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Apr 10, 2012 11:23 AM

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:

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
            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

                  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.


                    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