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September 2012 Nomination Thread [for Cookbook of the Month]

blue room Aug 10, 2012 11:07 AM

Hello to everyone, and an unreserved welcome to COTM!

As a group we choose, cook from, and post opinions on, a different cookbook each month. New books or old, sometimes 2 books, a cooking website, or even a general cuisine theme counts as a “cookbook”.

There are no restrictions or requirements to join -- just post in the COTM threads.

Please put your choice for September in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.
*** Nominations are open until Wednesday, August 15, 2012 -- 9 p.m. EDT***

Use this thread to discuss, persuade, dissuade, tout your favorite. Ask questions, make suggestions. After the nomination period, a vote will determine the winner.

Here is the (awesome & of interest) archive of the books that have gone before: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

Remember … please put your choice in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.

To me, September is prime cooking time. It’s getting cooler (ha!) in my half the world and beginning to warm up in the southern half. So -- inspiration / anticipation everywhere, yes?

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  1. Gio RE: blue room Aug 11, 2012 06:12 AM

    No one ready to nominate yet? I'm not either but I thought I'd get the process stated by Suggesting two books I'm interested in at the moment:
    Bill's Food by Bill Granger
    The Union Square Cookbook by Danny Meyer and Michael Romano

    Never having eaten at either restaurant these chefs own I cannot attest to the quality of the food they serve, but the recipes certainly sound enticing at first read and I notice that their fans are wild about them.

    Granger is an Australian who had fabulous success with restaurants in that country before relocating to London with continued success. Many of his recipes are on the net, although I haven't cooked any yet.. too busy with current COTMs, etc.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/chefs/bill_...
    http://www.amazon.com/Bills-Food-Bill...

    The Union Square Cafe at 21 East 16th Street, NYC has "been lauded for their outstanding food and superb service by Gourmet, Food & Wine, the New York Times, and the James Beard Foundation." (Amazon review) As I read through the book I see that although many recipes do have a Mediterranean slant there are many others that simply represent what the chef cooks at the cafe... a mix of many influences.
    http://www.unionsquarecafe.com/aboutu...
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Union-Squar...

    8 Replies
    1. re: Gio
      JoanN RE: Gio Aug 11, 2012 07:17 AM

      I just recently acquired The Union Square Cookbook (the restaurant used to be one of my business lunch hangouts), marked many recipes I'd love to try, and would be very happy to see it as a COTM. Extra added attraction: lots of lightly used copies on Amazon for less than $1.50. I wonder if it might not be a better choice for October since many of us will still be reveling in the last of the season's summer produce and the book does have a number of hearty, fall-type, dishes such as Braised Oxtail and Roast Breast of Veal. That, and the fact that I'll be away most of the month of September. ;-)

      1. re: JoanN
        Gio RE: JoanN Aug 11, 2012 08:09 AM

        Oh yes, I thought of the late Summer/early Autumn abundance of produce from gardens, Farmers' Markets et al,. In that case I offer:

        >>Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka, Christopher Styler
        >>Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World's Healthiest Cuisine by Martha Rose Shulman
        >>A Year in my Kitchen, by Skye Gyngell

        No particular reason except these are currently on my shelves and I have yet to cook many from any...

        ETA: OTOH, I still think an Ed Giobbi book might be just the thing, but then I'm partial.

        1. re: Gio
          JoanN RE: Gio Aug 11, 2012 09:22 AM

          As you know, I'm a big fan of Italian Family Cooking, and I recently borrowed Italian Family Dining from a friend. Wonder how long she'll let me hold onto it? I may have to lobby for Giobbi sooner rather than later.

      2. re: Gio
        The Dairy Queen RE: Gio Aug 13, 2012 10:01 AM

        Ack! I just wrote what I assure you was a scintillating reply and it disappeared. Shame on me for multi-tasking while posting.

        Anyway, I'm just popping in to congratulate blue room on her first month as coordinator. I have high hopes for Sept.

        I actually had high hopes for August, but I've been called out of town unexpectedly twice this month and, here's the kicker, I had to return my books to the library. Normally I can renew online mid-month, but my card has apparently expired, which requires an in-person visit to the library during regular hours. I thought about buying the books, but looking forward for the rest of August, I see State Fair on my calendar. No time for cooking when you can indulge in everything deep fried and on a stick.

        Anyway, choose inspiredly for September everyone!

        ~TDQ

        1. re: Gio
          Tom P RE: Gio Aug 13, 2012 12:27 PM

          Union Square Cafe is my favorite restaurant in the world. It is casual, lovely, a great atmosphere, terrific service and incredible food. I have both cookbooks and love them.

          1. re: Tom P
            Gio RE: Tom P Aug 13, 2012 12:37 PM

            That's a super recommendation, Tom... I've been slowly going through their first book and it all looks like recipes I'd like to make. I'll definitely plug it for Autumn meals.

            1. re: Tom P
              The Dairy Queen RE: Tom P Aug 13, 2012 12:42 PM

              How can you go wrong with a cookbook that devotes an entire chapter to mashed potatoes? Per Amazon: "There's also an entire section devoted to mashed potatoes. Prepared with everything from over-dried tomatoes to eggplant, ginger and garlic, the restaurant's variations on this distinctly American dish are among its most popular offerings." My library only seems to have "Second Helpings." I wish it had both, but the good news is, as JoanN points out, affordable used copies are available on Amazon.

              ~TDQ

              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                Tom P RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 13, 2012 01:44 PM

                And we could nominate them together... some cook out of one, some the other...

          2. BigSal RE: blue room Aug 11, 2012 09:40 AM

            Thanks for getting us started, Gio. I have the Union Square Cookbook and one of Granger's (Bill's Everyday Asian) and could use an excuse to get another.

            Other ideas are Bistro Cooking at Home by Gordon Hamersley. We spoke of this book in January. It seemed too similar to Pepin at the time, but now this sounds quite appealing.

            I don't know much about Giobbi, but did buy some books based on some of Gio's recommendations. I also have interest in some of the Italian cookbooks listed below.

            Mozza

            My Calabria

            Dolce Vita or Made in Italy (David Rocco)

            Antipasto Table

            Naples at Table

            Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey

            I'd also love a soup book, but want to wait for the cold weather to arrive first.

            35 Replies
            1. re: BigSal
              Gio RE: BigSal Aug 11, 2012 10:20 AM

              Of those cookbooks you listed, Sal, I have:

              My Calabria - 1 recipe so far
              Made in Italy - 1 recipe
              Antipasto Table - 1 recipe
              Naples at Table - Almost made his Cauliflower salad for Christmas dinner last year... made something else instead. Have his "Jewish Home Cooking:Yiddish Recipes Revisited" and would love to cook from it. Perhaps near a Jewish holiday?

              Mozza - Looks Very interesting to me as I read the recipes at EYB
              Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey - is this the Sardinia book?

              ETA: OK I see that SMABH is the Sardinian book but for used @30.00 do I want to spend the $ when i just bought a 30.00 book for $0.01? LOL

              1. re: Gio
                BigSal RE: Gio Aug 11, 2012 11:23 AM

                $30 for a used book does seem to be a bit much.

                1. re: Gio
                  a
                  angelsmom RE: Gio Aug 13, 2012 01:12 PM

                  I picked it up at Abe Books yesterday for 4.19.

                  1. re: angelsmom
                    Gio RE: angelsmom Aug 14, 2012 04:18 AM

                    You were certainly very lucky with that find, angelsmom. i don't know where you are in the world but I'm located near Boston and there are no Abe Books stores anywhere near me,. Here's what Abe's is selling it for on-line...
                    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Searc...

                    Here's the page from Alibris...
                    http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?key...

                    1. re: Gio
                      a
                      angelsmom RE: Gio Aug 14, 2012 08:56 AM

                      I bought it online, must have gotten lucky for a change. If I don't like it, I will let you know!

                      Author: Efisio Farris
                      Title: Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey: The Mediterranean F
                      Bookseller Book No.: B12350558
                      Price: US$ 4.19

                      Book Description:  

                      Date Processed: August 11, 2012

                      1. re: angelsmom
                        Gio RE: angelsmom Aug 14, 2012 12:17 PM

                        <"I bought it online, must have gotten lucky for a change. If I don't like it, I will let you know. ">

                        WOW! Very Good For You. And thank you for that offer. I'll wait with bated breath...

                      2. re: Gio
                        s
                        sr44 RE: Gio Aug 14, 2012 09:09 PM

                        Abe isn't a bookstore. It's a collection of used/out-of-print/rare book dealers who sell online. It's part of Amazon now.

                        1. re: sr44
                          Gio RE: sr44 Aug 15, 2012 04:15 AM

                          I see. Thank you. I've ordered from Abe Books in the past but thought they were a brick and mortar store not just an on-line seller. Also, I have seen their books for sale at the Amazon re-sellers listings but didn't know they were affiliated with Amazon in any other capacity.

                  2. re: BigSal
                    JoanN RE: BigSal Aug 11, 2012 10:25 AM

                    I have Antipasto Table and have made quite a few recipes from it. It's a very good book. I just wonder whether a book of only antipasti is a good choice for COTM. Perhaps it would be best if paired with something else.

                    1. re: JoanN
                      BigSal RE: JoanN Aug 11, 2012 11:31 AM

                      Glad to hear that the recipes in the Antipasto Table have been good. Pairing it with another book would make sense.

                      1. re: JoanN
                        jen kalb RE: JoanN Aug 15, 2012 08:52 AM

                        dont want to argue with you too much (:<))but in my experience Antipasti covers an extremely diverse range of dishes and can fill just about any role in a meal, from vegetables to salads main course, etc, They also tend to be very well seasoned and maybe more creative than traditional vegetables and mains. In this day and age I would think of it more as a small plates book (I believe this book came out before that craze)

                        Since we very rarely serve a big meat course in our home, these types of dishes are a welcome alternative, for flavor and protein.

                        1. re: jen kalb
                          JoanN RE: jen kalb Aug 15, 2012 09:38 AM

                          No question you can make a meal from the dishes in this book, especially for those of us who are cooking for just one or two, and I've done so more than once. In fact, the book includes menu suggestions using only recipes from the book. (The book, by the way, was published in '91.) Nonetheless, as with Raising the Salad Bar, especially for those looking to get a weekday family meal on the table, I think it would stand a better chance of being selected as a COTM if it were as an adjunct to another Italian cookbook rather than a standalone. But I'd be happy to see it selected either way.

                          1. re: JoanN
                            jen kalb RE: JoanN Aug 15, 2012 10:04 AM

                            Are we talking about the same book? Amazon says 98
                            http://www.amazon.com/The-Antipasto-T...
                            I always support pairings - have been wanting to try one of Sciolone's books so maybe we could do a multi of hers one month.

                            1. re: jen kalb
                              Breadcrumbs RE: jen kalb Aug 15, 2012 10:09 AM

                              The one you've linked is the paperback jen. I suspect Joan is referring to the hardcover edition:

                              http://www.amazon.com/The-Antipasto-T...

                              I picked mine up for a song on Abe's and as I mentioned on this thread, I just love it (as I do all of my Michele Sciolone's books). An MS COTM would be amazing!

                            2. re: JoanN
                              LulusMom RE: JoanN Aug 15, 2012 10:14 AM

                              Absolutely. The less different recipes I have to make to put a meal on the table, the easier my life is. I love cooking, but there is only so much time in the day, and I do love other things too. I know that I'm a mother who thinks JoanN has a definite point.

                              1. re: LulusMom
                                jen kalb RE: LulusMom Aug 15, 2012 10:41 AM

                                Ah, that explains it.

                                I honor Joans and your point of view for sure. Most nights when my kids were growing up the only thing on the dinner table was salad/or veg and pasta, or bread and cheese. Unless I had cooked indian or something on the weekend and there were leftovers. Because that was all my husband could manage and my kids would eat.

                                but I still think that many "antipasti" are unfairly pigeonholed as specialty items, whereas they can serve a broader purpose in the meal. if I managed to make grilled red peppers dressed with olive oil and garlic, for example, I could serve them out, garnishes with a little parsley and some anchovies, over the course of the week. and they serve very well nutritionally as a veg or salad. Likewise something like fish in escabeche (ex sarde in saor) which keeps well and can add a boost of flavor as well as a few beneficial protes to the diet.

                                Dont know why I am still arguing since I prefer multi-book months generally, anyway.

                                cheers!

                                1. re: jen kalb
                                  LulusMom RE: jen kalb Aug 15, 2012 11:58 AM

                                  Far be it from me to enforce my own issues on the crowd, I promise! I'm just saying that there are some of us with young children who don't have the time to make the kinds of meals we made pre-parenthood. I definitely hear you on the various ways the components of the meals could be used. I'm just saying that right now, I often find that one recipe is about all I want to deal with, and then I find an easy starch (baguette, couscous, rice) and roast a vegetable or make a salad, and I feel like I'm still getting the fun of cooking without it being overwhelming. Oh, how I love those perfect recipes that include all the components of a meal! Anyway, glad you can see my POV, and totally understand why it isn't everyone's.

                                  1. re: LulusMom
                                    The Dairy Queen RE: LulusMom Aug 15, 2012 12:09 PM

                                    I can't even do as well as you, LLM. The real issue for me is that weekday evenings are my quality time with my child. I could do more prep in the mornings, but that's my only time to exercise. I could try to do more fun cooking on the weekends, but that's when we do laundry and other housework. I'm just having a hard time striking that balance. So everything we eat is super simple. This time of year: a grilled protein and a grilled or steamed vegetable. Of course, I want my child to appreciate good food, too, so I'm really struggling on how to fit some more adventurous cooking in... If anyone has any good tips for me on how to find the time to really cook when you have a young child, I'd love to hear them.

                                    But, that's not really what I popped into this thread to say. What I was going to say is that the one month that "tapas" worked well for me (and this was pre-child) was when we did the River Cafe books, Italian Easy and Italian Too Easy. Remember all of those bruschetta and mozzarella recipes at the front of the books? Well, for some reason, it seemed like those books drew on such a limited palette (and this is the rare chowhound instance where I mean palette and not palate), that it just seemed you had all of the ingredients on hand anyway. Remember how we jokes that every recipe called for a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and a handful of grated parm? Anyway, that was one month where I really was able to get into serving several small dishes for an ordinary weeknight dinner.

                                    ~TDQ

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                      s
                                      smtucker RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 15, 2012 12:25 PM

                                      DQ and LLM... you will be happy to know that post-children allows you the same amount of cooking as pre-children. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. And if you are very lucky, those children that prohibit lavish evening meals will make those meals for you.

                                      Post children, I allocate about two hours a day to cooking dinner, and about 20 minutes to whip together a lunch. I am not sure I could count the number of meals over the years that included pasta and steamed broccoli mid-children.

                                      1. re: smtucker
                                        LulusMom RE: smtucker Aug 15, 2012 01:55 PM

                                        I have to say, I was absolutely thrilled when Lulu asked if she could go to cooking camp. I tried and tried, but all the local ones are only for 7 or 8 and up, and she's only 6 right now. We cook together, but I think she'd be so proud to come home and make us something on her own. Can't wait!

                                        1. re: LulusMom
                                          The Dairy Queen RE: LulusMom Aug 15, 2012 02:07 PM

                                          I saw this very tall step-stool/bench (with safety rails) on Amazon that is supposed to allow a child to help in the kitchen. I've been eyeing it, wondering at what age I can start enlisting my child to "help" in the kitchen while I cook.

                                          ~TDQ

                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                            LulusMom RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 15, 2012 04:25 PM

                                            Also really fun - take him to the farmer's market or your local gourmet store (where ever they have samples) and get him involved in tasting. I promise if you let him taste and choose, he'll feel more involved and it will be so fun.

                                            1. re: LulusMom
                                              The Dairy Queen RE: LulusMom Aug 15, 2012 04:29 PM

                                              Good idea about the sampling! We do go to the farmers market, which he loves, though not necessarily for the food...

                                              ~TDQ

                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                        L.Nightshade RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 15, 2012 12:33 PM

                                        I'm always amazed that those of you with small children at home find the time to join in the COTM at all! I have a hard enough time cooking after work, and work stops at a specified time. As much fun as it is for me to do a production dinner on a weekend, I always appreciate the option of some dishes that don't require a lot of work. I'm really enjoying this month because Mr. NS is engaged in the grilling aspect! I don't mind the small plate idea, as I can put attention into one small dish, and the rest of the meal can be a simple complement. But, not having children to feed, I don't always worry about a perfectly balanced meal.

                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                          d
                                          dkennedy RE: L.Nightshade Aug 15, 2012 01:22 PM

                                          Have any of you checked out the Mom 100 Cookbook? I saw it the other day in the bookstore and was intrigued so I did some digging. The kindle addition is available for $3.96 or something like that.

                                          1. re: dkennedy
                                            The Dairy Queen RE: dkennedy Aug 15, 2012 01:40 PM

                                            Never heard of it, but the table of contents is sure fun! I'll have to see if my library has it...once I renew my library card, that is.

                                            Thanks for the encouragement, everyone!

                                            ~TDQ

                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                              LulusMom RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 15, 2012 01:53 PM

                                              It does get easier, TDQ, I promise. Still and all, I'm just not willing to give up 1.5- 2 hours a day of the little free time I have to making dinner each night (or even 5 nights a week - usually that kind of dinner comes once or maybe twice a week). I love cooking, I love family dinners, I love sharing my love of food with Lulu. But, as you point out, there is only so much time in the day, and your bonding time with the Dairy Prince is really really important. Once he's old enough to want to start helping around the kitchen, that is a great time to do both the bonding AND the cooking (although sometimes easier said than done, when each step has to be explained and very carefully done).

                                              1. re: LulusMom
                                                The Dairy Queen RE: LulusMom Aug 15, 2012 02:09 PM

                                                Oh, funny, I just mentioned above the "helper step-stool" I've been eyeing on Amazon. I can't wait for him to start helping! We do have play dishes and a play barbeque and have been play cooking, as well as real dishes in the sandbox. I'm hoping we can graduate to "helping" in the real kitchen soon. What do you think, age 3?

                                                I also have to confess, that even if I do the COTM cooking this past year or so, I haven't always had time to report back. So even on months when it appears I haven't been cooking, it's more likely that I haven't been posting. I try to post when it appears no one else has tried a dish or when my results have been different from everyone else's, but it's seemed kind of pointless to just post, "Me too". Even so, it's not more than 1 or 2 COTM dishes a month I've been able to pull off...

                                                ~TDQ

                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                  LulusMom RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 15, 2012 04:27 PM

                                                  I know, I know. Even just getting on the computer sometimes seems like the most daunting (or time-wasting) thing to do. Trust me, I get it. And so do the other moms.

                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                    lilham RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 22, 2012 08:58 AM

                                                    Have you seen the video blog http://www.mydaddycooks.co.uk

                                                    In the earliest videos, the little boy was about 2 year old. He's more hindering than helping in the kitchen. But it's amazing to see how he turned cooking into a bonding activity. I'd love to start cooking with my 1.5 year as soon as she's able to.

                            3. re: BigSal
                              L.Nightshade RE: BigSal Aug 11, 2012 12:21 PM

                              I'm always happy to do Italian! From Big Sal's list, I've got Mozza, My Calabria, and Antipasto Table. (And many others, of course.)

                              1. re: BigSal
                                Gio RE: BigSal Aug 12, 2012 04:48 AM

                                I completely overlooked Bistro Cooking at Home by Gordon Hamersley when I was thinking about your list, Sal. I'd love to the Bistro book but perhaps in the Autumn? There seem to be many braises and roasts but I suppose there's a good mix of recipes to keep everyone happy.

                                I see that Herby has started the nominations with A Year In My Kitchen... Guess I'll have to haul it out and review it yet again.

                                1. re: Gio
                                  BigSal RE: Gio Aug 12, 2012 08:15 AM

                                  That's my plan too. I'm going to sit with some of these books and see what makes sense for September.

                                2. re: BigSal
                                  LulusMom RE: BigSal Aug 15, 2012 06:21 AM

                                  I'd love to do Bistro Cooking. I've had it for ages, have made 2 or 3 things and all were wonderful. Need a push to use it more (and I'm going through a bit of a cooking slump right now, so a push would be a good thing). Also have Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey and would love to use it, but I assure you that right now it would take the push of COTM to get me to do so. Not the book's fault, entirely mine.

                                  1. re: BigSal
                                    m
                                    MelMM RE: BigSal Aug 15, 2012 07:50 AM

                                    There's another book called Made in Italy by Giorgio Locatelli. I keep meaning to nominate it, because it's an exceptional book. The chapter on risotto, for example, is 72 pages long, and has 16 recipes. That means a lot of the pages are devoted to detailed discussion of the rice, the stock, the cheese, the technique, etc. I have never seen such detail in any other book.

                                  2. Breadcrumbs RE: blue room Aug 11, 2012 01:18 PM

                                    First off, congratulations and thanks blue room...nice to join in to your first COTM!

                                    Wow, what great ideas so far. Of course as Italian food lovers, the thought of an Italian COTM holds incredible appeal here at casa bc. I also have a Bill Granger book (Simply Bill) and though I haven't cooked from it as yet, the recipes looked wonderful. I've made one dish from The Union Square Cookbook and it was a huge success so I'd be interested in delving deeper. As for the Italian books, I have all the ones mentioned thus far. Here's what I can add to the conversation:

                                    Giobbi - Gio's passion for this author was all I needed to entice me to buy these books. I've only made one dish thus far but it was excellent. The recipes in these books strike a great mix between quick and simple dishes and, more time consuming recipes. The fact that the author is also health conscious is a plus too!

                                    Mozza - I've made 3 dishes from this book and all have been outstanding. This is a wonderful book with many enticing photographs. The author's conversational writing style is engaging and makes this a great read in addition to a great book to cook from. I also appreciate the wine recommendations that accompany the recipes. The ones we've tried this far have been spot on.

                                    My Calabria - I've made one dish from this book and it was a hit. The book itself is beautiful with stunning photgraphs. This is a region of Italy whose cuisine I'm less familiar with so the book holds tremendous appeal in that regard. This book also has wine recommendations.

                                    David Rocco's books - both are recent additions to my shelf. I've made one dish from the newer book and it was great. The instructions in the recipes are clear and straightforward. I always appreciate photographs and especially when they accurately depict the finished dish as was the case in this instance. These books seem to have some new twists on classic dishes which is what held appeal ....along w the occasional photo of the chef of course!! ; - )

                                    Antipasto Table - I'm a huge fan of Michele Scicolone. She is one of my favourite cookbook authors and her dishes have never, ever disappointed me. This is a wonderful book with so many fresh and tasty looking dishes. It would make a great book for a September COTM since the author tends to make use of lots of fresh veggies. I've made several recipes from this book (4 are reviewed in EYB) and all were terrific. I have most of Ms Scolone's cookbooks and another one I'd highly recommend for its sheer variety and of course quality is 1,000 Italian Recipes which I use on a regular basis.

                                    Naples at Table - I bought this over a year ago however I haven't cooked anything from it as yet. I do have an Italian friend who calls this her "go-to" cookbook and she raves about the dishes. This book doesn't have any photos if I remember correctly...

                                    Sweet Myrtle & Bitter Honey - As Gio points out, this is a Sardinian cookbook. This is such a beautiful book and it's a sheer pleasure to read with historical tidbits woven into the tales of how dishes originated etc. I've made one dish from the book so far and it was wonderful. There really seems to be a good variety of dishes in this book with a significant number of antipasti recipes which I appreciate since an "antipasti dinner" is very much how we like to eat during the summer months.

                                    Since we're talking Italian cookbooks, I'd also like to throw out another book that hasn't been mentioned thus far:

                                    Stir - by Barbara Lynch. This has fast become one of my favourite Italian cookbooks. There's a wonderful mix of classic dishes and some unique, new-to-me at least dishes. The recipes are clear, well-written and easy to follow and the results are, without exception, remarkable. I've given this book as a gift on 3 occasions as I do believe it to be a new classic. The author's passion for cooking and food shines through.

                                    So, like others, nothing to nominate as yet but I'm loving the suggestions thus far.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                      s
                                      smtucker RE: Breadcrumbs Aug 11, 2012 02:14 PM

                                      Finally, a book I own! I bought Stir at Costco just to support the home town girl. Haven't made a single thing yet, but my initial read through convinced me that I had not wasted my money.

                                      1. re: smtucker
                                        BigSal RE: smtucker Aug 12, 2012 08:17 AM

                                        Bc, I also have Stir, but wasn't sure how many others would own it or how available it would be through the library. I'd be interested in cooking from it as well.

                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                        m
                                        MelMM RE: Breadcrumbs Aug 11, 2012 04:53 PM

                                        My Calabria is absolutely wonderful. Really a labor of love, and it shows. I'd love to cook more from this book, and I think it would work well for late summer. I have others on your list, but this is the one that would most interest me for this time of year.

                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                          blue room RE: Breadcrumbs Aug 11, 2012 06:08 PM

                                          Thank you, Breadcrumbs -- I held my breath for the first post to show up -- 12 hours! (Thank you, Gio!)

                                          1. re: blue room
                                            s
                                            smtucker RE: blue room Aug 11, 2012 06:39 PM

                                            Oh I remember that feeling. You have done extremely well indeed.

                                          2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                            jen kalb RE: Breadcrumbs Aug 13, 2012 11:10 AM

                                            Naples at Table is one of the very best Italian cookbooks ; delicious pasta and veg recipes in particular, and great background writing, and I would LOVE to spend a month cooking from it, however there are not a lot of cheap used copies out there so I think it would be best combined with one of the others, My Calabria, the Giobbis (Italian Family Cooking in particular) or some such to continue the theme of Italian and good late summer veg dishes.

                                            Not in the mood for a chef's book right now

                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                              j
                                              JaneEYB RE: Breadcrumbs Aug 15, 2012 03:35 PM

                                              I also have Stir and haven't cooked anything from it yet though I liked the recipes a lot when I got it (why does that happen?). I went to a cooking demo Barbara Lynch did and the food was great (we got tastings). So it would be a good incentive to start cooking from it if it was COTM. But I wonder how many people ill own it.

                                              I'm also very interested in the Union Square books. I have them both and have mainly cooked from the first and everything has been great. I'd love a month cooking from those two.

                                            2. herby RE: blue room Aug 11, 2012 08:49 PM

                                              This was a tough start, Blue Room, and you handled it well - no place to go but up from now on:)

                                              I do not have any of the suggested Italian books and do not want to buy any either whether they cost $100 or $0.01 since none appeal to me...

                                              A YEAR IN MY KITCHEN by Skye Gyngell has my attention

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: herby
                                                jpr54_1 RE: herby Aug 12, 2012 11:10 AM

                                                what is difference btw British/American publications of books?

                                                1. re: jpr54_1
                                                  herby RE: jpr54_1 Aug 12, 2012 11:53 AM

                                                  The main difference is how ingredients are measured. British books typically use grams millilitres not cups and spoons. There are also some differences in ingredients' names, i.e. aubergine (eggplant), rocket (arugula), etc.

                                              2. q
                                                qianning RE: blue room Aug 12, 2012 08:51 AM

                                                Lots of good ideas. Not feeling pulled in any particular direction yet, just "signing in" to follow the conversation.

                                                Like your intro blurb BR, and many thanks for taking on the moderator job.

                                                1. jpr54_1 RE: blue room Aug 14, 2012 09:22 AM

                                                  I would like to suggest Mediterranean/North African/Isrraeli cooking for the month
                                                  Moroccan
                                                  Tunisian
                                                  Israel
                                                  cuisines
                                                  lots of countries and cuisines-including jewish, muslim, etc

                                                  15 Replies
                                                  1. re: jpr54_1
                                                    jen kalb RE: jpr54_1 Aug 14, 2012 09:45 AM

                                                    I would definitely like to devote a month, now or later, to Wolferts definitive THE FOOD OF MOROCCO, perhaps paired with her earlier Moroccan book which is also readily and cheaply available Couscous and Other Good Things from Morocco

                                                    otherwise my nominations would be for ANY OF THE ITALIAN BOOKS proposed.

                                                    Definitely in a Mediterranean phase.

                                                    1. re: jen kalb
                                                      JoanN RE: jen kalb Aug 14, 2012 09:53 AM

                                                      "The Food of Morocco," although they don't say so, is essentially a revision of "Couscous and Other Good Things from Morocco." The new book is illustrated, which the earlier one is not, and I recall reading an interview with her where she said she'd simplified some of the techniques. But most of the recipes, and nearly all of the intro material, is the same, so no need for the two books to be paired. It's just that those who have the earlier book, as do I, might, literally, not be on the same page.

                                                      1. re: JoanN
                                                        jen kalb RE: JoanN Aug 14, 2012 11:37 AM

                                                        Joan, sorry, thats simply not true - any more than it was probably for SWFrance or Mediterranean Cooking, her other updated books.

                                                        I have both, and while I am really peeved that the new book is so bulked up I guess that was what the market calls for - it has plenty of new recipes, and an updated approach to ingredients and techniques. Yes, some of the text is the same but her stories were priceless and worth sharing with a new generation of readers. Anyway, this is what Paula W herself says in response to a comment on the Amazon site:

                                                        Paula Wolfert says:
                                                        Hi Phyllis,My earlier book published in 1973 is still in print. In that work I presented Moroccan cooking as a prism through which to view an exotic foreign land, a gateway through which one could enter its culture. This book is different. I know so much more now, understand the cuisine so much better. I have added more than a hundred new recipes to the earlier ones, and placed a greater emphasis on the whys and wherefores of Moroccan cooking techniques.


                                                        1. re: jen kalb
                                                          JoanN RE: jen kalb Aug 14, 2012 02:30 PM

                                                          Very surprised to read that there are a hundred new recipes in The Food of Morocco. When I sat and went through it at Barnes & Noble thinking I might replace my copy of Couscous, I saw little new that compelled me to buy it. As you say, it looked and read to me as though it was just a "bulked up" version of the earlier book.

                                                          1. re: JoanN
                                                            jen kalb RE: JoanN Aug 14, 2012 03:37 PM

                                                            Its interesting how she re-frames her cuisines. I have not been able to discard the prior versions of the other books mentioned because they contain recipes I like. Glad she continues to enjoy doing the hard work of recipe collection and development, when it could easily be otherwise and she could rest on her laurels.

                                                      2. re: jen kalb
                                                        herby RE: jen kalb Aug 14, 2012 04:26 PM

                                                        I am happy to second THE FOOD OF MOROCCO. Have the book but hardly cooked from it - it is about time:)

                                                        1. re: herby
                                                          greedygirl RE: herby Aug 15, 2012 12:05 AM

                                                          I'm away for half of September so won't be nominating. But for Moroccan, I love Ghillie Basan's books. She also has a book on Turkish Cooking which I prefer to Moroccan food, which can be a bit sweet. I don't like the Wolfert book I have much, which is the South-West France one.

                                                        2. re: jen kalb
                                                          blue room RE: jen kalb Aug 15, 2012 05:40 AM

                                                          Hi jen kalb,

                                                          I will add one nomination for you to each Italian book that gets nominated --

                                                          is that what you intended?

                                                          1. re: blue room
                                                            jen kalb RE: blue room Aug 15, 2012 07:52 AM

                                                            why dont you just count it as a vote for whatever Italian alternative comes out on top in the nominations?

                                                            1. re: jen kalb
                                                              blue room RE: jen kalb Aug 15, 2012 08:14 AM

                                                              To be clear, are we talking about before, or after, the nominations are closed?

                                                              1. re: blue room
                                                                jen kalb RE: blue room Aug 15, 2012 08:45 AM

                                                                I just meant that when you are toting up for nominations, just to add one vote for the book or alternative that gets the highest vots from others toward nominations
                                                                lets put it here

                                                                ITALIAN BOOK THAT GETS HIGHEST NUMBER OF NOMINATIONS FROM OTHERS

                                                                1. re: jen kalb
                                                                  blue room RE: jen kalb Aug 15, 2012 09:04 AM

                                                                  Ok, before nominations close. And if there are 2 Italians with 2 noms each, I'll make it 3 for each.

                                                                  I'm not dense, really -- just dense approximately :)

                                                        3. re: jpr54_1
                                                          Gio RE: jpr54_1 Aug 14, 2012 12:28 PM

                                                          In that regard jpr54_1, here are a few books to consider:

                                                          The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York by Claudia Roden

                                                          Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited by Arthur Schwartz

                                                          We've already had several Mediterranean cookbooks as COTMs. They're listed in the Archive thread... going all the way back to September 2006.
                                                          http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

                                                          1. re: Gio
                                                            jpr54_1 RE: Gio Aug 14, 2012 02:33 PM

                                                            THE BOOK OF JEWISH FOOD
                                                            ARTHUR SCHWARTZ'S JEWISH HOME COOKING

                                                            1. re: Gio
                                                              jen kalb RE: Gio Aug 14, 2012 03:39 PM

                                                              I agree, but we've never done Moroccan, and its been a year (Splendid Table) since we've done an Italian book - that one very different from the books proposed on this thread.

                                                          2. Breadcrumbs RE: blue room Aug 14, 2012 03:42 PM

                                                            Well I made another dish from My Calabria on the weekend and yet again we had a hit on our hands. I'll come back and share my report here. In the meantime, I think I'm ready to throw out a nomination. I like the idea of pairing Antipasto Table with another book so:

                                                            ANTIPASTO TABLE

                                                            MY CALABRIA

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                              Breadcrumbs RE: Breadcrumbs Aug 14, 2012 05:04 PM

                                                              Here's the latest dish I tried from My Calabria:

                                                              Funghi con Pomodoro – My Calabria – p. 254

                                                              Tomatoes and wild mushrooms are abundant at our local market so this dish seemed like the perfect accompaniment to our grilled steak. I used chilli flakes vs the whole dry chilli and a mix of cherry tomatoes and chopped zebras. I also added some chopped garlic. This was a simple dish but the flavours were big and bold. We’ll definitely have this again. High heat cooking ensured the mushrooms stayed dry and caramelized. Delicious! I also grilled some panini that I'd spread with the lovely basil compound butter from FWAD.

                                                               
                                                               
                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                Breadcrumbs RE: Breadcrumbs Aug 15, 2012 09:12 AM

                                                                Big Sal's post below has enticed me to add another book to my nominations:

                                                                MOZZA

                                                                Like Big Sal, I'd be happy to cook from it alone or, paired w Antipasto Table which I've already nominated. Mozza is such a terrific book.

                                                              2. L.Nightshade RE: blue room Aug 14, 2012 05:10 PM

                                                                I'd be happy to cook from FOOD OF MOROCCO.
                                                                I'd also love to do an Italian month, as I missed Splendid Table. My first choices for Italian would be
                                                                MOZZA or MY CALABRIA.

                                                                Is that too many? I'm fairly giddy with being part of the nominating public again.
                                                                Thanks blue room!

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                  d
                                                                  dkennedy RE: L.Nightshade Aug 14, 2012 08:00 PM

                                                                  Where does the time go? School started today for us and I completely missed the nomination discussion (almost, anyways). Lot's of suggestions this month appeal to me. I just bought and have begun cooking out of Big Small Plates which I think would make a fabulous COTM someday but probably too late to bring it into the mix this time. I bought mine online for pennies, made the cover recipe for dinner tonight (rabbit tostadas), and am extremely impressed. Extremely!

                                                                  Of the titles that have been mentioned, I can comment on only a few.

                                                                  Mozza: Have and love this one. Made several recipes out of it. Nancy Silverton, in my opinion, is a genius and her recipes really work. If you buy this book and follow it to the letter, your results will blow your guests away. Her sandwich book is also amazing and if we go this route you may want to do a companion thread.

                                                                  The Book of Jewish Food: Have this book and would describe it as very well researched and an excellent read. I believe the recipes are solid, but I am Jewish and don't often cook from a cookbook when making traditional fare. If I do, it is to compare recipes to see how I can tweak them. It is extremely comprehensive and I am sure it would make for an excellent COTM discussion. I don't think you would need to pair it with another Jewish title as it covers many, many regional variations which is why I have it on my shelves.

                                                                  Union Square Cafe Cookbook: Have this one too. Bought it on during a COTM discussion and I enjoyed reading it but have not been motivated to cook out it - yet. It might be because it came in during a flood of other titles, I can't remember.

                                                                  A Year in my Kitchen: Do not own, shouldn't be tempted to acquire, but I am! It is a beautiful book and I have paged through it, and am sure would make a delightful read. Hope it does not win because I do not have the strength to resist.

                                                                  My Calabria: Do not own, not a fan of Calabrian food. Every time I have tried this regional variation I have been disappointed. Probably will sit this one out if it wins.

                                                                  My nominations go to:

                                                                  MOZZA
                                                                  or
                                                                  THE BOOK OF JEWISH FOOD

                                                                  1. re: dkennedy
                                                                    L.Nightshade RE: dkennedy Aug 14, 2012 09:34 PM

                                                                    Although I always prefer a one-cookbook month, there is a part of me that loves the idea of Silverton's Mozza and her Sandwich book. We'd be entrenched in her style and have a variety of meals to choose from, some simpler, some more complex. Even lunches and dinners!

                                                                2. Allegra_K RE: blue room Aug 14, 2012 08:18 PM

                                                                  I wasn't going to vote at all considering my lack of participation lately, but I just have to chime in for FOOD OF MOROCCO, and would like to offer another Wolfert book, THE COOKING OF THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN. I am currently loving the latter, and I bet people would find heaps of recipes well suited to the abundance of late summer produce; lots of eggplants, peppers, tomatoes.

                                                                  http://www.amazon.com/The-Cooking-Eas... Plenty of used copies for cheap!

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Allegra_K
                                                                    r
                                                                    rasputina RE: Allegra_K Aug 14, 2012 09:08 PM

                                                                    I second anything by Paula Wolfert, I have both of those plus her clay pot cookbook. All are great. But I doubt I'll be doing any cooking with you all as I'm moving next month so it's going to be packing and unpacking month for me.

                                                                    1. re: rasputina
                                                                      L.Nightshade RE: rasputina Aug 14, 2012 09:21 PM

                                                                      I have and love clay pot cooking, but I see it as a cooler weather month. I know that's not exactly true, as there are stovetop claypots, But I've mostly done the oven versions.
                                                                      And agreed, I'd go for any Paula Wolfert!

                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                        r
                                                                        rasputina RE: L.Nightshade Aug 14, 2012 09:22 PM

                                                                        I wasn't suggesting clay pot, I was just mentioning that along with the other books someone else suggested by her I have that one also. Having said that, the recipes I've cooked from that have all been in my tagine on the stove.

                                                                        1. re: rasputina
                                                                          L.Nightshade RE: rasputina Aug 14, 2012 09:29 PM

                                                                          Sorry, I just assumed that any book mentioned here is up for discussion.
                                                                          I'd love to do clay pot in a cooler month!

                                                                    2. re: Allegra_K
                                                                      jen kalb RE: Allegra_K Aug 15, 2012 04:40 AM

                                                                      COOKING OF THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN is in deed a great book, as is Greens and Grains. Clay Pot Cooking , book of Mediterranean Food, etc, but Im nt going to go on with this.

                                                                    3. BigSal RE: blue room Aug 15, 2012 03:32 AM

                                                                      Still indecisive, but I may not have time to vote this evening before the deadline.

                                                                      MOZZA

                                                                      or
                                                                      MOZZA AND ANTIPASTO TABLE
                                                                      or
                                                                      MY CALABRIA
                                                                      or

                                                                      MY CALABRIA and ANTIPASTO TABLE

                                                                      I'd also like to participate in the Book of Jewish Food, Food of Morocco and am intrigued by gg's comments about Turkish Cooking (of which I know nothing, but would love the opportunity to learn).

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: BigSal
                                                                        greedygirl RE: BigSal Aug 15, 2012 05:23 AM

                                                                        Turkish food is fabulous - I'm actually going there for two weeks in September. Can't wait!

                                                                        1. re: greedygirl
                                                                          herby RE: greedygirl Aug 15, 2012 05:57 AM

                                                                          I recently bought Turkey by Leanne Kitchen, made a few dishes from it - very good - and have many more marked to make. Lots of eggplant dishes. It is too new to nominate for COTM but maybe in a few month we'll consider.

                                                                          1. re: herby
                                                                            jpr54_1 RE: herby Aug 15, 2012 09:09 AM

                                                                            there is new book coming out in September

                                                                        2. re: BigSal
                                                                          Breadcrumbs RE: BigSal Aug 15, 2012 10:12 AM

                                                                          A lovely Eastern Mediterranean book w a heavy Turkish influence is Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume by Silvena Rowe. Though I haven't cooked from it, it came highly recommended. I was just reminded of it as it came up in another thread (about cookbooks go figure!!)

                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                            Breadcrumbs RE: Breadcrumbs Aug 15, 2012 10:27 AM

                                                                            btw, in case anyone has this book, chefathome just posted a great list of all the recipes they'd recommend. I pasted it into my personal notes in EYB. If you're interested, you can find chefathome's post here:

                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8634...

                                                                        3. Gio RE: blue room Aug 15, 2012 04:43 AM

                                                                          MADE IN ITALY by David Rocco

                                                                          THE BOOK OF JEWISH FOOD by Claudia Roden

                                                                          1. blue room RE: blue room Aug 15, 2012 05:36 AM

                                                                            Everyone please note

                                                                            today is Wednesday, August 15, so the nominations will close at 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (a little over 12 hours away as I write this.)

                                                                            Please put your choice(s) in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.

                                                                            1. jpr54_1 RE: blue room Aug 15, 2012 09:19 AM

                                                                              A BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD BY claudia roden
                                                                              THE FLAVOR OF JERUSALEM by Joan Nathan

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: jpr54_1
                                                                                Caitlin McGrath RE: jpr54_1 Aug 15, 2012 09:31 AM

                                                                                jpr, Roden's New Book of Middle Eastern Food was COTM in September 2010.

                                                                                The whole list can be found here: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

                                                                                1. re: jpr54_1
                                                                                  jen kalb RE: jpr54_1 Aug 15, 2012 10:06 AM

                                                                                  I m looking forward to Ottolenghi on this topic....

                                                                                  1. re: jen kalb
                                                                                    The Dairy Queen RE: jen kalb Aug 15, 2012 10:09 AM

                                                                                    Me too! Can't wait for Jerusalem!

                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                      herby RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 15, 2012 11:08 AM

                                                                                      Me three:) Pre-ordered it ages ago...

                                                                                2. a
                                                                                  angelsmom RE: blue room Aug 15, 2012 09:20 AM

                                                                                  UNION SQUARE COOKBOOK!
                                                                                  Thanks

                                                                                  1. greedygirl RE: blue room Aug 15, 2012 09:42 AM

                                                                                    Just a reminder that the new Ottolenghi, Jerusalem, is out in September. A bit soon for COTM, but some of you MAY wish to pre-order. Stranger things have happened....

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                      LulusMom RE: greedygirl Aug 15, 2012 10:15 AM

                                                                                      Um, when in September?

                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                        blue room RE: LulusMom Aug 15, 2012 10:22 AM

                                                                                        Amazon has it out October 16th in the USA.

                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                          Caitlin McGrath RE: LulusMom Aug 15, 2012 10:24 AM

                                                                                          UK edition September 6, US edition October 16.

                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                            LulusMom RE: LulusMom Aug 15, 2012 10:29 AM

                                                                                            OK, I think my luggage is very happy that this is a relatively short time between the two releases.

                                                                                          2. re: greedygirl
                                                                                            Gio RE: greedygirl Aug 15, 2012 10:18 AM

                                                                                            You Do know who has done.... Can't wait.

                                                                                          3. j
                                                                                            JaneEYB RE: blue room Aug 15, 2012 03:39 PM

                                                                                            Just realized after posting above that the deadline is tonight so need to make a decision. Aaargh, suffering from jet-lag (as well as post-Olympics come-down) as just got back from UK late last night. OK - going for UNION SQUARE COOKBOOKS (both).

                                                                                            1. blue room RE: blue room Aug 15, 2012 06:03 PM

                                                                                              This nomination thread is now closed.

                                                                                              I'll put up the voting thread, and will link to it from here.

                                                                                              Link to voting:
                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/863519

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