This nomination thread is dangerous!

                                        2. re: clamscasino

                                          Wow! The Big Old Yellow Chinese Cookbook....I've always called Bittman's How to Cook Everything as the big old yellow cookbook.

                                        3. As someone who has been here from the beginning, I just want to thank the relative newcomers who have so invigorated the discussion and to say how much I miss those who are no longer with us. One of the best changes I’ve seen over the past years is that the coordinator now speaks in her or his (when will we have a his? Any regular hises ready to volunteer?) own voice and participates fully in the conversation. You’ve been a great example in that regard for those who follow you LLM. And we should all be very proud that five plus years out, COTM has become a shining star in the Chowhound firmament. I just wish redwood2bay was still here to savor it.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: JoanN

                                            You know, I've been doing this little project of going through all the old COTMs that I participated in and noting favorite recipes from them. And reading those old threads has been wonderful, reminding me of so many great meals, and also of people we haven't heard from for a while. (On a side note, I wish to *#$# that my computer hadn't decided to update in the middle of the night when I hadn't saved a few months worth of notes I'd taken ... grrr.) I, too, really am happy to have so many active new voices, and miss those old voices who helped me along so much in the beginning. It makes the COTM feel like a very alive thing. And thanks to everyone for the kind words. I think *every* coordinator has helped a lot, and I was overdue in having my turn. I hope to heck I haven't offended anyone, or made anyone feel I was breaking the rules by joining the conversation. I know some have always been against that but I've always felt that if you're part of the group, you should feel free to have your say.

                                          2. I probably have no business of nominating anything, as my participation as of late has been sporadic at best. Somehow I haven't been very enthused about the recent selections. I have been reading along and taking mental notes, even flipping through the books and attempting to find something that appeals, but never working up enough excitement to actually cook anything out of them. Sometimes I've even made things, but laziness prevailed and I never got around to reviewing. That happens a lot more than I'd like to admit!
                                            That being said, I've found myself trying new recipes that I would have never even given a second glance before, discovering fascinating new ingredients, and learning how much there will always be to know, and it's all because of the cotm its excellent and passionate participants and coordinators. So, thank you, kind folks !

                                            Despite my meat, cabbage, and potato upbringing, my heart will always belong with the cuisines of Asia. I will never refuse an opportunity to learn more about the varied and glorious foods from that vast land......so, Japanese? Korean? Thai?

                                            1. A big thanks to LulusMom for 6 months of coordinating!! Amazing job! *applause* Thanks also goes to those who started COTM and to those that are keeping it alive. I remember a vote regarding the future of COTM not too long after I had discovered it. I'm so glad that it is still here for all of us to enjoy.

                                              I will be out for 2 weeks next month, but will participate when I can. My husband always gets nervous during the nomination period because my cookbook collection seems to expand during this time. Can't wait to hear about more books that I *must* have. :)

                                              1. Ok, so I came home to take a look at my bookshelves as I said I would (above) but they soon overwhelmed me so I decided to look at EYB and searched for "most popular" books. There are so many that I don't give near enough attention to but these books really piqued my interest. . . . some have been mentioned already:

                                                Bistro Cooking at Home: More Than 150 Classic and Contemporary Dishes by Gordon Hamersley and Joanne McAllister

                                                Thai Street Food by David Thompson

                                                China Moon Cookbook by Barbara Tropp

                                                Splendid Soups: Recipes and Master Techniques for Making the World's Best Soups by James Peterson

                                                Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking With Ming Tsai by Ming Tsai and Arthur Boehm

                                                Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook: Explosive Flavors From The Southwestern Kitchen by Bobby Flay

                                                Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking by Fuchsia Dunlop – I know, I know, it was a past COTM but many of us weren’t around then and FD seems to be the Queen of this cuisine …so many raves here and I’d love to re-visit

                                                The New Spanish Table by Anya Von Bremzen

                                                The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories And Recipes For Southerners And Would-Be Southerners by Matt Lee and Ted Lee

                                                660 Curries: Plus Biryanis, Breads, Pilafs, Raitas, and More by Raghavan Iyer

                                                New Food Fast by Donna Hay

                                                Oh and of course the big yellow Chinese book mentioned above!

                                                Does anyone have an interest in any of these books?

                                                48 Replies
                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                  I have Bistro Cooking at Home, and would relish the push to cook more from it. The few things I've made I've really enjoyed. Also the Splendid Soups book - if not February, when? Soup sounds perfect. And like everyone else, my mouth waters at the thought of more asian food.

                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                    For those that have Bistro Cooking at Home, how different is it from some of the recipes in Pepin? Although they are interspersed between many other recipes, it seems there are a large number of bistro dishes in Essential Pepin that failed to inspire. Is it just the way EP is laid out and too many recipes?

                                                    A soup month sounds perfect for this weather. I took at quick peek at the recipe list on EYB and the variety of soups appeared to be varied enough to keep things interesting.

                                                    I have the Kimchi Chronicles and a couple other Korean books. I'd be excited for a Korean month, but Chinese,Thai and Japanese would be welcome too.

                                                    1. re: BigSal

                                                      I'm with you on the soups thing. Sounds just right, and the weather here hasn't even gotten that cold yet. But the comfort of soups and stews (so JoanN's suggestion below also appeals) sounds very wintery.

                                                      Bistro Cooking at home is laid out very differently, and is more visually appealing than the JP book. One recipe per page, not tons of pictures but the ones that are make my mouth water. I haven't made much from it, but what I've made has been very successful. I made the Rabbit (chicken thighs) braised in red wine with bacon, pearl onions and chanterelles; I have a note in the book that seems to imply I made the Oven-roasted skate with horseradish and walnut crumbs - sounds amazing, but I have no memory of this; Oven-baked penne with onions, walnuts and goat cheese was incredibly good; and how could I have not made Lu Lu's favorite linguine. I do think, though, that maybe your question leads to a really good point - do we want a bistro book after a French(ish) book? Maybe not right away.

                                                      1. re: BigSal

                                                        I'm also drawn to Splendid Soups. I'm not sure Mr. NS will be excited about a month full of soups, but to me it sounds ideal. This book has such a variety of flavors, I think it would remain interesting throughout the month.
                                                        Part of me, however, still wants fo delve into a specific, uncommon, cuisine...

                                                    2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                      I'm surprised to see Blue Ginger on the list. It's yet another book I've had on my shelves forever and cooked nothing from. I've had great success with Ming Tsai's recipes in other books, so am very much prejudiced in his favor. But people should know this is an Asian fusion book, as the subtitle specifically states. I think that may be why I never quite got into it. If we were going to revisit China, I think I'd prefer to do it with a book such as Nina Simonds' "Classic Chinese Cuisine," which buttertart has often said is still one of the best general Chinese cookbooks on the market. It's in paperback and can be picked up for very little yen on Amazon.

                                                      Greeneggsnham mentioned Korean. Does anyone else have "The Kimchi Chronicles" by Jean-Georges Vongerichten's wife? It was the only book I picked up in the B&N closeout but have barely glanced at it. (I bought so many cookbooks last year I'm afraid there are quite a few I've barely glanced at, so that's not a knock on that particular book.)

                                                      I also have the Hamersley languishing on the shelves and would be happy to have it chosen.

                                                      Although people seem to want a specific cuisine, something different from what we've done before, February is such a perfect time for stews and braises and I think many of us got "Falling Off the Bone" recently. Jean Anderson is way overdue as a COTM selection.

                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                        I would enjoy cooking more from Falling Off The Bone. Also have Family Meals and have not made anything out of it yet. On the soup subject, I have Soups, Stews and Chilis by Cook's Illustrated - again have not cooked from it yet but it looks interesting and diverse. There are chapter on slow and fast cooking, on curries and tagines, seafood chowders and even a chapter on Asian soups including kimchi soup:)

                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                          I don't have "The Kimchee Chronicles." I just buzzed over to Amazon and the reviews are mainly very positive but one person blasted it for being inauthentic. I tsounds like there are a lot of fusion recipes and then some more traditional recipes adapted for American kitchens and ingredients? Having not seen the book, I can't comment.

                                                          As much as I would love to do Korean, I think it is so important to have a great cookbook, I wouldn't want to do Korean with a less than great cookbook, because I think participation suffers. I have "Growing up in a Korean Kitchen" by Hishoo Shin Heppinstall. I haven't made that much from it, and I have to admit almost everything I've made has been adapted, as my husband would say "it needs more of that, don't add that, etc." So the things I've made have been very good, but I'm not sure it's all a credit to the book.

                                                          http://www.amazon.com/Growing-up-Kore...

                                                          Anyone have a Korean cookbook that they love?

                                                          Although, also Soups or Falling off the Bone seems appropriate for February. A Bistro cookbook would be fun, but maybe wait a tad?

                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                            Currently have The Kimchi Chronicles out from the library. I haven't cooked out of it yet, but I find the author's tone irritating on occasion. There's a food network chef-y type vibe to it; a bit of name dropping ('My famous actress friend so-and-so loves this...') and too many photos of the author for my liking. The food pictures do look delicious, but the recipes have a fair amount of fusion dishes in there. But I suppose I shouldn't knock it until I've tried it.

                                                            How is Classic Chinese Cuisine? That one sounds swell, but I've never picked it up before.

                                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                                              I've barely looked at Classic Chinese Cuisine, Allegra. I bought it strictly on buttertart's recommendation since I know she knows what she's talking about. Didn't hurt that it was pretty cheap on Amazon. Although quite a few recipes appealed to me on my first thumb through, I've yet to try any.

                                                              Here's what I do know. The book was originally published in 1982 to great acclaim. It was revised in 1994. She says she adapted some of the original recipes, mainly cutting back on the amount of oil, and added 30 new ones. For those of us who have spent any amount of time with Dunlop and Young, the Intro info is elemental, stuff we already know. Each recipe serves six, something that may be of concern for those cooking for one or two.

                                                              Calling buttertart! Maybe she could jump in here and tell us about the recipes and some of her favorites.

                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                Classic Chinese Cuisine sounds very interesting to me. Especially the "classic" part, there's too much fusion and Americanized stuff out there to my taste. I have another book by Simonds that I like quite a bit. And I agree, I'd certainly trust buttertart's recommendations on something like this!

                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                  Nina Simonds worked with Huang Su-huei on the hardcover Wei-Chuan cookbooks that are cooking bibles as far as I'm concerned.
                                                                  The techniques she goes through at the beginning of the book are fairly basic but very well-described.
                                                                  She has excellent recipes for very exciting Chinese breads (I LOVE shao bing - sesame flatbreads -, you can buy them in NYC but they're nothing like they're supposed to be). These, with the noodle and dumpling recipes, make it an unusually useful book (if you can't get the Florence Lin Chinese breads etc cookbook, which is now very expensive, she has the major things covered).
                                                                  The recipes cover a wide range of cuisines and are pretty much the same as the ones in the Wei-Chuan books, with fuller explanations (obviously because the book is aimed at a different audience).
                                                                  And if you want to scare yourself half to death, make the (utterly delicious) crispy-skin duck...deepfrying a whole duck is quite the event. Recipes for dry fried beef and her hot and sour soup are excellent as well.

                                                                  I haven't looked at the big yellow book for a million years but I know I was never tempted to buy it, the recipes seemed inauthentic/farfetched (note this is my perception of at least 30 years ago).

                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                    I just ordered Nina Simonds new book "Simple Asian Meals" --am waiting for it to arrive!

                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                      I hadn't noticed that one, looks like fun! (Incidentally, I wrote to her asking about cooking schools when we were going to live in Taipei - at the time, she had a series of articles in Gourmet - and she wrote a very nice letter back.)
                                                                      ETA - sample on Amazon looked irresisible, so I didn't. :) Thanks for the tip, I can't wait to get my hands on it.

                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        I got it today - some very nice-looking recipes...BUT please don't use Worcestershire sauce instead of black vinegar, they really taste nothing alike. One recipe calls for 4 1/2 tb of it, shudder...I'd use malt vinegar diluted 2:1 with water if I couldn't get black vinegar, they're both made from grain.

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          Wow! How did your copy arrive already?!? I'm still waiting for mine!

                                                                          She recommends Worcestershire Sauce as a sub for Black Vinegar? How odd. Thankfully I haven't had a problem getting black vinegar!

                                                                          I hope my copy arrives soon!

                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                        I'm on the waiting list for Nina Simonds Simple Asian Meals. A couple of weeks ago, the Boston Globe did a short feature on her with a few recipes. They intrigued me. I see the cinnamon beef noodles in my future.

                                                                        http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/...

                                                                        http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/...

                                                                        http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/...

                                                                        1. re: beetlebug

                                                                          Funny. I was going through "Classic Chinese" this morning and there's a recipe for Cinnamon-Flavored Beef that called out to me. We may be comparing notes.

                                                                          1. re: beetlebug

                                                                            Awesome, thank you! I ordered the book from TGC without really knowing anything about it--just based on the reputation of the author. Those recipes look very appealing!

                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                  2. re: JoanN

                                                                    I'm disappointed that Falling Off the Bone doesn't have a chapter on chicken. Chickens have bones too... [insert pouty face here] On the other hand... All About Braising has a poultry & game chapter.

                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                      I think it was a question of choosing a marketable title, since she says in the intro that the book is about meat. She says,"My focus here: the tough cuts . . . widely available across America." I'm sure she wanted to stay away from something that would be in direct competition with Molly Stevens's book, so this isn't so much a book about braising as it is about how to get the most flavor from what might be considered "value" cuts of meat. (Although short ribs, at least in my neighborhood, sure aren't a "value" cut any longer.)

                                                                      Chicken or no, the recipes do look very appealing. But I haven't tried anything yet.

                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                        Well that makes sense. The other issue I have - which is really a non-issue - is that we don't eat red meat but that can easily be remedied by substituting or eliminating.
                                                                        Thanks Joan.

                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                          I hadn't considered that. LLM doesn't eat red meat, either. (Is veal red meat?) Maybe this isn't the slam-dunk eventual COTM selection I thought sure it would be. Perhaps a separate thread will be in order for those of us who have it.

                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                            Given that I am hardly a heavy participant, it's not that big a deal to me, but that would be a month I'd be sitting out were it to happen, for the same reason. I know Gio eats pork, but advertising notwithstanding, for me red meat is everything mammalian.

                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                              Sorry if I was being insensitive, or even just dense. I'm quite certain LLM doesn't eat pork either.

                                                                              But then, I don't have a slow cooker and feel no need to acquire one. I just keep hoping that books that don't work for me for one reason or another will be chosen for months that I won't be around.

                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                No worries, Joan. I haven't seen Falling Off the Bone and didn't know it only deals with red meat until I saw Gio's comment. I was just adding a data point, but I have no objection to majorities choosing books that don't interest or don't work for me personally. I figure all of us encounter months like that, and we just don't cook along those months (unless we're lucky enough to be traveling!).

                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                  Exactly. There are months when for whatever reason I haven't been interested in cooking from a book (like a book of mostly red meat or a slow cooker book), but I always find something else fun to cook from - past COTMs or other book threads. And I *really* appreciated when you all saved Jamie Oliver month until I was back in town last year. Meant a whole lot to me..

                                                                                2. re: JoanN

                                                                                  I am with JoanN - do not have a slow cooker and have no interest in this kind of slow cooking. I am very intrigged by a pressure cooker, though, and if anyone here cares to suggest a book, I just might get one:) Regardless, February will be a Japanese month for me. if anyone isinterested in cooking along from Washoku, do let me know and I will set up a thread.

                                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                                    I have a pressure cooker and an old Lorna Sass book but, to be honest, I'm totally intimidated by my pressure cooker and the Sass book seems to be too out of date for my comfort. I did recently buy a copy of The Easy Pressure Cooker Cookbook to see if that motivates me at all.

                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                    1. re: herby

                                                                                      Herby, when looking for a pressure cooker book, look for one that will show cooking time for the 'automatic release method' as well. This is not the 'quick release method' which entails using the 'cold-water release method.' But, of course, your pressure cooker will have to be the so-called 'second generation' pressure cooker to have this 'automatic release method' feature.

                                                                                      Since I am a 'detail-miinded' person, what I have done for every dried bean(i.e. chick peas, red bean, adzuki, etc) that I've cooked is make a chart for type of soak if used, amt of water, amt of beans, amt of oil, and the method of release. For me it is not a slam-dunk.

                                                                                      1. re: Rella

                                                                                        Rella, do you know of any good pressure cooker books that show cooking times for the "auto release" method? (I will have to check mine now!)

                                                                                        ETA: Mine "The Easy Pressure Cooker Cookbook") calls for either "quick" release (which she says can be achieved either by pushing a button if your pressure cooker has one) or letting it come down "naturally." Am I going to find this book frustrating?

                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                          Actually, I don't, sad to say. I find the books sorely lacking in this regard. I have a Fagor, and now reading the recipes in the manual, it doesn't even give the times for other than a natural release. I know that Kuhn-Rikon (sp?) pressure cooker is a "Second Generation" pressure cooker, as well as the Fagor.

                                                                                          My best guess using this feature is when a book like Sass' says 20 minutes + quick release, one will use the auto release feature. DH holds a spoon over the steam rushing out to direct it up the fan outlet instead of it steaming up the place.. For instance her Timing charts in a Glance," in the book "Pressure Perfect" will give a timing of neck shoulder slices bone-in stew meat 1" is 16+quick-relase; 2 to 3 inches 23+quick release."

                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                            Yes I could use some cook pressure cooker cookbook suggestions. I've had mine for almost 20 years and all I've used it for is cooking beans. I tried chili once, based on someone suggestion and it was horribly burned on the bottom of the pan. I originally bought it for bean cooking, back when I was veg so I don't regret the purchase.

                                                                                        2. re: herby

                                                                                          herby, I just saw this.I will be out for the last 2 weeks of February, but I'd gladly cook from Washoku too. I've tried a few recipes with good results (kare raisu, tori soboro, san shoku domburi and tamago yaki). I'd even start now since I feel like I've hit a wall with Pepin. The recipes have not been bad, but maybe I'm just not in the mood for the recipes in EP.

                                                                                          1. re: BigSal

                                                                                            I am so glad that you are interested, Sal! The same here; I keep looking at Pepin's book but nothing there inspires me to cook. The only Japanese dish that I know how to make is sushi. Long-long time ago I took a sushi course that also taught me how to make good rice without a rice cooker. The sushi was all the rage those days and pretty expensive. I enjoyed experimenting with it but has been quite a few years since I made it. I am also reading a book "My Mother's Tokyo Kitchen" that makes me wish to cook Japanese even more:) I do not have Washoku but the library has it - even if it is not on my library shelf, it won't take long to get it - I'll put a request in this weekend.

                                                                                            1. re: herby

                                                                                              Great, I'm looking forward to cooking some Japanese food with you and whomever else cares to join in. In the meantime, I will give the Mighty Spice a whirl.

                                                                                              1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                BigSal, I requested Washoku from the library and should get it by the weekend if not before. I will set up the thread in the next couple of days - if you start cooking please post. In the mean time could you suggst what pantry ingredients I need to have on hand? I will be in the area that has an Asian store with good selection of Japanese foods and will stock up on what I do not have. Thanks!

                                                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                                                  I'm excited about this thread. If my library has the book, I may join in. Can't wait to start reading reports/results.

                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                    Happy to hear that you are excited and hope that you will join in. Here is the tread:
                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/828644

                                                                                                  2. re: herby

                                                                                                    Glad to see the group growing. I have some Mighty Spice recipes planned for the work week, but will plan to cook from Washoku this weekend. For Japanese pantry basics, I would start with med-grain Japanese white rice, soy sauce, bonito flakes (katsuobushi), konbu (kelp/seaweed), nori, sake, mirin, rice vinegar, dried shiitake, sesame seeds, miso and toasted sesame seed oil. There are other items (tofu, fried tofu, wakame, konnyaku, udon, ramen, sansho pepper, etc), but I hate to have you buy all these ingredients when you may not use them. Googlebooks has quite a number of the recipes if you want to take a peek.

                                                                                                2. re: herby

                                                                                                  My library copy of Washoku should be arriving soon. I, too, look forward to exploring this book. It just feels like a perfect time for Japanese cuisine.

                                                                                                  1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                    Just requested it from my library too. Supposed to be back at the end of the month.

                                                                                          2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                            I am not a heavy participant, nor a red meat eater. Although spouse has had red meat for the past two days, and I've certainly had my hand in the menu, but only a bite or two in the mouth.

                                                                                3. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                  Thanks for the list. For some reason I stopped cooking a lot of Chinese, Japanese, Thai some years ago. It's interesting to me that these cuisine type cookbooks are still so popular. It was probably a fad in my case; even at that I was serious enough to rid myself of most of them most recently, only keeping a half bookshelf. Not to say, I've given up kimchee, miso, rice, bok choy, etc., but they have become a part of my repetoire, as an American meatloaf might be, and I feel I have nothing I 'want' to learn more about them.

                                                                                  On the other hand I'm still quite interested in all the other cuisines/cookbooks. Just musing.

                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                    Breadcrumbs, I love cooking out of "The New Spanish Table," by Anya Von Bremzen. It never fails to please.

                                                                                    Also, as another poster mentioned, "The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria" is another fine book that I've been using lately. The unique photographic layout appeals to my sense of visual organization; love the little timeline to help keep everything timed to finish accurately.

                                                                                    1. re: Dansky

                                                                                      Dansky do you have any "must try" faves from NST? The book had immediate appeal and I wish I had more time to cook from it. That's what I love about the COTM's, it gives you a reason to focus on a book that may otherwise end up lonely on the shelf!!

                                                                                      I rec'd Adria's book for Christmas but I haven't yet had a chance to take a look through it. Your description has completely piqued my interest as I too appreciate the aesthetics of a book's design layout and photography. I'm moving this book to the top of my pile...thanks!!

                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                        Breadcrumbs, try the Salt-baked Pork in Adobo, and serve it with the Tangy Cilantro Mojo (pages 234 235). Not only does it come out incredibly moist, but the contrasting flavors of the hot paprika vs. tangy cilantro mojo are really wonderful.

                                                                                        I also loved the Potato "lasagna" with Chrorizo and Dates (pages 321-322) using Spanish (not the softer Mexican) chorizo. I think the first time I made this I used figs instead of dates, but its really tasty either way.

                                                                                        Although I've only cooked a few meals from Ferran Adria's book, I have to mention his dessert on page 284-- the Pineapple with Molasses and Lime. Simple, and amazingly good.

                                                                                      2. re: Dansky

                                                                                        I just got "New Spanish Table" last weekend and haven't cooked from it yet, but will say that it is extremely appealing. Seems to be a great blend of traditional Spanish recipes and modern spins on the classics that are interesting without being precious. The tone is friendly and approachable and there are a ton of interesting sidebars. It also left me desperate for a trip to Spain.

                                                                                        Another note -- there are several recipes in there from a home cooking book that Ferran Adria apparently published in Spanish in conjunction with a supermarket chain. Don't know what if any overlap there is with The Family Meal, but it was pretty hilarious seeing a Ferran Adria recipe for a 30-minute doctored up supermarket rotisserie chicken!

                                                                                        1. re: Dansky

                                                                                          For me "Family Meal" might be the most disappointing book of 2011.

                                                                                      3. Egad! Already time to nominate for feb and I have cooked nothing for Jan!

                                                                                        First, let me add my thanks and admiration to LLM for doing a stellar job. My participation (and even my lurking) have been spotty, but it seems you,ve done a great job of order out of chaos.

                                                                                        Given my poor participation, i'm not sure i'm going to give anything in all caps, but I love hearing the ideas which have been thrown out. Asian sounds great to me. I think Korean or Japanese would be great as cuisines which have not yet been addressed. Plus when I mentioned Korean month to my (Korean) husband, his eyes lit up. We made kimchee together when we were early in our dating time, and it was a fun, rewarding project. Not sure my roommates appreciated the fermentation in our tiny kitchen, but now I think it would be fun project for the whole family.

                                                                                        I also think 660 curries or a fuchsia Dunlop revisit would be fun.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                          My husband cringes at the word kimchee, but he sure as heck loves the bulgogi recipe from Gourmet Today.

                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                            Yes, kimchee making is probably not for everybody (the smell of fermentation!! my roommates must have hated me!) but pretty much everyone loves bulgolgi. I haven't met a kid yet who doesn't love bulgolgi.

                                                                                            1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                              I'm obsessed with fish sauce. Husband likes it too, once he's eating it. But just opening a bottle while he's in the kitchen makes him high tail it right out of there.

                                                                                        2. Has anyone else looked at "Martha's Entertaining"? I got it out of the library this week. It's a huge coffee table book by Martha Stewart--as beautiful, really, as it is unwieldy. Kind of a valedictory, bookend-y look at the life she hinted at in her first book, 1982's "Entertaining," and then went out and created for herself.

                                                                                          I haven't looked at any of the recipes except one, for a Red Snapper Ceviche with Lime and Tomato, but I am definitely going to make that one.

                                                                                          It's expensive, but heavily discounted on amazon and the book clubs, and I was able to take it out of the library after about a month's wait.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Jay F

                                                                                            I got the Martha book by default. -- the person I was going to give it to was so buried at work that she begged off a gift exchange. Voila! The new Martha. I have not yet cooked from it, but I agree that there appears to be many very interesting recipes in it. I must take a more serious perusal. It is gorgeous though, isn't it, Jay F?

                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                              You're right. It has serious gorgeosity going on, Roxlet. I've always liked Martha's cookbooks, both for how they look and for how they cook. Reading "Entertaining" is what got me started catering in 1983. I was already interested in cooking, but making things look pretty was something I hadn't really thought of prior to that time.

                                                                                              The first thing I did was a "zoo" party, and among other things, I made snakes out of pasta rolls, decorating with pesto mayo, salmon caviar, and strips of carrot and zucchini peel. And then I did a wedding, and two dinner parties, and... it was one of the most fun periods in my life.

                                                                                              This new book has some beautiful photos of parties, food, flowers, people. I find the peony party especially interesting.

                                                                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                That sounds awesome, really! Are you still a food professional?

                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                  No. I haven't done it in a long time professionally. I've reverted to being a reasonably decent at home cook. I had a lot of fun those days, though.

                                                                                          2. I've been following the recent slow cooker thread, and that's got me thinking... what about a slow cooker book (or books) for a COTM? There Michele Scicolone's books, The Italian Slow Cooker, and now The French Slow Cooker. There's the Indian Slow Cooker by Anupi Singla. There's the Cook's Illustrated book.

                                                                                            26 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: MelMM

                                                                                              I like the slow cooker books idea. Here is another slow cooker cookbook, which looks pretty good to me.
                                                                                              http://www.amazon.com/Gourmet-Slow-Co...

                                                                                              The Gourmet slw cooker "Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World"

                                                                                              1. re: Rella

                                                                                                There is also a Vol II of that book by the same author, and in 2010 she came out with The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker. I have the first two books, but I can't recall if I've made anything from them.

                                                                                                1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                  I have both Vol I & Vol II and everything I've made has been just fine. Not exactly the best in the world but just fine, especially if one follows the directions to the letter, i.e. sear first Then plop everything into the SC..

                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                    I wouild love to do any one of these slow cooker books because it's the season and plus, that's my cooking speed these days. I have Italian Slow Cooker and Gourmet Slow Cooker on my shelves. I've tried a couple of recipes from each and, as Gio says, good but not amazing. You really do learn how to get the best out of your slow cooker!

                                                                                                    Thank you, LLM, for your hard work these past 6 months. I have nothing to nominate right now, but I shall continue to read on with interest...

                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                      TDQ... How do you like The Italian Slow Cooker.... do the recipes do justice to "the real thing"?

                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                        Hard to answer that question, but I'd say for the trade off in effort or supervised cooking time, yes. All by themselves, not quite, no.

                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                          I have The Italian Slow Cooker and I've only made two dishes (for lack of time vs want). The Beef in Barolo (p.159) was outstanding. I subbed a top sirloin for the bottom round MS called for since that's what I had on hand. . . the meat was melt in your mouth tender and the sauce was amazingly flavourful. I enjoyed the dish far more than I thought I would as sometimes I find stews/braises to be a bit "one note". Mr bc would have polished off the entire roast if I'd let him. The other dish I made was the Osso Buco w Red Wine (p. 159) and this was another hit. Again, extremely flavourful and exceeded my expectations especially given that the dish was low on required effort. I also happen to love Michele Scicolone. Of all the Italian cookbooks on my shelf, hers get the most use because I seem to always be able to count on her for delicious recipes that work. She has a website that does have recipes on it along w an interesting account of her travels and cooking. When Amazon alerted me to her new book, The French Slow Cooker, I immediately scooped it up. It arrived this week and it looks just as enticing as the Italian book. I would be super excited to do a slow cooker month and would love one or both of these books to be in the mix.

                                                                                                          The other book mentioned above was the Indian Slow Cooker. I also have this book. I purchased it over the holidays after sampling a very tasty dish from a recipe in this book prepared by a co-worker. As I mentioned in the "Recent Cookbooks Purchased" thread, my hope is to cook from it this weekend. If I do, I'll report here. At first pass though the recipes look to be quick, tasty and dead easy. The book also claims to have healthy recipes . . . especially appealing after the holiday tradition of gluttony and sloth at Casa bc!!

                                                                                                          ETA: Here's a link to Michele Scicolone's website if folks are interested: http://michelescicolone.com/

                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                            Hmmm...Maybe I'm choosing wrong! I'll put the Osso Buco on my list. I thought I had tried the Beef in Barolo, but I could be mistaken. I'll check again...

                                                                                                            I do want the French Slow Cooker, too...

                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                              I've cooked several things from the Indian Slow Cooker and have had the pleasure of meeting and talking to the author as well. Of I think six dishes that I've made, five were at least quite good and two were super yummy. One, not so much.

                                                                                                    2. re: Rella

                                                                                                      And I just saw that she has a soup book (for the slow cooker) that came out last September.

                                                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                        As for winter single focus books three soup/one-pot cookbooks that I have and like very much are:

                                                                                                        New England Soup Factory Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Nation's Best Purveyor of Fine Soup by Clara Silverstein and Marjorie Druker

                                                                                                        Tom Valenti's Soups, Stews, and One-Pot Meals: 125 Home Recipes from the Chef-Owner of New York City's Ouest and 'Cesca by Tom Valenti and Andrew Friedman

                                                                                                        One Dish Meals: Flavorful Single-Dish Meals from the World's Premier Culinary College by The Culinary Institute of America (Casseroles, Stews and One-pot Meals)

                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                          I really like the sound of One Dish Meals for a cold month.

                                                                                                          I'm amused that there still isn't a single nomination on here.

                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                            That is pretty surprising! Quite a long thread for no noms. Hope all of our chatting doesn't make your job more difficult!

                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                              Not a bit. I'm always interested in the nominating conversations! Just sort of funny that no one feels strongly enough to nominate.

                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                I like the slow-cooker cookbooks. I have two, "The Italian slow cooker" and "Gourmet Slow Cooker" but I'd probably buy either or both of the French and Indian. So it's hard to recommend for me. But even sight unseen, I'd probably vote for the Indian slow-cooker -- Nope, I'll take that back already. Just can't make my mind up which one.
                                                                                                                Signed, Convoluted Reply

                                                                                                                1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                  HAHA Rella, your post reads as if I'd written myself. I have the exact same books as you and am very interested in acquiring the same two books you mentioned (French Slow Cooker--which wasn't available on the good cook when I was on my shopping spree alas or I'd have that too-- and Indian Slow Cooker).

                                                                                                                  Also on my list to get: Lynn Alley's follow up book, Gourmet Slow Cooker II Regional Comfort Food Classics. I guess she also has a Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker book and a Slow Cooker Soups book, but I haven't looked into those much. Maybe I should.

                                                                                                                  Yep, I could have written your exact post, except that I'd have signed it, "Convoluted Reply, ~TDQ"

                                                                                                                  Here are some of Lynn Alley's slow cooker recipes on Epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/tools/searc...

                                                                                                                  Here are some on Italian Slow Cooker (note, only the first and the last recipes are Michele's
                                                                                                                  )http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/20...
                                                                                                                  http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10049/...

                                                                                                                  http://michelescicolone.com/my-cookbo...

                                                                                                                  Recipes from Alley's Slow Cooker Soups book:
                                                                                                                  http://www.thedailymeal.com/users/lyn...

                                                                                                                  I am reluctant, however, to oversell these books for a variety of reasons.

                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                    3. re: MelMM

                                                                                                      OK, I'm feeling flexible (which just means the monthly COTM indecision has set in). I'd be happy to do a slow cooker book. I could use something to warm me up to my slow cooker, which I basically ignore. I've got:
                                                                                                      Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker
                                                                                                      The Italian Slow Cooker
                                                                                                      The Gourmet Slow Cooker
                                                                                                      The Indian Slow Cooker
                                                                                                      Healthy Slow Cooker
                                                                                                      Unfortunately, not much to say on any of them, due to above-stated coolness toward my cooker.

                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                        My slow cooker insert is being used today as a soaker for lemons (for 3 whole days) for a preserved lemon recipe. Basically it gets used for a bowl. I revert back to the Rival 1971, I believe, that I've not rid myself of yet. The cylindrical shape of the Rival is not as much to my liking as the oval shape of the new one I have. However, the thermostat on my new one is either all-the-way high or all-the-way low. I don't use it. And as is the case of many new appliances now-a-days there is something unpleasant about the lids whereby they are always plopping water all over the top of the lid onto the counter. My particular slow-cooker was only used outside, it is that bad. This is an edit - so I don't know if it will come up here, but looking at slow-cookers, I think if it so happens to be the topic in February, I will probably get the programmable one. http://www.amazon.com/Frigidaire-Prof...

                                                                                                        I do like the idea of cooking from "The Italian Slow Cooker," the Gourmet Slow Cooker," and probably most of all "The Indian Slow Cooker."

                                                                                                      2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                        I already have a number of slow cooker books, but none of the ones mentioned! I'm not sure I'd be that interested in buying another one tbh.

                                                                                                        1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                          The Indian slow cooker cookbook is great! I have the French slow cooker on preorder.

                                                                                                          1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                            Good to know! Could you list some of your favs?

                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                              The aloo gobi recipe has become a staple at my house loved by everyone. And I made the wet curry recipe in the back of the book today and it got raves from my family. I actually didn't eat any, I was making it to stock the fridge. My daughter made a veggie curry with it as the base adding her own spices. I also used her directions but my favorite recipe for chana masala in the slow cooker.

                                                                                                              1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                Thanks for sharing these rasputina, I'll definitely flag the aloo gobi.

                                                                                                                1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                  I thank you too. I love aloo gobi, but it's hard for me to imagine doing it in a slow cooker. I'll have to give it a go.

                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                    I was traveling down memory lane with aloo gobi, so I decided to google images of aloo gobi http://www.google.com/search?q=aloo+g... which brought to mind a breakfast I had in Nepal; the waiter recommended it to me, but I had to wait 1 hour for it to be served - it was a busy place that morning.

                                                                                                                    The a.g. looked like none of the photos in the link, but it was the best I've ever had. If I had to explain it, it would be that the ingredients were maybe par-boiled, then fried in very hot ghee - but no bitterness. Heaven! Right, that will never be reproduced in a slow cooker :-))

                                                                                                                    1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                      Yes, I don't think you are going to get the fried in ghee effect in the slow cooker LOL. That sounds intriguing though.

                                                                                                          2. I'm veering towards Asian right now - I have bought Mighty Spice recently, but also Bill's Everyday Asian (Bill Granger - Ozzie chef). I've also been enjoying one of my Xmas presents, which was Good Things to Eat by Lucas Hollweg, but that may not be available stateside.

                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                              Oh..... I've been needing an excuse to buy a Bill Grainger book, and after quickly scanning the recipes at EYB Everyday Asian might been the one. Have you cooked anything from it yet, GG. I see there are some Japanese-sounding recipes listed.

                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                I've made a Vietnamese chicken salad, which was pretty good, but there are loads of things that sound enticing.

                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                  How involved do these recipes seem? I need simple these days.

                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                  yesyesyesyes I've been dying to buy B.G.'s Everyday Asian!

                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                    I've just looked at the Amazon-prospectus for Bill's Everyday Asian and it looks both varied and accessible to someone like me (a relative amateur at Asian cookery.) I was veering towards nominating a slow-cooker cookbook like The Gourmet Slow Cooker but I felt immediately energized when I read about the Grainger Asian book.
                                                                                                                    So, here goes:

                                                                                                                    BILL'S EVERYDAY ASIAN by Bill Grainger

                                                                                                                    1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                      Am I looking at the wrong book? The one I find isn't available on Amazon, is rather pricey from other sellers, even used. And there's not any description of it. Is it out of print? Or not released yet? Do you have a better link than the one I found?

                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                        L.Nightshade, from a cursory look, I don't think this book has been published in the US. While it has very positive reviews on Amazon UK, I think this makes it not a good candidate, due to lack of library access, and the priciness of new/used copies for those of us in the US.

                                                                                                                        http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bills-Everyda...

                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                          Thanks Caitlin, that explains my inability to find much on it!

                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                            Sorry! I found the book on Amazon.com BUT upon further examination of the site, it is indeed only available from new/used booksellers. There are a few reasonably-priced copies but they quickly become very expensive. So I should rescind my nomination because not enough people will be able to find it.

                                                                                                                            http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listin...

                                                                                                                  2. I wanted to cook Japanese food for a while now and nominate:

                                                                                                                    JAPANESE COOKING: A SIMPLE ART by Shizuo Tsuji and/or WASHOKU by Elizabeth Andoh

                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: herby

                                                                                                                      I *do* want a Japanese cookboook month, but I will be away for part of February, so selfishly, I am hoping for Japanese cooking for another month.

                                                                                                                      1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                        I was thinking I wouldn't have as much time to cook from this because of my limited schedule in February, but since I'm cooking from it anyway, I will make my vote official :WASHOKU AND JAPANSE COOKING: A SIMPLE ART.

                                                                                                                        1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                          I also like the idea of an Asian cookbook. I've been eager to participate in COTM more, so I'll cast my vote:

                                                                                                                          EVERYDAY HARUMI: Simple Japanese Food for Family and Friends by Harumi Kurihara
                                                                                                                          JAPANESE COOKING: A SIMPLE ART
                                                                                                                          GROWING UP IN A KOREAN KITCHEN by Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall
                                                                                                                          MY BOMBAY KITCHEN by Niloufer Ichaporia King

                                                                                                                          Looking forward to joining you next month!

                                                                                                                          1. re: bernalgirl

                                                                                                                            bernalgirl - This nomination thread is closed, the voting thread is up here:
                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/828698
                                                                                                                            Please vote and join in!

                                                                                                                            1. re: bernalgirl

                                                                                                                              Hi bernalgirl, we've already gotten to the voting stage. You'll find the voting thread at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/828698

                                                                                                                          1. re: herby

                                                                                                                            I have had Tsujii's book for ages and have hardly cooked anything from it. Now's the time! I nominate JAPANESE COOKING: A SIMPLE ART by Shizuo Tsuji.

                                                                                                                          2. Ok, I'm going to get the ball rolling and go ahead and nominate MIGHTY SPICE by John Gregory-Smith. I'm craving Asian food at the moment!

                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                              Hahahaha... the spanner in the works... Deep down inside I want Asian too, after all my quibbling, and I'd rather cook with the group. So:
                                                                                                                              MIGHTY SPICE by John Gregory-Smith.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                Action this day, Gio, action this day.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                  MIGHTY SPICE sounds mighty nice!

                                                                                                                                2. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                  For those of you who haven't seen this book, or don't know much about it, here is a thread with loads of reviews and even some recipe links: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/805269

                                                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                    What is the chapter organization of this book? I wish I could see the table of contents online somewhere...

                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                        1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                          Thank you (and to Breadcrumbs below also)--Oh, it looks very appealing!

                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                        Okay, I'm not even sure I deserve to participate in the nomination process given my low actual COTM participation, but I have to throw in for the MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK.

                                                                                                                                        Just got it last weekend and have tagged a ton of recipes. I like that it seems to deliver big flavors from around the world but in an eminently doable weeknight way. And the rave reviews from LLM and Beetlebug on the existing thread are a pretty serious recommendation!

                                                                                                                                      2. As much as I'm keen to have another Asian month, I can't help but think that February is the ideal time to focus on soups, stews or braises. By March I suspect some folks will already want to move towards "spring" cooking.

                                                                                                                                        So for Feb, I really love the idea of selecting a couple of slow cooker books but I'd also love to do soups so I'm going to make two nominations:

                                                                                                                                        SLOW COOKER COTM: THE ITALIAN SLOW COOKER & THE INDIAN SLOW COOKER

                                                                                                                                        or

                                                                                                                                        SPLENDID SOUPS BY JAMES PETERSON

                                                                                                                                        Though I've suggested 2 slow cooker books, I'd be happy with any combo. I just ordered Gourmet Slowcooker based on comments above and I'd love to dive into the French Slow Cooker too. Of course there was no point in taking a trip to Amazon without adding Mighty Spice to my cart either. The recipes sure look enticing.

                                                                                                                                        23 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                          Total copycat here, just copying and pasting. February is going to be a busy month for me, so getting accustomed to my slow cooker would be welcome. Making pots of soup and freezing portions sounds appealing also. I am intrigued by Mighty Spice and will be following that thread, and probably joining in if it is selected. Not in my library system, unfortunately, but not too pricey. The books below I already own.

                                                                                                                                          SLOW COOKER COTM: THE ITALIAN SLOW COOKER & THE INDIAN SLOW COOKER

                                                                                                                                          or

                                                                                                                                          SPLENDID SOUPS BY JAMES PETERSON

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                            Me too.

                                                                                                                                            SLOW COOKER COTM: THE ITALIAN SLOW COOKER & THE INDIAN SLOW COOKER

                                                                                                                                            Actually, I'd be good with adding The Gourmet Slow Cooker and/or The French Slow Cooker to this. All of these books are fairly small, so I think you could go with one thread for each book, like we did for Grace Young month.

                                                                                                                                            I'd also be good with Mighty Spice. I'd like to see it be a COTM at some point. Also would be up for anything Asian, especially Korean or Japanese. Lots of good suggestions out this month, so I look forward to participating. The slow cooker just seems like something I need to be doing more.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                              As an aside, I saw Lynn Alley's Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker at a boutique today (I was looking to purchase thank you notes...) and was half-tempted to buy it. It was surprisingly appealing and completely unexpected.

                                                                                                                                              The Good Cook has the French Slow Cooker.

                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                              Me, too.
                                                                                                                                              SLOW COOKER COTM: THE ITALIAN SLOW COOKER & THE INDIAN SLOW COOKER

                                                                                                                                              Same here as MelMM said:
                                                                                                                                              "Actually, I'd be good with adding The Gourmet Slow Cooker and/or The French Slow Cooker to this."

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                THE ITALIAN SLOW COOKER
                                                                                                                                                THE INDIAN SLOW COOKER
                                                                                                                                                THE GOURMET SLOW COOKER
                                                                                                                                                And I'd agree with adding the French Slow Cooker to the mix --just haven't bought it yet.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                  Oh yay! I'm so excited that there's some interest in this and the more slow cooker books the merrier in my view!!

                                                                                                                                                  Tomorrow I' making my first recipe from The Indian Slow Cooker. It's a "Dry Spiced Dal" that requires no more effort than dumping every ingredient into the slow cooker and hitting the "on" button!!! What I loved about this recipe is the "Try This' tip that the author includes. Ms. Singla says this Dal is also amazing in a wrap accompanied by any veggies of your choosing. I loved this idea. Time is so tight these days so if I can repurpose a make-ahead dinner as weekday lunches too.....I'm in heaven!! I'll be back w a report on our experience w it.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                    I love dal - I'm looking forward to your report. I'll be ordering "The Indian Slow Cooker" whether or not it is a COTM February 2012.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                        Oh, good. I'm making that today!

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                        Dry Spiced Dal - p. 68 - The Indian Slow Cooker by Anupy Singla

                                                                                                                                                        Here I am back to report on the Dry Spiced Dal recipe. So first let me say this is one of those super-simple slow cooker recipes where everything just gets measured directly into the slow-cooker bowl, lid goes on, buttons are pressed and, before you know it your dinner is ready. In this case . . . about 2.5 hours.

                                                                                                                                                        Unfortunately I've never had this dish made stove-top so I have nothing to compare it to. What I can tell you is that the recipe produced a tasty dish that couldn't have been easier. At the end of the suggested 2 hour cooking time my dal was quite dry and the water had boiled away however my dal was still a bit toothsome. I added in some more water and cooked for an additional 30 minutes at which point the dish was done. I believe that the additional cooking time (and water) might be due to the fact that my moong and urad dal had been lingering in my pantry perhaps a little longer than they should have been.

                                                                                                                                                        Ms Singla suggests that you garnish w cilantro, chopped green chilli and onions. We garnished w what we had on hand so in our case it was green onions and some hot sauce. I did add a hole serrano chilli to the pot prior to cooking though so we were happy with the heat. I should also note that the recipe calls for 1 tbsp of salt. That amount seemed excessive for our tastes so I did add a very light sprinkling of salt to the pot and, put salt on the table for those who wished to add some to their tastes.

                                                                                                                                                        I served this with some toasted naan and some plain yogurt I'd mixed w a little garlic and lime juice and onions I'd caramelized with some Indian spices. The onions and yogurt were a welcome addition as the dal is dry as the recipe suggests and, it is mildly seasoned using garlic, ginger, cumin seeds and tumeric powder.

                                                                                                                                                        In anticipation of making this dish I picked up some wraps at the supermarket on the weekend and intend to do as Ms Singla suggests and make lunches for during the week. I'll add some crunch lettuce and some green onions to the mix.

                                                                                                                                                        I'd definitely make this again.

                                                                                                                                                        ETA: I used 2c of moong dal and 1c of urad dal since the recipe called for 3c of either type of dal and I only had 2c of the moong.

                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                          Interesting recipe with both moong and urad. My urad always takes forever! And it came out correct consistency, fantastic. The author had her recipe down pat.
                                                                                                                                                          Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                            That's good to know Rella, thanks! It was my moong that was toothsome so you've confirmed it for me, it had definitely spent a bit too much time in my pantry. I'm excited the consistency was right too. What a simple recipe this was. Even mr bc said he thought he'd make this when I'm away on business . . . and yes, this is the same cleaning but not cooking, meat-loving mr bc that somehow didn't miss meat this evening!! Hats off to Ms Singla!!

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                            Awesome! I'm glad this was a winner!

                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                              I made both the dry spiced dal and the aloo gobi yesterday. Maybe it is a function of my older slow cookers, but neither of these recipes cooked in the time specified. 2.5 hours seemed like very little time for the dal, and the aloo gobi was supposed to cook in 3 hours. Another thing I found strange was that you are instructed to stir both of these dishes at certain times. I've always understood that you are supposed to avoid lifting the lid on a slow cooker, because they lose too much heat, and it means extending the cooking time. Maybe these new, hotter cookers come back up to temp faster.

                                                                                                                                                              Anyway, when the dishes weren't done on time (not anywhere close to done), I turned my slow cooker up to high, and let them keep going for a while longer (didn't time it, but maybe 1.5 - 2 hrs more). At that point they were cooked. Because they weren't done in time for dinner, I haven't eaten them yet. I ended up having leftovers for dinner, and I packed these up and put them in the fridge. I'm having some of each dish for lunch today, so I'll report back after I've tasted them. I can say that they smell fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                              I guess the recipes in this and other new books are geared towards the newer, hotter cookers. Maybe with that in mind, I should get one of the new programmable ones. I think if, after cooking from these books, I've found dishes that I'd like to make on a regular basis, I'll consider updating my slow cooker.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                Hi Mel, I don't have my book w me but I cooked my dal on high because I thought that's what the directions said. I'll double check when I get home but that would definitely explain why our cooking times differed.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                  My copy definitely said low for both recipes. It was the first thing I checked when they weren't anywhere near done after the suggested cooking time. Just "looked inside" the book on Amazon, and you can see the dry spiced dal recipe there. It definitely says low.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry your dinner wasn't ready in time. How disappointing! I hope it makes for fantastic leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                                  Often they will say in the front of the book which kind of slow cooker they used to test all the recipes, but, yeah, it makes sense that a new book would be oriented towards a new slow cooker. This is what the slow cooker tips on Epicurious say about stirring: " Keep the lid on, stir sparingly: In general, keep the lid securely on the slow cooker to avoid heat loss, which slows down cooking. However, it's ok to occasionally lift the lid and stir. In fact, if your slow cooker has hot spots, stirring can be helpful. http://www.epicurious.com/articlesgui... ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                    I always stir my aloo gobi made in the crock pot so that it cooks evenly.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                      OK, follow-up time.... I have now tasted both recipes. They were both very tasty. Aloo gobi is something I have made many times on the stove top. This recipe is not quite the same, but it is very flavorful and made a great lunch. The author does not shy away from spice, so this was full of bold flavors. The dal was milder, which made it a nice accompaniment, and also very good. Both dishes were just a tad saltier than I like, so next time I'd reduce the salt just a bit. And of course adjust the cooking times to my cooker. Mr. MM also packed these for lunch and his report was favorable, especially for the aloo gobi.

                                                                                                                                                                      I've been looking through the preview pages of the book on Amazon and reading some of the reviews. While most of the reviews are positive, there are a few complaining about the cooking times being off. I did notice one recipe in the preview pages where on the top of the page it gave a cooking time for high, then in the instructions, said to cook for that same amount of time on low. So it looks like there may be some mistakes or poor editing. Going forward, I'm going trust my instincts, and adjust the times to what I think will work in my cooker.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Mel, ok I'm home and I couldn't wait to pull my book and see what was going on. My book calls for high heat both in the top banner on the page and, in the directions. I did look at the on-line recipe on Google books and note that it is the "e-book" edition (I was going to check to see if my book was an older or newer version). Interesting I went to her website and I see someone else posting a question about the cooking time because the recipe they used called for low heat and their dal was under-cooked.

                                                                                                                                                                        I suspect they've addressed the issues raised in a later printing. She does post some clarifications and corrections as well and when I checked them against my book, no corrections were required.

                                                                                                                                                                        Here's the link to her website page w this info for folks who may have an older version of the book:

                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.indianasapplepie.com/2011/...

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the link, BC. Some of the corrections were reflected in my copy of the book, others were not. I guess I have an earlier printing than you do. Unfortunately neither of the recipes in question were addressed in this post. Now that I'm home from work, I've checked again and both recipes say low, both at the top of the page and in the instructions. I will spend some more time on the web site to see if they are mentioned elsewhere. If this ends up being a COTM or part of another thread, it would probably be worthwhile to contact the author to see if she would answer questions. I have a hunch she would.

                                                                                                                                                                          Anyway, I'm not going to let the issue with cooking times keep me from using the book. I think the recipes have a lot of potential, and it's easy enough for me to figure out if something seems off.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                            I went to the indianasapplepie website which referred me to another link, I believe, where I read "Just love the book and I had to buy a SECOND slow cooker so I could cook 2 things at once!!" Now that just sounds like a plan to me. Just a note: when I was glancing at the website name at first, I read it as Indiana's apple pie - a puzzlement :-))

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the link.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                              Mel and Rella if you want to verify a cooking temp or duration for a dish, just let me know. I'm glad we discovered this sooner rather than later!!

                                                                                                                                                                              Rella you gave me a chuckle w your revised website name!!

                                                                                                                                                            2. Still indecisive, but

                                                                                                                                                              MIGHTY SPICE

                                                                                                                                                              Or

                                                                                                                                                              SPLENDID SOUPS

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. Indecision reigns in my mind. To be honest, a slow cooker month would make SO much sense for me because my most stressful time of day is always coming home to hungry kids and racing to throw something together before all heck breaks loose. If I could find a bunch of slow cooker recipes I loved, my life would really be so much better. However, I do sort of feel like the slow cooker is not how I would choose to cook for fun. But maybe that's because I haven't found the right recipes yet?

                                                                                                                                                                I also think Mighty Spice sounds delightful. But then again, Japanese would be fun. And I am now feeling inspired to make kimchee, Korean month or no. Thank goodness this is just the nomination thread and I still have time to make up my mind. I guess I will add my nomination to:

                                                                                                                                                                SLOW COOKER MONTH: what ever cookbooks are deemed the best. I don't have any of the ones that have been mentioned, but wouldn't mind picking up a couple if they are generally reccommended.

                                                                                                                                                                (but part of me is secretly hoping Mighty Spice will win when it comes to voting.)

                                                                                                                                                                Now, no

                                                                                                                                                                48 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                  I was feeling the same about slow cooker cooking is not how I would choose to cook for fun, but I definitely understand how it is practical, especially for those with busy schedules and I may change my tune after reading reviews of a couple great recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                  If you choose to cook from a Korean book (I have several Korean cookbooks including one you mentioned Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen). I'd love to follow along and participate when I can. I'll be cooking from Washoku too, but I could mix and match between the two. I could see banchans, dolsot bibimbap and stews being a hit in this weather.

                                                                                                                                                                  I have taken to making kimchi again (I go through phases). I especially love fresh chinese cabbage and cucumber (unstuffed kimchi). I use the fridge downstairs for my "stinky" food for my husband's sake. :)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                                    Wow, great nomination thread. I am just now finding it, a little late to be adding any new books to consider for this month's thread but excited about those books already mentioned. I don't have Mighty Spice yet but have been waiting for an excuse to acquire it. I do have The Italian Slow Cooker and have had good results with everything I have made out of it. Would also love to read more about The Indian Slow Cooker. As far as the soup book goes, my DH is a huge soup fan, I have so many soup books I can't even tell you, but Splendid Soup is not one of them. I'd love to hear more about this one as well.

                                                                                                                                                                    My participation lately has been somewhat spotty but I hope to get back into a more regular pattern of posting soon. Still enjoying reading everyone else's posts. Not in a position to step forward for the next 6 months as I have a graduation, bar mitzvah, and two international trips looming in the horizon that I am responsible for planning/participating in.

                                                                                                                                                                    A bit off topic but my Supper Club will be making a Southern brunch next month, torn from the pages of Fried Chicken and Champagne. FC&C was a contender for COTM a few months back, so I thought some of you would be interested. Just made the Cuban pulled pork out of this book (very tasty) and we are slated to make Pulled Bourbon Braised Beef Short Ribs served over blue cheese biscuits with Angel Food French Toast with Summer Raspberries for dessert. Will report back next month as to how everything comes out. Still think FC&C would make an excellent COTM down the line, when more of us acquire it.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                      Maybe there is enough interest to start a thread for it on its own now? Or would you rather just wait until it is COTM? I don't have the book, but I am thisclose to buying it.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                        I am not committed enough to posting to start a thread for this book. But I do think it is just the right type of book for COTMers. I have faith it will rise to the top in time. Just have to wait until enough of us have acquired it. So all of you should go out and buy it!!!!! But wait for my review of these three recipes, in case they under-enthuse.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                          Good point (about waiting for your reviews!). I'm hoping the library gets it before I lose control so that I can test drive it first.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                                      " I do sort of feel like the slow cooker is not how I would choose to cook for fun."

                                                                                                                                                                      AHA! I think you two have nailed the sentiment I've been trying to put my finger on. I use my slow-cooker out of necessity. And nearly everything I've ever made out of a slow cooker I evaluate against other slow cooker recipes rather than against my favorite Ottolenghi or Dunlop recipes. My expectations are always lower. But, cooking out of necessity is where I'm at these days, so this would be a month during which I might actually be able to participate, actually. On the other hand, it just doesn't feel as exciting as other books...

                                                                                                                                                                      If we do a slow cooker month, I think it would be shame to exclude Lynn Alley's books, but, on the other hand, if we don't limit the books to just one or two this month will feel very scattered...

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm interested in seeing breadcrumbs report on her first effort out of Indian Slow Cooker... there's a lot of excitement about this book, but we don't have a lot combined experience with it.

                                                                                                                                                                      Any recruits for coordinator yet?

                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                        I don't have a slow cooker and don't intend ever to get one. The slug it in there and let it cook method does not appeal to me at all. Nor do the gyrations necessary to improve the results.

                                                                                                                                                                        ETA maybe I don't know what I'm missing (but I doubt it) - I prefer discrete foods, not soupy/stewy foods, mostly.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                          The slug it in there recipes are almost never great (although the one breadcrumbs tried last night was a slug it in there type--though the jury's still out until breadcrumbs reports back). You can improve the results dramatically by doing some other steps (like browning ingredients before putting them in the slow cooker) --gyrations you may call them. I'm not sure this turns out to be less work overall, but it can allow you to shift the work from a time of day when you don't have a lot of time to earlier when you do have time.

                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe your mission during slow cooker month could be to reverse engineer the recipes to be classic braises? ;-).
                                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                            I didn't really finish my thought here. "I'm not sure this turns out to be less work overall, but it can allow you to shift the work from a time of day when you don't have a lot of time to earlier when you do have time."

                                                                                                                                                                            Sometimes this leaves me wondering if it's the same amount of work why I bothered with the slow cooker at all. For that amount of effort, I could have just made a real recipe. Although, sometimes after an exhausting day it really is great to be able to just point my husband to the crock pot and say "It's done. Go for it."

                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                              I've always thought of a slow cooker in the same light as oven cooking in that: one preps a dish and puts in the oven for whatever time, but walks away from it without fear of the ingredients sticking, burning, or safety involved.

                                                                                                                                                                              I suppose one 'could' do the same slow-cooker recipes in the oven in a le creuset-type pot; then would it be a real recipe. Or only a real recipe if it was fussed at during the cooking time.

                                                                                                                                                                              Just musing. I 'do' know what you are talking about :-))

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                It's hard to put your finger on it, isn't it?

                                                                                                                                                                                I think most slow cooker recipes are adaptations of classic braises, so that's kind of what I meant by I'm not sure if, in the end, the slow cooker recipe was any less work than a "real" recipe. I guess I wouldn't mind if the outcomes from my slow cooker were consistently as good as from a "real recipe", but they aren't. I always think it's going to be less work, but then by the time I make all of the adjustments to make it work for a slow cooker, I think I could have just done a classic braise.

                                                                                                                                                                                I think there are some recipes created exclusively for the slow cooker, ie., "real" slow cooker recipes, but those all require canned cream of soup or Velveeta, I think. :).

                                                                                                                                                                                Anyway, I do use my slow cooker probably 2-3 times a month this time of year. And I really do appreciate that dinner is ready when I get home from work.

                                                                                                                                                                                I would love to find MORE reliably delicious low effort slow cooker recipes that call for real food. I know there must be more out there. :).

                                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                  Let's face it, the slow cooker just isn't very sexy. In fact, it is really the opposite of sexy. I think of the slow cooker like maternity underwear. Something which has its time and place and if it can do its job well, it can make you a much happier member of society. Just like I think ladies who wear a thong while they are pregnant are crazy people just trying to torture themselves, I sometimes feel that way when I look at complicated chef-y cookbooks (Mourad, you and your tenths of a gram). I could try those recipes, but I will be grumpy by the time I am done and unless everyone says its the best thing they ever ate I will enjoy the evening much less than if I had just microwaved some TJ's mac and cheese. So I sometimes get into a slump of just doing the mac and cheese or take out or whatever (the equivalent of wearing my husbands boxers for underwear, under his sweatpants-- it happened sometimes in the 3rd trimester). I would be much happier and my family would be better fed if I could find some stellar (for what they are) slow cooker recipes that can be ready when I get home. Just like when I finally just got some good maternity underwear I felt so much better about life.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Now when I am not pregnant, I shun maternity underwear. So I definitely feel for the COTMers who have time to cook on a regular basis and probably have no interest in a slow cooker month. Maybe the idea of a slow cooker thread is a good one. We could together find some great slow cooker recipes for when that's what you really need.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                    There have been a number of slow cooker threads already, but no reason not to start a new one.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                      It's kind of splitting hairs, but I suppose the difference with this thread is it would be COTMers committing to posting to this thread with some particular books in mind, though not necessarily limited to those books. But, yeah, hardly any different than the million other slow cooker threads out there...

                                                                                                                                                                                      A difference without a distinction as they say.

                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                      While contemplating this months COTM noms I found these Lynn Alley recipes I want to try:

                                                                                                                                                                                      Spiced Basmati Rice Breakfast (perfect, I'm hoping, for those evenings when you expect to wake up to six inches of snow that need to be shoveled):

                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.nola.com/food/index.ssf/20...

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                        Snow that's nice for wee boys to play in too :)

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh GE&H, reading through these nomination-posts has all been worth it for your hilarious image comparing maternity underwear with slow-cookers!! As I smile, all sorts of comparisons come to mind: Large and capacious--CHECK! Only use occasionally--CHECK! Definitely not glamorous but practical--CHECK! Keep hidden away until needed--CHECK!

                                                                                                                                                                                      So funny. I will never look at my 7-qt. oval slow cooker in quite the same way!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                                                        YES! Laughing... Love your comparisons!!

                                                                                                                                                                                        But really, I just think it's one of those things that when you need it, it can make your life much better, but if you don't need it, you wouldn't choose to use it. Unforunately, right now, I need it-- the slow cooker, not the maternity underwear ;)

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, I'm with the rest of you on the "this is not the kind of cooking I consider fun" thing. And I definitely don't like the idea of having to do other stuff to the food before tossing it into the slow cooker. I mean, for me, the whole point of those things is that they're easy. I just can't get enthusiastic about it myself. But I'm happy to be proven wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                              What BigSal and TDQ said is very similar to how I feel about the slow cooker. Which is why I don't use it as much as I should. Mighty Spice is the kind of book I want to cook from. The slow cooker books are books I *need* to cook from. My hope is that a slow cooker COTM would get me finally doing it.

                                                                                                                                                                              But I wonder if perhaps another solution is to have a slow cooker thread kind of like the grilling thread we had this summer (which I have continued to post to, occasionally).

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                I like this slow cooker side thread idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                ETA: actually, the more I think about it, the more I like it, partly because there's so many books I'd like to try. Not only Italian Slow Cooker, but her new French slow cooker book. The Indian Slow Cooker book if breadcrumbs like the recipe she tries. And also Lynn Alley's books. I have her Gourmet Slow Cooker, but some of the recipes in her other books (the Regional Comfort Classics, Vegetarian, and Soup books) sound pretty interesting, too. (P.S. I hate this industry both ALley and Scicolone are in of creating small special purpose kind of books then doing a follow-up book. Just write one inclusive book, please and stop nickel and diming us with these skinny little paperbacks.)

                                                                                                                                                                                And Bayless Mexican Everyday has some slow cooker recipes I keep meaning to try. And ATK has a slow cooker book that might be worthwhile, too...

                                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                  I gave my son the Italian Slow Cooker book for Christmas because he was obsessed with using his Slow Cooker (he has two, dont ask) and I wanted to make sure he had decent results (no dump recipes) Pretty much all the recipes in that Scicolone's book require prior cooking steps, such as browning the meat and sauteeing aromatics, so in the end the cooker functions no different than stovetop or slow oven braising in a cast iron I really can see no reason buy a special book for this purpose otherwise. It would be easy enough to convert standard braises to slow cooker and vice versa.

                                                                                                                                                                                  As for Indian, I do a lot of Indian cooking and have many cookbooks. Its hard to see a slow cooker as being of particular utility if you have a fully equipped kitchen given that most dishes will, again, have multiple cooking steps.I would rather have the control of a stove or oven than have to function with the usual two settings.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                                                    It is interesting to me that someone will write an Indian cookbook for a slowcooker. I spent a number of years in India and never once saw a slow cooker in an indian kitchen. On the other hand, I do not recall an indian kitchen without a pressure cooker. Everyone uses pressure cooker and they have numerous inserts for it allowing one to simaltenously make several dishes. Has anyone seen an Indian pressurec ooker book?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm trying to decide if "Has anyone seen an Indian pressure cooker book?" is a rhetorical question. However, to answer simply, I would suppose the amount of dishes they make with a pressure cooker is already addressed in the manuals or tradition or hand-me-down notes and no need for an Indian pressure cooker cookbook. Chickpeas are the same all over the world :-)) Well, maybe :-))

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                        Rella, I did not mean the question to be a rhetorical one. I actually looked on amazon after I posted and googled but have not find any. There are recipes online but no specifically Indian cookbooks that I found.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                        I do recall seeing one, some time ago, but I don't own it. There are a couple of my "regular" Indian cookbooks that call for a pressure cooker in the instructions, or give optional methods for the pressure cooker.

                                                                                                                                                                                        ETA: Sanjeev Kapoor has a pressure cooking book.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                          I was discussing all of this with my husband at dinner (he's spent a lot of time in India) and when I was saying "a slow cooker Indian cookbook" he kept trying to correct me by saying "you mean a pressure cooker, honey." So I had to read him your post, herby, to show him how very right he was in his thinking, if not in the reality of what we're typing about.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                    It's funny, my Dunlop books are my quick cooking, get dinner on the table books.

                                                                                                                                                                                    As for the slow cooker, what I've never understood is this. If I have to go through the steps to get a great tasting slow cooker dish (browning the meat, sauteeing the vegetables, etc), why wouldn't I just keep it in the pot and slow braise it on the stove or in the oven, v. transferring the items to another thing to clean? Part of it is me, I don't quite trust leaving the slow cooker on while I'm not home or sleeping. Just like I wouldn't leave the house with the oven on. Slightly irrational, I know.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                      I was just thinking something similar (to your comment about the Dunlop books). I feel like anything stir fried at the last minute is quick. Then again, I spend however long it takes in the morning, while Lulu is at school, getting all the chopping ready, and whatever sauces/etc. lined up next to the stove, and then it takes no time at all to put dinner together. I put on the rice and then start cooking, and within the 20 minutes it takes to cook the rice, dinner is ready.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                        Many of the Dunlop recipes are not only fast, but great pantry meals. Haven't made it to the market in a long time, and yet last night I was able to make Dan Dan Noodles and a stir-fry cabbage for a delicious meal. Of course, the definition of pantry meal does vary by how stocked the pantry is. Since joining COTM, my pantry stock has expanded dramatically.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, that's exactly the point I've been trying to make about the slow cooker. The dump and go recipes tend to be abysmal. And by the time you do all of the steps necessary to improve the outcome, you wonder if you've saved yourself any time at all. (My crock actually can go from stove top to the slow cooker insert or even into the oven. Still, it doesn't save that much time as your crock isn't the ideal stove-top vessel. Theoretically it saves on dishes, though.)

                                                                                                                                                                                          That being said, using an electric slow cooker does shift the "work"from dinnertime to early in the morning, which sometimes works better for my schedule. Unlike you, I do feel comfortable leaving my house with my slow cooker going, whereas I'd never leave my house with the oven or something on the stove top going.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The key with an electric slow cooker and safety is to make sure it's not touching anything flammable (tea towels, curtains, etc.) And that's coming from the St. Paul fire department. Also, slow cookers these days turn to "warm" after a certain amount of time. So, if you get delayed coming home from work or whatever, your slow cooker isn't cooking away at high or even "low" heat.

                                                                                                                                                                                          For me, the Dunlop books aren't quick, partly because I swear every dish in my kitchen is dirty when I'm done. Also, I didn't have a wok at the time we did Dunlop. I bought my wok one year ago for Grace Young month and haven't been able to do any serious cooking since then...

                                                                                                                                                                                          I've love, though, a list of what you consider to be your quick get dinner on the table fast Dunlop dishes. I have both books.

                                                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                            Not bb here, but I'm in complete agreement with her. For me, get dinner on the table quick means Dunlop or Young. Here are some of my fast and favorites from Dunlop:

                                                                                                                                                                                            From Land of Plenty:
                                                                                                                                                                                            Chicken with Vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                            Dry-Fried Chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                            'Tai-Bai Chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                            Dry-Fried Green Beans
                                                                                                                                                                                            both of the Dan-Dan noodle recipes

                                                                                                                                                                                            From RCC:
                                                                                                                                                                                            Beef with Cumin
                                                                                                                                                                                            Duck Egg and Chive Omelet
                                                                                                                                                                                            Fragrant-and-Hot Tiger Prawns
                                                                                                                                                                                            Fisherman's Shrimp with Chinese Chives
                                                                                                                                                                                            Stir-Fried Rice with Egg and Preserved Mustard Greens

                                                                                                                                                                                            I do have a very well stocked Asian pantry, so unless I happen to have them on hand, all I I need to buy are the fresh vegetables. I make the Dry-Fried and Tai-Bai chicken recipes so often that I now keep Costco skinless/boneless chicken thighs in the freezer. And I usually have Costco flank steak, which I divide into portions as soon as I get it home, in there as well for the Beef with Cumin which I make at least once a month. I keep shrimp in the freezer, also. The only ingredient that I need to make an effort to buy is Chinese chives, which I adore but which for me requires a trip to Chinatown.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                              Thank you, JoanN for these great tips. I have to say, I love all of my Dunlop recipes but I do always think of it as a giant production these days. Maybe I need to revisit with this particular list in mind. The Dry-fried beans, dan dan noodles and beef with cumin recipes are favorites of mine!

                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                Do your prep early in the day as you do with your slow cooker. I usually measure everything out and cut or otherwise prepare the meat and vegetables when I'm ready for an early afternoon break. The meat and vegetables get refrigerated; everything else sits on the counter. At dinner time, even the most time-consuming recipes, those for instance that require 10 or 15 minutes of cooking time, come together very speedily.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is just how I do it - get everything ready in the morning, then it is either in the fridge or right there on the counter next to the stove when dinner time rolls around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Our vegetable is often something roasted. Nothing easier than lining a cookie sheet with tin foil, putting some cut up vegetables on it (broccoli and green beans come already washed and chopped), adding some olive oil, s&p and anything else that seems nice (i love cumin on cauliflower; herbes de Provence on some green vegs) and shoving the whole thing in the oven at high temp. Clean up is just tossing the tin foil and giving the sheet and quick rinse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                    LulusMom, you did do a super job keeping up with and riding herd on these threads, thanks! Re the roasted vegs - my SIL suggested roasted cauliflower with a dinner we were confecting when we were in Iowa recently - there wasn't much time, so I said "Ya think? Doesn't that take quite some time?" and she said "Not if you precook it in the microwave then roast it.". D'oh moment! Really sped it up. Just drain it well before tossing it with the oil, etc. Oh! Also, roast rather than fry or deepfry your green beans for dry-fried a la Fuchsia. Works very well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nice ideas for someone with time in the morning. I leave for work at 5:30 am, so not a lot of time in the morning. I get home around 7:30 pm, so not a lot of time in the evening either, when you consider that I go to bed at 9 or 9:30. One of my problems with slow cooker recipes is that most are not designed to be left as long as I am gone. Maybe I need one of these new programmable ones that switches to warm. Mine are old-school. Certain stir-fry recipes from Dunlop and especially from Young, I do consider week-night recipes. But if they require a stop at a Chinese market or a ton of prep, not so much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am very familiar with this problem! For the very few times I've tried using my slow cooker, I started it the night before, put the finished dish in the fridge in the morning, heated it up when I got home. Or just used it on the weekend while I was "playing." One thing that was nice, was that slow cooker type meals also seem to freeze and reheat well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        MelMM, I know what you mean. A slow-cooker recipe that takes only 4 hours doesn't do you much good if you have an 8-hour work day...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Those new programmable slow cookers are pretty convenient. One thing to be aware of though is that the "old" slow cookers apparently ran hotter than the "new" ones do. So you may need to adapt your "old" recipes for your new slow cooker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                          TDQ, did you reverse "old" and "new"? I keep reading about how contemporary slow cookers (the only type I've used) run much hotter than "vintage" ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, I did. The new slow cookers run HOTTER than the old ones. Good catch, thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, and that's one thing that keeps me from buying a new one. I have an oldie that cooks low and slow. I'm afraid with a newer one my problem would be compounded by the slow cooker cooking faster than my current one. Also, while I would like the new features, one of these with a non-stick lining does not appeal to me. The ceramic inserts hold up forever and a day. Non-stick, well, that's only going to last so long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I can see how the higher heat issue is preventing you from buying a new one if all of your recipes work with one of the older ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think nonstick (which I avoid) is standard feature of the new generation of crock pots. Neither of mine are nonstick. I have one with a removable stoneware crock that can go from fridge to stove top or oven to crock pot to dishwasher. And another (with a stoneware crock) that has a temperature probe in case you 're doing a roast or a whole chicken, a feature I never use (I think I did a whole chicken in the crock pot once--the flesh was okay, but the skin was disgusting white, soggy and disgusting). Both are programmable and have the "keep warm" setting. One of mine is the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go which has this great latch on lid that's terrific if you ever take your crock pot to parties (I do at least one or twice per year.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                But, it's tough if you've got a reliable recipe for one of the "old" crock pots that you like. I'm afraid I don't have any good advice for that situation... I wish I did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Maybe I've said this a dozen times - forgive me -- but another reason I won't use my newer (newer than the 70's one) is that it is sooo hot, it is undependable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I hope my new programmable one will be dependable, but I'm sure it will take time to learn the settings and correspond them to the times in the slow cooker cookbooks. I know that the learning curve won't be be quick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Good luck with your new crock pot! Hopefully the snazzy new features will make up for your learning curve which, hopefully, will be short!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for listing those recipes... I will flag them for future cooking. I actually got LoP and RCC last year for Christmas from my brother and, to my embarrassment, have still cooked nothing from them, despite knowing for certain that once I do, I will love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think the reason I haven't cooked from those books is related to the reason why slow cooker cooking appeals to me. It's not just total amount of prep time that matters. Many nights when I get home, the nanny hands me my 12 month old as soon as I walk in the door and she will pretty much be in my arms or hanging onto my leg until she goes to bed. And my 2 preschoolers are hungry and threatening to tear the place down. So dinner not only has to be fast, it can't involve high heat or sharp knives or any sustained attention. Basically, it's either leftovers, takeout, frozen convenience food or slowcooker. Of those options, slow cooker starts to look much better to me. Also, I have the luxury of my nanny being home during the day, so no risk of burning the place down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll put together a list of fast Dunlop dishes and post on the main Dunlop thread. I'll also put a link here. this may not happen today thought but hopefully tomorrow or Thursday at the latest.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. WASHOKU by Elizabeth Andoh

                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't own [nor want] a slow cooker, so looks like I may sit out for another month.

                                                                                                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                smtucker,

                                                                                                                                                                                                herby is going to create a Washoku thread for us to cook from in addition to (or instead of the Feb COTM). Please join in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't own a slow cooker either, but I do enjoy braises. I use my deep Chantal round pot to accomplish what the slow cooker does. On a cold night, there is nothing I enjoy more than reheating a gorgeous boar ragout or a pork chile verde that I braised over the course of 3, 6, or even 10 hours. Crack open a bottle of wine and make a quick salad and you're there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                      DKennedy, Did you say "BOAR ragout"? Wow; totally impressed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, boar ragout. I have 2 go-to recipes: the first is out of Olives and Oranges. The other is new, out of Mozza. Got a delivery of boar recently so I have both in my freeze right now. Both are excellent ragouts/ragus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'd love to make a boar ragu! I have Mozza, I don't have boar, and I also have Muslim guests. Not now, I guess...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Boar is available through a Texas purveyor, Broken Arrow. I'll post a link when I have time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Or shoot your own, it's open season year round down here on boars LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, party on with the side thread, if Washoku doesn't make it! I love those "cooking from ..." threads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Reading through this thread and realizing we are going to give LLM's a real send off! Many thanks to her for 6 great months.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow, this is all over the place, I can't even guess what's in the running. Anyway, pretty much up for anything except slow cookers, sorry but that's a no way no how for me. But as others have noted, once in a while a month off is just a good chance to catch up on past COTM's and other stuff, so que sera sera.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Laughing! You started me off with Nigel Slater month, which was slightly insane, and you're sending me off with this. To anyone who wants to be the next coordinator, I promise it isn't *normally* this insane.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. To address all the slow cooker posts:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have a 4 qt and 6 qt that I hardly ever used at all, but... For the last year I've been making chicken or turkey stock over night in the larger one. That's what the slow cooker is really great for. I roast poultry parts as I prepare Friday's dinner and prep the aromatics. Just before clean-up everything goes into the SC along with deglazed juices and fond from the roasting pan. The stock cooks all night than at breakfast time it's turned off, allowed to cool, the meat and stock refrigerated or frozen till later use. In fact for breakfast this morning I had oatmeal cooked in the stock I made over night. Absolutely delicious... AND, no more relying on store bought stock if I run out of home made. It's always available.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          For myself though, I wouldn't want to cook all month from the slow cooker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I do the same, but use my oven set to 180º. Now that I have discovered this method for making stock, I never run out. Love this easy and efficient cooking technique.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                              We've been using our slow cooker for chicken stock lately, too. Not as good as the kind we do on our stove-top, but a lot more manageable life-style wise for us right now. (Again, I don't mind leaving the slow cooker on at night while we sleep or while I'm at work).

                                                                                                                                                                                                              We do overnight steel cut oats in the crock pot this time of year, too, which is great to get going at night before bed if you think you're going to wake up to 6 inches of snow that will need to be shoveled before you leave for work the next morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              While contemplating this month's COTM, I found these recipes I want to try of Lynn Alley's that I might try for breakfast variations:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Spiced Basmati Rice Breakfast Cereal
                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.nola.com/food/index.ssf/20...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              California triple ginger brown rice pudding (whoops! not a Lynn Alley recipe
                                                                                                                                                                                                              )http://www.nola.com/food/index.ssf/20...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Slow-Cooked Early American Recipes: Indian Pudding
                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.naturalhomeandgarden.com/c...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                My latest (5-6 years old now) slow cooker is terrible (splutters all over on high and not high enough on low or medium). The only thing I really used it for was carmelizing onions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                My excitement over the slow cooker nominations has spurred me on to thinking about cooking from the two books I have and I am excited about the Indian book. The posts specifically re the Indian book has sent me to Costco online and I have just ordered the Frigidaire 7 qt. 'programmable" slow cooker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here are the reviews on Amazon that sound good. http://www.amazon.com/Frigidaire-Prof... No matter what the COTM is/will be I am once again energized/ enthused.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                And I'll be using it for stock - which I've never done before - thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I gave my husband a pressure cooker for his birthday, and the stock he makes from it is unbelievable. It must be something about extracting all the gelatin from the bones under pressure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And I've read that an addition of a Tablespoon of vinegar will make more calcium from the bones available. Truth or myth? Old wives' tale? I can't say for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I tried it awhile back and it didn't seem to make a difference. I don't know?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You are right, how 'would' one know - one has no lab in one's home :-)) It's just one of those 'on faith' recommendations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. My thoughts on slow cookers:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Since there's been some discussion about using slow cookers, I thought I'd share my experience for what it's worth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When I was getting married, a Rival Crock Pot was definitely on my registry list. I simply couldn't imagine life without having "THE" receptacle to keep my store bought meatballs in the grape jelly/ketchup sauce warm!! It was all the rage! Back then, crock pots were really just used to keep things warm, at least in my neck of the woods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As my cooking skills increased, my crock pot got pushed further and further back in the cupboard until it finally made its way to the driveway and, off to someone else's kitchen as a garage sale item. I never regretted that move.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fast forward a good part of my life and I attend a dinner party where the main course was a luscious short rib dish. The host shared her secret...she braised the meat in her crock pot or, as she corrected me, a re-invented appliance now known as a slow cooker. I ended up purchasing a beautiful stainless steel Cuisinart slow cooker far sexier looking than my frumpy looking old yellow floral crock pot of days gone by. I also purchased a book entitled "Fix it and Forget It" . . . a book that sounded perfect for my increasingly hectic life where, like folks noted up-thread, I leave the house at 5:30am and get home at around 7:30. I was distressed when I flipped through the book and found that all the recipes seemed to require me to brown meat and veggies in advance. What was the point I thought? Why am I going to dirty more dishes and time transferring stuff from my stovetop to yet another pot? I was so annoyed that I ended up writing my very first book review on Amazon. What a scam I thought . . . this wasn't the book I was expecting. I was looking for a dump and walk-away book. I searched the web, found my own recipes for such dishes and guess what, for the most part, I was sadly disappointed with my "fix it and fuh-get-about it" dishes. Flavours weren't great and, I always felt nervous about my meat (especially chicken) cooking for so long on low. Like the ugly-duckling crock pot that came before it, the shiny new slow cooker made its way to the back of the cupboard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Then, during the summer this year, my cooktop went on the fritz. I could only cook on high heat. I love to cook and, I needed to find a solution to tide me over until the kitchen reno was done. Out came my slow cooker. I started simmering things in it. I used it for ragu and as the cooler weather came I used it for braises since it was much more economical than having the oven on. Like many before me have reported, I made stock. Everything turned out beautifully. I came to love the "keep warm" function since I could start things in the morning and have dinner ready at night. Beef dishes are especially good because I can brown off the meat when I have time and freeze it then toss it in the slowcooker along w the other ingredients I prep on the weekend. Vegetarian and legume dishes are also a breeze.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tomorrow, at long last, the old dysfunctional Jen-air cooktop will be carted to the curb along w the counter that supports it as we embark on day one of the long awaited kitchen transformation. Soon, in its place, nestled in a new granite counter, will be a shiny brand new induction cook top. Needless to say, I won't need my slow cooker as my sous chef any longer but, I won't be tucking it away into the depths of my cupboard either. This experience has given me a whole new respect for the appliance. I've discovered wonderful books like The Italian Slow Cooker and, learned how to count on it to finish a wide variety of tasty dishes while I'm at work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For those of you short on time and looking for ways to make life easier, I'd confidently encourage you to check out the latest and greatest slow cooker technology. On high they can boil food in no time then you can set your timer and turn down the heat all the while smiling because after a long day at work your faithful slow cooker will have your yummy meal cooked and "kept warm" and awaiting your arrival.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Breadcrumbs. I want to be that smiling person with a slow cooker keeping my yummy meal warm. Good luck on your kitchen renovation!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Your post reminded me of Bittman on Slow Cookers: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/29/din... I keep wanting to try his Chinese-style short-ribs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        TDQ, thank you for posting that link to Bittman's article on his (positive) experiences with slow-cookers. Makes me feel better about nominating slow-cooker books for this month's COTM. (And thanks, Breadcrumbs, for your comments too).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm just looking forward to (maybe) finding out what my fellow Hounds make of the available recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Several years ago I, too, dumped my Jenn-Air. Wasn't it the rage of the 80's? It certainly created problems (because of the down-draft configuration) on replacing it with another range.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have kept my OLD 70's crockpot, after making the finest panetonne ever in it, it doesn't deserve a cruel death by dumpster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Congratulations on your new induction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. LulusMom, did you post voting thread somewhere? I am super curious to see what sense you made from all our nominating chatter this month:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The voting thread isn't up yet. When it is, you'll find it as a sticky at the top of the Home Cooking board. And I'm sure LulusMom will give us all a heads up at the bottom of this thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's the problem with saying midnight ... I'm never quite sure whether that means of the day before or the day after the clock strikes twelve (tried to clear that up by saying Monday night going into Tuesday, but that is easy to forget, I know). As JoanN said, I'll be sure to post a link to the voting thread here tomorrow morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            teeny tiny voice: a little nervous about making sense of it all (currently 227 replies, 19 nominations).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I never know what midnight means either!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You'll be fine making sense of this thread. You're an experienced coordinator!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the confidence TDQ! I just did a preliminary count, and it actually is pretty easy. And I have to say, this has been a very interesting thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My fault, LulusMom! I had Sunday midnight in my head - next time will read more carefully instead of asking foolish questions... I am pretty good with "midnight" meaning the time when one day turns into the next but many are not. I remember a few years ago arriving in Albania for the first time on the last flight in just after midnight. Arrival date on my itinerary was obviously the day after midnight but people who were supposed to meet me understood that it will be the next midnight. No language skills, no taxis, no hotels and even the airport was closed - quite a midnight experience - LOL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now THAT story will help me remember! Thanks for the lesson, and the quick laugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I want to echo others in thanking LLM for her extraordinary skills and patience in keeping all this chatter straight. You've been a most excellent coordinator, and I, for one, am very happy you participate and contribute in COTM, making it an even better experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I haven't seen the John Gregory Smith book, but am very intrigued by it based on the thread. So I'll (selfishly) nominate MIGHTY SPICE as I (a) want to buy it and (b) don't own a slow-cooker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Very late in the day to be mentioning this, but I just found out that not a single library in the entire state owns "The Mighty Spice". Anyone else having this issue?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  32 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, my library system doesn't have it either. There are a few copies in the interlibrary loan system, but they are unavailable. I wouldn't want to buy without seeing first, and I really don't have space for a new book, anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm in the same boat. I've got eleven cookbooks piled on my coffee table because they can't fit on my shelves. I'm trying to figure out if I can toss any or put some that I rarely use in "deep" storage to make room for the new ones. I promised myself no more new books until the new Dunlop. We'll see if that lasts any longer than the "no more carbs" promise I made at about the same time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I need to get rid of something if I want to add something. The bookshelf space is finite, and so, believe it or not, is the percentage of it I will devote to cookbooks. I already know I'll need to create a space for the new Ottolenghi book in September, and there's the Dunlop, and I still really want to get Fish Without a Doubt... Time to start culling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Our personal library has been mysteriously taken over by new cookbooks and I don't know how that's happening... however, I suspect it's because I've been keeping an empty shopping bag near one wall and to make room for a new cookbook somehow an arm reaches up and grabs an old book no one is interested in. A space is thus created that is just right for the new book. When the bag is full it's dispatched to a book drop for Goodwill. Works like a charm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have done major cookbook culling in the past few years concurrent with moves, so right now the problem is lack of things I want to part with!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cookbook culling? Not a chance. I was talking about works of fiction, out dated reference books, old texts, useless non-fiction and the like. But cookbooks? They all stay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wait, what new Ottolenghi book???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I want FWAD too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TDQ: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/826516

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ETA:: I'm really glad I have all those links for 150 Best American Recipes, as there are many things I'd still like to make and/or revisit, but there is no room on my shelves for buying it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh my. That one will be hard to pass up...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have no intention of doing so. Of all the cookbooks I have acquired in the past few years, his are my favorite additions to the library. Space will be made!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I had to do a SERIOUS culling of books recently. Maybe 30 cookbooks? And maybe 30 non-cookbooks? Basically, books I like but have never cooked from and, deep in my heart, know I probably never will. (including one of this month's Japanese finalists, by the way.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But, then I went ahead and bought a half a dozen books from the Good Cook. And I, too, want the new Dunlop. :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't mind buying a cookbook if I will really use it, but I really need to have some discipline here. I've already tried to promise myself that I won't buy a book unless it's indexed (or likely to be indexed)on EYB...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't been a good participant of late, so it would be silly of me to buy Mighty Spice should it win. But, it sounds really wonderful and I kind of want it. I'm trying to promise myself that I will try all of the online recipes I can and then re-evaluate whether or not this is a book I will use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          None in the New York City library system, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not a one in the NOBLE system as well...(North of Boston Library Exchange), and that's 30 libraries. Uh-Oh...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And NOBLE's my usual "back up" system when NHU-pac let's me down.....wonder if I can access the Minuteman system......typing these acronyms and the post is beginning to sound like some Henry Fonda cold war movie...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I know there about half a dozen copies in the Minuteman library system in MA. I've borrowed the book about three times from the library.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But, as most people know, I'm not a fan of new, hard to access books for COTM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Same issue here. None in the library system. If it wins I just might use February to catch up on other books!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I was thinking of alternatives too... but there's an already started Mighty Spice thread that probably will get a few new posts from me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Three in my library system (California). BTW, I have Fish Without A Doubt, I love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There are 3 in the Los Angeles library system (2 of which are already on hold or in transit for hold -- dkennedy, is that you and another COTMer?). I bit the bullet and just ordered sight unseen on Amazon for about $16 (lowest used copies at about $13) and, while I haven't yet cooked from it, I'm not at all unhappy about making room on my shelves for this. I do, however, have some mixed feelings about my impulse purchase of Essential Pepin, even at 60% off at B&N and as charming as I find him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mighty Spice feels very similar to Radically Simple to me -- a global reach, big flavors, but pretty much all easy weeknight meals that have real potential to become regulars. I actually almost suggested them as a pair for COTM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Unfortunately Mighty Spice is also not yet indexed on EYB (although in line). If anyone wants more info on the book, even a list of recipes, I'm happy to oblige (I'm only *kind of* trying to stack the deck on voting, as I don't own a slow cooker and will probably only read along with Japanese). But, much as I'm pulling for it, I also agree that it would be a shame if we pick a book that forces a large number of regular COTMers to sit out the month.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It is such a quirky thing which books will be available in libraries. Pepin is in my system in multiples, even though it is pretty new. On the other hand, "Plenty" was unavailable during its time as COTM, but showed up in the system about four months later, and after having sat out the COTM phase, I did get it from the library, and loved it so much it was the only COTM from last year that I actually bellied up and bought. Go figure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Probably has something to do with both Ottolenghi and Gregory-Smith being English and not well-known or highly in demand here, whereas JP is a well-recognized fixture and likely to be requested by library patrons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yep, I think you've nailed it. Slater was pretty much the same thing, one copy of Tender in state, and only one or two of Kitchen Diaries, none of which were available in time for COTM. NH can be a bit provincial or is that parochial?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, Mebby, I am one of the L.A. library holds. I will probably buy it if it wins, so it will go back on the shelf quite quickly. It has been on my wish list for quite some time and I need a source to inspire me with weeknight meals. If it doesn't win, I will probably spend some time with the library copy before buying it. Like you, I will only read along if the Japanese book wins, but I could be persuaded to buy the Indian Slow cooker and I already have the other one. Here's hoping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There's always a tension between inclusiveness and passion for a book. I used to value inclusiveness above all in COTM, but ove rtime, I've come to realize that passion for a certain book is unusually contagious and more 'hounds end up participating... If people are only lukewarm about a book, they often drift off anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Very good point Dairy Queen. I sometimes get a little disappointed when the noms or votes are tending toward something that is not library-available. I usually break down and buy it. But I could also use a month off to cook from other books!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Totally agree with TDQ. And put me down as someone who sees the lemonade when a book I'm not interested in cooking from is picked. Oh yippee, more time to cook from a past COTM, or Radically Simple or whatever. So many recipes, so little time!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          FWIW, here are some online sources for Mighty Spice recipes:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chicken Kadahi: http://giventodistractingothers.blogs...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pork Dumpling Soup: http://www.culinarythymes.com/guest-p...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Coconut and ginger chicken stir-fry: http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bangkok Garlic and Black Pepper Chicken: http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?sect...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lebanese Pizza: http://foodbeast.com/content/2011/11/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Blogger cooking her way through the book with a number of recipes, including Singapore Coconut and Shrimp Laksa, Vanilla and Honey Syllabub, Tamarind and Lemongrass Chicken Stir-Fry, Indonesian Fried Rice, Malay Yellow Mussel Curry, India Chicken, Pomegranate and Herb Salad: http://mangoesandchutney.com/category...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mexican Chicken with Yogurt and Almonds (scroll down): http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-reci...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So there seem to be a fair number of recipes available online.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They all sound great to me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have had wonderful results from the chicken kadahi (although I did change it up a bit), the coconut and ginger chicken stir-fry (that one was a HUGE hit), and the Mexican Chicken with Yogurt and almonds. Also very much liked the bangkok garlic and black pepper chicken after making the adjustments suggested by beetlebug (which you can find on the Mighty Spice thread). Also liked the tamarind and lemongrass chicken; slightly sweet but tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Indian chicken and spinach curry, Sri Lankan friend rice with cashews, nuts and egg, Pomegranate, fennel, orange and watercress salad: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/Aut...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chilli and Basil Scallops: http://steamykitchen.com/19262-chili-...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jetalah Pineapple, Cucumber and Chili Salad, Coconut and Lemongrass Salmon Curry: http://www.abc15.com/dpp/lifestyle/so...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Black Pepper and Chili-Seared Tuna with a Carrot and Apple Salad: http://www.redonline.co.uk/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Persian Lamb Stew: http://www.lovefood.com/guide/recipes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lebanese Rice with Lamb and Aubergines: http://www.stylenest.co.uk/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chargrilled Moroccan Chicken, Sprouting Broccoli and Couscous Salad: http://www.lovefood.com/guide/recipes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Roast Lebanese Leg of Lamb with Spiced Lentil Purée: http://www.lovefood.com/guide/recipes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Grilled Halloumi, Tomato and Olive Salad: http://www.lovefood.com/guide/recipes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Question for MIghty Spice folks: does the book give measures in both US and UK standards?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My copy is in US standards only. The book is well made too. Sturdy, the pages stay open while I am cooking. I had the worst experience with my Seductions of Rice Cookbook and Dok Suni. I have pages separting from the binding in both of them- irritating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Did you get yours off of Amazon US or Amazon UK (or elsewhere)? (If you don't mind my asking...).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A nicely constructed book is a thing of beauty, isn't it? I can't stand when the binding breaks on a cookbook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mine has metric, imperial and cups - so all bases covered!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That must be the version I'm seeing on Amazon UK. Interesting--perhaps they always planned for a US release of this book? It's a lot of work to give all of those measures!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    US, although slightly weird amounts sometimes, like most recipes call for 1.2 lbs of protein.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LLM, for you (and BigSal) and others with the version with the US measures, where did you get your book? Amazon US? THe reason I ask is the version I see on Amazon UK seems to be as GG describes, with metric, imperial and cups. I'm wondering if I should get that one. I'm wondering--when I eventually break down and buy this book-- if it will help me learn my Imperial to US measures in general!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I bought my book on amazon, and it does not have weights. But I am under the impression that amazon has a bunch of different warehouses, and the one yours would come from would be far from the one mine came from, so *might* be different? Sort of surprised that they're showing one with both forms of measurement

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When I used the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon UK it showed all forms of measurement, which is what triggered my question. You can't "look inside" on Amazon US... I wonder if the UK release shows all measures and the US release shows just the one. So far (of 3 people reporting) only greedygirl reports having the version with all measures.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            D'oh, just assumed you'd looked on amazon in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not to worry! I understood what you meant!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's presumably because the measurements are originally in grams - ie 500 grams, which is slightly more than a pound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I figured as much, but they seem weird. Not sure why he didn't just adjust to a pound. But I guess that would have made for a pain in the butt for him and/or editors. I don't pay all that much attention to the amounts, since I usually up the spices anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, if he tweaks the recipe, then he's sort of obligated to re-test the recipe as tweaked to make sure it still works. So, that's a lot of extra work and expense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So, my guess is they wrote the recipes in metric, tested the heck out of them, and then converted them (which is probably not a small amount of work) and let the chips fall where they may. I'm more and more tempted by this book as they've clearly gone to a lot of effort with it. [Despite my comment upthread that I'm trying not to buy any books for awhile.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love the book. I agree that it would take a lot of work to retest it. That said, for my tastes, I up the spices in the majority of recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just read as much of the intro to the book as is available on Amazon UK. You gotta love a cookbook that cites an episode of the Simpsons and mentions Transformers on the first page.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  He mentions he's allergic to E Numbers. I'd look it up on Wikipedia but they are blacked out for the day. Those are food additives?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, someone in some thread or blog mentioned the recipes are lowfat. I was hoping to see a comment to that effect in his intro, but it either wasn't there in the pages that are available or I missed it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is "low fat" one of his objectives with this book?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    E Numbers = additives/colourings

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't think it is a specifically low fat cookbook, it's just that a lot of Asian recipes are healthy by default.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I hadn't noticed that there was any mention of low-fat in the book, but agree with gg that because many are asian, they are naturally low-fat. And I don't think switching to a low fat yogurt would hurt in any of the dishes involving yogurt that I've tried.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        TDQ, like LLM and GG, I haven't seen any mention of low-fat in the book, but, since I am trying to do Weight Watchers these days, I have definitely noticed that even his non-Asian dishes are pretty light and I think will be easy for me to modify slightly and keep to my plan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For example, when I look up "cheese" in the index I only see 7 recipes with cheese in the whole book. Where I've seen butter, it's generally optional. Beyond the Asian recipes, there are a lot of Indian and Middle Eastern dishes that run toward the healthy end as well. Even in the squid and chorizo salad, it only calls for 3 ozs of chorizo for four people, while the Lebanese pizza calls for 7 ozs of mozzarella for four people (although 4 Tbsp of olive oil). Not explicitly "diet food" -- but probably all the better!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, I never eat "diet" food even when trying (like now) to lose a little weight. I'd rather have a little bit of the tasty stuff and do tons of exercise! And I always use Greek yoghurt, either full fat or 3.5% fat, as tastes much better and is much more stable and less likely to split or curdle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 TBSP of olive oil isn't bad for four servings, especially if you don't have a lot of oil in your other meals that day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the info on this!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've only made 2 recipes so far and have cut the amount of oil in both recipes with good results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. RE: Splendid Soups. I own a copy of CIA's "Book of Soups: More than 100 Recipes for Perfect Soups"--does anyone have both books and, if so, could they contrast and compare these two books?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              40 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm asking almost the same thing, but from another book, "Japanese Cooking, A Simple Art." I'm thinking it could have already been asked and aswered. In discarding almost all of my Japanese, Thai, Chinese cookbooks, I kept only a 1/2 shelf, one of which included the Japanese Simple, but in the 1980 edition. Just wondering, and I don't expect for anyone to have both to compare, but per chance they do, if they are basically the same. I did a lot of cooking years ago from the 1980.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I see, that you gave up your Japanese book. I kept it and one other one, a Chinese book that I had cooked a lot from, "The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking" by Barbara Tropp. Both fabulous learning books, IMO. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The reason I gave up my Japanese cookbook is that as much as I enjoy Japanese food, I don't crave it enough to cook it myself. I realize I'd just rather go out to eat on those rare occasions I feel like eating Japanese food. To be honest, I'm not even tempted by Japanese month. I decided to liberate this book so someone else could make good use of it. If I ever do change my mind, I figure I could get it out of the library or re-buy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is the conclusion I came to when I was trying to be 100% honest with myself... And, I'll tell you, it wasn't easy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Looking back in time, I recall making the Rice-Bran Mash Pickles, buying 4 lbs. of rice bran (nuka) - Can you imagine just how much volume that is? I'm not tempted either. However, I 'might' contribute to "Noodles in Broth' - heheh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, that's a lot of rice bran.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not to worry-- if Japanese month wins, I will most happily read along and try to get a copy of the books out of my library (3 copies of Washoku and I'm sure I can track down the Shizuo Tsuji) and and bumble along as best I can. Who knows, I might be rebuying that book yet! Or, better yet, maybe I'll score an invite to BigSal's for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If Slow Cooker month wins I'm there, too. If Splendid Soups wins I'm out of luck, I might be out of luck but you can't have it all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll be cooking this month with my Slow Cooker even if it doesn't make it as COTM. I received the Indian and French book yesterday. (I signed up for Prime Time shipping on Amazon.) And I'm expecting the programmable slow cooker from Costco in the mail soon. Today I went over the Indian spices that are listed in the Indian book, and of the ones she lists (not all needed) I have most of them squirreled away. There are IMO too many spices to purchase a 7-set spice set (masala dabba) for, but I sure do like the Williams Sonoma set. I see on her list of spices for filling a set for the 7 spices, she includes "Black Salt." which actually looks like a powder (kala namak) and goes on to say that "This is my favorite Indian spice." She says it's pinkish in color, but it certainly looks like a powder instead of the Himalayan (pink) salt. Enough for now. No, not quite. ... She mentions "amla," an Indian gooseberry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What do you think of the French one?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The first chapter, I could go with all 15 soups. Next chapter: Chicken, Turkey & Duck: I couldn't handle the chicken liver mousse and duck confit and crispy duck confit, but it might be great for others. Lots of chicken. There's a spinach meatballs (made with turkey). There a cornish hens, which some seem to like. I would 'maybe' give it a go. I'm not big on meat, but DH would probably go for some of these; there are some veal (which I don't eat) and lamb (which I don't eat), country pate, a sausage with sauerkraut; standard fare of pork; Looks like she's browning in bacon fat the short ribs first, a decent looking meatballs recipe; even though I'm not fond of pork, there's a "spice potted pork" I could go for. Never: country pate, turkey & chicken livers. There are 8 fish - I could go for any or all of them. Then come the souffles, quiches and other egg dishes.Souffle placed in a dish on a rack inside the SC. DH would like most of these in this section. I see bacon cooked separately in Bacon and Gruyere Pain Perdue. The pictures make one want all of these. Then there's veggies. I'm not sure about beets where she just leaves the roots intack and removes all but 1" of the beet cops and places them in the SL. Does the same with potatoes. Butternut squash recipe, including potatoes, which is similar to the one in EP which I didn't like (using Emmental or Parm Regg cheese, and chicken stock. Ah, here's what I like, "roasted root vegetables: turnips, rutabagao, potato, carrots, I guess you just put them in 3-1.2 hours on high. I guess I've got a lot to learn. Grains and beans, all look edible recipes for me. I'm not big on desserts or making them, but there is not one here that I would not want to make. I think this is a fabulous book, and I'm glad I bought it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry for the lack of paragraphing ... I tried.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Great recap, thank you! It all sounds pretty fancy to me--this might not be the book for me at this stage of my life, although, I'm intrigued by that beets recipe and the mention of beans and grains recipes... I've requested a copy from the library.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll start up a slow cooker thread if the slow cooker books don't win COTM. I've got the French Slow Cooker, the Italian Slow Cooker, the Indian Slow Cooker, The Gourmet Slow Cooker (Vol I, Vol II, the veg book, and the new soup book), and a bunch of others I want to try. I need, more than want, to utilize my slow cooker more. I've had a slow cooker for some twenty-odd years, but it seems that I mostly use it for stock and beans. Look forward to (slow) cooking with you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That sounds great. I only have the Italian Slow Cooker, and from the looks of it, I haven't cracked the binding yet!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, please do! Even if one of the other books becomes COTM, I would love to contribute to a slow-cooker thread. I've requested a copy of the French Slow Cooker and Gourmet Veg Slow Cooker from the library. There's someone ahead of me for the French, so it might take awhile. In the meantime I'll cook from the Italian Slow Cooker and Gourmet Slow Cooker, both of which I own. I might be interested in the Gourmet Slow Cooker "Regional" book, too, and maybe even the ATK one. I'd have to buy those as my library doesn't have them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mel, do you envision this thread to be exclusively slow cooker books? The reason I ask is that Mexican Everyday (Bayless) has some slow cooker recipes. I think that's a former COTM, but maybe I'll get that out of the library and post in the slow cooker thread and link to the old COTM thread or vice versa if you think it's on topic for your thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would love, love, love to find some reliable slow cooker recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ETA: Mexican Everyday was NOT a COTM in the past. I don't know why I thought that (a different Bayless one was, though). Nevertheless, he's got some appealing slow cooker recipes in there...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Under "Mexican Everyday" Index "slow-" here are the 4
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    listed:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    slow-braised lamb (or goat) Jalisco-style;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    slowcooked chicken with tomatillos, pototes, jalapenos and fresh herbs;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pueblan chicken tinga;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    slow-cooked achiote pork

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for these! I think there are 3-4 more than aren't mentioned in the index as slow-cooker recipes but for which he gives slow cooker directions (as an alternative) in the recipe itself. As soon as I get my hands on the book (I've requested it from the library) I'll flip through the book and try and refresh my memory. I know for sure I've tried that chicken with tomatillos recipe and really liked it--and I used canned (rather than fresh) tomatillos. If you use canned tomatillos it's practically a pantry recipe, if I recall correct.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've tried at least one other but I can't remember which one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've never been able to purchase decent tomatillos ever until recently when FoodMaxx opened here in Winchester, VA. They are as good as I could raise myself, which I did in Washington state; however, here in VA, they weren't good at all.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So, this is one recipe I want to try.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love Mexican food, but one problem for me is my own restriction