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February’s Cookbook of the Month will be “Bistro Cooking At Home” by Gordon Hamersley

blue room Jan 20, 2013 06:18 PM

This author runs a very well-thought-of restaurant in Boston. (I saw a breathless headline, something like "Obama visits Hamersley's Bistro, eats meat and potatoes.")
I do have this book (if anybody needs paraphrasing, just ask) and it looks great. The author likes "simmering, braising, roasting" -- cooking you can walk away from. Nice, but haha I noticed some other cooking terms too, like candied pistachios and shaved apples and souffléed Roquefort. It will be interesting!
On February 1st I'll put up a thread for our reports.

A few online recipes : http://starchefs.com/GHamersley/html/...

  1. pikawicca Jan 20, 2013 06:40 PM

    I was hoping for Burma, but since I can't cook this month, maybe this is a good thing and Burma will prevail at a later date.

    1. juliejulez Jan 20, 2013 08:10 PM

      I'M SO FREAKING EXCITED!!! My book arrived in yesterday's mail and I've marked maybe 4 dozen recipes already! Also, almost all the recipes have ingredients I can buy in my normal grocery stores, since I don't have good access to ethnic or specialty groceries, that's huge for me. Again, so thrilled that it won :)

      1. L.Nightshade Jan 20, 2013 08:47 PM

        Great work blue room! Thanks so much.
        I'm looking forward to February!

        1. geekmom Jan 20, 2013 08:53 PM


          I'm also willing to help with paraphrasing recipes.

          1. herby Jan 20, 2013 08:59 PM

            As Pikawika, I was hoping for Burma and an excuse to buy it since I am at least four months away from getting it from the library. But maybe for the best since I have a surgery scheduled for the end of january and most likely won't be cooking much. It will be interesting to see if Burma comes up again or will be forgotten as many did before it.

            I will be lurking and if a dish tempts me, I'll ask for paraphrase - thanks for the offer, Blue Room!

            1. eperdu Jan 20, 2013 09:07 PM

              I'm excited too ... I picked up my copy at the library the other day and have tagged a dozen or so recipes in the first half. Wheeee! I may actually participate this month.

              1. d
                dkennedy Jan 20, 2013 10:14 PM

                As always, thanks so much for all your hard work, Blue Room.

                So excited Bistro Cooking at Home was selected this time, I can't wait for February to get here and to see what everyone make. I just re-upped with Weight Watchers, so I will be walking a very delicate rope this month. Participating while staying true to my diet. Lots of yummy dishes to choose from, and as long as I only eat a small plate, I should be ok.

                Again, if anyone who wants to participate needs a recipe, I'd be happy to email it or paraphrase.

                2 Replies
                1. re: dkennedy
                  juliejulez Jan 21, 2013 09:52 AM

                  dkennedy, that's another thing I liked about this book. I'm a pretty healthy cook 80% of the time and I think many of the recipes already look pretty good, health-wise, and if they're not, they look to be adaptable to be more healthy. Many of the salads looked great, and I'm not even a salad person usually.

                  1. re: dkennedy
                    dkennedy Jan 21, 2013 10:17 AM

                    I have earmarked the duck confit with french lentil salad for tonight's dinner. I hope I can find duck legs at the market today.

                  2. LulusMom Jan 21, 2013 02:39 AM

                    Woohoo!!! I've had this book for years (since it came out) and the few things I've made I've loved. Good to have a fire under my bottom to get me to try more. Thanks blue room.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: LulusMom
                      Dirtywextraolives Jan 21, 2013 10:45 AM

                      Me too! That braised beef short ribs recipe is unbelievably good.....

                      Went to the resto maybe 20+ years ago....hard to believe its still around.....

                    2. The Dairy Queen Jan 21, 2013 04:35 AM

                      Here's a link to the available "online" recipes per EYB: http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/r...


                      3 Replies
                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        greedygirl Jan 22, 2013 06:35 AM

                        That's amazing TDQ - thank you so much for doing that. I never knew EYB had that facility, it's absolutely brilliant! I may be able to cook along a bit in February now.

                        1. re: greedygirl
                          The Dairy Queen Jan 22, 2013 07:21 AM

                          It's a newish feature on EYB...

                          EYB only lists the "official" online recipes, so there are likely many more online, too, if you search around.


                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                            abby d Jan 22, 2013 07:23 AM

                            thank you from me too - i've already spotted a few recipes i fancy trying.

                      2. alliegator Jan 21, 2013 06:01 AM

                        Thanks for posting links to the recipes available online. Not sure it was a book I wanted to go ahead and buy, but I see a couple of things on the links I'd like to try--so I can still participate a bit !

                        1. LulusMom Jan 21, 2013 11:36 AM

                          Just had a chance to go through the book again. I'm pretty excited. I wanted to tell people 3 things we made and absolutely loved, and one that we liked very much. The 3 loved items were: Oven-baked penne with onions, walnuts and goat cheese; Oven-roasted skate (I may have subbed flounder) with horseradish and walnut crumbs; Rabbit (in our case chicken thighs) in red wine with (turkey) bacon, pearl onions and chantarelles. The liked very much item (and I believe I made this before our Lulu came along) is Lu Lu's favorite pasta.

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: LulusMom
                            geekmom Jan 21, 2013 11:47 AM

                            Great idea, LLM - I have a few bookmarks already in this book but would love to hear others' favourites too.

                            That baked penne dish is truly outstanding and gets a +1 from me.

                            So far our most loved recipe in this book is the autumn vegetable stew with cheddar-garlic crumble crust. We made it with gf flour & it turned out extremely well.

                            1. re: LulusMom
                              The Dairy Queen Jan 21, 2013 12:46 PM

                              Oven baked penne

                              Oven roasted skate

                              Can't find the rabbit one, alas.


                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                alliegator Jan 21, 2013 12:52 PM

                                TDQ, thanks for posting this and the earlier link for Eat Your Books. I must have been living with my head in a hole, but I'd never come across the site. It's great, and I'll use it often :)

                                1. re: alliegator
                                  The Dairy Queen Jan 21, 2013 01:11 PM

                                  EYB is a fantastic site for cookbook lovers, but honestly, lately I'm getting a ton of use out of it for "online" recipes for books I don't even own. (Such as Bistro Cooking at Home).

                                  You can get recipe links for certain blogs, too, though I'm not much of a follower of blogs so I usually keep those results out of my EYB searches.


                                2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                  herby Jan 21, 2013 02:18 PM

                                  I love this skate wing recipe - thank you for posting, TDQ! My local produce store has a lovely fish counter where they often have fresh skate wings. I am always tempted but do not have a go-to recipe - maybe this will become the one.

                                3. re: LulusMom
                                  dkennedy Jan 21, 2013 01:04 PM

                                  LLM, thanks for the tip re the oven baked penne. I am having guests over on Wednesday night and now I know what I will make.

                                  1. re: dkennedy
                                    LulusMom Jan 21, 2013 01:43 PM

                                    Really absolutely heavenly. I hope I'm not steering you wrong, but if it *sounds* good to you, then I think you'll like it. And perfect for guests because the work is done beforehand. Good luck!

                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                      dkennedy Jan 24, 2013 03:25 PM

                                      LLM, made the baked pasta last night. Really loved it. I will post about my results when the thread opens next week but I just wanted to quickly post a thank you. I have now made 3 recipes from the book so I am in good shape to participate next month.

                                      1. re: dkennedy
                                        LulusMom Jan 24, 2013 03:36 PM

                                        Thrilled to hear that it was a hit for you too! Thanks for letting me know. I always get nervous when recommending dishes since everyone's tastes are different.

                                    2. re: dkennedy
                                      herby Jan 21, 2013 02:09 PM

                                      DK, I made baked penne with tiny meatballs (Marcella Hazan) for company last week and it was super easy since everything is ready before guests arrive and the dish goes in the oven 1/2 hour or so before serving! I am sure the Bistro recipe is just as convenient.

                                      1. re: herby
                                        The Dairy Queen Jan 21, 2013 03:04 PM

                                        Was it this recipe herby? http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/baked-...

                                        I was just looking at this today because I want to make tiny meatballs, but with turkey.


                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                          herby Jan 21, 2013 08:12 PM

                                          That's it! I made my meatballs with beef and I am sure turkey will be just as tasty. I actually rolled two meatballs at once as Marcella instructs but found rolling one at a time to be more enjoyable :)

                                  2. Breadcrumbs Jan 21, 2013 04:16 PM

                                    blue room sincere thanks!

                                    I'm delighted to see this book as our February COTM. I pulled it off the shelf tonight for a quick reminder and there are soooo many stickies in this book it's ridiculous! I'm super-excited!

                                    1. Gio Jan 22, 2013 07:28 AM

                                      February is going to be Great. I haven't been to Hamersley's Bistro for a long time even though I live in close proximity to Boston. The book has been languishing on the shelf for quite some time and although I have made a few recipes from it I can't remember what they are and how they fared. Now I'll have a chance to revisit both the restaurant and the book... Thanks Blue Room.

                                      1. C. Hamster Jan 22, 2013 04:23 PM

                                        Does he divulge the chicken recipe?

                                        I'm glad the confit recipe is there. Had there been a Justice of the Peace handy I would have married it last time I ate there.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: C. Hamster
                                          dkennedy Jan 22, 2013 04:38 PM

                                          The roasted chicken recipe is included, and it comes out perfectly. I believe a link to the recipe is provided on EYB, referenced above.

                                        2. blue room Jan 23, 2013 10:49 AM

                                          Wow, I go Internet-lite for a couple days, and a riot erupts! So many sound *so* excited for this one. I saw an outward sameness with the Union Square Cafe books -- big city cafe/bistro, dishes like roast chicken, fruit crisp/crumbles. That's way over-simplified, but do you get what I mean? The Union Square books were not huge here, so I wonder how this bistro book will go.

                                          1. d
                                            DebHo Jan 23, 2013 05:26 PM

                                            I admit I voted for Bistro and am excited, but after reading rave reviews about Burma I might try that on my own too.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: DebHo
                                              LulusMom Jan 23, 2013 05:40 PM

                                              I *think* this is a thread on cooking from it. If not, you can start one, or you can wait and keep voting on it. I have a strong feeling it will be COTM soon.

                                              1. re: LulusMom
                                                Caitlin McGrath Jan 23, 2013 06:10 PM

                                                LLM, did you mean to include a link? Anyway, this thread is about Burmese in general/from various books, but it has lots about cooking from Duguid's book: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/875497

                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                  LulusMom Jan 24, 2013 02:29 AM

                                                  Thanks for including the link Caitlin. I think I had one of those brain moments ...

                                              2. re: DebHo
                                                geekmom Jan 23, 2013 05:47 PM

                                                I'll be extremely surprised if Burma doesn't end up being COTM in the next couple of months...

                                                1. re: DebHo
                                                  L.Nightshade Jan 23, 2013 08:55 PM

                                                  Agree with the other posters. Burma will soon have its day. Or month, rather.

                                                2. prima Jan 23, 2013 09:21 PM

                                                  Love this book.
                                                  I loved his Beet & Ginger Soup so much, that I often use the same flavours (orange, ginger, garlic, fennel, tarragon, red onion, balsamic) when I make beets as a side dish. http://ottotarchincooking.blogspot.ca...

                                                  1. nomadchowwoman Jan 24, 2013 03:31 PM

                                                    I'm also extremely fond of this book, having cooked quite successfully from it; its recipes are very accessible, yielding sophisticated comfort food.

                                                    The salads, especially the winter-y ones, are wonderful. As are the soups I've tried (beet-ginger; hearty lentil). And, yes, Hamersley's legendary roast chicken recipe is here, along with great recipes for gougeres and profiteroles.

                                                    Also delicious: gratin of potatoes and caramelized onions; grilled flank steak in coffee marinade; short ribs braised in dark beer; beef braised in red wine;spicy lamb shanks; pot-roasted pork with prunes and armagnac; braised leeks with orange vinaigrette; lemony braised endive; souffleed lemon custard.

                                                    Should be a yummy month; I hope I have more time to cook than I have this month.

                                                    1. delys77 Jan 24, 2013 08:07 PM

                                                      Well I voted for Burma because I have a good number of bistro style books already, but given the large number of lovely looking recipes online I might pop in every so often.

                                                      1. blue room Feb 8, 2013 08:24 AM

                                                        Hello COTM participants and followers --

                                                        The process for choosing a book for March should begin soon, in the next 7 days would probably be ideal. Someone needs to step in to coordinate for the 6 months of March through August 2013.

                                                        As they say on the Internets: discuss.

                                                        Thanks you all!

                                                        18 Replies
                                                        1. re: blue room
                                                          greedygirl Feb 8, 2013 11:11 AM

                                                          I'm happy to do it if you all can put up with funny spelling and the time difference.

                                                          1. re: greedygirl
                                                            Gio Feb 8, 2013 11:16 AM

                                                            What a gal! As long as you learn to say, "Y'All."

                                                            1. re: Gio
                                                              greedygirl Feb 8, 2013 11:24 AM

                                                              I'll give it a go! Did I mention we're planning a trip Stateside in September? It will be West coast though. San Francisco to Sattle via Portland, then over the border to Victoria and Vancouver.

                                                              1. re: greedygirl
                                                                Gio Feb 8, 2013 11:29 AM

                                                                That sounds like a wonderful trip GG. Many great C'hounds on the left coast. Oh, and sights to see and food to eat.

                                                                1. re: greedygirl
                                                                  geekmom Feb 8, 2013 11:30 AM

                                                                  Ooh, excellent trip itinerary! There's a great and very active board on CH for each of those cities where locals are happy to recommend food destinations for any budget & location... you will no doubt have your own ideas too!

                                                                  Thank you for offering to do COTM!

                                                                  1. re: greedygirl
                                                                    LulusMom Feb 8, 2013 12:13 PM

                                                                    Fantastic itinerary! You'll love it. If you get a chance while in Oregan, take a side trip along the Columbia River gorge. And I hope you're planning on doing Napa/Sonoma?

                                                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                                                      greedygirl Feb 9, 2013 03:36 AM

                                                                      We've been to Sonoma/Napa already, but I'm not ruling out another visit! Thanks for the tip about the Columbia River gorge.

                                                                    2. re: greedygirl
                                                                      Caitlin McGrath Feb 8, 2013 12:42 PM

                                                                      Please don't hesitate to give me a shout in a few months, greedygirl, if you'd be up for breaking bread or sharing a bottle with a local when in the SF Bay Area. Would love to meet up.

                                                                      And thanks for taking over the COTM reins!

                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                        greedygirl Feb 8, 2013 02:14 PM

                                                                        I definitely will Caitlin, thanks.

                                                                  2. re: greedygirl
                                                                    blue room Feb 8, 2013 11:19 AM

                                                                    You'll need to change your name to generousgirl.

                                                                    1. re: blue room
                                                                      greedygirl Feb 8, 2013 11:34 AM

                                                                      Am I right in thinking there's a COTM idiot-proof guide? If so can you email it to me?

                                                                      1. re: greedygirl
                                                                        blue room Feb 8, 2013 11:43 AM

                                                                        Of course, I will tell you everything I know, it will be forthcoming and it will fit in a cupcake paper! Thank you so much!

                                                                        1. re: blue room
                                                                          greedygirl Feb 9, 2013 03:35 AM

                                                                          OK - first stupid question. How do I post in the Quick Links thread in Home Cooking? Or do I just post the nomination thread in the general Home Cooking section and ask the mods to put it in the quick links? I am confused already!

                                                                          The other thing is, I will probably need help posting the reporting threads if it's a book I don't own, as the library system isn't nearly as good here as it is in the US for cookbooks, and the book stores don't always carry US titles. TIA!

                                                                          1. re: greedygirl
                                                                            blue room Feb 9, 2013 07:27 AM

                                                                            Good morning, greedygirl! I'll email.

                                                                            1. re: greedygirl
                                                                              Gio Feb 9, 2013 10:53 AM

                                                                              I'll try to help you if I have a cookbook you don't have...

                                                                              1. re: Gio
                                                                                LulusMom Feb 9, 2013 10:59 AM

                                                                                Add me to the list of willing helpers, if I have the book or can get it at the library.

                                                                              2. re: greedygirl
                                                                                Caitlin McGrath Feb 9, 2013 11:13 AM

                                                                                I'm also willing to help if I can look through a book from my bookshelf/local library/bookstore.

                                                                                1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                  Breadcrumbs Feb 9, 2013 03:44 PM

                                                                                  Absolutely gg and even though I'm going to be travelling a lot this year, mr bc said he'd be happy to scan and email tables of contents if you need them so please don't hesitate to ask.

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