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March 2012 Cookbook of the Month Nominations are Now Open!

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Welcome to the nomination thread for the March 2012 Cookbook of the Month! I'm posting today, as February is a shorter month, and we want everyone to have the opportunity to buy or borrow the chosen book once the voting is complete.

If you're new, or if you've been lurking, please join us! It's a friendly group and we have a lot of fun cooking together. To view the basics of the COTM, and to peruse the archive of books that have been covered in the past, please visit this link:
http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

This is a freewheeling thread where you can cite the merits of a book or ask questions. Feel free to discuss as many books as you like. When you are ready to nominate, please write the title of the book or books in ALL CAPITALS.

The nomination thread will be open until 11pm Pacific Time on Tuesday February 14th (2am February 15th on Eastern time, and 7am February 15th GMT). At that time the books with the most nominations will advance to the voting thread.

Bring your favorite cookbooks to the table, and let's dig in!

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  1. Wow, that was fast!!!! I can't believe it is already voting time again. Last month I checked out MIGHTY SPICE from the library because it was one of the top contenders. After reading over the adjunct thread and reviewing the book, I am convinced it would make an ideal COTM selection.

    I just made my first recipe out of it last night: the Feta, Walnut and Nigella Seed Salad, on page 21 - so yummy I will be making it again for lunch today.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dkennedy

      I need to try that salad. Sounds wonderful. I really love Mighty Spice and have had great success with the recipes. I'd be happy to have it as the COTM. Going to think about what else might be fun. I'm really impressed by the people doing the Japanese cooking this month.

    2. I would love FOOD OF SPAIN and THE NEW SPANISH TABLE to be contenders. I haven't tried too many recipes out of those books yet, but what I have made has been delightful.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Allegra_K

        Not nominating yet, just considering possibilities:)

        I have Roden's Food of Spain and make a few things out of it - all turned out well - and happy to cook from it more. I am also wondering if there is an interest in Latin American and Canadian food. Breadcrumbs has all latest Canadian authors and could make a recommendation if there is interest.

        1. re: herby

          Latin American sounds swell to me! I received The Book of Latin American Cooking by Lambert-Ortiz recently, and though I was disappointed that it focused mainly on South American recipes (I was hoping for more from central america), everything sounds tasty.
          Earlier last year I recall that The South American Table had made it to the voting round. That one also seemed tempting.

          1. re: Allegra_K

            I bought The South American Table when it came up in the voting rounds last time. I was really excited about cooking out of it as a group, but when it didn't get selected, the book ended up back on my shelf and I have scarcely looked at it since. If we go the Latin route, it would make an excellent choice. The recipes range from Patagonia to Rio de Janeiro, and I picked up the book for pennies used off Amazon.

            1. re: dkennedy

              Thanks for remindng me... I bought The South American Table then too. It is definitely one I would like to see win COTM at some point. Frankly, all of the books mentioned so far are ones I would be happy to vote for. South American would be a nice change of pace for COTM.

              1. re: MelMM

                South American, huh? Now there's a cuisine (or cuisines) I really don't know too much about. My library system has it-- just put a request on the book so I can have a look.

                Anyone know how time intensive those recipes are? Unfortunately, not going to be a ton of time for me to cook in March. Of course, it is always fun to read along with everyone else's experience.

      2. I'd love to cook from MIGHTY SPICE: that thread is intriguing, with enthusiastic participation and almost all positive reports, and I like that the book covers a variety of cuisines.

        2 Replies
        1. re: nomadchowwoman

          Made a second salad out of Mighty Spice tonight. Again, came out totally yummy! I am not capitalizing the title so L.Nightshade won't count my nomination twice. This one is the Pomegranate, Fennel, Orange and Watercress Salad, page 22. Will be ordering my own copy of this cookbook off Amazon tonight. Tomorrow night's dinner will be the Kandy Black Pepper and Soy Eggplant Salad, p. 34 (stir fry) served alongside Sticky Szechuan Pork (belly) with Sesame Seeds, p. 108. Will report back as to how they come out.

          Best thing about this book in my mind is that a lot of the recipes are super quick to prepare yet very exotic. Perfect for week night fare.

          1. re: dkennedy

            "super quick to prepare yet very exotic. Perfect for week night fare." That sounds about perfect for me! Must get book.

        2. Not nominating yet, but Spanish food was the first thing that came to mind for next month. But I'd also like to consider The Food of Portugal by Jean Anderson and The New Portuguese Table by David Leite. Done as pair. I'd enjoy cooking from Mighty Spice as well, so this thread is off to a good start as far as I'm concerned. But reminds me I need to get going on the Japanese stuff!

          1. I'm in for the FOOD OF SPAIN. I have never done much Spanish cooking, but I'm very intrigued and would love to give it a go in this community. That way I can share my successes (or failures as they may be ha ha).

            1. Another vote for MIGHTY SPICE here.

              1. OK, I'm going to just keep on recommending this one because I am really interested in it: THE OLIVE AND THE CAPER, cooking from Greece. We did a Greek book eons ago, and this one looks fun - 5 stars on Amazon, and a paperback that is only $13.49. I'm guessing it won't win, but I hope if I start talking about it, maybe someone else will get interested. And if it is ok if I nominate two books, then I'll throw my lot in with MIGHTY SPICE, because I do love that book.

                3 Replies
                1. re: LulusMom

                  I'll second the OLIVE AND THE CAPER. I purchased this book when I learned about it in a previous nomination thread (they get me every time). COTM may be the push I need to cook from it. I certainly wouldn't object to Mighty Spice, everything I've tried so far is something I'd make again.

                  1. re: BigSal

                    I'll third THE OLIVE AND THE CAPER. Love the book and can find cooking time in March.

                  2. re: LulusMom

                    Oh, another great suggestion. I have this book and would love to cook from it. I like all all the books nominated so far... hard to decide what to choose.

                  3. Ive been itching to have a reason to get cooking from the MORO: The Cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark. Not too complicated looking Spanish (as well sas some other mediterranean food. It would be great if this could be part of an Iberian theme. Im having trouble getting ito Japanese month and hoping for something that will bet me cooking with the hounds in March.

                    Having trouble getting inspired by Roden, tho I have it - JEAN ANDERSON FOOD of PORTUGAL would work for me too.

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: jen kalb

                      I love MORO so I'll second that and CASA MORO the follow-up as well.

                      1. re: greedygirl

                        MORO sounds fun too!

                        1. re: BigSal

                          Moro sounds intriguing. Can you tell me more about it.

                          1. re: dkennedy

                            Moro is a restaurant in London. In the introduction of the book, the authors speak about a journey through Spain and Morocco to the Sahara before they opened the restaurant. They say their menu and cookbook reflect "the robust styles of Spanish cooking and the lighter, more exotic dishes of the Muslim Mediterranean." I've not cooked from the book yet, but it would appeal to those interested in Spanish cooking, as well as those interested in "Muslim Mediterranean" cooking too.

                            1. re: BigSal

                              OK, now you're grabbing my attention. I'm not muslim, but that just screams out at me "porkless recipes!" which ups my interest quite a bit.

                              1. re: LulusMom

                                Actually, the Moro book is not pork free. It was one of the criticisms of the book when it was reviewed.

                                1. re: dkennedy

                                  I didn't think it could possibly be pork-free, being Spanish (the Spanish like their pork), but if they include Muslim Mediterranean dishes, there will be more for me to choose from than otherwise. I'm now fairly interested in the book. Do you have it? Is it still pretty porky? Appreciate the info.

                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                    Wow, just read some of the reviews on amazon, and see what you mean. Definitely makes it less interesting to me (not that this should stop anyone else!). Thanks again for telling me, dkennedy.

                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                      wondering if you looked at the reviews on Amazon.uk, where there are more some of the Amazon reviews were fairly dumb.
                                      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Moro-Cookbook....

                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                        The relative dumbness of the reviews wasn't as important as the fact that a few of them said "there is a lot of pork in this book." But yeah, the guy who gave it one star needs to lighten up.

                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                          but that statement WAS dumb - there isnt any sort of over burden of pork recipes in this book - especially when you consider the importance of pigs and cured pork in the iberian diet. The vast majority of dishes do not include pork at all, I find the fact that the book is not merely spanish but also includes a range from N.Africa and the middle east , many vegetarian but also many centering on fish, seafood and other meats to be appealing, especially given the relative dearth of veg dishes in the spanish repetoire.

                        2. re: jen kalb

                          MORO - yes! I've made about half the recipes so far. Almost all are great, different, and easy. And it's way more than Spanish food - the Turkish recipes are fabulous.

                          1. re: elenacampana

                            elenacampana - The nominations ended last night, and Moro did not make it into the final voting. Don't give up, as it can sometimes take a nomination thread to get people thinking and talking about a book, and it later becomes the COTM. In the meantime, please visit the voting thread if you have an interest in either of the two books that are contenders for March:
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/833780

                        3. Wow, what amazing options we have proposed here...Greek, Portuguese, South American, Spanish and the Asian flavours of Mighty Spice....what's a girl to do?!! All of these appeal to me!

                          I was thinking along a similar track I came here to see if anyone had cooked from Patience Gray's Honey From A Weed cookbook? I'd pulled the book from my shelf after reading Saveur Magazine this month as they picked it as one of their favourite cookbooks in their new "100 New Classics" issue. I have to say the Mediterranean-themed recipes are very enticing. I'd love to hear if anyone here has experience with it.

                          Also of interest, from the same Saveur issue, they picked Time-Life's "Good Cook" Series as another fave. I have a couple of these on my shelf and know folks here have spoken highly of them. I thought folks who have these books might be interested in hearing this...perhaps these books will enjoy a revival with a new generation of fans.

                          1. I'm nominating MIGHTY SPICE

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Goblin

                              I am very encouraged by the suggestions for March, there are several I would be willing to cook out of. It seems like ages since I have had access to one of the COTM winners. I just looked up Moro and The Caper and the Olive and they both sound wonderful. My heart however, remains set on Mighty Spice.

                              I cooked two more recipes out of it tonight and had a spectacular feast. Sticky Szechuan Pork with Sesame Seeds, p. 108 accompanied by Shrimp Fried Rice (TJs) and Kandy Black Pepper and Soy Eggplant Salad, p. 34. Both dishes came together almost effortlessly, for Chinese food that is. I reused the same wok in quick succession to make all three dishes so the clean up was kept to a minimum. The pork dish called for pork belly, which has a pretty high price point but I am sure another cut could be substituted. Really, really tasty. Pre-Valentine chocolates served as dessert.

                              1. re: dkennedy

                                That's weird - pork belly is the cheapest cut of pork here.

                                1. re: greedygirl

                                  It's dead trendy here and the price has gone up like mad in the past couple of years.

                            2. Only a little over 12 hours before nominations close. What a delicious assembly of books we have going here. Whatever it narrows down to, we'll be doing some great cooking in March!

                              1. Lots of good ideas on the table for next month. The two that interest me the most are THE OLIVE AND THE CAPER because I don't get to cook/eat Greek food as often as I'd like to and THE SOUTH AMERICAN TABLE because with the exception of one small book on Brazilian cooking, South American cooking is all terra incognita for me personally.

                                And, in the random thoughts category, as much as it seems that sometime we should do a Jean Anderson book, I'm wondering if The Food of Portugal would be good as a stand alone COTM. It is a great book but a little bit sparse in some ways. Maybe sometime we could combine it into an Iberian month (maybe with The Food of Spain by Roden and Catalan Cuisine by Colman, for example). Or do a selection of Jean Anderson books, admittedly her books are all over the map, so it might be something of a hodgepodge, but there'd be something for just about everyone.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: qianning

                                  I'll officially second THE SOUTH AMERICAN TABLE.

                                  I just picked up Catalan Cuisine from my library booksale and am happy to hear it recognized on here.....more incentive for me to look through it! Liking the Iberian month idea.

                                  1. re: Allegra_K

                                    THE SOUTH AMERICAN TABLE looks the most interesting to me because of the regional cooking. Reading "inside this book" on Amazon, it appears that there was a lot of research for this book. 400+ recipes, there should be something there for me. I'm mostly interested in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Ecuador -- did I leave any out :-))

                                    Indexed, too, in Eat Your Books.

                                    1. re: Rella

                                      Am I seeing this correctly. the south american table isn't in print or am I looking in the wrong places?

                                      1. re: smtucker

                                        http://www.amazon.com/South-American-...
                                        It seems to still be available. At any rate, there's plenty of cheap used copies.

                                        1. re: smtucker

                                          I'm seeing it available from amazon.com--looks like it's in print.

                                          http://www.amazon.com/South-American-...

                                          1. re: Goblin

                                            Thank you! A slightly different name changes the availability!

                                    2. re: qianning

                                      Or maybe just do an Iberian month period - let folks use whatever books they have and like.

                                    3. I could get behind either MIGHTY SPICE or THE OLIVE AND THE CAPER -- both excellent books with plenty of variety.

                                      1. I vote for MIGHTY SPICE.

                                        1. Ok I will follow the tide and vote for THE OLIVE AND THE CAPER. I recognize that I voted earlier for the food of spain but that one looks like it is a no go and I honestly would far prefer something Greek to the Asian recipes in Mighty Spice. Not that there is anything wrong with Asian recipes, just that I am recently back from Asia and I would prefer something different.

                                          11 Replies
                                          1. re: delys77

                                            Far be it from me to take a vote away from the olive and caper, but just to let you know there are also middle eastern and mexican-ish recipes in mighty spice (see me avoiding the caps key?).

                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                              Ah thanks for the heads up LulusMom. I must admit I'm also personally partial to books that are indexed on Eat Your Books, and alas Mighty Spice is not. That being said, if it wins the day I will happily log in to read up on everyone's cullinary adventures with Mighty Spice.

                                              1. re: delys77

                                                You are right, delys77--I went to check Eat Your Books for my copy of Mighty Spice, and it said "indexed soon," whatever that means! I hope it is very soon.

                                              2. re: LulusMom

                                                I am curious (I can't get Mighty Spice from the library), would those of you who are familiar with it say that the recipes are fusion? Or that each recipe is true to a specific cuisine? I'm not participating in nominations (and I'd be delighted with any of these books mentioned), just interested to know more about this book.

                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                  I would say most of them are true to their specific cuisine (except in some odd places like using pita to wrap tacos).

                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                    Just put library holds on Moro and The Olive and the Caper, I own The South American Table and I just ordered Mighty Spice (so my library copy will be back on the shelves for one of you soon) so I am hoping that makes me a lock for participating this month. I know there has been some mention of a Spanish month, but I am hoping the vote goes another way this time around.

                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                      I should see if my library has the Moro book so that I can check out the recipes myself. Thanks for the reminder that this is an option (at least I hope it is an option - need to check my library's website).

                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                        Do check Moro out. I think it's a lovely book (just at the reading stage so far). Here are some of the mezzes they feature: quail's eggs with cumin, grilled chicken wings with tahini, beetroot with yoghurt, wilted herb salad, fava bean puree, carrot and cumin salad with coriander and flatbread.There is a whole section on fish starters with recipes like a mussels vinaigrette, salt cod croquette, clams with sherry, and shrimp in spiced tomato sauce with caraway. The meat starters are very pork centric, but they also have several quail recipes, a sirloin salad, and hummus with ground lamb and pinenuts. Another section of veggie starters (only one recipe in this bunch has pork (jamon serrano) which the authors say you can leave out). Of all the rice dishes only one recipe has pork. All of the fish main courses are pork free. The meat main courses include lamb, pork (4 recipes), chicken, duck and pheasant recipes. None of the vegetable dishes have pork. To my eye, I think there are a number of recipes to choose from that are pork free. I hope you can check it out at the library and see.

                                                        1. re: BigSal

                                                          Ach, I've just checked, and my library doesn't have it. I'm going to look into seeing if we can get it from another library in the state. You definitely have peaked (sp?) my interest.

                                                      2. re: dkennedy

                                                        DKennedy, did you find Moro in the LA library system? I only see the second book (Casa Moro).

                                                        1. re: mebby

                                                          It was Casa Moro.

                                              3. Nominations for March COTM are closed. Thanks to everyone for the great nominations! Please visit the voting thread here:
                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/833780

                                                1. Just a reminder that the voting thread closes tonight. I see that some people who submitted nominations have not voted yet, so I'm just trying to get out the vote. It's a pretty tight race! Voting is here:
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/833780

                                                  1. The nomination thread for the April COTM is now up and running (yes, already!)
                                                    It will soon be stickied, but until then, here is the link:
                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/838164