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April 2012 Cookbook of the Month Nominations Are Now Open!

Welcome to the nomination thread for the April 2012 Cookbook of the Month!
It's hard for me to believe it's that time already, as I've barely dipped into March's COTM.

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:

Please use this thread to discuss the merits of a book, ask questions, and nominate books to advance into the voting round. 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 10am Pacific Time on Thursday March 15 (1pm March 15th Eastern time, and 5pm March 15th GMT). At that time the books with the most nominations will advance to the voting thread.

(I am closing nominations on the morning of the 15th, as I may be unavailable from that afternoon through the 18th. I should still be able to tally the noms and post the voting thread that morning.)

Let's welcome spring with open cookbooks and bounteous tables!

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  1. Thanks so much LN!

    Oh my goodness, where does time go?!! I can't believe it's been almost a year since we were cooking from "Around My French Table".

    Last weekend I spent a fair bit of time re-organizing my bookshelves (yes, with head hanging in shame I admit we had to purchase another one!). Anyway, in doing so I discovered so many books that I'd love to cook from and ones that I bought with anxious anticipation only to have shelved without having a chance to really spend some time with them.

    I made up a list as I went so I'll have to take a look and see if anything there is COTM nomination-worthy. If it turns out to be 16°C as the weather man forecasted who knows, I might even be able to do this tomorrow while sitting on the deck w a cup of tea!!! Who'd have thought such amazing weather in Ontario in March!

      there are 20 small books in this series

      Fergus Henderson

      or any bbq cookbook
      Steven Raichlen

      Longgteine e Monteiro an Katherine Neustadt

      1. Ok, so as I mentioned above, I did a re-org of my cookbook collection last weekend and made a list of some of the books I'd either forgotten about or, simply never seem to have the time to give the attention I think they deserve. I took a look at that list today and thought I'd throw out some ideas of books or authors whose books I believe would be COTM nomination worthy.

        I'm not nominating anything, just throwing some ideas out to see if there's any interest.

        Looking through Eat Your Books, it seems books by these authors are on a lot of shelves and they have a variety of books to cook from:

        Donna Hay, Nigella Lawson & Giada De Laurentiis

        I also love both these books by Melissa Clark and think they'd make a good COTM duo:

        In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite: 150 Recipes and Stories about the Food You Love by Melissa Clark

        Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can't Wait to Make by Melissa Clark

        I never used to be a fan of Bobby Flay but over time he's grown on me and I have to say, I find almost all of his recipes enticing. These books stood out (having tons of stickies!!):

        Bobby Flay's Bar Americain Cookbook: Celebrate America's Great Flavors by Bobby Flay and Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson

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

        Bobby Flay's Throwdown!: More Than 100 Recipes from Food Network's Ultimate Cooking Challenge by Bobby Flay and Stephanie Banyas and Miriam Garron

        These two books look just amazing. The photographs had me drooling and the recipes sound scrumptious:

        My New Orleans: The Cookbook by John Besh

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

        Any thoughts on these?

        7 Replies
        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          Melissa Clark and Bobby Flay sound good-

          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            My New Orleans sounds interesting. The pictures are almost edible as well as in his new book...My Family Table.

            1. re: Breadcrumbs

              Would love to have Melissa Clark as COTM - might have to breakdown and buy cook this now if it goes this route.

              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                I was just thinking the other day that Melissa Clark's books would make a good COTM. My New Orleans and Bistro Cooking at Home as sound good to me.

                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                  I just got In The Kitchen With a Good Appetite from the library (it's been on my list to look at for a long time) and I love it! I plan on cooking from it as soon as I'm done with my current meal plans and I think I will probably buy it.

                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                    I could get excited by the Hamersley book. I have it and have made 2-3 things and loved them all.

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      That's good to know. A friend gave me the Hamersley and I haven't tried a thing. I could definitely get behind that when I get back from Guatemala. Bet it would be a good book for Fall, no?

                  2. I'm also not nominating yet, but thought I'd see if anyone else was interested in 660 Curries. I discovered it through CH. It's a bit dense and doesn't have the best layout, but I've had some amazing successes with the book as a whole and the COTM format would likely be good for helping people wade through it.

                    Breadcrumb's suggestion of a Melissa Clark month also interests me.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: TxnInMtl

                      660 CURRIES

                      I think this would be a great COTM. I have it (based on raves from other CHers) but have not cooked from it. There are some master spice pastes and things that once made seem like could be used in multiple recipes and make for pretty quick weeknight meals. I would love to get this one off the shelf and explore more.

                      1. re: greeneggsnham

                        I've made 4 or 5 of the spice mixes and all of them have been great. You are right that there are many recipes that are perfect for a quick meal, particularly if you've made some spice mixes ahead of time. The recipes that have surprised me the most though are the rice ones. He has one with basmati, onions, and some kind of green which has so much more flavor than you would expect from such a simple dish.

                        1. re: greeneggsnham

                          I agree, this would be a great COTM.

                          1. re: greeneggsnham

                            I am interested in cooking from 660 Curries; took it out of the library ones and had hits and misses but definitely willing to try more recipes out of it.

                            I made several good things out of Caudia Roden: The Food of Spain and have a few recipes still marked to try. Would love to cook from it as a COTM.

                            What do you people think about One Big Table? Quite a few have it according to EYB - I have it too since last summer and have not made one thing! Could be an interesting COTM selection.

                            Not nominating yet...

                            1. re: herby

                              I would love to cook from Food of Spain. I also have One Big Table, and it could indeed be interesting. Although I always struggle with the really big, kind of all-purpose books.

                            2. re: greeneggsnham

                              660 CURRIES

                              I'm going to check this book out of the library, whether or not it makes COTM. The idea of having some master spice pastes around is intriguing. I've bought the Patak pastes in jars and used them, so I'm guessing this would be something similar.

                              Truthfully, I probably wouldn't make more than 1 curry a week, so maybe this wouldn't be a great choice for COTM. Although as is, I'm not sure I manage to cook more than once a week out of any COTM!

                            3. re: TxnInMtl

                              It's been nominated quite a few times but as never been chosen. I really like it and would love to have it be COTM because it has so many recipes I'm sure I'm missing some really great ones that other people might bring to my attention.

                            4. Every now and then, more precisely when I think of it, I ask my husband which type of cuisine he'd like to cook and eat next. This time after thinking a minute he said, "Thai". Currently in my kitchen library I have 2 Thai cookbooks: Simply Thai Cooking by Wandee Young and Byron Ayanogly and The Taste of Thailand by Vatcharin Bhumichitr. In the past there has been interest in Thai Food by David Thompson but so far I've resisted buying that since I don't cook from the 2 books I already own. I wonder, though, if there's any interest for Thai cooking.

                              I have the M. Clark book Cook This Now and have been pleasantly surprised by the favorable reports I've read about it because I wasn't that impressed when I read through it. As usual, I have not the slightest idea where to go from here to actually nominating.

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: Gio

                                I'd be interested in Thai cooking next month. I 'll look to the group for recommendations on the best book and which ones will be available to the majority.

                                1. re: Gio

                                  I received Nancie McDermott's Real Thai for Christmas and have only managed to cook from it once. A Thai month might be just the encouragement I need to do more.

                                  1. re: Gio

                                    Thai would be of great interest in the smtucker household for sure. I own no Thai cookbooks so I can't offer any suggestions. Certainly the Thompson books have been highly touted by people who should know.

                                    1. re: Gio

                                      Oh, how I long to do a Thai month. I'd be missing nearly the entire first half of it due to a late-winter trip, but could always make up for lost time by cooking up a storm when upon my return.

                                      David Thompson's books are fantastic; they are glorious to cook out of, and to thumb through the pages. I've learned so much about Thai cuisine from his works. However, last year the COTM had been contemplating cooking out of Thai Food, and there was some concern that his books were too involved and fastidious. I would group his books among the likes of Paula Wolfert and Diana Kennedy. If you enjoy and have the (somewhat excessive) time for that type of authentic cooking, he's the one to go to. The end results are absolutely worth it, just maybe not for too much weeknight cookery.
                                      There is a fairly lengthy thread up already that highlights some of the recipes that have been prepared from Thai Food and Thai Street Food: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/669671 , to get a better idea about his books.
                                      I don't have any other Thai cookbooks, but ones that have cropped up frequently in discussion are Cracking the Coconut by Su-Mei Yu and Nancie McDermott's Real Thai.
                                      Any others care to weigh in?

                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                        The first post by vorpal in that thread says what worried me about the Thompson Thai book. Namely, too advanced for the beginner Thai home cook. Here's the link to his post:

                                        IIRC vorpal has been cooking Thai food for a very long time. In fact, I believe he had, or still has, a blog about all the dishes he has made. So in this case, I respect his assessment. The post following his concurs:

                                        What I'm really afraid of is that the Thompson book will too complicated for us because of the situation in which we're cooking now. (my mobility challenge and G's end-of-business day need for rather uncomplicated recipes that are not too time consuming to make) I have cooked from the other Thai books I mentioned so I think The Taste of Thailand by Vatcharin Bhumichitr and Simply Thai Cooking by Wandee Young and Byron Ayanoglu would be better suited to our particular predicament.

                                        @ buttertart> we've eaten at The Elephant Walk at their Cambridge location. A truly delicious meal... I'd be agreeable to that cookbook as well.

                                        1. re: Gio

                                          Didn't someone indicate that the Street Foods book was less "demanding?" Or am I remembering incorrectly?

                                          1. re: smtucker

                                            I think that may be his first book, Classic Thai Cuisine, which I've never cooked out of so can't be entirely sure. Thai Street food seems just as involved as Thai Food. Street Food is just a massive doorstop of a book, it is quite unwieldy to cook with. On top of that, despite the fact that the pages are enormous, the recipes themselves occupy a only a tiny corner of each. The printing is also nearly impossible to see clearly as it is so small. Despite those issues, the recipes (from what I've read; haven't really used it)have received rave reviews.

                                            Here's a comparison of them: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/826967

                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                              The last time this came up (several nomination threads ago) I checked out both from the library. They are both gorgeous, delicious books. I think it would make sense to do a combo of both DT books, Street Food and Thai Food, as their are variations of the dishes in each book.

                                              I made the most memorable meal out of these books - candied pork served alongside green papaya salad and sticky rice. My family still raves.

                                              1. re: dkennedy

                                                Ooooooooooo...which book is the candied pork out of? I have TSF.


                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  I would be happy with a COTM involving THAI FOOD or all of the David Thompson oeuvre - the classic thai book is available inexpensively and may be less daunting.

                                                  If folks are still afraid, THAI FOOD could be combined with one of the books perceived to be less challenging. But I would have a hard time getting my arms around a first thai COTM that did not involve a David thompson book.

                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    If memory serves I think it is from Street Food. When my copy comes in from the library I'll post the book and page number.

                                            2. re: Gio

                                              Gio & others--has anyone cooked from "Simply Thai Food"? It gets some pretty good reviews on this board as well as on Amazon. Looking at the index and table of contents on Amazon, I'm guessing this is a book that doesn't expect the cook to start from scratch with a new spice paste for every dish, correct?

                                              1. re: qianning

                                                Hi qianning. The only recipes I've cooked so far from Simply Thai Cooking are Stir-Fried Mixed Vegetables on page 158, made that several times in fact changing the veggies each time. There are stains on a few of the chicken recipes but I only vaguely recall making the Cashew Nut Chicken on page 112. I did not have to make a paste for the vegetable dish and the chicken simply calls for "chili paste". I have no idea what I used for that, probably a jar of something I picked up at Super 88.

                                                According to the index there are 6 recipes utilizing Green Curry Paste, 2 recipes with Masaman Curry Paste, and 24 recipes with Red Curry Paste. Keep in mind though there are more than 100 recipes in this book. I really like Simply Thai and should be cooking from it more often because it demystifies Thai cooking for me.

                                        2. I have David Thompson book "Thai Cooking"
                                          It is a collector's book-

                                          Elephant walk Cookbook -Cambodian Cuisine

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: jpr54_1

                                            Cambodian food is wonderful (at least what I've had of it is), and that's a great book.

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              Elephant Walk has grabbed my attention, but I fear that the price point might be a deterrent for many. I for one would love to learn about Cambodian cuisine.

                                              In the Kitchen W/ Good Appetite is a very enjoyable read. I would love to see it become a COTM selection. I have made several recipes out of this and other Amanda Hesser books with consistently good results.

                                              If we are going Thai, I hope we go with a David Thompson book. Have taken them out of the library in the past, and found the recipes to be "wow" quality. If it is selected, I will treat myself to a copy.

                                              1. re: dkennedy

                                                there r several other thai books which might be easier to find

                                                1. re: dkennedy

                                                  I have fond memories of the Elephant Walk restaurant in Boston from college days. Never seen the cookbook. Looks like it is available for $25 from the restaurant website but its not clear how much shipping might be.


                                                  How challenging are the recipes? I am intimidated by Thompson's Thai books.

                                                  1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                    They're detailed but not that challenging. Quite wonderful. (Love the restaurant too.)

                                                    1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                      OK, I went to greeneggsnham's website above, after reading all the favorable reviews of The Elephant Walk Cookbook. The soft-cover cookbook (new) is available from that site for 24.95, plus 1.56 tax, and 5.25 shipping. In other words, $31.76. It's also available on Amazon but a new paperback copy costs quite a bit more--a hardback, a lot more. Only the used copies--I mean, ones that are listed in "acceptable" condition, not "very good" or "new"--are near to this price.
                                                      So, I sprang for a copy after reading all the good reviews and having my appetite whetted by the discussion of having a Thai month. Cambodian cooking sounds related, but different enough to be interesting and still delicious. Also it is new to me. So I'm going to jump in and nominate:
                                                      THE ELEPHANT WALK COOKBOOK
                                                      I've also eaten at the restaurant, and enjoyed the food very much.
                                                      Oh yes; I checked and the book is available at three local (Cape Cod) public libraries.

                                                      1. re: Goblin

                                                        It is difficult to tell which way the wind is blowing so in anticipation that it might go Thai I just placed holds on Elephant Walk, Thai Food and Thai Street Food.

                                              2. How would The South American Table go over this month?
                                                What I love about the nomination process is seeing how a book can go from being extremely popular and nearly getting selected one month to not even being mentioned again for half a year or more. With the South American Table, for me it can go both ways. Spring has nearly sprung, (well, with any luck) and that has me dreaming about gardening (tho it's still months away, in reality!) and gorgeous, flavourful produce, light summery dishes and barbecues out on the patio. However, one blustery and snow-filled day can have me thinking the complete opposite; root vegetables, stews, grains, comforting homey dishes and steaming mugs of anything warm. The South American Table evokes those latter feelings in me. It's something I want to enjoy on a chilly evening. All the corn flour dishes, beans and yuca would be marvelously filling and warming. April on the prairies can be cruel and unpredictable at times.
                                                Though I think a lot of you participants live in areas where the weather is mild and summer is long and prosperous, so spring is already a reality!

                                                46 Replies
                                                1. re: Allegra_K

                                                  Have this one too and would love an excuse to crack it open and cook out of it.

                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                    Now that you have me thinking about food South of the Border...do any of you have THE HOMESICK TEXAN on your shelves? I bought this book recently in one of my TGC bundle binges, and have been utterly charmed by it ever since.

                                                    It should be fairly accessible as many of us belong to TGC plus the book is based on her blog, so many of the recipes will be available on line.

                                                    Just went downstairs to grab the book, it is such an enticing book I have literally not bothered tabbing any of the recipes because I want to make each and every one of them! She breaks down Texas into regions and spends time exploring all the influences that make up their cuisine. From Tex mex to bbq, to southern food, it's all covered.

                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                      Your suggestions never fail to intrigue me, dkennedy, and this book is no different! It has excellent reviews on amazon as well.

                                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                                        Why thank you, Allegra. Since posting, I have been laying on my bed skimming through the book again. We are having friends over for dinner on Friday night, so I am trying to decide what to make for them. At this point I am leaning toward the Green Chile Chowder (sort of a mexican spin on potato leek soup) served alongside Migas - (think nachos meet casserole).

                                                      2. re: dkennedy

                                                        dk I'm with you. I'm totally smitten w this book. It's won a spot on my tiny kitchen bookshelf because I just love looking through it, I love reading the stories that accompany the recipes, the photography is beautiful and enticing and like you, I want to make every dish I read about! The only reason I didn't put it on my list up-thread was because it is a relatively new book and I wasn't sure how many folks would have it.

                                                        All that said, I haven't had an opportunity to cook from this book and I'd love to hear from folks who have.

                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                          Yes, I have this one though I haven't cooked from it yet--but I too am intrigued by it.

                                                          I also like the idea of Melissa Clark's "In the Kitchen."

                                                          And I could still go w/Mighty Spice.

                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                            Here is a link to her blog:


                                                            It looks like most, if not all of her recipes would be available on line for those working without a book.

                                                          2. re: dkennedy

                                                            I too am intrigued by Homesick Texan. Would love an excuse to buy it. :). It's been nominated for an IACP award this year.

                                                            Also, randomly, I noticed both Grace Young and Dorie Greenspan are on James Beard award committees this year.


                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                              THE HOMESICK TEXAN has me curious. I am also still very interested in a Thai cookbook. qianning, can you suggest an approachable Thai cookbook?

                                                              1. re: BigSal

                                                                Well, of the ones I'm familiar with, Kasma Loha-unchit's books "It Rains Fishes " and "Dancing Shrimp" are the really approachable, geared to the American home books; unfortunately, though, they are out of print and hard to get.

                                                                Next step up would be something like "The Original Thai Cookbook" by Julie Brennan or "Real Thai" by Nancie McDermott, again these are just books that I've used, not a comprehensive list.

                                                                And then another step up in complexity would be the Thompson books or "Cracking the Coconut" by Su-Mei Yu. These are books to turn to for "wow" results.

                                                                Selfishly, I'd dearly love to see THAI FOOD get the COTM treatment, but realistically it should be paired w/ something a bit less taxing. Kasma's books would be perfect if they were more available, because she assumes that home cooks are often going to use pre-fabricated curry pastes and she gears/tweaks her recipes around that assumption. When it comes to Thai cooking, the time consuming and intimidating part is usually in making the pastes.

                                                                1. re: qianning

                                                                  Thanks qianning. I'm still interested in cooking from THAI FOOD. I'm a little intimidated,but once I get a few recipes under my belt I'm sure it will be fine. Mighty Spice will be nice too as I've already had success with a few recipes. I have the Melisa Clark books too and am glad to see some positive reviews.

                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                    qianning - I looked up It Rains Fishes after your mention, and was astonished to see prices starting at $165 for a new copy. Such a pity. I got a copy of that book when I took a class from Kasma. It's a nice one to browse, and to cook from.

                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                      I had this on my Amazon wish list for ages, just waiting for a cheaper price. Eventually, a reasonably priced copy did show up, and I grabbed it. Patience pays off. I would encourage anyone who's interested to put it on their wishlist and keep an eye on it. It is unfortunate that it is so hard to get, as it makes it impossible for a COTM. Maybe these will come back into print someday.

                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                        That's a good suggestion, MelMM. I was very disappointed to see how expensive a copy of Rains Fishes" was in Amazon,--and didn't see any other vendor except BArnes & Noble on line (equally expensive.)
                                                                        How exactly does the "wish list" on Amazon work? Are you contacted when a copy shows up?

                                                                        1. re: Goblin

                                                                          It's just a list of products sold on the website - whether new by Amazon, used by marketplace sellers, or both - that you add at will for your own reference or so you can share a list of wants with potential gift-givers. A way to keep track of items you're interested in. You have to check back for availability/prices on your own.

                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                            I actually get notices about price changes every time I log into amazon. So if you use it fairly regularly, you'll know if a cheaper price comes along.

                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                              Isn't that for items in your cart, though, not items on your wish list?


                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                For me it does both, but I'm signed up for prime shipping, so maybe that is the difference?

                                                                              2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                I believe the price updates are for new items sold directly by Amazon, though; do you actually get updates on prices available from third-party Amazon Marketplace sellers, too?

                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                  That is a very good question. There was an out of print book that I wanted, and it was selling for something like $50, so I just left it on my wish list. Suddenly, about a year after putting it there, it showed up as a paperback, and I noticed it when I logged in. So obviously that new paperback must have been sent via amazon; I think with other stuff they let you know if it suddenly *isn't* available from the seller you had added it into your wish list from, but they let you know where else you might look. Not sure how helpful this is - sorry!

                                                                            2. re: Goblin

                                                                              Thanks, everyone--I'm going to put this book and Dancing Shrimp into my Wish List and see what happens!
                                                                              There are some terrific books nominated this month. Going to be hard to choose!

                                                                    2. re: dkennedy

                                                                      I love her blog. As much as I'm interested in the other suggestions (Thai, MC, 660 Curries), I think I'm going to have to go with comfort food and THE HOMESICK TEXAN.

                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                        I got homesick texan for christmas and would love to cook from it. I worry, though, that it is still a little soon for it to be on library shelves. But I'll make at least one of my noms for THE HOMESICK TEXAN.

                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                          I got it when it first came out. Homesick Texan is terrific.

                                                                          1. re: Candy

                                                                            I am making my first dishes from Homesick Texan tonight. Will report back with my results before closing tomorrow.

                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                              I know it is cutting it close to the cut off time for nominating, but here is my update about the dishes I am making out of Homesick Texan for Friday night:

                                                                              Carnitas, p. 201
                                                                              Salsa Fuego, p. 56
                                                                              Jalapeño Pinto Beans, p. 122
                                                                              Pickled Carrots, Cauliflower, and Jalapeños, p. 21

                                                                              First, now that I have started cooking out of this book, let me say that this is home cooking at its best. The recipes are straight forward and uncomplicated. Perfect for week night fare or making a bunch on the weekends to eat the following week.

                                                                              The carnitas recipe came out perfectly, with a really nice balance of flavors. The beans are on the stove as we speak, and the pickles are in the jar, I haven't made the salsa yet - it is a roasted salsa and I think it will be best made just before serving. All 4 recipes were easy peasy and I know it is going to make a wonderful family dinner that will impress my guests.

                                                                              I also tabbed and bought ingredients for Green Chile Chowder, p. 132, which will I will be making for dinner tonight. It is a potato soup meets rajas, and I think it is going to be one of my new go-to recipes. If I can motivate to get to the store I may even serve it in bread bowls.

                                                                              The last recipe I tabbed and am going to make today for the freezer is Calabacitas or Squash and Pork Stew, p. 135. Depending on how this one comes out I might switch it out for Friday's main dish. It is a tomatillo based braised made with pork shoulder and lots of veggies (corn, zucchini, yellow squash).

                                                                              1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                Thanks, good to have some ideas for getting into this book--so many things look good.

                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                  Update on my recipes from Homesick Texan:

                                                                                  Carnitas - perfect recipe as written. Very flavorful.

                                                                                  Jalapeño Pinto Beans - I substituted 1 Serrano for the Jalapeño and I left it whole as I prefer the subtle taste this imbues. I really liked the flavor the vinegar/jalapeno juice added to the beans. The recipe was silent as to how much salt to add at the end. I will have to taste and adjust tonight when I reheat them. Any suggestions as to how much to salt pinto beans would be appreciated. I also plan on using the left over to try the recipe for Frijoles a la Charra, p. 123 later this weekend.

                                                                                  Pickled Carrots, Cauliflower and Jalapeños - Just tasted the batch I made last night - YUM! I am pretty impressed with myself.

                                                                                  Calabacitas - this is an outstanding recipe. I made it thinking it would go straight to the freezer but after tasting it I decided it would be dinner. Really loved this recipe but I would note it was much better immediately after it was made rather than reheated. Allowing the flavors to marry in this case muddled the results. Next time cook to the point of adding the veggies and then only reheat only long enough to take the crisp edge off the zucchini, 10 minutes or so. I only used 1 serrano and I did not find that it needed lime to finish the dish.

                                                                                  Recipes for Chowder and Salsa are still pending.

                                                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                    Another update with the results of the Salsa Fuego and the Green Chile Chowder.

                                                                                    Made the Salsa Fuego to go along with the Carnitas, Jalapeño pinto beans, and mini flour and corn tortillas. Outstanding. Used only a dash of sauce from the chipolte jar instead of a pepper as I was cooking for kids. The smoky flavor came through nicely and there was only a hint of heat. Would make this again in a heart beat. Makes a lot of salsa, would 1/2 the recipe next time.

                                                                                    Green Chile Chowder - Raining buckets her in So. California so a perfect day for soup! Again reduced the amount of hot peppers from 2 jalapeños and 4 poblanos to 1 poblano and 1 bag of TJ's tricolor roasted peppers. The soup came together easily and because of the lack of heat, did not feel the need to add the milk or cream, so a much healthy version. Whole family enjoyed this one.

                                                                                    This cook book is a keeper!!!!

                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                      Those dishes sound wonderful dk. That soup was the first recipe I flagged in the book. I was quite taken by those vibrant green chilies. I'm assuming they must be jalapenos however I've only ever seen dark green and red ones. Anyway, that recipe just looked so enticing and I'm so glad to hear it tasted great too. Thanks for sharing these dk.

                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                        You are going to love cooking out of this cookbook, BC.

                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                          It's in front of me as I type dk!! We're enjoying a late-ish Saturday night dinner, listening to some Jazz, sipping wine and imagining how these recipes will taste!! A sign of aging perhaps!! ; - )

                                                                                      2. re: dkennedy

                                                                                        Great reports. Any chance you can start a whole thread to this cookbook? I know I won't remember where your reports are posted. I know I've been fruitlessly looking for some random thread where people mentioned these blondie peanut brownies from a Gourmet magazine that I recently made.

                                                                                        1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                          I like that idea as well dk & bb!

                                                                                          Even then I wish Chowhound kept an inventory of the "cooking from "x" cookbook threads" - I try to remember to save them to my profile but sometimes I forget. Those and the COTM adjunct threads...

                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                            This is a great idea Breadcrumbs! It would be so useful.

                                                                                            I wonder if it would work if someone just started a thread with links to other cookbook threads. Requesting no chat, just links. We could just post the name of the cookbook and the link to the thread. There would have to be a cookbook added periodically to keep the thread bumped up, but it seems like people start cookbook threads frequently enough that it might work.

                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                              Thanks LN. I started a Cooking From Books thread some time ago and there was some initial activity but I think the trouble is these threads quickly get buried and are easy to miss. I'm not sure what the answer is but in my view these threads are the real treasures in Home Cooking and it would be nice to have a way to make them readily accessible.

                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                I'm a little confused - did you start a cooking from Homesick Texan thread or one about cooking from the books threads in general? I'd love to find the Homesick Texan thread if you've started one.

                                                                                                The search function on CH is a little clunky, but I do find it useful for those adjunct and cooking from the book threads, even if you have to wade through other stuff to find what you're looking for.

                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                  Hi LM. No, I haven't started a HT thread but I agree having one would be a good idea.

                                                                                                  A few months ago I started a "Cooking From Books" thread or something like that. I added links to threads I knew about where folks were cooking from certain books and then others added links as well. I thought it would be good to have one place to go w an inventory of books folks here have been cooking from. This would also be helpful as a reference for future COTMs as we could go to that thread, see if fellow hounds have cooked from that book then see what they thought of the recipes.

                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                    Wow, I would love to read through the Cooking From Books thread you started. Can you please post a link to it here when you have time? In terms of The Homesick Texan, I am reluctant to start an adjunct thread because I would really like to see it become a future COTM. It really lends itself to weeknight cooking and I know a lot of us are drawn to those kinds of books so we can fit it in during our busy weeks. But if you post the link to the Cooking From thread, I will repost my reports there. I am also going to make notes on EYB.

                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                      I think that one place to go for threads pertaining to certain cookbooks is great, but where to 'sticky' it?

                                                                                                      Going a bit further, would one be able to include a thread such as a cook book thread based on a subject, such as this thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/829403

                                                                                                      calls for a group of 'subject' cookbooks. Just saying because I often it a bit of a search for this particular thread.

                                                                                                      Gee, I can think of complications galore re 'subject cookbooks.'

                                                                                                      But I'd certainly love to see a particular place for a thread for certain cookbooks.

                                                                                                      1. re: Rella

                                                                                                        BC, just tried searching for your Cooking From Books thread without success. Even clicked on your posts and went back 6 pages! Did find the Smitten Kitten thread that way so thanks. When you have time.

                                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                          Ok, it took a bit of searching as LM mentioned above but I actually found it. btw, I actually started this thread almost a year ago!! My how time flies!!!

                                                                                                          Here's the thread and it does have some great info/links in it. If nothing else, perhaps we can add to it and try to keep it alive...or something like it. In the meantime, I remembered to bookmark it and, save it to my profile! Baby steps!!


                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                            I wonder if the mods would consider making a thread like this a sticky on the Home Cooking board. It would be so helpful to find cookbook threads and to add a link when a new one was started.

                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                              The alternative would be to Bookmark the thread on your computer...

                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                If we bookmarked our computers, that would help US find it, but not all the people who wouldn't otherwise see it.

                                                                          2. This thread is making me laugh. I don't see much progress yet on my tally sheet, but my Amazon wish list is certainly growing! I've even made one purchase, which I won't disclose, being impartial and all.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                  Just planting a seed for down the line, I'd love to see us do another backyard friendly book this summer. Our last grilling book (mario's) was a great cooking month for me. I think it is the most I have ever participated during the actual month we were all cooking from it. Probably had something to do with the fact that I had just bought a new grill that summer. I bought The Japanese Grill and The Big Book of Backyard Cooking recently so I am good to go.

                                                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                    I'd like to see Planet Barbecue get selected at some point.

                                                                            1. I've been AWOL for the last few months as just too overloaded to post, though of course still cooking dinner every night. But I do try to keep up with what is happening on COTM. And I'm prompted to post by the suggestions of Melissa Clark's books. I would definitely chip back in if you did an MC month. Her 'Cook This Now' was my favorite cookbook of last year. Everything I made from there was great. And I own 'In the Kitchen With a Good Appetite though I haven't cooked from it nearly enough.

                                                                              So I'm going into capitals! MELISSA CLARK MONTH - COOK THIS NOW & IN THE KITCHEN WITH A GOOD APPETITE

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                I have Cook This Now. Would love to cook from it, and am definitely intrigued that it's Jane's favorite cookbook of 2011.


                                                                                1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                  MELISSA CLARK MONTH - COOK THIS NOW & IN THE KITCHEN WITH A GOOD APPETITE

                                                                                  1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                    I started a cookbook report thread on Cook this Now. There are some bonus recipes at the end of this book from In the Kitchen. I've only made once from ITK (chile salted brownies), that my friend still talks about. I may have to break the "no repeating" dessert rule for book group because she's mentioned each month since I brought those brownies.


                                                                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                      I imagine there might also be a number of recipes from In the Kitchen... available online, as it stemmed from Clark's A Good Appetite column in the NY Times, did it not?

                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                        FYI -Cook This Now may be somewhat inaccessible as it is so new and Melissa Clark is hot, hot, hot! Just checked on Cook This Now in our library system (Southern California). 4 holdable copies and I am 15th on the waiting list! Still, people could cook out of ITKWGA.

                                                                                  2. Has everyone given up on the idea of MIGHTY SPICE?

                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                      I would also love to see MIGHTY SPICE become a COTM!

                                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                        Nope, I'll join you in the love for MIGHTY SPICE.

                                                                                        I will also throw in a ringer, which is RICK STEIN'S EASTERN ODYSSEY, which I want to have an excuse to buy. He is very well known in the UK as he does a TV show every year pretty much, focusing on different cuisines. He was first known for seafood, and has a restaurant in Padstow. I was looking through the Eastern book the other day in a shop, and it looks really great.

                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                          I have enjoyed watching Rick Stein. What does the Eastern Odyssey book cover?

                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                            I love Rick Stein's shows... In Rick Stein's Far East Odyssey he covers:
                                                                                            Sri Lanka


                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                              Sounds wonderful. Are the shows on here? BBC America? I haven't seen his name pop up on tv in a couple of years.

                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                I think the shows are not on in the US any longer. I remember we watched, here in Boston, on the PBS station and I think there were some on BBC America. But that was a few years ago. I believe we did watch this Far East series as well. His shows are the most beautifully photographed of any I've seen.

                                                                                    2. Sooo hard to decide with so many great ideas floating about! This month I think I'll nominate:

                                                                                      MELISSA CLARK MONTH - COOK THIS NOW & IN THE KITCHEN WITH A GOOD APPETITE

                                                                                      1. I'm just popping in here to remind folks that we have a bit under 24 hours until nominations close. They will be closed tomorrow (Thursday) morning at 10am (Pacific time). Lots of great suggestions so far, and no clear frontrunner.

                                                                                        If you're mulling, now is the time to capitalize your ideas!

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                          So torn, but I'm going to say
                                                                                          MELISSA CLARK MONTH - COOK THIS NOW & IN THE KITCHEN WITH A GOOD APPETITE

                                                                                          Since I plan on cooking out of it next month anyway.

                                                                                                  1. I can't remember if multiple nominations are okay at this point. I'm going to either add 660 CURRIES or replace homesick texan with that (Sorry for any difficulty, LN!).

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                                                      Only one vote in the final thread, but we haven't set a limit on nominations. Several people nominated more than one book, so no problem!

                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                        Well, if we can nominate more than one book--I also second:
                                                                                                        MIGHTY SPICE

                                                                                                        1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                          I think that we may nominate as many books as we reasobly want but the vote is restricted to one. Please correct me if I am wrong.

                                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                                        I don't quite understand myself.

                                                                                                        If I enter "660 CURRIES or THE SOUTH AMERICAN TABLE" and I've already nominated one of these once (in caps), will the one I've now nominated twice be counted twice - Isn't this a load on the 'countor" to make sure I've only nominated 'one book once.' Not to worry, I say - to myself.

                                                                                                        1. re: Rella

                                                                                                          No big deal. I'm keeping a running tally of books with the names of people who nominated them. I won't count you twice.

                                                                                                          I'm assuming here that you weren't hoping to have your vote counted twice!

                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                            Silly you ~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

                                                                                                            :-))) Thanks.

                                                                                                            No - just once for 660 CURRIES.

                                                                                                      2. CHLOE'S KITCHEN by Chloe Coscarelli, a rising vegan chef.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: squidly

                                                                                                          Considering the release date on that is just over a week ago, it isn't very realistic. It isn't a rule, but generally we prefer books that have been out long enough to be widely available and for there have been time for them to show up in libraries. Six months from now, it may be a different story. Might be neat to have a vegan book this summer paired with a grilling book.

                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                            My second nomination for April is:
                                                                                                            THAI MONTH
                                                                                                            Hoping to include the 2 books I already own and *Maybe* purchasing another, amen.

                                                                                                            (in any case, Mighty Spice already has it's own vibrant thread and Cook This Now has a nifty thread that beetlebug started. So there's quite a variety of cookbooks to cook from)

                                                                                                          2. MELISSA CLARK MONTH



                                                                                                            1. Nominations for April COTM are closed. Thanks to everyone for the great nominations!

                                                                                                              Please visit the voting thread here:

                                                                                                              1. If your favored book didn't make it, it's time to try again! The nomination thread for May is up:

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                  Good grief, May already? How can I be so far behind?