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March 2012 Cookbook of the Month Nominations are Now Open!

L.Nightshade Feb 10, 2012 11:02 AM

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:

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. d
    dkennedy RE: L.Nightshade Feb 10, 2012 12:16 PM

    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
      LulusMom RE: dkennedy Feb 10, 2012 12:27 PM

      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. Allegra_K RE: L.Nightshade Feb 10, 2012 01:00 PM

      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
        herby RE: Allegra_K Feb 10, 2012 01:20 PM

        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
          Allegra_K RE: herby Feb 10, 2012 03:55 PM

          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
            dkennedy RE: Allegra_K Feb 11, 2012 09:11 PM

            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
              MelMM RE: dkennedy Feb 12, 2012 07:15 AM

              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
                greeneggsnham RE: MelMM Feb 12, 2012 01:50 PM

                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. nomadchowwoman RE: L.Nightshade Feb 10, 2012 02:22 PM

        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
          dkennedy RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 11, 2012 05:39 PM

          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
            greeneggsnham RE: dkennedy Feb 12, 2012 01:51 PM

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

        2. m
          MelMM RE: L.Nightshade Feb 10, 2012 03:31 PM

          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. delys77 RE: L.Nightshade Feb 10, 2012 04:16 PM

            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. greedygirl RE: L.Nightshade Feb 11, 2012 06:15 PM

              Another vote for MIGHTY SPICE here.

              1. LulusMom RE: L.Nightshade Feb 13, 2012 02:36 AM

                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
                  BigSal RE: LulusMom Feb 13, 2012 03:52 AM

                  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
                    bayoucook RE: BigSal Feb 13, 2012 07:35 AM

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

                  2. re: LulusMom
                    MelMM RE: LulusMom Feb 13, 2012 07:25 AM

                    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. jen kalb RE: L.Nightshade Feb 13, 2012 09:16 AM

                    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
                      greedygirl RE: jen kalb Feb 13, 2012 10:18 AM

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

                      1. re: greedygirl
                        BigSal RE: greedygirl Feb 13, 2012 10:30 AM

                        MORO sounds fun too!

                        1. re: BigSal
                          dkennedy RE: BigSal Feb 13, 2012 04:12 PM

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

                          1. re: dkennedy
                            BigSal RE: dkennedy Feb 13, 2012 08:32 PM

                            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
                              LulusMom RE: BigSal Feb 14, 2012 02:32 AM

                              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
                                dkennedy RE: LulusMom Feb 14, 2012 06:37 AM

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

                                1. re: dkennedy
                                  LulusMom RE: dkennedy Feb 14, 2012 08:23 AM

                                  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
                                    LulusMom RE: dkennedy Feb 14, 2012 08:28 AM

                                    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
                                      jen kalb RE: LulusMom Feb 14, 2012 01:07 PM

                                      wondering if you looked at the reviews on Amazon.uk, where there are more some of the Amazon reviews were fairly dumb.

                                      1. re: jen kalb
                                        LulusMom RE: jen kalb Feb 14, 2012 02:14 PM

                                        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
                                          jen kalb RE: LulusMom Feb 14, 2012 08:21 PM

                                          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
                          elenacampana RE: jen kalb Feb 15, 2012 01:35 PM

                          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
                            L.Nightshade RE: elenacampana Feb 15, 2012 01:50 PM

                            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:

                        3. Breadcrumbs RE: L.Nightshade Feb 13, 2012 09:51 AM

                          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. Goblin RE: L.Nightshade Feb 13, 2012 07:15 PM

                            I'm nominating MIGHTY SPICE

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Goblin
                              dkennedy RE: Goblin Feb 13, 2012 07:50 PM

                              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
                                greedygirl RE: dkennedy Feb 14, 2012 12:53 AM

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

                                1. re: greedygirl
                                  buttertart RE: greedygirl Feb 15, 2012 05:49 AM

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

                            2. L.Nightshade RE: L.Nightshade Feb 14, 2012 10:38 AM

                              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. q
                                qianning RE: L.Nightshade Feb 14, 2012 11:43 AM

                                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
                                  Allegra_K RE: qianning Feb 14, 2012 02:43 PM

                                  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
                                    Rella RE: Allegra_K Feb 14, 2012 06:18 PM

                                    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
                                      smtucker RE: Rella Feb 14, 2012 06:38 PM

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

                                      1. re: smtucker
                                        Allegra_K RE: smtucker Feb 14, 2012 07:03 PM

                                        It seems to still be available. At any rate, there's plenty of cheap used copies.

                                        1. re: smtucker
                                          Goblin RE: smtucker Feb 14, 2012 07:03 PM

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


                                          1. re: Goblin
                                            smtucker RE: Goblin Feb 14, 2012 08:35 PM

                                            Thank you! A slightly different name changes the availability!

                                    2. re: qianning
                                      jen kalb RE: qianning Feb 14, 2012 08:23 PM

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

                                    3. pikawicca RE: L.Nightshade Feb 14, 2012 12:06 PM

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

                                      1. b
                                        bitchincook RE: L.Nightshade Feb 14, 2012 12:38 PM

                                        I vote for MIGHTY SPICE.

                                        1. delys77 RE: L.Nightshade Feb 14, 2012 02:41 PM

                                          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
                                            LulusMom RE: delys77 Feb 14, 2012 02:57 PM

                                            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
                                              delys77 RE: LulusMom Feb 14, 2012 03:04 PM

                                              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
                                                Goblin RE: delys77 Feb 14, 2012 06:06 PM

                                                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
                                                L.Nightshade RE: LulusMom Feb 14, 2012 03:04 PM

                                                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
                                                  LulusMom RE: L.Nightshade Feb 14, 2012 03:35 PM

                                                  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
                                                    dkennedy RE: LulusMom Feb 14, 2012 08:39 PM

                                                    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
                                                      LulusMom RE: dkennedy Feb 15, 2012 02:24 AM

                                                      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
                                                        BigSal RE: LulusMom Feb 15, 2012 04:06 AM

                                                        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
                                                          LulusMom RE: BigSal Feb 15, 2012 08:27 AM

                                                          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
                                                        mebby RE: dkennedy Feb 15, 2012 09:04 AM

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

                                                        1. re: mebby
                                                          dkennedy RE: mebby Feb 15, 2012 12:57 PM

                                                          It was Casa Moro.

                                              3. L.Nightshade RE: L.Nightshade Feb 14, 2012 11:04 PM

                                                Nominations for March COTM are closed. Thanks to everyone for the great nominations! Please visit the voting thread here:

                                                1. L.Nightshade RE: L.Nightshade Feb 17, 2012 12:17 PM

                                                  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:

                                                  1. L.Nightshade RE: L.Nightshade Mar 10, 2012 09:31 AM

                                                    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:

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