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Introducing the Dish of the Month: August 2012 Nominations

Based on the success of Cookbook of the Month and Dish of the Month San Francisco, we'd like to introduce a new idea to the Home Cooking board. It's another version of Dish of the Month, but instead of focusing on eating out, this project will focus on cooking.

The idea is this: choose a 'Dish of the Month' for the Home Cooking board, and then collectively try to cook as many versions of the dish as possible, reporting back with details about recipes, and photos of the dishes you've cooked. Recipes might come from the Internet, cookbooks, or could also be original inventions. The chosen dish might be very specific (e.g. Minestrone soup) or it could be a broader category (e.g. Stuffed pasta), but like Cookbook of the Month, there will be a nomination thread, a voting thread, and finally a reporting thread.

Choosing the dish will be up to everyone who votes, but I think it would make sense to think seasonally about this project. For example, it might make sense to choose "pumpkin pie" for the dish of the month in October, since that way we'll have collectively tested lots of recipes before Thanksgiving. Our hope is that we'll also choose dishes that are accessible and easy enough for most people, which means that a slightly broader dish might be better than something extremely specific (like croissants or massaman curry).

This is the nomination thread for August 2012…you can nominate as many dishes as you want, but once we do the voting thread (which will start on July 25), it will be one vote per user.

To nominate a dish, post it in ALL CAPS in the responses below. This thread will be open until July 25.

Looking forward to getting this started, let the nominations begin!

Dave MP

Link to Cookbook of the Month: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/853254
Link to Dish of the Month SF: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/856748

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  1. I nominate what I'm making for dinner tonight. SHRIMP FRA DIAVOLO.

    1. I love this idea; it gives us the opportunity to follow a recipe, tweak a recipe, or just invent one!
      I'm not nominating yet, so no caps. I just want to start discussing and hear more ideas.
      I was thinking crab cakes would be fun, but with the variety of fish available in different locales, maybe seafood cakes in general would be more inclusive. They seem summery, can range from the simple traditional cakes, to various teams of spices and flavors. Fish tacos might be nice too, with reports on seasoning and cooking the fish, and various salsas and accompaniments. Looks like I've got seafood on the brain. I'm looking forward to hearing more suggestions!

      1 Reply
      1. re: L.Nightshade

        I'm not nominating yet either, but like the fish taco idea quite a bit with all the different salsas. Your mention of seafood cakes also sparked the idea that it might be nice to have something savory and something sweet. Every summer seems to be a quest for the perfect way to showcase fresh fruits in baked goods for me.

      2. Some ideas I have:

        PESTO (could be any kind, basil, sundried tomato, cilantro, etc)

        RATATOUILLE (good way to use August vegetables)

        PULLED PORK (would be cool to see different recipes for making it, as well as different recipes that call for it)

        10 Replies
          1. re: Dave MP

            I really like the idea for the thread Dave and, especially like your suggestion for ratatouille. Years ago I made a spicy, roasted version from a cookbook and it was the very best we've had at home. Unfortunately, I don't recall which book I used and despite "winging it" w various combinations since then, I've never been able to replicate it. It would be fun to try different versions and find a new favourite.

            1. re: Breadcrumbs

              I prefer roasted vegetables in a ratatouille, which makes me see it as more of a fall dish. I am loathe to turn on my oven in the summer! Maybe I'd try grilling the vegetables.

              1. re: L.Nightshade

                I have a little grill wok that works great. I grill up a mix of squash, onions, peppers and douse it with OO and balsamic vinegar. It is tasty and really easy.

                1. re: NE_Elaine

                  A grill wok? That is a very cool idea.
                  I usually slice slabs of vegetables and roast them separately, then cut them up and combine them. So I could surely do that on the grill. But I'll have to look into this grill wok!

                    1. re: NE_Elaine

                      I love the idea of a grill wok. Can you use inside or only outside as a BBQ?

                      Is this what you have, NE?

                      1. re: herby

                        This is vry similar to what I have. I can't rememver where I got it, but it was not very expensive. I have only used it outside on a gas grill. I made kielbasa, peppers and onions on the grill last year with peppers from my garden and the flavour was incredible.

                        1. re: NE_Elaine

                          I used a similar one recently (didn't know that it was called grill wok!) and loved it. The one I used was round and had one long handle. The one above will work just as well especially for small things - shrimp, mushrooms,onion rings, etc.

                          Many thanks for bringing it to my attention!

                    2. re: L.Nightshade

                      I did a few grilled variations last year LN and they were really nice. We have a flat grill pan w holes in it but I really like NE's grill wok idea and will have a look for one for this year.

                2. ROAST CHICKEN


                  OKRA PICKLES

                  1. CAPONATA (DI MELANZANE, DI WHATEVER).

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: linguafood

                      I like the caponata idea! Good way to use a variety of summer producel! What other types of caponata are there besides ones using eggplant?

                      1. re: Dave MP

                        Heh. I just googled it, and apparently outside of Sicily, it's actually a seafood salad (caponata estiva or caponata di pesce).

                        But there are a huge number of (eggplant) caponata recipes out there, and I think it would be really interesting to find out about the variations.... maybe not to everyone '-)

                        1. re: linguafood

                          Alright, I'll go along with CAPONATA.

                          1. re: linguafood

                            I wikipedia'd it after Dave asked the question. Mine is always a humble eggplant and vegetable dish, but the versions with octopus, swordfish, and lobster sound pretty intriguing!

                      2. HUMMUS
                        POTATO SALAD

                        1. I'm coming back to officially nominate CRAB CAKES/SEAFOOD CAKES.

                          But I'm also liking the idea of CAPONATA. That works for me any season.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                            I like it! I'll go along with CRAB CAKES/SEAFOOD CAKES. They're often a pain in the neck (picking through crab is not my favorite way of spending my time, and frying isn't my favorite way of cooking) but I just love them. And I like this idea a lot, Dave MP. Thanks!

                          2. This sounds like a blast! We like to cook outdoors during the summer before the deep freeze hits again. I'll suggest some of the things we like to cook outdoors: YAKITORI, GALBI, and PAELLA (including arroces). I think any of these might be fun for us to cook together this August.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: BigSal

                              Oh boy. These are great ideas too; this choice is going to be difficult!

                              1. re: BigSal

                                I like these suggestions and happy to explore:

                                SEAFOOD CAKES

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  WFD = What's For Dinner?

                                  Just curious - THX!

                                  1. re: NE_Elaine

                                    yes, and WFD is also a thread on Home Cooking that is on #155!

                                2. I think this is a fantastic idea.
                                  I only see savory options, so I would like to offer a sweet option. This is mostly because I recently discovered an awesome recipe for a Bumbleberry (Triple Berry) Pie.

                                  BERRY or STONEFRUIT PIES

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: NE_Elaine

                                    Don't worry, as fall follows summer and the holidays loom there will probably be lots more sweet options.

                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                          Good idea about QUINOA SALAD, Breadcrumbs!

                                        2. Are there going to be separate links for different chowhound sites or just one big site?

                                          I prefer one big site

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: jpr54_1

                                            Not sure I understand your question....but maybe you're asking if people will report in one big thread or in separate threads? My thinking is that people will all report back about what they have cooked in one big thread, much like in Cookbook of the Month. Then in September, there will be a new thread.

                                              1. re: jpr54_1

                                                I have seen at least 3 other threads for recipe of the month including San Francisco

                                                1. re: jpr54_1

                                                  I think the San Francisco thread to which you refer is a thread about choosing a dish and trying the dish at different restaurants. I'm not sure what other threads you mention. This is a Home Cooking thread. We wil be selecting a dish, then we will all prepare the same dish, each in our own fashion.

                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                    yes, i didn't read the thread correctly-

                                          2. Am I correct that I make *one* version of Licorice Casserole, and then wait to see all the other versions from other folks? Or am I trying out more than one version in my own kitchen, and reporting on those?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: blue room

                                              You can make as many versions as you want. You could potentially make a different version of the same dish every day of the month, and contribute 31 different posts!

                                              1. re: jpr54_1

                                                If these are official nominations, be sure to put them in ALL CAPS so they can be counted/seen more easily, and not mistaken for just a discussion of possible ideas. Thanks!

                                              2. Some good ones here.

                                                FISH TACOS
                                                GRILLED CHEESE
                                                BABY BACK RIBS

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Rubee

                                                  I could definitely get myself excited about CEVICHE.

                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                    Another vote for FISH TACOS and:
                                                    SLUMPS, GRUNTS, COBBLERS – SUMMER BERRY DESSERTS

                                                    1. re: EM23

                                                      Editing my nomination:
                                                      FISH TACOS WITH ALL THE FIXINGS (SLAW, CREMA, SALSA, ETC.)
                                                      SLUMPS, GRUNTS, COBBLERS – SUMMER BERRY DESSERTS

                                                  2. It like to nominate PESTO which is often argued about here.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                                      PESTO is a great idea - herbs are so nice right now. I made a batch of pesto myself just yesterday!

                                                    2. I'd definitely be in for FISH TACOS.
                                                      And now Rubee's idea of CEVICHE has me thinking about that too. A world of different possibilities there!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                        FISH TACOS and CEVICHE sound perfect for August!

                                                      2. I'm in for PESTO and SEVICHE :)

                                                        Then I can make a cilantro pesto seviche!

                                                        1. Besides my own suggestion, I'd also totally be up for CEVICHE.

                                                          1. ZUCCHINI BREAD

                                                            we have to use it up somehow!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Berheenia

                                                              I will be able to make my favorite recipe from Beard on Bread

                                                            2. I'm in for

                                                              SEAFOOD CAKES
                                                              PULLED PORK

                                                              Also neat would be the endless varieties for CHICKEN AND RICE.

                                                              1. I love this idea, too!

                                                                I second the nominations for QUINOA SALAD and POTATO SALAD.

                                                                1. With all the summer produce hitting the farmers markets I would love to do a nice vegetable medley, such as RATATOUILLE.
                                                                  There are a lot of versions out there, so it might be fun to see what everyone's favourite is.

                                                                  1. CEVICHE appeals to me, and would be a nice compliment to our grilling and salad COTM.

                                                                      1. Great idea, my favs are:


                                                                            1. re: j8715

                                                                              Okay, I'll bite -- is this the right dish?
                                                                              (looks very good!)

                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                that is mostly it. I think it should be translate as "smoked cheese" not "hard cheese" though

                                                                            2. Nominations are ending later today....so keep them coming for the next few hours! Will probably set up the voting thread at 3 or 4 PM PST.

                                                                              Dave MP

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Dave MP

                                                                                Sorting out this nominations thread is going to take an effort - good luck Dave!

                                                                              2. Given the recent trends on WFD and the bounty that's sprouting in gardens and farms across the country, I'd vote for ZUCCHINI DISHES.

                                                                                1. The voting thread is now up! Thanks everyone who participated in this nomination thread....I think this is going to be a great project, regardless of what gets picked!

                                                                                  Voting Thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/860346