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May 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Including Post Mortem Discussion: "Food of Spain" and "Moro: the Cookbook"

L.Nightshade Apr 30, 2012 09:25 PM

Welcome to the May 2012 Cookbook of the Month! This month we will be cooking from Claudia Roden's Food of Spain, and Sam and Sam Clark's Moro: the Cookbook.

If you haven't ever participated in the Cookbook of the Month discussion, we hope you'll give us a try in April. We have a lot of fun, and we learn from each other's experiences. The basics of COTM, and the archive of past books, can be found here:
http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_month_archive

If you are curious about the selection process, and the accompanying discussion, the nominating thread is here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/843409
And the voting thread is here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/844307
Also, there is quite a bit of information, and links to recipes, to be found in the announcement thread here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/844918

For enhanced camaraderie, and for ease of comparing dishes, this month our books are divided into only four threads, based on types of food. You can report on recipes from either book in these threads, and compare and contrast similar dishes. The page numbers for Moro are from the 2011 paperbound edition, if your pagination is different, please go by the chapter titles. I believe there is only one edition of Food of Spain, so we should all be on the same page with that one, so to speak.

I tried to keep the contents of the threads aligned as much as possible. For example, FOS's chapter on egg dishes went under the tapas thread, because Moro includes the tortilla under tapas. But do expect that there will be some overlap, and some contradiction in these threads, because the divisions in the books are not identical.

Here are the links to the reporting threads:

The Tapas and First Courses Thread is here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/846987
Including:
Food of Spain - Tapas, pages, 147 - 167
Food of Spain - Egg Dishes, pages 195 - 205
Food of Spain - Savory Pies and Tarts, pages 207 - 223
Moro - Tapas and Mezze, pages 21 - 52
Moro - Fish Starters, pages 11 - 106
Moro - Meat Starters, pages 107 - 134
Moro - Vegetable Starters, pages 135 - 158

The Soups, Vegetables, Starches, and Legumes Thread is here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/846988
Including:
Food of Spain - Soups, pages 169 - 193
Food of Spain - Salads and Vegetables, pages 225 - 295
Food of Spain - Rice and Pasta, pages 439 - 481
Food of Spain - Beans and Chickpea Stews, pages 483 - 499
Moro - Soups, pages 53 - 76
Moro - Rices, pages 159 - 176
Moro - Vegetables, pages 227 - 246

The Fish, Poultry, and Meat Thread is here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/846989
Including:
Food of Spain - Fish and Seafood, pages 297 - 347
Food of Spain - Poultry and Game, pages 349 - 391
Food of Spain - Meat, pages 393 - 437
Moro - Fish Main Courses, pages 177 - 200
Moro - Meat Main Courses, pages 201 -226

The Miscellaneous Thread is here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/846990
Including:
Food of Spain - Stocks and Basics, pages 123 - 131
Food of Spain - Dressings and Sauces, pages 133 - 145
Food of Spain - Desserts and Pastries, pages 501 - 577
Food of Spain - Drinks, pages 579 - 588
Moro - Bread, pages 9 - 20
Moro - Sauces and Dressings, pages 247 - 260
Moro - Puddings, pages 261 - 279

As an adjunct to the above threads for the COTM, BigSal has kindly posted a Spanish Month Companion Thread for cooking from other Spanish cookbooks. Please visit that thread here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/846970

In addition to using the above threads to report on specific recipes, please feel free to use this thread for general impressions, menu ideas, ingredient sources, and links to online recipes. Also, please come back to this thread to share some of your general impressions and opinions of these books. Your input can be very helpful to future COTM members and cookbook shoppers!

The Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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  1. Breadcrumbs May 1, 2012 04:39 AM

    Thanks so much LN and what a thoughtful approach to organizing the threads. When I looked at the books I thought they were fairly dissimilar so kudos to you for pulling this off. As I said on the adjunct thread, having gone through each of these books page by page, I definitely found far more dishes that appealed in Moro. That's why I love these COTM's though because often others find hidden gems you'd otherwise miss.

    Big thanks to you for making this month happen in such a responsive way. I truly feel that ther's something for everyone this month.

    1. r
      Rella May 1, 2012 04:47 AM

      Thanks for the tremendous job of sorting through the two books for our posting efforts.
      I was looking online for any recipes from the "Moro: the Cookbook." I looked through the discussion thread and didn't see any links to any recipes - I may have overlooked any links.

      Here is a recipe link to Bulgur, Celery and Pomegranate Salad Recipe

      http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Rella
        Caitlin McGrath May 1, 2012 09:29 AM

        JoanN provided this link to many Moro recipes (or at any rate, their names and the site where they can be found via a search) in that thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8449...

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
          LulusMom May 1, 2012 02:11 PM

          I had good luck in finding both the recipes I have made so far on the web. Because I very much appreciated other people adding links they found to specific recipes last month, I'm going to try to do the same when possible (please, memory, let me remember to do this). It was so helpful to me when others did it - thanks to all who did.

      2. jpr54_1 May 2, 2012 10:11 AM

        www.spanishfood.about.com

        1. w
          Westminstress May 2, 2012 08:45 PM

          If anyone in the NYC area is looking for a copy of Moro, I ordered it through interlibrary loan but got it from another source. I just heard that the book came in, but I no longer need it. Maybe someone else would like to check it out if that's allowed? Let me know and I can give you more details.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Westminstress
            d
            dkennedy May 5, 2012 10:46 AM

            I have a question about how to cook frozen butter beans that I will be using in a salad out Moro. No directions on the package are given and I don't want to over or undercook them. Thoughts?

          2. Caitlin McGrath May 7, 2012 09:36 AM

            Here's a link to this month's companion thread for other Spanish cookbooks (so it can be found after this month): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/846970

            2 Replies
            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
              L.Nightshade May 7, 2012 11:39 AM

              It's also in the body of the main text above. I thought it might get hard to find if it was down in the response posts!

              1. re: L.Nightshade
                Caitlin McGrath May 7, 2012 12:08 PM

                Oops, thanks L.Nightshade, I missed that.

            2. jpr54_1 May 8, 2012 04:13 AM

              I have a suggestion for an additional category for COTM

              ingredients-where to find? websites, markets, etc.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jpr54_1
                LulusMom May 8, 2012 05:25 AM

                I think we normally use the master thread (the one with the links to the other threads) for discussing ingredients, etc. This was especially helpful during Dunlop month (at least for me) because so many of the ingredients were new to me.

              2. L.Nightshade May 10, 2012 02:45 PM

                FYI, nominations for the June cookbook are now open here:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/848648

                2 Replies
                1. re: L.Nightshade
                  d
                  dkennedy May 11, 2012 02:19 PM

                  My copy of Casa Moro just came in at the library. Tonight I am planning on trying a very interesting lamb stew featuring lamb shoulder, paprika, chard, white bean and coriander. Should I post in the Companion thread or in the regular Moro thread under the appropriate section?

                  1. re: dkennedy
                    blue room May 11, 2012 02:51 PM

                    The companion thread for cooking from Casa Moro--
                    and lamb stew is too rare in my house...

                2. jen kalb May 27, 2012 08:42 PM

                  If anyone lives in Brooklyn and is interested in nora chiles, or what I think are noras, at any rate, you should check out Coluccio's on 60th St which is selling these gorgeous, burnished burgundy items ($39 a pound, in long strings, they will sell as many or few as you need

                   
                  1. Breadcrumbs May 30, 2012 04:23 PM

                    With the end of the month fast approaching it doesn’t look as though I’ll have time to be cooking any more Spanish meals so I thought I’d share my reflections on the books and meals of the weeks past.

                    For me this was simply “Spanish Month” and I treated it as an opportunity to cook from all my Spanish cookbooks. I did go through each of the COTM’s page by page to tab recipes that piqued my interest. It was immediately apparent that Moro contained an abundance of tantalizing dishes however, since many were not true Spanish recipes, I bookmarked most of them for another day. On the other hand, Food of Spain seemed to underwhelm me. Few recipes truly inspired me. I did tab a handful of recipes. I then created a “Spain” bookmark in EYB and searched all my Spanish books for recipes throughout the month. I tried to give priority to the COTM’s but in the end, one book truly stood out as a “go-to” resource for amazing Spanish dishes. “Tapas Seasonal Small Plates from Spain” by Joyce Goldstein was a fairly recent addition to my cookbook collection and has certainly earned its place on my shelf. There are so many recipes in this book I want to make (almost all of them really), there’s just no way I’ll be sending this book back to the bookshelf in June, I plan to give it a coveted spot on my tiny kitchen bookshelf and intend to continue cooking from it. I also managed to cook a few dishes from some of my other Spanish books and of those, The New Spanish Table was another standout with a number of recipes that appeal however time got the better of me.

                    Here’s why I love the COTM; I’d never have purchased Moro if it hadn’t been in contention as a COTM. I hadn’t even heard of it and as it turns out, I just love the book; it took me completely by surprise. This month we also learned how much we love Spanish cuisine. We’ll definitely be adding more of it to our (normally Italian-leaning) menus going forward. Finally, as always I ended up trying a number of dishes that wouldn’t otherwise have been on my radar but for the enticing reviews by all the amazing cooks in our COTM kitchen!

                    Here’s a bit of a rundown on the some of the books I cooked from:

                    Food of Spain – made 4 dishes. 1 great, 2 good, 1 meh
                    Moro – made 7 dishes. 6 great, 1 good
                    Tapas Sensational Small Plates from Spain – made 6 dishes, all great…outstanding even!

                    I’d love to hear other thoughts on the month if anyone has time…

                    39 Replies
                    1. re: Breadcrumbs
                      LulusMom May 30, 2012 04:27 PM

                      Great and helpful post. Can you give me some idea of just how meaty (porky especially) Tapas Sensational Small Plates is? I've had great tapas in some parts of Spain and in other parts everything had pork, which I don't eat. I'd be on the book in an instant if it was even half pork/red meat-free.

                      1. re: LulusMom
                        Breadcrumbs May 30, 2012 05:13 PM

                        LLM, thanks so much I’m glad this was of some use. I’d highly recommend Tapas. I’d say there are about 60 – 75 recipes in the book and if anything, the book has more of a vegetable and fish/seafood focus. There are about 13 w pork however, in several of those recipes, Ms Goldstein offers a non-pork/meat variation. As a matter of fact, the “variations” are one of the things that I really like about the book. The book also has wine recommendations for every dish and there’s a great “Shop-and-serve” section that contains a variety of tapas that you can make from ingredients you already have in your pantry. I can’t say enough good things about the book. I think I may have posted this on another thread here but this book is fast becoming one of my favourite cookbooks. I really like Ms Goldstein’s engaging writing style. Each recipe is nicely and sensiblly presented, all have head notes and, as I mentioned above, many have variations. I purchased my copy from Abes and though I can’t recall how much it cost, I’m sure it was under $10.

                        1. re: Breadcrumbs
                          LulusMom May 31, 2012 02:33 AM

                          Thank you so much for that info. I'm definitely going to look into this book, and into her Mediterranean one too.

                          1. re: LulusMom
                            LulusMom May 31, 2012 08:10 AM

                            Just put the tapas book in my cart on amazon - looks great. Thanks so much BC.

                            1. re: LulusMom
                              Breadcrumbs May 31, 2012 05:06 PM

                              Enjoy LLM, once you get a chance to try something please post in the adjunct thread, I'd love to hear about it if you have time!

                              1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                LulusMom Jun 1, 2012 03:45 AM

                                Will do. I ordered it yesterday and it should be here Monday. I'll be away for the second half of June, so I won't get a chance to try anything (or certainly not much) until after that. But I can't wait to sit down with it!

                      2. re: Breadcrumbs
                        L.Nightshade May 30, 2012 04:40 PM

                        I love this kind of post, especially when I'm looking through the COTM archive to see how people responded to a cookbook. I love Joyce Goldstein, and I've been cooking out of her Mediterranean Kitchen since about 1989. I'll keep that tapas book in mind.
                        My schedule grew beyond my control this month, and I think I've only done ten or twelve dishes (which is probably the sum total of my cooking for the month!). I'm not really drawn to the Texas book (at least not yet), so I hope to continue with some Spanish recipes in June. I have enjoyed recipes from both Food of Spain and Moro this month, and a couple from two other Spanish books. But I admit, I've only been doing the ones that seem quick and easy!

                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                          Breadcrumbs May 30, 2012 05:20 PM

                          Thanks LN. Sorry this month didn't play out as you'd hoped. I can definitely empathize. My work schedule is fairly unpredictable and I will be travelling a lot in the months ahead so I truly appreciated being home for most of May and being able to cook w friends here. Funny you should mention JG's Mediterranean Kitchen because I just ordered it over the weekend given how much I'm loving this Tapas book and, that the book rec'd such positive reviews.

                        2. re: Breadcrumbs
                          blue room May 30, 2012 06:00 PM

                          I cooked mainly from The New Spanish Table, 7 or 8 recipes probably. I know what you mean about the dishes that are not "true Spanish recipes". But if the author decides to put a chicken-and-apple-cider dish in her Spanish cookbook, I'm certainly not in a position to judge! (Ditto the "Magdalenas" I made -- very widely enjoyed in Spain I read, but also a pretty generic little teacake!)
                          Breadcrumbs, do you entertain a lot? I wish I could take advantage of the whole book every month, but it just isn't practical. This has to be a Communist Cooking exercise for me -- from each according to her ability to each according to her need! I figure never mind that I don't achieve fancyfood every meal -- I've been exposed to SO delicious much!
                          I was thrilled to have made a tuna empanada this month -- new to me --though I'm still puzzled by the largely taste-free paprika, the unsmoked stuff -- though I understand that red is good :)
                          I enjoy all the posts, (holy kamoly, what a resource this is -- the COTM threads *are* a cookbook, for sure.)
                          I hope everyone can find something of interest in the Homesick Texan recipes.

                          1. re: blue room
                            L.Nightshade May 30, 2012 06:16 PM

                            I love this:
                            "This has to be a Communist Cooking exercise for me -- from each according to her ability to each according to her need!"
                            And it's exactly the reason why people should participate even if they think they can't cook a lot of the recipes during the month. I have months that I love the cookbook, but I'm working overtime every day, but it's still wonderful to read the reports and go back to prior COTMs.
                            And regarding paprika: I guess I've never had good smoked paprika. I got some at the Spanish Table in Seattle, and as soon as I shook a tiny bit in to the dish, the kitchen exploded in a rich, smokey aroma. That alone makes this month's COTM a gift to me.

                            1. re: L.Nightshade
                              blue room May 30, 2012 09:22 PM

                              Yes! Even a one-phrase comment or sentence adds to the whole.
                              I find things here from years ago that are worth keeping.
                              And every month I've learned so much, so much has been brought. to. me.

                            2. re: blue room
                              LulusMom May 31, 2012 02:32 AM

                              blue room, I'm with you on the "from each according to her ability" business. There are some months when I just don't get that much cooking time, but if possible I still try to cook along, or cook to old COTM threads. And I have learned so much here.

                              1. re: blue room
                                Breadcrumbs May 31, 2012 05:03 PM

                                Hi blue room. Like others, I enjoyed reading your post. To answer your question, I don't really entertain all that much. I used to entertain fairly frequently; sometimes with lots of guests (50+) and I'd say I learned a lot from that experience, especially how to optimize use of my time.

                                Like most folks here, I love to cook so most often, it doesn't feel like work. That said, I've learned that during the week, where most nights I'm not home until 7pm at the earliest, I'm usually far too tired to cook anything labour-intensive so I try to plan menus and have meals fully planned, on the ready or almost prepared for weeknights.

                                I probably prepare at least 97% of the meals we eat so there are lots of opportunities to cook from COTM's....sadly, time is what I'm usually lacking!

                              2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                herby May 30, 2012 06:53 PM

                                Very thoughtful and engaging post, BC! I am always amazed how different our tastes are as a group and how some books, that people rave about, leave me completely cold:) I have cooked from JG "Solo Suppers", loved many recipes and there still some (i.e. Persian Soup with Meatballs) that I go back too. Will definitely look into her Tapas book, thank you, BC, for the suggestion!

                                I took Moro out of the library and tried to find something to make but nothing inspired me. Pomegranate syrup dressing that many of you raved about did not make a grand impression on me and my family (I had to try it on them!) said it was "nice" meaning it is perfectly fine if you never make it again. Go fugure...

                                On the other hand, I made many recipes out of FoS and none dissapointed. Some were better than others. The eggplant fritters that someone complained about were well liked by my dinner club and completely different audience at my daughter's get-together - they just dissapeared, I got a partial one that my six-year old grandson, lover of veggies, did not like; my SIN is asking for them every weekend now:) Tuna empanade, meatballs in almond sauce, almond cake, etc. are worth repeating over and over and some already have been:) At first, I would read Roden's recipe and think "this is too plain to taste great" but I was wrong every time. Now I almost trust her, still doubting a bit:) I will continue cooking from the FoS, not exclusively, as there are other books, cuisines, recipes to try but quite a bit.

                                I am thinking that it would be great to make my own "My Favourite Recipes, 2012 Edition" book of recipes from current and past favourites. The book could be revised every few years and the recipes that stopped being favourite, taken out, and the new favs added to the new addition. I think the reason that I can't ever finish a cookbook for my kids is because I keep discovering new recipes but then stop liking some after 2-3 preparations. Very sorry to have gone off the topic:(

                                I am not interested in the Texan cookbook - might change my mind along the way after reading your gashing reviews but this remaines to be seen:)

                                I think BC started a very useful thing - an overall summary of recipes, techniques, complexity, etc.; suggestions of other good books on cuisine/topic. We should try to do it other COTMs - maybe a separate thread that could be accessed from the main thread? Could be very useful for people considering the book - hard and time consuming to go through most threads and if there is a summary thread, it would be easy to use.

                                1. re: herby
                                  blue room May 30, 2012 09:10 PM

                                  herby I'm amused by your typos -- but maybe not typos? "Go fug ure" and "gashing reviews" ... ?
                                  Anyhow, please don't dismiss the Texan Book -- my first try will be http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/201...

                                  1. re: blue room
                                    herby May 31, 2012 05:26 AM

                                    Oh, definitely typos - maybe too late in the evening or one glass of wine too many:)

                                  2. re: herby
                                    LulusMom May 31, 2012 02:35 AM

                                    I am working on a spreadsheet of favorite COTM recipes, also marking down those I still want to try (really ought to have a column for "eh"). I find it really useful because sometimes I forget about things I've absolutely loved and should be repeating.

                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                      BigSal May 31, 2012 04:07 AM

                                      I have a spreadsheet like this too. It's a great way to keep track of all of the recipes made and yet to make. And like you LLM (thinking about your recent posts from Italian Easy), I've repeated recipes that I'd already made before and forgetten that they were meh (a bummer when I do this) or excellent. I'm hoping that we can compile another end of the year list of favorities from 2012 COTM like this one (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/819939).

                                      1. re: BigSal
                                        LulusMom May 31, 2012 08:06 AM

                                        (smacking forehead) Yes, yes, that business with remaking the cauliflower from Italian Easy - why oh why didn't I look at my spreadsheet?? Otherwise (rolling my eyes at myself) it is a really useful tool. And I'm glad to hear I'm not the only obsessive here.

                                      2. re: LulusMom
                                        The Dairy Queen Jun 1, 2012 02:59 AM

                                        I use EYB for this, bookmarking my recipes as "favorites" for ones I've tried and loved, "recommended" for ones that other chowhounds have tried and reported loving that I'm interested in trying, and "want to try" for the ones that look interesting but that I haven't heard anything about. I also have an "avoid" category for recipes that I have tried and don't like or that get really bad reports from others.

                                        ~TDQ

                                      3. re: herby
                                        Breadcrumbs May 31, 2012 05:13 PM

                                        Hi herby, thanks for your kind words. I like your idea of 2012 COTM's Greatest Hits...my spreadsheet is plotted, thanks! I also totally agree with you about loving the diversity of opinions, tastes and preferences here...it's one of the things I love the most about CH.

                                        As I type I have the HT in front of me and I'm flagging recipes for the month ahead. For those of you who won't be cooking along, I look forward to reading of your posts in the past COTM threads.

                                        1. re: herby
                                          The Dairy Queen Jun 1, 2012 03:10 AM

                                          Herby, I hope you join us for HT because I swear THIS is the month I'm jumping in, though, looking at my schedule it might be later in the month.

                                          We used to do a "post-mortem" after the month was closed, which I was a big advocate of. People would post their overall impression of the book(s), compare & contrast to other books, list their favorite/least favorite recipes, and share general tips/things they learned.

                                          This was, I think, during MMruth's reign as organizer/queen.

                                          We tried it a couple of different ways: 1) we had an actual post-mortem thread that was stickied for about a week that we asked the mods to edit a link for back into the master/index thread for us AND 2) just having the mods just edit the old master/index thread's title to say "POST MORTEM DISCUSSION NOW OPEN" and the "old" month's thread stayed stickied for about a week.

                                          Both methods required involvement from the mods, but it wasn't a problem I don't think.

                                          Honestly, I think neither of these really caught on. But I really thought it was valuable and wish we'd do it again. My preference is be for a separate post-mortem thread that is stickied for about a week and then edited into the master thread because then it would be easier to find. On the other hand, if you're just updating the master/index thread, it's going to pop up on more people's MyChow pages and they might be reminded to post to it. So, I guess I prefer the latter. Maybe have people post to the master/index thread and preface their comments by saying "POST MORTEM" to make their comments easier to find?

                                          Maybe this idea's time has come again?

                                          We've done several of those "COTM recipes so good you keep repeating" threads. What I like about those threads is it draws out those recipes that have stood the test of time... So even if we do regular post-mortems, we should also do those other kinds of threads occasionally, too!

                                          ~TDQ

                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                            LulusMom Jun 1, 2012 03:48 AM

                                            I'm all for a post mortem thread each month.

                                            1. re: LulusMom
                                              L.Nightshade Jun 1, 2012 09:42 AM

                                              Do you think we can use this thread for the post mortem? Right now we have so many threads that discuss the books, starting with the nom thread, to the voting thread, the announcement thread, and this index thread. IMHO, I think it would be nice if people came back to this thread at the end of the month, since this is the thread that will pop up when one uses the COTM archive. So if you're curious about a past COTM, you can go to the archive and bring up a lot of discussion with one click.

                                              1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                The Dairy Queen Jun 1, 2012 10:31 AM

                                                I think we could certainly use this thread for post-mortem. In fact, some folks already have! Maybe everyone else could preface their comments by saying POST MORTEM so we can find them more easily later. You could also email the mods and ask them to resticky this point and add "POST MORTEM DISCUSSION OPEN" to the thread title and leave it up for a week or so. Then, in a week, emaIL them again letting them know they can take it down.

                                                ~TDQ

                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                  L.Nightshade Jun 1, 2012 03:25 PM

                                                  I reported this thread to the mods before I saw your post, just asked them to add Post Mortem Discussion to the title. I don't see a need to take it down, as people could cook from these books in the future, and come here to add their opinions. And this is the thread that will pop up when one clicks on the archive, so it should be easy to find forever.

                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                    The Dairy Queen Jun 1, 2012 03:35 PM

                                                    Sorry, I was unclear. By "take it down after a week" I meant "unsticky" it after a week. Surely the mods --and all of our fellow home cooking hounds--won't approve of us leaving all of the COTM's master/post-mortem threads stuck to the top of the home cooking board for all of eternity.

                                                    ~TDQ

                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                              w
                                              Westminstress Jun 1, 2012 07:55 AM

                                              I love this idea. I frequently go back to the old threads. If I'm looking at a book that was COTM a few years ago, it would be great to get a quick sense of how people liked the book, if there are any standout recipes, etc.

                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                herby Jun 1, 2012 08:55 AM

                                                Great ideas here, TDQ! I am all for the post mortem monthly thread .

                                            3. re: Breadcrumbs
                                              herby May 30, 2012 07:16 PM

                                              I just ordered "Tapas" from Abebooks - how can one go wrong with $7 and free shipping?! While I was there, got Fish Without a Doubt that I wanted to buy for a while and now that my daughter eats only fish, tofu and beans for protein, how could I not?:) Oh, well.. two great books for $20 - I will have lunch at home tomorrow instead of going out as planned and my accounts will even out:)

                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                BigSal May 31, 2012 04:20 AM

                                                This was a fun month of cooking for me. My favorite COTMs are the ones when we delve into a specific cuisine. Although The Food of Spain did not wow me, I'm glad it brought us together to cook Spanish Food. I have much more to try from Moro, but I was drawn more to the Muslim Mediterranean dishes rather than the Spanish dishes, so staying true to the month's theme, I held off on the non-Spanish recipes. Having falling in love with Spanish food many years ago, I used this month to determine my favorite version of Spanish classics (tortilla de patatas, ensaladilla rusa, pinchos morunos, patatas bravas, etc), but only hit the tip of the iceberg.

                                                1. re: BigSal
                                                  Breadcrumbs May 31, 2012 05:21 PM

                                                  I really enjoyed reading your posts BigSal and look forward to cooking more dishes from Moro w you in the months ahead.

                                                2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                  jen kalb May 31, 2012 07:28 AM

                                                  I had less time than I had hoped for to cook, but I am expecting to continue with these books into June and beyond. Maybe even the ice cream with the malaga raisins... I had nominated the Moro book and was pleased with the results - FOS is coming across better than I had expected, which was a pleasant surprise.

                                                  Only thing Im sorry about is that I still find I dont like smoked paprika that well - but knowing that, I can cut down its representation in the recipe.

                                                  1. re: jen kalb
                                                    Breadcrumbs May 31, 2012 05:22 PM

                                                    mr bc isn't keen on that smoked flavour either jen. Do you like chipotles? He's not a fan of those either.

                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                      jen kalb Jun 1, 2012 09:54 AM

                                                      in moderation. There is a bayless recipe with chipotles I do like.

                                                      I just think the flavor can be a little dominating, and can be overdone, especially when it appears in so many dishes.So Im planning to tone it down by subbing part unsmoked pimenton and see if that works better. Sort of a Cooks Illustrated (two similar ingredients when one would do) sort of approach, but I think it would help me.

                                                  2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                    m
                                                    MelMM May 31, 2012 07:59 AM

                                                    I love it when people summarize their impressions of the month's cooking. Unfortunately my participation was curtailed this month by a family matter that kept me out of town for most of the month. What little I did make was from Food of Spain, and I enjoyed it very much. I'll look forward to continuing to explore that book, as well as Moro. When I got back into town, instead of focusing on getting a few more meals out of Spanish month, I leapt ahead to next month, and have made a few things out of The Homesick Texan. I have more travelling in my future for June, so I figured I should try to make something while I can. BC's recommendation has induced me to buy the Goldstein Tapas book - not that it took much convincing. I have some of her other books and have always been pleased with them.

                                                    1. re: MelMM
                                                      Breadcrumbs May 31, 2012 05:26 PM

                                                      Mel, so sorry this month didn't play out as you'd expected and hoping all is now well on the home front. I'm really looking forward to cooking w you in June, most everything in the HT appealed to me and I can't wait to read about the dishes you've already made.

                                                      Looking forward to hearing what you think about the Tapas book, I honestly love it.

                                                    2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                      t
                                                      TxnInMtl May 31, 2012 05:49 PM

                                                      I have to admit, I'm still not that enthused by Spanish food, even after this month's COTM. To be fair, I didn't have as much time to cook this month as I would've liked. I also went with Moro because the other influences in the book interested me more than the Spanish theme. All told, I only made 9 recipes from Moro this month. They were all good or outstanding (except for 1 disaster that was more due to my poor substitutions than anything else), but I still find myself gravitating back to other cookbooks. I hope I'll find some time in the fall to go back to Moro, but I don't think Spanish cuisine will be joining our regular rotation any time soon.

                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                        greedygirl Jun 2, 2012 02:43 PM

                                                        I've really enjoyed getting to know Moro again. One of the first cookbooks I bought but I hadn't used it for quite a while. I'm not a Homesick Texan either so will probably be carrying on with Spanish for a little while, with some Fuchsia Dunlop and Diana Henry thrown in for good measure.

                                                      2. Gio May 31, 2012 09:28 AM

                                                        To quote BigSal upthread, "My favorite COTMs are the ones when we delve into a specific cuisine."

                                                        Initially I thought I would absolutely devour The New Spanish Table, but when I read the recipes more carefully they just seemed too complicated the time frame I had. However, the recipes we cooked from The Food of Spain turned out perfectly. I love Claudia Roden's close attention to detail without making the dish more intricate, I have 3 other books of hers, so I was happy with just about everything. Since The Homesick Texan holds no special appeal to me I'll continue to cook from the Spanish books I have and also continue with The Olive and the Caper which we found to be very much to our liking. When our local Farmers' Market open in a couple of weeks I'm going to make a concerted to revisit Fish Without a Doubt... a family favorite.

                                                        In all fairness to HT, I did find a small handful of recipes on her blog, namely a few spice blends, chicken, and salads, that I'll try. And, as usual, I'll be reading the reports to see how all y'all are doin'.

                                                        15 Replies
                                                        1. re: Gio
                                                          Breadcrumbs May 31, 2012 05:49 PM

                                                          If you're cooking from FWAD Gio, I may join you for a few dishes ( w fishes!) as I have a lot of sides tabbed in the HT.

                                                          1. re: Gio
                                                            herby May 31, 2012 06:35 PM

                                                            I finally ordered Fish Without a Doubt (love the title!) and would love to cook from it. I wasn't here when it was COTM and have not heard about until joining CH. A little intimidating but since my daughter hardly eats meat/chicken these days and both of us enjoy fish, I would love to expand my fish cooking repetoire beyond the Victory Garden:)

                                                            HT does not interest me much and I would love an early summer vegetable book to cook from along side FWAD - any ideas?

                                                            1. re: herby
                                                              k
                                                              Karen_Schaffer May 31, 2012 10:57 PM

                                                              I love Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop. Lots of interesting treatments for a big variety of vegetables. Some are mains, but many (most?) are sides, so it would be a perfect companion book.

                                                              My only complaint is that he adheres to the silly technique of wrapping beets in foil and roasting them whole. It's so much faster, easier, and more delicious to peel them first, slice or dice them, toss with oil, S&P, and then roast! So I automatically make that change for any roasted beet recipe. His roasted beet salad with walnuts and goat cheese on a bed of beet greens is fantastic and gets raves whenever I make it.

                                                              1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                                herby Jun 1, 2012 09:04 AM

                                                                I just put a hold on Bishop's book at the library and will stop by to pick it up. Thank you for sharing your beet roasting technique - I have never tried roasting beets "naked" and will try it this weekend - planning Greek style menu and this salad should go well.

                                                                1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                                  r
                                                                  Rella Jun 1, 2012 06:54 PM

                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8515...

                                                                  I haven't looked at his roasted beets recipes, but as I don't like whole beets wrapped in aluminum foil, I have baked several whole in a pan in a 425F oven without peeling, adding a very small amount of water and a cover, whether it be a regular cover for the pan, or an aluminum foil cover. I have read but can't remember that people do whole beets in a slow cooker somehow, but I've never tried it myself - yet.

                                                                  I think they taste different than if they are peeled first, tossed with oil and roasted. I like them both ways. The first way I mentioned I think they are better 'plain' if one chooses to do a different recipe with.

                                                                  Just an opinion.

                                                                  Oops, I forgot to say that I just did his recipe for the celery, shallots, etc., too yesterday. Celery recipes are nothing to get excited about, but I had two packages of organic celery I knew I had to use up - and I used the leaves, too.

                                                                2. re: herby
                                                                  LulusMom Jun 1, 2012 03:50 AM

                                                                  The Asian slaw recipe in FWaD is one of my go-to sides now. If you like fish sauce and lime, you'll like it.

                                                                  1. re: LulusMom
                                                                    herby Jun 1, 2012 09:08 AM

                                                                    I love fish sauce and limes and almost always have both on hand. Will try the slaw when my book comes in - it's been shipped, so, should be arriving soon.

                                                                3. re: Gio
                                                                  The Dairy Queen Jun 1, 2012 03:48 AM

                                                                  HA! Well, I may join you for FWAD this month. I pulled some catfish out of the freezer yesterday in anticipation of Homesick Texan month. I mean, a Texan cookbook has to have a catfish recipe, right? Well the only catfish recipe in the book and blog is a breaded and fried one. It looks delicious of course, but I'm not big on frying, especially with a toddler running around.

                                                                  I've been meaning to try those catfish sloppy joes from FWAD. Tonight might be the night!

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                    LulusMom Jun 1, 2012 09:55 AM

                                                                    I cannot wait to hear how you like them. I seem to remember (and forgive me if this is wrong, I havent' had a chance to check the link) that only Gio tried them. I had them on my list and just never got to them. They certainly sound interesting though.

                                                                    So the little Dairy Prince is running around the kitchen these days? Awesome! Fun, fun stage.

                                                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                                                      The Dairy Queen Jun 1, 2012 10:27 AM

                                                                      Yes, the Prince is quite the runner. It's funny because it seems to me that he flings his feet in front of him in order to propel himself forward, so it's amazing to me how much speed he can muster that way.

                                                                      Of course, all of this running means he must do even more eating. He can sometimes hoover down as much breakfast as my husband can. He's quite the little chowpup, especially if we go out to eat. He finds going out to eat so very interesting that he will eat anything we put in front of him. At home, he's a little pickier, but still a good eater. I'm sure he'll be partaking of catfish sloppy joes...

                                                                      We've taught him to signal that he's "All done" by throwing his hands up "Touchdown!" style, but what we've realized is that when he says he's "All Done" that just means he's done with being confined to his highchair. He'd like to continue eating, but while roaming free. Quite the power struggle...

                                                                      For some reason, I thought JoanN also tried the catfish tacos. Now how I can possibly think I remember that, I dont' know. I haven't check the FWAD thread lately either.

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                        LulusMom Jun 1, 2012 11:43 AM

                                                                        Your memory is probably better than mine!

                                                                        I am laughing at the touchdown arms to signal being finished! Hysterical. And I'm thrilled to hear, but not at all surprised, that he is such a chowpup. Congratulations! Not having to worry about where you go to eat is such a bonus.

                                                                      2. re: LulusMom
                                                                        The Dairy Queen Jun 2, 2012 06:59 PM

                                                                        We liked these Catfish Sloppy Joes (from Fish Without a Doubt) a lot, though I don't actually have a copy of the book yet (I finally broke down and ordered it last week). I used a version of the recipe that appeared in Esquire, mostly because it allowed you to used bottled BBQ sauce. We used a local brand we like a lot. We all really loved this, even the little one, well, especially the little one. What's interesting is that it was very flavorful without losing its essential catfish flavor. http://www.esquire.com/features/guy-food/catfish-sloppy-joe-recipe-ll-0308

                                                                        This version recipe doesn't seem to call for topping the catfish with potato chips, but we did that anyway!

                                                                        We've got this pulled pork recipe from Homesick Texan website queued up for tomorrow. http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/201...

                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                          Breadcrumbs Jun 2, 2012 07:09 PM

                                                                          Wow DQ, that looks great. I'm guessing you made the rub today and will let the meat marinate overnight? This isn't a recipe she's included in the book so I'll be keen to hear what you think. I've bookmarked the blog though, tks for that link!

                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                            The Dairy Queen Jun 2, 2012 07:42 PM

                                                                            Doesn't it look fabulous? I couldn't find the recipe in Fain's book, so I think it's a website only recipe. Exactly, I made the rub today so that it can marinate overnight. I'm might cook it in my crock pot depending on how crazy my day starts out tomorrow but otherwise I'll follow the recipe as is.

                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                              greedygirl Jun 3, 2012 02:30 AM

                                                                              Thanks for pointing out that recipe, TDQ. I am (she says immodestly) famous for my pulled pork round these parts (it's not a British thing at all, although you do see it occasionally now in London). Am going to have to make this version as a special birthday treat for Mr GG (the only time he gets it!).

                                                                  2. w
                                                                    Westminstress Jun 1, 2012 02:57 PM

                                                                    POSTMORTEM thoughts: Like many, I didn't have as much time to cook from these books as I intended or would have liked. Among the recipes I didn't get to try were a paella, Claudia Roden's meatballs with almond sauce, and the pomegranate duck breasts from Moro.

                                                                    I cooked from Food of Spain and Moro, both obtained through the library. Most things I made turned out pretty well, but at the same time, I feel no need to purchase either of these books. I had to return FOS, but will have Moro for a little longer, so I may try a few more recipes.

                                                                    Of the recipes I made, the only potential repeaters came from Moro. These included the Butter Bean and Warm Chorizo salad (loved this), the Harissa Roast Chicken, and the Tahini Marinade also for chicken. And don't let me forget the Dressed Acelgas, which I actually have already repeated.

                                                                    My favorite aspect of this month was not any recipe in particular but some new ingredients that I bought and loved: a really good quality sherry vinegar, good quality smoked paprika (unlike some, I loved this flavor and definitely want to find more uses for it), and a very delicious harissa (again, must find more uses for this)!

                                                                    As we head into June, I'm not sure how much time I will have for COTM. I am now in heavy baby preparation mode, and of course who knows when baby will actually arrive. But as I am actively trying to stock the freezer, there is at least some pulled pork or carnitas in our future. I will be following the threads anyway, and hope to be able to post now and then.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Westminstress
                                                                      jen kalb Jun 2, 2012 12:16 PM

                                                                      wow I loved the opportunity to cook during maternity leaves - though it tended to be hard to do around dinner time. I hope it works out smoothly for you this time!

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