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May 2012 Cookbook of the Month Nominations are Open!

Welcome to the nomination thread for the May 2012 Cookbook of the Month!
I know we're all having fun with Melissa Clark, and it's hard to focus on next month, but I think it's working out well to start the nominations around the 10th or 11th, and give folks plenty of time to locate the winning book.

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...

Please use this thread to discuss the merits of a book, ask questions, and nominate books you would like to see 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 5pm Pacific Time on Sunday April 15 (8pm April 15th on Eastern time, and 12 midnight GMT). At that time the books with the most nominations will advance to the voting thread.

I am looking forward to reading a new round of nominations, so let's get going!

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  1. I just got re-united with all the books I ordered during the last three months and would love to cook from one of them. Not all are good COTM choices - i.e. Cooking for One - but two could be good:

    THE FOOD52 - Amanda Hesser's compilation of recipes from home cooks that she collected while gathering recipes for The Essential NYT Cookbook. I noticed that 141 people posted the book on EYB. The book is organized by seasons and though has a number of pork and beef recipes, chicken, fish and vegetable are well represented.

    LIDIA's ITALY IN AMERICA. I should have gathered from the title what this book is about but did not; maybe, I just wanted to have a Lidia's book since I do not have any and love her PBS shows:) This book has Italian-American dishes that many of you grew up with. It has old favourites - mac&cheese, chicken/eggplant parmigiano, etc. - and is arranged in the Italian meal order - antipasti, zuppe, etc. There is a chapter on sandwiches (muffuletta) and pizza (Chicago deep-dish), very little on beef, lamb and pork, and substatial amount of vegetable, seafood and chicken recopes. There 70 people that have this book on EYB.

    The third book is THE CHEESEMONGER's KITCHEN. Only 18 people have it on EYB. There are 90 recipes representing all courses. Information about cheeses is facinating and wonderful to have between two covers. I bought it because of DK enthusiastic recommendation and will definitely try it out this summer. Hope to like recipes a lot. Right now apples stuffed with cheese and baked and grilled camembere are calling my name:)

    10 Replies
    1. re: herby

      Like Herby, I doubt there are enough of us out there at this point to gather enough enthusiasm to carry the vote for THE CHEESEMONGER'S KITCHEN but, if we could, it would be a fantastic COTM selection. For those of you who belong to TGC, buy this title next time the $10 sale comes your way, you won't' be sorry. Meanwhile, I'll keep hoping.

      1. re: dkennedy

        herby and dk, I'm with you, I recently got the Cheesmonger's kitchen and the recipes look so enticing. Hopefully once others add it to their shelves it will gain momentum as a COTM option.

        herby I have 7 of Lidia's books including this one and have found her recipes to be terrific. I'd love to have a Lidia month at some point and was stunned to find out that she's never been a COTM author. Good suggestions!

        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          Thank you! I made Lidia's Chicken Terrazzini on Thursday and it was very nice but left a pile of dirty pots behind:)

          1. re: herby

            Funny you should say that herby because one thing I've learned in cooking from Lidia's books is that her recipes are often excessively instructive. I suspect this is because a few of them are companion books to a PBS series and are meant to accommodate cooks of varying expertise and I've found that in some instances the instructions/steps can be condensed yet will still achieve delicious results. I don't know if you have any of Michele Scicolone's books on your shelves but for Italian, she's one of my favourites! Simply delicious.

            1. re: Breadcrumbs

              Is there a particular book you recommend by Michele Scicolone? I have enjoyed her French and Italian slow cooker books, and recently picked up "A Fresh Taste of Italy". Any others you think are especially good?

              1. re: MelMM

                I love The Antipasto Table. It's one of those books I turn to again and again whenever I'm looking for nibbles to put on the table.

      2. re: herby

        I really love the idea of Food52 (the web site would be accessible to those who don't own/want to buy the book). The three or four recipes I've tried so far have been hits at my house.
        I have made only one recipe, which I got online, from The Cheesemonger's Kitchen, but it was terrific. I'll be on the lookout for a deal on it at TGC.

        1. re: nomadchowwoman

          Food52 book + website would be fun -- so many great recipes on the site and accessible to everyone.

          1. re: Westminstress

            Yes, I have been hunting for a good indian recipe webpage.... Here are few which i would like to share https://sites.google.com/site/zhatpat.......
            Tarla Dalas's page

        2. It never ceases to amaze me how time flies! Here we go again!!!

          Before I give this more thought, I'd like to throw a question out there. Would there be any interest in re-visiting Sunday Suppers at Lucques? I often regret not being a Chowhound when that book was COTM and I hear such great things about it.

          I fully appreciate that some folks prefer not to re-vist but since there seem to be a few of us that weren't here then (2007 I think) I figured there was no harm in asking just in case others might be interested.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            Just fyi, BC, Sunday Suppers was originally COTM in May of '07 and was revisited as a selection
            in December of '08.

            1. re: Breadcrumbs

              It is a great (if fiddly) book. I like it a lot. I'd be thrilled to read any new reports. If you make something from it - please do post on the old threads. I'm never against re-visiting, although I do feel that I am in the minority on that.

              1. re: LulusMom

                Hi LM, I've been adding to the thread but it's lonely!!! ; - ) I thought it would be nice to have company. Joan raises a good point though. I didn't realize this would translate into a three-peat!

                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                  Sunday Suppers is among my favorite cookbooks. Why do you think of it as fiddly Lulu's Mom?

                  1. re: dkennedy

                    There are lots and lots of steps to most of the recipes. Despite this, I absolutely love the book and the things I have made from it. I pull it out every few months to see what next from my long "should make" list I want on that week's schedule of meals.

              2. re: Breadcrumbs

                I'd be interested in SUNDAY SUPPERS AT LUQUES too. It might also be fun do do an 'EPICURIOUS' month. There are so many recipes on that site that I've been meaning to try and haven't. Wouldn't mind David Leite book THE NEW PORTUGUESE TABLE, either.

              3. hope we can nominate additional books-
                any of tommy tang or luke nguyen books

                i just returned from vacation and have not cooked from any of this months book.

                Can it be extended for additional month?

                2 Replies
                1. re: jpr54_1

                  luke Nguyen

                  INDOCHINE
                  SONGS OF SAPA

                  David Thompson

                  THAI COOKING
                  THAI STREET FOOD

                  1. re: jpr54_1

                    jpr54_1 - the current books will be replace by something new on May 1st, but the threads don't go away. You can report on your efforts with the Melissa Clark books at any time in the future.

                  2. THE FAMILY MEAL: HOME COOKING WITH FERRAN ADRIA

                    A chef friend of mine tells me this book is incredible. The author was the chef at what many call the best restaurant ever. It has come down in price and apparently has some terrific descriptions and photos on all kinds of things in the kitchen and prep.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Tom P

                      Tom, I have this book and cooked a couple of things from it, all turned out well. It is a different kind of book - all instructions are pictorial in addition to text which, I found, takes a bit of getting used to. The book is organized by meals - don't remember how many and not at home to varify - 20+ as I recall. Large format makes it akward in the kitchen. "Family Meal" in a restaurant means a meal cooked for the staff to enjoy before the work starts - and this is what the book is about. I love that Mr. Adria gives the ingredient measures to serve 2, ... 75! And the numbers are not straight math that tells me that the recipes were tested and adjusted to serve few or many.

                      I would be happy to cook from it but won't last the whole month, which is just fine.

                      1. re: herby

                        hey! Thanks for all that, very good to know. Do you mean it doesn't have enough in it to support an entire month?

                        One other one I've heard about lately is :

                        MY FAMILY TABLE: A PASSIONATE PLEA FOR HOME COOKING by John Besh

                        1. re: Tom P

                          I can't see myself cooking from The Family Meal for an entire months but this is just me and foods that I do not cook. Great joice, though! John Besh, on the other hand, is not getting my love:)

                      2. re: Tom P

                        One of the most underwhelming cookbooks I have read in a long time. Nobody expects El Bulli like recipes but the recipes in the book are way too basic like for people who never before have seen a kitchen

                      3. THE FAMILY MEAL: HOME COOKING WITH FERRAN ADRIA

                        1. Since it's May, Cinco de Mayo comes to mind. And with that I'd like to nominate TRULY MEXICAN by Roberto Santibañez as the COTM.

                          We haven't done a Mexican book for a while and I've cooked some from this book to very good results

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: DiningDiva

                            This looks like a great book. I was very intrigued by it after reading reports on the Food52 piglet.

                            Edited to add: i could also see this being such a great book for late summer when local tomatoes, chiles, etc. are ripe.

                            1. throwing out MY BOMBAY KITCHEN, the Parsi cookbook by Niloufer Ichaporia King - been waiting for an incentive to cook fromthis one for a while.

                              Also would like to dig into Paula Wolferts THE FOOD OF MOROCCO (both editions) pehaps along with her CLAY POT COOKERY.

                              30 Replies
                              1. re: jen kalb

                                MY BOMBAY KITCHEN gets a lot of love in this house. Totally top notch recipes, and very different flavor profiles from other more well known Indian cooking, the Persian influence really shines through in her dishes.

                                And in a completely different direction, I'd still like to do an Iberian month with Jean Anderson's THE FOOD OF PORTUGAL and Andrew Colman's CATALAN CUISINE, two well respected authors and cultures COTM has never explored.

                                1. re: qianning

                                  The idea of an Iberian month is fascinating. Your suggestions of the Coleman and Anderson books is a good one and I'd like to throw The New Spanish Table by Anya Von Bremzen into the mix as well...

                                  I'm not sure whether or not I'd like all 3, a combination of 2 or just 1 of them though. We have juggled multiples in the past. Anyone have a thought about this?

                                  1. re: Gio

                                    I'm loving this theme as well...qianning thanks for the inspiration. I don't have Anderson's book but I do have The New Portuguese Table by David Leite and would love to cook from it. I also have and would love to cook from The New Spanish Table.

                                    CATALAN CUISINE is currently on the very top of a pile of "must use" books I'd pulled from my shalves recently so quite a coincidence to see it pop up here and I'm happy to nominate it.

                                    I'll take a closer look at the other 2 books tonight and will be back w another nomination.

                                    As a side note, I'm really excited to see so many new folks cooking w us this month. I was glancing through the threads last night and don't recall a time where we've had so many cooks in our COTM kitchen since I've joined.

                                    1. re: Gio

                                      Let's not forget the newish Roden book, THE FOOD OF SPAIN. I'm anxious to cook from that one. I could go for either a Spanish month or a Portuguese month. For the latter, I'd like to pair the Anderson book with the Leite book.

                                      1. re: MelMM

                                        It be particularly intererested in CATALAN CUISINE, Jean Anderson's FOOD of PORTUGAL or MORO, in an iberian month. I took the Anya Von Bremzen book out of the library and its graphics drove me nuts (sort of like the Greek book). I have FOOD of SPAIN, unfortunately, its not as interesting as I hoped.

                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                          I took MORO out of the library on the suggestions of a few of you (dkennedy comes to mind) and it looked wonderful. I had to take it back, but made note of a number of recipes I'd like to try. I'll probably only be cooking for about half of May, but I'd love the chance to cook a few of the things from it.

                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                            I could get behind MORO, perhaps in conjunction with SEASONAL SPANISH FOOD by Jose Pizarro. I didn't particularly like Catalan Cuisine when I found it in a second hand bookshop recently, and it didn't find a space on my (groaning) shelves.

                                          2. re: jen kalb

                                            sorry for any confusion, but the one i was intending to nominate was MORO:THE COOKBOOK
                                            http://www.amazon.com/Moro-The-Cookbo...
                                            They have several cookbooks out there now and the names are confusing..
                                            I guess if there were availability issues (just define that and tell me how this could be less available than that British Breakfast Lunch Tea book we did a couple years ago) the nomination could encompass all of their books.

                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                              I did have a bit of a problem getting it. My library didn't have it, and it took a little over a month to get it from elsewhere in the state (and it seems it was the *only* copy in the state of NC). So that is kind of a problem, I'm guessing, for most people. But I definitely found a lot to like about it.

                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                Looks interesting, but......zero library copies state-wide here, and not too many available on amazon either.....do lots of folks already own this?

                                                1. re: qianning

                                                  Yeah, there are no copies of Moro in my who interlibrary system, either.

                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                    its very uncommon that the british books are picked up, unfortunately.

                                              2. re: jen kalb

                                                there are no copies in the brooklyn library system. there is one copy in manhattan but it cannot be checked out.

                                          3. re: Gio

                                            I am excited about the prospect of an Iberian month or just Spanish. The recipes in Moro (Moro East and Casa Moro) look exciting, but I'm not sure how available it will be to others. I have Seasonal Spanish Food (one of my favorite new Spanish cookbooks based on reading the recipes only), Catalan Cuisine, New Spanish Table and Roden's Food of Spain and would support any of those books and maybe have a companion thread for other Iberian Spanish cookbooks(like Jose Andres).

                                            1. re: BigSal

                                              I wonder if we could just do an iberian month or Spanish month and have threads for veg meat etc? there isnt any one book that is carrying a consensus here

                                              1. re: jen kalb

                                                There is actually one book that has more nominations than any other, but it's early in the game. People are welcome to bring ideas to the table, about an Iberian month, or a combination of books. I don't see anything quite like that in the COTM history (although Japanese month was a bit similar, with two books), but there are certainly months featuring more than one book.

                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                  I'd be totally up for that. It would be a lot more free form than the usual COTM approach, but it might be a great way to compare across several different authors books. Perhaps worth trying at least once!

                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                    I would like to make a formal nomination - IBERIAN MONTH - SPAIN
                                                    leaving the opportunity for a Portuguese month for another occasion.

                                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                                      I'm going to start asking for a little clarification here, as this thread is getting mighty confusing. I don't want to have to start asking questions in the last few minutes before the nominations close.
                                                      We've got 25 different books nominated, and some thematic suggestions also, which would include some of the individually nominated books.
                                                      jen - are you actually nominating a Spanish month, excluding Portuguese cuisine (but including Catalan)? Are you envisioning the inclusion of all Spanish recipes, or a particular book or books?

                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                        Oh my goodness LN, 25 books!! I feel for you, is that a record I wonder? It seems like there are fewer folks posting too so I wonder what's going on.

                                                        In my case, time is a constraint so I need to cook from a book that offers some quick & easy weeknight options (bravo to Melissa Clark this month!!) or a cuisine I'm familiar enough with that I'll be able to pull dishes together without too much thought. Unfortunately that limits my options.

                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                          I'm envisioning inclusion of all spanish books that people choose to discuss since clusters of people seem to have individual books and there isnt a universal fave. Since Spain is a country with many "canonical" recipes, there seems to be an opportunity to discuss the differences between particular versions of the same or similar dishes.

                                                          1. re: jen kalb

                                                            I am ready to get behind SPANISH MONTH as long as I could cook from Claudia Roden's book.

                                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                                              Your vision is perfect for getting a well-rounded view for Spanish cuisine, but for me personally I'd be a bit disappointed to lose some of the feel for the books that we get by focusing on one book (or even two). I've found the archives incredibly helpful for getting a feel for books before buying when I'm interested in trying new cuisines. I have a harder time though in the threads where books are mixed. I don't know if that's just my issue though or if others feel similarly. (From a completely selfish standpoint, I'm also more interested in Moro because it doesn't seem to be pure Spanish cuisine. I'm not sure how some of the recipes would then fit into this framework.)

                                                          2. re: jen kalb

                                                            I'm up for SPANISH MONTH (which would include all Spanish Cookbooks except Penelope Casas which already has been a dedicated COTM) and maybe breaking up into sections like tapas, salads, vegetables, soups/stews, meat/poultry/fish and desserts. But if we are sticking to books, MORO and SEASONAL SPANISH FOOD sound good. But I also like the idea of Truly Mexican (recipes look great and easy to make on a work night) and Homesick Texan (although at first glance, the recipes seem a little heavy ).

                                                            1. re: BigSal

                                                              I feel the way TxnlnMtl does above, that when we cook from several books at once I get a lot less out of the discussion. My nomination still lies with MORO if we are going Spanish, THE HOMESICK TEXAN if we go the other way. There are three MORO books so I think if we were going to add variety, that would be the way to go.

                                                            2. re: jen kalb

                                                              I'm going to go along with SPANISH MONTH. It might be a bit confusing not to have a specific book or couple of books, but I think we can pull it off and have a good thread. We have done threads on grilling books, and the slow cooker thread, for example, that had people contributing out of many different books. So I know it's possible.

                                                              Homesick Texan is a nice book, but I agree with BigSal that the recipes are predominantly heavy stuff. I wouldn't mind doing it in conjunction with another book of lighter fare. Truly Mexican also looks fantastic. I just ordered it. Would love to do a Mexican COTM soon.

                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                Im fine with MORO, (all the books if that makes sense) obviously, it just didnt seem to be getting the weight behind it and there are some persistent voters for some other spanish books. If we went with Spanish, Id certainly be looking to cook from MORO

                                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                                  We can always do an adjunct thread.

                                                    2. re: qianning

                                                      What recipes do you like from My Bombay Kitchen? I've only made the everyday dal, which I like, and I have my eyes on the allium confit and tava peas in another month or so. Am wondering what else is good?

                                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                                        I've had a lot of success with her basics like the the spice mixes (ginger garlic paste, garam masala, dhana jiru), the Kachumbars & Raitas. Also the meat curries, especially Savory Braised Lamb (wonderful easy comfort food, and particularly good made with goat), Bombay Curry, Green Curry, Savory Braised Chicken w/ Aromatics, Cashew Chicken. One thing I particularly like is that she gives lots of options, with good tweaking instructions, on how to use different meats and veggies as variants on her basic recipe. Also like her Everyday Dal, Braised Greens, and Eggplant Stew. Really the only recipe that didn't work for me was her chapattis, but I have yet to find a chapatti recipe that I can't destroy, so it is probably more me than her in the chapatti department.

                                                  2. One book I'd really like to cook from as a group effort is:

                                                    The Food Matters Cookbook: Lose Weight and Heal the Planet with More Than 500 Recipes by Mark Bittman.

                                                    It's a book that focuses on less meat and more whole grains and vegetables with an eye toward sustainable, locally grown, least processed foods. All good for the planet, and for us. Many recipes have meat included but as a secondary role instead of the being the star of the show. Here's a link to a few of the recipes...
                                                    http://content.markbittman.com/recipes

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      I could definitely get behind this one.

                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                        I am finding it hard to get behind any of the titles put forth so far. I am not a big fan of Mark Bittman (try as I might to like him) and I have heard mixed things about the El Bulli Cookbook.
                                                        MORO is a beautiful book but i recall it was found to be somewhat inaccessible last time around. I am going to shop on my shelves and come back with some suggestions. For now, I'll leave you with two:

                                                        THE HOMESICK TEXAN (mentioned last time)

                                                        ONCE UPON A TART (lots of salads, brunch items, and of course, tarts)

                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                          dkennedy - You've got Moro in caps, which suggests a nomination, but your text indicates otherwise. So just to clarify, are you putting in a nomination for Moro?

                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                            MORO - nomination. I would be up for it.

                                                      2. re: Gio

                                                        Whoops! I just gave my copy away. I'll have to get another one.

                                                        ~TDQ

                                                      3. So far I'm liking:
                                                        Pizarro's Seasonal Spanish Food...
                                                        The Clark's The Moro Cookbook
                                                        Anderson's The Food of Portugal
                                                        And, of course Food Matters

                                                        To DK: I'm not much of a Bittman fan either, however, I have made recipes that we actually enjoyed. And in this book, Food Matters, he encourages substitutions and variations instead of scurrying all over the kingdom searching for unobtainable or out of season ingredients.

                                                        1. I have not participated in this voting before so I don't know if you have featured a Thai cookbook recently, but "Gourmet Thai in MInutes" by Vatcharin Bhumichitr, ISBN 978-1-904020-74-8, is now sitting open on my desk with me (a tyro at Thai cooking) wondering which of these beautifully illustrated "inspirational recipes" I should try first!

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: DonShirer

                                                            If you want to nominate the book, you need to put the title in all caps.

                                                            I have Thai Vegetarian Cooking from 1991 by the same author. Bought it when it was just released and have seen fit to hang onto it all these years. I used to use it a lot. I don't know why I never looked into his more recent books.

                                                            1. re: MelMM

                                                              Thanks, Mel. GOURMET THAI IN MINUTES. Is that loud enough?

                                                            2. This is a reply to DonShirer:

                                                              A discussion of the possibility of having a Thai COTM was heavily discussed during last month's nominations for April. See here...
                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8381...
                                                              and the following posts.

                                                              I have The Taste of Thailand by Vatcharin Bhumichitr and like it immensely but have only made a few recipes from it.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                I am for doing Thai in the summer when the lightness of the food is attractive and I can use the basils etc from my garden.

                                                              2. I've been curious about MORO after it was previously discussed and I think this would be a good excuse to push myself over the edge towards it.

                                                                Although I think it's a long-shot from how the conversation is shaping up so far, THE HOMESICK TEXAN.

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                  I'd love to do Homesick Texan, but not in a month when I have very little time to cook. Might make sense in the height of summer (I nudge selfishly). And I *think* that might give more libraries the chance to get it. If I remember correctly, it is still relatively new. For instance, it isn't at my library, although I'm lucky enough to own it.

                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                    The height of summer is more representative of Texas weather to me, so that seems like excellent reasoning. As far as selfish goes, I was thrilled Melissa Clark won this month as it's a very easy book to work with when cooking with a broken wrist.

                                                                    1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                      Dying for an excuse to buy this book (Homesick Texan) as it's not in my library... I think many recipes are online, too.

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                      1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                        Eeegggh, sorry to hear about your wrist. But I'm wondering why the Melissa Clark is easier to work with this way?

                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                          I've found most of her recipes to be fairly quick and simple. I was more interested in doing a Thai or Indian month (still love 660 Curries), but making spice mixes and longer lists of ingredients does add significantly to kitchen complexities for me right now. I also haven't had as much energy for cooking, so straight-forward recipes that require ingredients I have on hand (and suggest many substitutions) has been perfect.

                                                                          1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                            OK, that makes total sense. And you're right - for the most part her recipes are pretty easy with lots of flavor.

                                                                  2. Just pulling some books of the shelf from my "COTM-worthy" list. Do any of you have:

                                                                    Honey from a Weed: Fasting and Feasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades and Apulia by Patience Gray

                                                                    The sticky note I put on the front of the book says...."everything sounds delicious"!

                                                                    1. I am all for a Thai month, but I am secretly hoping that it won't be next month. For me, next month will be my own personal Puerto Rican food month. I will be cooking from two books using local ingredients.

                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                                        Will you share your adventures and let us enjoy your cooking vicariously?

                                                                        1. re: BigSal

                                                                          SMTucker,

                                                                          Which Puerto Rican cookbooks will you be cooking out of?

                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                            I have chosen two books. The first is "Puerto Rican Cookery" by Carmen Aboy Valldejuli which was translated from its original Spanish. The second book is "Daisy Cooks" which is the companion book from her PBS show.

                                                                            Since I don't speak Spanish, I thought I needed some books to help figure out how to cook some of the fruits and vegetables that are sold at the local market. [Wish I could ask the vendors how they would prepare, but it is a remote area so I don't expect a lot of English skills.]

                                                                            1. re: smtucker

                                                                              Valldejuli's recipes are great, enjoy!

                                                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                                                Uh Oh.... I want PUERTO RICAN COOKERY

                                                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                                                  smtucker, I couldn't resist purchasing Puerto Rican Cookery and would love to hear what you cooked from it when you get back. I also have - Puerto Rico True Flavors by Chef Wilo Benet but I've never cooked from it. I believe it was a thrift store find. I hope you have a wonderful trip. I've never been to Puerto Rico but it's on our list.

                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                    Smtucker, I have Daisy Cooks.. And am very interested in learning more about Puerto Rican cooking too :-)

                                                                            2. re: smtucker

                                                                              Very interesting! I'm curious why you've designated next month as Puerto Rican month. If there's a chowish reason for that, I'd love to know it. (Don't want to invade your personal life, though, so please don't feel put on the spot if you're not up to explaining.)

                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                That is where I will be.... doing a little house swap.

                                                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                                                  OMG how fun fun fun! I think it would be really fun to cook along with you (or, in my case and with my recent track record, read along with you) and get your reports in situ!

                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                              2. I'm dying for an excuse to buy HOMESICK TEXAN or DAISY COOKS :-)

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Blythe spirit

                                                                                  THE HOMESICK TEXAN! It is a terrific, terrific book.

                                                                                2. I'm excited to see this gaining momentum as I think it would be a great COTM and the recipes totally appeal to me.

                                                                                  THE HOMESICK TEXAN

                                                                                  1. I have been busily gardening instead of cooking in the past few days. I would love to do a "garden to table" type book if there are good ones out there (maybe later in the summer as harvests start to come in for everyone). I just requested Herbfarm Cookbook from my library and am excited to have a look at it. Anyone a fan of that book? I have always heard great things about the restaurant, but never been. It seems to get some positive reviews on CH... but not a lot of discussion

                                                                                    For May, I am on board with FOOD52 book and website. Easily accessible and something for everyone.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                      I received Herbfarm Cookbook for Christmas, but haven't had much of a chance to cook from it yet (although we did try the pork tenderloin with red pepper sauce recipe and that was excellent). I'd be interested in exploring it more once the weather gets a bit warmer here and herbs are more plentiful.

                                                                                      1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                                        I also have Herbfarm Cookbook on my shelves. I bought it based on another COTM discussion some time back. I would love input as to what to start with. I have never cooked out of it and for whatever reason have been unable to get into it up til now.

                                                                                      2. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                        Love the Herbfarm Cookbook. I've had it since it first came out. Can't say that I've made many recipes from it, but I have definitely used it for inspiration. He also has a newer book out, The Herbal Kitchen. The pair would make a nice COTM, perhaps this summer.

                                                                                        1. re: MelMM

                                                                                          Glad to hear there are fans of the cookbook. I will keep it in mind for a possible summer COTM.-- I will check out The Herbal Kitchen, too. I've heard that that one is a bit more weeknight friendly.

                                                                                      3. If a general Spanish month is chosen, that will include "Moro The Cookbook", right?

                                                                                        1. As Spanish Month was suggested-
                                                                                          I would ike to nominate THAI OR VIETNAMESE MONTH-
                                                                                          using books suggested this month or last months titles for thai

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                            Just FYI - in Sept. 2008 we did two different Vietnamese books (you can check the archives at http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m... - it was one of my favorites, and a complete surprise. I really loved both books and highly recommend them.

                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                              I love both of those books. That was a great month.

                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                          2. I’m very much averse to the idea of considering an entire category of cuisine as COTM since it essentially defeats the original purpose of all of us cooking and comparing notes on the same recipes from the same book or books. As MelMM mentions, there have indeed been threads on grilling and slow cookers--but they weren’t COTM selections. To my way of thinking, such an all-inclusive “selection” would be only a step removed from the What’s For Dinner Threads and could lead to Scandinavian month then perhaps Fruit month?

                                                                                            With that in mind, I’ll nominate either THE NEW SPANISH TABLE or THE FOOD OF PORTUGAL (although truth to tell, after ten weeks in Guatemala I’ve kinda had my fill of frijoles and chorizo and will probably spend at least part of the month indulging in my beloved Dunlops).

                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                              I have to agree completely with Joan. What differentiates COTM from so many other threads on chow is the specificity. When COTM is at its best, we all learn things as a group. An error in process? Someone else steps in. Think the spices can be more or less? Everyone is referencing the same source material and can adapt. How would we have assembled our Malaysian pantry without each other?

                                                                                              I don't really see where the community is when you have 12 people cooking from 11 books.

                                                                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                Honestly, I think the focus just shifts a little. What is it that differentiates the potato omelet in one book from the other and makes it better. I think that a cuisine based month could have a slightly different focus on the recipes and help us think about why we prefer the books and authors writing on a cuisine that we do. Finally, one reason we havent done Spanish since Casas is because there is no consensus around a particular Spanish book. Its not like this cuisine is one of the major ones that we might want to address over and over. People even complain about too much Italian sometimes, and there is just a lot more there.

                                                                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                  11 books?
                                                                                                  Just an FYI here, EYB lists 512 Spanish books.

                                                                                                2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                  THE NEW SPANISH TABLE, Anya Von Bremzen (only)

                                                                                                  I just scanned 50 recipes from the book and didn't find mention of either chorizo or frijoles. LOL. Welcome back...

                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                    Thanks, Gio. That's a relief. Book is home and I'm not (yet) and other than recalling that I thought it would be a good COTM at some point, I have little recollection of the specifics.

                                                                                                  2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                    Everything Joan says makes complete sense (as usual).

                                                                                                    On a different note, my heartfelt sympathies to you L. Nightshade.

                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                      Thanks LulusMom. I appreciate it. Whew! It's a wild one.

                                                                                                    2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                      Ironically one of my most and least favorite COTM's was Penelope Casas (Spanish) month when there were four official books. My recollection of that month is that I was practically cooking alone (and I was cooking from 3 out of the four books) even though when I look back at the threads, there were actually a lot of posts overall. But if felt so scattered. For that reason, I always felt Casas got the short-shrift, COTM-wise and have always wanted to do a re-visit. Funnily enough, the proposal on the table for a Spanish month would be the perfect occasion for me to revisit, though it would be even more scattered than the original "Spanish" month. But, I don't know. We have a new batch of COTMers these days. Maybe people can make it work.

                                                                                                      I'd sure love to do New Spanish Table or Food of Portugal or Casas or Food of Spain... Or, more likely, I'd love to sit from the sidelines and watch you all cook from all of those books. HA! I'm such a mess these days. I feel that all of these amazing books that I actually own are being cooked from and I'm just watching it all march past. Oh well. I'm sure there will be more cooking days in my future. Hopefully some of them in the spring of 2012!

                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                        There seems to be momentum around a Spanish month. Maybe voting could encompass a choice between general Spanish month and a several specific books? Though I would love to have an alternative to Moro because the books and recipes are not widely available.

                                                                                                        Could those who are familiar with the other Spanish books tell us more about them?

                                                                                                        Of the other options suggested, I think food52 is great though perhaps similar to Melissa Clark month. Homesick Texan would be way too heavy for me, I probably wouldn't go beyond beans and salsa. Id love to do truly Mexican in August or September when the markets are filled with tomatoes and chiles.

                                                                                                        1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                          I am happy to report on my experience with THE FOOD OF SPAIN. It is a good reading book - about 25% of it is devoted to chapters on historical influences on the Spanish food and discussion about regional differences.The recipes section is divided into logical sections - tapas, stocks, fish, poultry, etc. All sections have an introduction to the food featured in the section. Most recipes have an introduction and some include variations. There are many stories throughout the book and most recipes are photographed. Everything I made from the book with the exptions of Chocolate Walnut Cake I loved. I made Tune Empanada which my Chilean friends loved, very simple but delicious Eggplant Fritters, Green Sauce with Cilantro (great with fish), Meatballs in Almond Sauce (outstanding!) and Almond Cake - very simple, light and flavourful. I have many recipes marked to make soon - Chicken with Peppers and Tomatoes, Chicken and Shrimp with Almond and Chocolate Sauce (this one intrigues me), Fish and Seafood in Saffron Bechamel, Eggplants Stuffed with Meat (calls for pork but I will make with either veal or turkey), Leek Tart and a few others. This not a book of heavy recipes - lots of interesting vegetable, fish and seafood dishes as well as bean and rice ones.

                                                                                                          Hope this is helpful.

                                                                                                          1. re: herby

                                                                                                            herby thanks for such a thoughtful and helpful review. I have this book but haven't cooked from it yet. Your post has inspired me. Thank-you!

                                                                                                    3. LN, hats off to you, this has to be the most diverse and irreverent nomination thread I've seen so far. So many combos suggested and so many books. Is it fair to say we'll have a voting thread or, if a leader emerges do you feel you'd declare a COTM?

                                                                                                      1. Skimming and counting *very* quickly, "Moro" is in the lead with 9, then "Homesick Texan" with 6, "Catalan Cuisine" and a general Spanish month both have 4. Every other title has just one all-caps mention, or 2. So far.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                                                                          I agree we need to help narrow the field. If it helps, I'll gladly withdraw my nomination for DAISY COOKS until it's time for a Puerto Rican month :-).
                                                                                                          Thanks LN, for taking on this task.

                                                                                                        2. For those hankering for Catalan food, I've been making this for years. It's easy, and we love it.
                                                                                                          http://www.inmamaskitchen.com/RECIPES...

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                            pikawicca thanks so much for sharing this link, that sounds exceptional and I can just imagine how amazing the aromas will be as the dish simmers away. Thanks for sharing this, I'll definitely make this dish.

                                                                                                          2. Re Breadcrumbs voting question - I think we'll definitely need a voting thread. blue room is correct that Moro is currently the individual book in the lead, and Homesick Texan is second. I don't count as many noms for either book as blue room does; there are some posts where the book is written in caps while discussing it, but the writer has already had their vote for that book counted once.

                                                                                                            There are a few nominations for the categories of Iberian and/or Spanish books, but there is not a consensus on which books those should be. Some noms include Portugal, some do not. There is also some dissent as to whether selecting a cuisine instead of a book is in the spirit of the COTM.

                                                                                                            That's where things are at right now; we've still got over 24 hours to go!

                                                                                                            {{º_º}}

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. SEVEN FIRES, Francis Mallmann

                                                                                                              1. I'm going to nominate THE FOOD OF SPAIN, which is very well- reviewed. I like the idea of an Iberian month, but I also like concentrating on one, or at the most, two books at a time. Rodin's book has lots of recipes and looks really interesting.

                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                  I own Food of Spain yet its one of those huge padded-out books I cant get excited about.Have a hard time believing its the best of the spanish books we might choose if we have to choose a single one.

                                                                                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                    <"I own Food of Spain yet its one of those huge padded-out books I cant get excited about.">

                                                                                                                    That's exactly why I prefer The New Spanish Table by Anya Von Bremzen. (Whose first name I misspelled upthread). Solid recipes with detailed instructions along with historical and contemporary references.

                                                                                                                    Personally, I really do like cooking from one book per month rather than multiples. The biggest mistake I made for a COTM was to buy all three Japanese books we cooked from in January thinking I'd immerse myself in the cuisine and overcome my intimidation. Didn't work. I really didn't do justice to any of the books. I do much better cooking from just one book at a time. Even when there are two books usually one grabs my attention more than the other.

                                                                                                                    LN... I wish you Good Luck sorting out this nomination thread but given your past performance you are definitely up to the challenge.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                      We could always do an adjunct thread for "other Spanish cookbooks." The adjunct threads lately seem to be a good way of enabling us to choose just one book, while allowing people to explore other related books.

                                                                                                                      I too own Food of Spain and would love to delve into it. But, I can see it's not a book that inspires easily. I know Caitlin, herby and others have liked what they've cooked from it, so I'm hoping it will be worth an investment of my time.

                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                        Yes, that has certainly worked in the past. It gives folks, me especially, to read how others like a similar book and decide whether or not to buy it.

                                                                                                                2. NEW SPANISH TABLE by Anya Von Bremzen and Roden's FOOD OF SPAIN.

                                                                                                                  I'm nominating NST bc I was recently gifted this book by another HC hound (thanks!) and FOS because that books seems to be mentioned most in this thread.

                                                                                                                  I think a broad spanish month would lead to unfocused discussion as well as low participation. This has happened in the past (Julia Child and Leite's Culinaria months, I'm looking at you).

                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                    Ditto to NEW SPANISH TABLE and FOOD OF SPAIN.

                                                                                                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                      Does the New Spanish Table look doable for someone who doesn't eat pork or shellfish? Or is there very little left without those ingredients? Just curious as I love Spanish food but so much of it is off limits for us.

                                                                                                                      1. re: ElenaRose

                                                                                                                        ElenaRose, I see here
                                                                                                                        http://www.amazon.com/The-Spanish-Tab...
                                                                                                                        that the book has lots left even if you leave out pork and shellfish.

                                                                                                                        1. re: ElenaRose

                                                                                                                          ElenaRose, I hope I can assuage your concern about the pork and shellfish recipes in TNST:

                                                                                                                          Of all the meat recipes that I quickly scanned there are just 4 that where pork is the main ingredient. Chorizo does figure as an ingredient here and there and there are a few recipes calling for either pancetta or jamon but in the past I have no had trouble substituting spicy turkey or chicken sausages, and in extreme cases even smoked paprika worked. It seems that poultry of all varieties have the majority of recipes and yes, there a several of shellfish but those can easily be ignored in favor of many other seafood recipes.

                                                                                                                          I'm almost positive you can go to the Eat Your Books website and on the Library page key in the title and see all the ingredients in each recipe in the book...
                                                                                                                          See if this works first though:

                                                                                                                          http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/1...

                                                                                                                        2. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                          I'll go along with the combo of NEW SPANISH TABLE and FOOD OF SPAIN.

                                                                                                                          There seem to be many partisans of the former, but I own Roden's book, so I want it included. Moro definitely sounds intriguing, but it's inaccessible to me as a library book and I won't be buying anything this month

                                                                                                                        3. Excited to see the momentum building for a Spanish COTM since I missed Casas's month, but have cooked quite a bit from her books. I will add NEW SPANISH TABLE and/or FOOD OF SPAIN to my nominations and remove Seasonal Spanish Food ( I'd still love to cook from this book) in the hopes we can get closer to a consensus and maybe have a companion thread for other Spanish cookbooks (Pizarro, Andres, Mendel, etc).

                                                                                                                          1. I have an old (1969) Time-Life Foods of the World copy of "Recipes: The Cooking of Spain and Portugal".
                                                                                                                            Maybe I'll get chance to use it!

                                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                              Please stick Moro in somehow for those who have it. It is a fantastic book and, I suppose, could be bought over the Internet from Books for Cooks, London.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Fuffy

                                                                                                                                I am not trying to tilt the conversation toward any book, but just so people have the full information, Moro is not exclusively a UK book; it is a available in the US on Amazon for $18.15.

                                                                                                                                Fuffy - if you are submitting a nomination for Moro, you must put it in capital letters to be counted.

                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                  When I went on Amazon there were three different 'Moro' books. Does anyone have a recommendation for a particular one ( I'm thinking of trying it in any event).

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Blythe spirit

                                                                                                                                    I've been assuming that the nominations in this thread are for "Moro: The Cookbook" as opposed to the sequel books. But I suppose we should get some definite clarification as to whether that is the book people are nominating.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                      Yes- I seem to remember some mention of a Moro month ( kind of like what we're doing this month with Melissa Clark) - so it would be good to know exactly. They have three different books - Moro , Casa Moro, and More East - at least that's what was listed on Amazon.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Blythe spirit

                                                                                                                                        Currently people nominating Moro are just writing "Moro." So, as stated above, I am counting those noms as for "Moro: The Cookbook." If anyone has a different intent, please mention the full title/titles of the Moro book/books.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                          I meant the first Moro (not in caps since nomination is already in above). Thanks, and again, best of luck with this. Godspeed L. Nightshade!

                                                                                                                                    2. re: Blythe spirit

                                                                                                                                      Moro: The Cookbook is the original one, Casa Moro the second. Both are excellent but if I had to recommend one it would be the first one.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                        Greedygirl - Thanks -I don't have the budget or the room for more than one new cookbook :-)

                                                                                                                                    3. re: Fuffy

                                                                                                                                      I think I will jump in and nominate THE NEW SPANISH TABLE.

                                                                                                                                  2. Side note: I was looking through Moro, New Spanish Table and Food of Spain to review the recipes (just in case I had to decide between one of the three) and I noticed the layout of the New Spanish Table was reminiscent of The Olive and the Caper. It turns out that both books were published by Workman Publishing.

                                                                                                                                    1. Oh my goodness.....just peaking in after being immersed in house-guests over the weekend, and my head is spinning trying to make sense of it all. LN, my heart goes out to you.

                                                                                                                                      1. Nominations for the May 2012 COTM are now closed. Please stay tuned, as there will be a slight delay before the voting thread goes up. I will be performing a final "audit" of this thread before I post. (I postponed doing my taxes until today, so I have numbers coming out of my ears. I think my taxes were easier than this tally!) I will post the link to the voting thread here as soon as it is up and running. Thanks to all of you enthusiastic participants!

                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                            I missed this whole thread. I'm wondering how I can make/sticky certain threads that I've not posted onto to actually show up on my profile page, somehow; or do I have to look at Home Cooking each day to see what's been posted.

                                                                                                                                            Whether I missed it or not, it's good to find it and be able to vote.
                                                                                                                                            Thanks for all you do. Cooking AND computing.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                              Unfortunately, there's no way to make a thread you haven't posted to show up on your profile page. The best you can do is make note of the nomination period and notice that L. Nightshade has bumped the noms thread to announce that the voting thread is up. I'm glad you found it in time to vote!

                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                "I'm glad you found it in time to vote!"

                                                                                                                                                Me, too, TDQ. Thanks.