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What cookbooks have you bought recently, or are you lusting after? March 2013 edition! [old]

OK all you cookbook addicts, you're among good company here. I actually think I didn't buy a single cookbook last month, can that be possible??? How about you? What's on your horizon?

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  1. I caved in to La Dunlop and bought the COTM. But today, I took out a book I bought and really didn't look at very much when I did -- Barbara Lynch's Stir. I was inspired to look at it since the Top Chef winner, Kristin Kish, works at Stir, and Lynch considers her to be her protege. It's a very interesting book.

    58 Replies
      1. re: roxlet

        I made Barbara Lynch's Bolognese, which has chicken livers. I liked it except for the chicken livers. I haven't gotten back to the book.

        1. re: roxlet

          omg, I love Stir roxlet...one of my favourite Italian books. I agree w bt, I'd LOVE this to be a COTM.

          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            Funny :) I nominated Stir and neither BC nor BT supported that nomination - maybe not a good month for Stir?

            1. re: herby

              I'm not a big COTMer so tend to stay out of the process.

              1. re: buttertart

                How come you're not bt, you'd be such an asset?

                1. re: buttertart

                  I wish you would, BT! The way you talk about Dunlop you probably would have me inspired by now to cook from EGOR that is still sitting around unused. Beeing selfish, I admit...

                2. re: herby

                  I do love Stir herby and I think you may be right. When I think of that book I think hearty comfort food and as much as I'd love this to be a COTM, I'm in the mood for something a bit lighter for April. I'm sad there aren't many Donna Hay fans on CH...I just can't praise her enough and I think she'd make for a great COTM. Looks like there's a lot of support for the Smitten Kitchen this month...

                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                    I do not what it is about Donna Hay that I can't get excited about. I am the same about Nigel Slater - while everybody raves on and on, I am wondering what all the fuss is about :) Not too thrilled about the Smitten Kitchen though I like some of her blog recipes.

                    Did I ever tell you, BC, that I love the Summer Weekends book that you recommended to me last summer when I was going to the cottage. Plan to take it along this coming simmer too :)

                    1. re: herby

                      I do know what you mean herby and actually I have the same challenge w Nigel Slater though I do know so many folks love him.

                      Did you purchase Donna Hay's Off-the-Shelf herby? That's the one that got me hooked. I also find the photography in her books draws me in and entices me to try recipes. If I could only keep one of my cookbooks, I'd keep a DH book.

                      I'm so glad you're enjoying that Summer Weekends book herby, thanks for letting me know. If you're in Chapters, take a look at Jane Rodmell's "All The Best Recipes" - it's my favourite of all her books.

                      1. re: herby

                        < I am the same about Nigel Slater - while everybody raves on and on, I am wondering what all the fuss is about>

                        I read his bio book because of all the raves I read about him here, and I was amazed at what a twit he seemed. I didn't bother with any of the rest of his books.

                        I've ordered a copy of Smitten from the library. I miss the days when I could go to a bookstore.

                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                        BC, can you recommend any specific books by Donna Hay? I have "The New Cook", which was from 1997. Looking through it just now, I can't help but notice that it almost seems ahead of its time, as far as food trends go.

                        1. re: MelMM

                          I think you're quite right Mel. Donna Hay's recipes frequently do seem to be ahead of their time and I think that adds to the appeal and, longevity of the books.

                          It's hard for me to pick one (kind of like picking a favourite child!!) Off The Shelf was the first DH book I purchased and I've made countless recipes from that book so it's probably the one I'd go with. The premise of the book is that if you have a well-stocked pantry, putting together tasty meals is so much quicker and easier. That said, the pantry ingredients are foundational to the recipes but most call for fresh ingredients such as veggies, herbs etc. One of my absolute favourite recipes of all time is in this book It's DH's Lemon Chicken Pasta which I've posted about several times on Chowhound. I'll paste a link below FYI. This pasta w its fresh basil, lemon and Thai bird chilis is just outstanding and one of the very few dishes mr bc and I will never, ever tire of. I usually add more capers and garlic but that's because we love those flavours. It's also great w tuna instead of the chicken. In a pinch I've even used shredded BBQ Chx from the hot counter at the supermarket. I also love New Food Fast and No Time To Cook for super quick and easy weeknight meals that taste ridiculously good. Her Entertaining books are awesome as well...

                          Here's the chx recipe:


                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                            See, I'd no sooner posted this than I remembered Fast, Fresh, Simple which is another excellent DH book!

                            I also wanted to share some of our favourites from the book you already own Mel. From The New Cook:

                            Asparagus and Poached Eggs w Brown Butter - we now roast the asparagus but this is a huge fave when asparagus is in season.

                            Chilli Pasta w Prawns and lime
                            Roast Vegetable Lasagna
                            Pasta w Roast Tomato Sauce
                            Angel Hair Pasta w Tuna
                            Spaghetti w Grilled Chicken and Asparagus (we do fish vs chx too)
                            Pappardelle w Fennel and Olives
                            Fettuccine w Fried Basil, Garlic and Capers
                            Coconut Rice w Green Chilli
                            Soy Rice and Chicken
                            Shanghai Noodle Stir Fry
                            Hokkien Noodles w Seared Scallops (I tend to use shrimp)
                            Somen Noodles w Chlli Lime Dipping Sauce (mmmm!)
                            Baked Celeriac and Blue Cheese - so good w steak!
                            Vegetable Pies - I've added roasted chestnuts too
                            Spinach Lemon and Lentil Soup
                            Onion Fennel Soup which I puree
                            Sweet Potato Soup - the coconut milk takes this from good to amazing!
                            Eggplant and Chickpea Salad
                            Baby Spinach Cheese and Olive Pie
                            Sitr Fried Beans w Lemon and Cashews
                            Warm Red Lentil Salad
                            Grilled Chicken and Fig Salad
                            Baby Spinach and Prosciutto Salad (again I roast or grill my asparagus)

                            ....that should be enough to give you a sense. I haven't covered the latter sections of the book!

                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                              Wow, what a list! You have really cooked a lot from this book. I will definitely give some of these a try, and then figure out where to go from there.

                              1. re: MelMM

                                I have, I use DH's recipes a lot. I've cooked more from OTS!!
                                If that Lemon Chicken Pasta appeals I do hope you get a chance to try it.

                            2. re: Breadcrumbs

                              Thanks so much. I will check these out.

                              1. re: MelMM

                                Mew three - I think I own this book too.

                              2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                BC, just wanted to let you know that I made the lemon chicken pasta you linked to above, and it was indeed excellent, and easy in the extreme. I used leftover roast chicken (the roast chicken w/ harissa from Moro), and went a little heavy on the chiles, because I like food with a kick. Looking forward to exploring some more of Ms. Hay's work.

                                1. re: MelMM

                                  Mel, thank-you for letting me know....I could hug you!!! I'm excited to hear you might explore more DH recipes and I hope you become a fan....I think she'll continue to impress. Thanks again!

                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                    I aim to please, BC. I've put her most recent book on my iPad. I think I'll keep an eye out for the "Off the Shelf" book. I can even recall when that came out, that it got good press and I came close to buying it. Not sure why I held back... not typical behavior!

                                2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                  BC, Based on your praise of Donna Hay, I ordered Off The Shelf and it came today. Just looking through it, I can see why you like DH's books so much! I had some left-over rice, so made an adaptation of Crisp Rice Omelette tonight. (It has the rice, spring onions (substituted shallots, but cooked them a bit more), red chillies, snowpeas (subs. sugar snapped peas), eggs, and soy sauce. It was delicious and easy to make. I'm looking forward to trying it as written, as well as many other recipes!

                                  Thanks so much for your recommendation - I wouldn't have known about her otherwise. Our library, which is quite good, didn't have anything by DH, which is surprising. I usually check out books there first.


                                  1. re: MMari

                                    Mari, thanks so much for letting me know. I'm delighted to have company cooking from this book!!

                                    I know that recipe you made very well. The great thing about it is, as you've discovered, it's very adaptable. I've used brown and white rice over the years. I've even added frozen peas (defrosted) instead of the snow peas. I've even subbed different chilis (including dried) over the years. Thai bird chilis are my absolute favourite though!!

                                    Did you have any kecap manis to serve w it? If not, it is really nice.

                                    Looking forward to hearing more about your cooking adventures.

                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                      Maybe a cooking from Donna Hay thread is in order? I certainly love her baking book, and have another of her books that I haven't used yet. If so, please put a link here.

                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                        That's funny LlM...I was thinking the exact same thing!

                                        I just created a Donna Hay bookmark in EYB so I can search her books on their own and I'm looking for something for dinner tomorrow.

                                        I figured I'd set up a post after I've made it...if someone hasn't set one up by then! I'm really looking forward to this and I can't tell you how excited I am that we may have some new Donna Hay fans here!!

                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                          All I've made are desserts, but there hasn't been a loser in the bunch.

                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                            That's great to hear LlM, I haven't made any of her desserts but most definitely will. I'm trying to bake more this year.

                                            More so than any other books on my shelf, I find DH's books timeless. Even though some of her recipes are now over a decade old (in Off The Shelf for example), they still seem very current and always delicious!

                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                              I've got three of her books I think - Off The Shelf, The New Cook and I think Flavours.

                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                I have New Food Fast. Never cooked from it. Always mean to.


                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  gg & TDQ that's great! It would be great to cook through some recipes together. I'm excited!!

                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    I have that one too, and also haven't cooked from it.

                                                  2. re: greedygirl

                                                    I've had Flavors for ages. Never cooked from it. It is a pretty book, though.

                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      Hi Gio, not sure if you know this but Flavors was originally published in 2000 as a Marie Claire book called "Flavours" authored by DH. Marie Claire is a UK women's magazine (Nigel Slater used to be a food writer there too and may have gone on to be it's editor but I'm not sure about the last bit...my memory is a bit foggy these days it seems!). While I agree it's a beautiful book, it's likely the one of her books I've cooked the least from. Her own books are cleaner, better organized w more recipes. The Flavour recipes definitely have DH's stamp on them but I'd say it's in her other books where she really showcases her style of cooking. Simple recipes, not a lot of ingredients but, well-developed remarkable flavours. If you get a chance to take a peek at her website you'll get a sense of what I mean.

                                                      btw, Nigel Slater has a Marie Claire cookbook too. I have it but I don't believe I've cooked from it...it was a more recent thrift store purchase.

                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                        It's actually a bit of a gem, the Nigel Slater Marie Claire cookbook. One of the first cookbooks I ever owned. I used to cook the vegetable tagine all the time when I have veggie guests.

                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                          That's very good to know gg. I'll have to pull it off the shelf and bring it into the kitchen so I can take a proper look at it. Thanks!

                                                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                          Thanks as always BC. I read DH's blog so I did know that. In fact I have several recipes of hers in Pepperplate one of which, Baked Mushrooms, I plan to make next weekend as part of my Easter menu.

                                                          ETA: Looking through my calendar for this week, DH's Eggplant Ricotta and Parmigiano Bake is on the menu for this Wed. I'll report back.

                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                            Both dishes sound lovely Gio, I hope you enjoy them and look forward to hearing about them. Interestingly, the dish I selected for tonight is also a ricotta recipe, ours is w chicken though. I picked up two tubs of freshly made ricotta at an Italian market we visited yesterday. I'm also making Giada's lovely ricotta cake tonight and using blood oranges as the citrus...my favourite version!

                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                              Eggplant, Ricotta, and Parmegiano Bake

                                                              We did make this recipe for dinner on Wednesday as I had hoped, and as I had also hoped it was delicious. The eggplant was sweet and creamy with that unmistakable eggplant tang, and the ricotta/parmigiano custard was soft and thick, mild and luxurious. Followed the recipe exactly: used large eggs, half and half, and made a basil chiffonade instead of chopped. When G took it out of the oven it looked pretty much like the picture in the link above. Very easy to prep and put together, I'd make this again. Oh, one thing I added was to use 1/2 t salt and 1 t pepper when mixing the custard...

                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                Gio, do you know that Breadcrumbs started "Cooking from Donna Hay" thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/895710 ?

                                                                Could you repost your report there? BTW, your eggplant dish description made me want to run to the store to get ricotta since I have tons of apanese eggplant in the fridge. I was going to make something from the Japanese Farm Food but need a BIG kick in the behind to start with unfamiliar:)

                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                  My memory is not behaving, herby, I forgot about the new thread... I'll post the report there. Thank you! I think you'd like the Hay recipe. Tender and mild and definitely eggplanety...

                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                    I'll post in DH thread when I try it. I saw ricotta at a good price in a flyer yesterday - maybe that's what I'll do: check out this new to me store and get ricotta!

                                                2. re: LulusMom

                                                  Just letting everyone know I've set up a "Cooking From Donna Hay's Cookbooks & Magazines" thread. I'll put another note at the very end of this thread too just in case folks miss this one.

                                                  Here's the link...I'd love it if you joined me!!


                                  2. re: roxlet

                                    Boo hoo! We are about 6 weeks behind on Top Chef Seattle in Canada. I didn't know who won. I'm going to have to buy the COTM to make myself feel better.

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      I just picked up Stir for $14 on Amazon! Hopefully, I intercept the mail before my family gets it...I've been on a spree lately. But, a hardcover cookbook for $14?! How could I pass that up?

                                      1. re: pagesinthesun

                                        One of my favourite Italian books pages! You're going to love it.

                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                          That's good to know, BC! Would you post some of the recipes from Stir that stand out for you? I have the book and the look and feel of it but have not cooked from it at all.


                                          1. re: herby

                                            Here are some that we've really enjoyed herby:

                                            • Butcher shop Bolognese
                                            • Pasta with potatoes and pesto
                                            • Rigatoni with spicy sausage and cannellini beans
                                            • Pappardelle with tangy veal ragu
                                            • Cheese agnolotti with butter sauce, celery, apple, and prosciutto

                                            FYI, I've reviewed all of these in EYB too if you want more info.

                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                              Thank you, Breadcrumbs, very kind of you! You and Mr. BC are real pasta lovers as evident from your list of dishes :) I love pasta too but try to limit all foods made with GM grains; that is another discussion.

                                              I never think about looking at reviews on EYB; some that I looked for were not very helpful but if people like you are posting I should get back to reading.

                                              1. re: herby

                                                Thank-YOU herby, you're very kind. Yes mr bc in particular loves Italian food. He has a keen interest in wine as well and I think his love of Italian food has evolved from wine/food pairing.

                                                As for EYB, I do try my best to add my reviews as I prepare dishes and when EYB started tallying the notes members added I was shocked to learn I had reviewed over 700 dishes! It made me feel a little better about my cookbook collection!

                                                I do wish EYB had a forum such as this would allow for interactive dialogue so if we do see a member review, we could post a question or have a discussion about a particular dish. This seems like a natural extension of their brand and, I believe it would be a value add function.

                                                The existing EYB Forum is very very basic and often posts just hang out there without any activity. I know Jane & Fiona have said they have plans to build this functionality out at some point.

                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                  I am impressed - 700 reviews, wow! Where do you find the time??? I agree, BC, an interactive forum will add a lot to EYB and good to know that they are thinking about it.

                                                  1. re: herby

                                                    Thanks herby. It's not easy finding the time. I work full-time and volunteer so time is always precious. I gave up on work/life "balance" a long time ago and now just focus on blending all my commitments in a way that feels good and makes sense for me. I have a passion for cooking and writing so it doesn't feel as daunting as a work deadline or task.

                                                  2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                    Breadcrumbs (or a late Valentine)

                                                    I just want to tell you how impressed I am at the number of new recipes you try. Your impressions and assessments are always well thought and extremely useful. Your passion and sharing nature invite participation. I thank you for adding so much to my enjoyment of these threads.

                                                    You have become one of my cooking inspirations!

                                                    May your pantry always be full and the calories kind.


                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                      Oh my goodness meatn, your post made me tear up!

                                                      I'm touched by your thoughtfulness. It is my sincere pleasure to have the opportunity to participate here and it's good to know I'm not boring folks to death w my lengthy reviews!
                                                      Thank-you, you've made my day!!

                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                          Wow, you're an inspiration! I have recently become quite obsessed with food and cooking and I'm glad I'm not the only one always looking to explore more.

                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                        Gosh, 700? I thought I was doing pretty good with my 150ish new recipes that I've tried in this past year (tracked on Pinterest vs EYB, although I'm a member and should probably review the ones I've made from my listed books there). You are an inspiration!

                                              2. re: pagesinthesun

                                                I fell in love with Stir last spring based on just one recipe. Fennel, Cucumber and Green Bean Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Creamy Yogurt! I'm craving it now, just thinking about how good it was! I definitely have to make it again soon and also try many more of the recipes in this book.

                                            2. bt did you put a link here on the old thread...I just discovered this by chance.

                                              ...not that I have any interest in cookbooks or anything!

                                              1. "The Hakka Cookbook" has been awarded, in a tie, the best Chinese cookbook in the world by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. The other book is "Da Dong Artistic Conception of Chinese Cuisine. "

                                                From her web site:

                                                14 Replies
                                                1. re: Gio

                                                  I can't find an easy-to-read list,, but here's the Facebook page...

                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                    That's great, but maybe a little over the top considering what else is out there.

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      It's the best in the world for 2012... Not of all time or anything.

                                                      Still, quite an honor.


                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        Then they're right, but I'd love to see the co-winner.

                                                  2. re: Gio

                                                    In case anyone is interested and doesn't want to endure the excruciating experience of flipping through the 442 pg presentation of the info on the Gourmand site, here's a version you can actually read:


                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      Oh geez, here you go again Gio, in your little devil suit. I'm thinking I may have to at least *try* buying one of these books for my kindle. Just as an experiment, of course.

                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                        If you're just experimenting, you might see if your library does digital lending yet... Sadly, mine doesn't have Hakka in any format.


                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                          Not a bad idea at all! I know that they do some lending, but not sure if they've gotten into cookbooks yet. They've been working on the library building and are in a temporary space, so my guess is that a lot has been put on hold. But I'll check.

                                                          One thing I was thinking would maybe make it ok is that I could also view the book (if I bought it) on my computer, which seems like it would make it easier to really delve into the recipes.

                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                            My library doesn't have the digital version of the Hakka Cookbook or a hard copy. I checked for Vietnamese Cooking at Home (or is it Home Cooking?) and they didn't have anything for that either. Maybe once they get moved ...

                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                              Have you ever tried asking if they would order it i? I'm constantly recommending cookbooks for the library to buy, and they've only rejected a couple of my suggestions. Impatiently waiting for Hakka to arrive at my branch.....

                                                              1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                I used to work with the Friends of the Library, and would occasionally give suggestions. I am not sure they were taken with much seriousness, unfortunately. And right now, with the move, I think everything is kind of on hold. Maybe end of April they'll start buying more stuff.

                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              In the U S, use Inter-Library Loan!!

                                                              If it's in a library a n y w h e r e in the US, you can get it.

                                                              Of course, it may take 3 weeks, but Who Cares!?!

                                                              Additionally, if anyone is elderly or disabled, in many locales [esp rural] you can qualify for a 1x month Bookmobile... which would deliver your books....

                                                                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                  Yeah, but if your library (we have one in town) is closed then this doesn't do you much good. Just saying.

                                                          2. Bought Richard Blaise's "try this at home" which I find a little disappointing, "Origin" by ben Shewry should be here monday, really looking forward to that one.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: twyst

                                                              And as for the "lusting after" category, definitely quite a few books I simply cant wait for this year.

                                                              Pok Pok and Manresa top my list of fall cookbooks this year, but for something I's SUPER excited about and is coming much sooner there is this


                                                              Was just awarded best cookbook design in the world at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

                                                              1. re: twyst

                                                                Could you give a little more detail on why you found "Try This at Home" to be disappointing. I have that one on my wish list.

                                                              2. ok you chowhounds did me in. I rarely cook Chinese food so I hadn't even looked at this book everyone is raving about. Then I went to Amazon to look at Every Grain of Rice since it's COTM ( no preview sadly) and saw a link to the Hakka Cookbook which did have a preview. It looks wonderful!

                                                                So now I'm lusting after the Hakka Cookbook!

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                    My sister will whole-heartedly agree with you, buttertart. She now regards Linda Lau's Hakka cookbook as her secret ally when trying to impress her rather demanding Hakka mother-in-law culinary-wise ;-)

                                                                    1. re: klyeoh

                                                                      Great. It is a real accomplishment.

                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        Couldn't agree more, and a great read.

                                                                1. Well, I almost made it. According to CH, this thread's been up for 23 hours. I almost made it a full day without adding a few books to my collection!

                                                                  I'd hoped to pick up the Bouchon Bakery cookbook at Costco today but sadly, there weren't any left. Of course I still managed to add a book to my cart:

                                                                  EPICURIOUS by Tanya Steel and the Editors of Epicurious - before I discovered EYB and started using my cookbooks on a regular basis, if I needed a recipe, I always turned to Epi. I always sorted my results by # of stars in the rating and I was almost always pleased with the results. At the moment, all those recipes I prepared are printed and filed in binders. So I was really excited to see this book that includes many of my favourites. The book also includes some notes from Epi reviewers, lots of photos and cooks notes/tips. Sadly, what they didn't do, and this surprised me, is include reference to the original source of the recipe. There are many in the book from Gourmet & Bon Appetit. Looks like a winner nonetheless.

                                                                  After Costco, we swung by a thrift store and I picked up:

                                                                  SOPHIE GRIGSON'S SUNHINE FOOD - Though I was unfamiliar w this SG title, the book looks great. It's focussed on Mediterranean food and seems to have received positive reviews. $2.99

                                                                  MADHUR JAFFREY'S INDIAN COOKERY - Now this one I had heard of and frankly, I'm surprised I didn't own it. $1.99

                                                                  PRINCIPLES OF FOOD, BEVERAGE, AND LABOR COST CONTROLS - Dittmer - not a cookbook per se but a food text book and I love reading these things. A huge bargain at $2.99

                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                    Is that Jaffrey the one from the BBC series, early 80s? My fave.

                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                      It is bt, mine is the first edition and it looks like there may be a later version w more photos but I really liked the format of this book and the recipes look terrific. Do you have this bt? I wonder if they sell those old BBC cooking programmes on dvd? I'd love to watch them.

                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                        I've been using it since it came out, one of my top 10 ever. The recipes make delicious food (I reduce the oil a lot, however).
                                                                        And man would I love to see that series.

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          When I was in London in Nov. the BBC was really suffering. Jimmy Savile scandal and all that. If they were smart, they'd go back to their roots and things that worked. I bet they could make some good $$ selling those old programmes. Especially outside the UK where the current BBC woes are lesser known.

                                                                          I'm even more excited about this book after reading your post. I love that it's portable, I'll take it to work w me and read it on my commute home. I was immediately drawn to the Mulligatawny soup for some reason.

                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                            I love the pork chops with chickpeas, potatoes, and mushrooms.

                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                              Breadcrumbs, did you know Jaffrey's Indian Cooking (North American title vs. British Cookery) was a COTM a few years ago? It was paired with Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking, so the reports are mixed together, but it was a popular month, as I recall. Here's the master thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/656234

                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                No Caitlin, I didn't!! Thanks so much. I've added it to my Historical COTM bookmarks. I'm looking forward to reading through the threads and adding to them as I cook from the book.

                                                                    2. I've checked out "Scandilicious" twice now from the library and now really want this book!

                                                                      Also checked out from the library "The Book of Kale" which I did not have high hopes for but really enjoyed and want to own.

                                                                      Finally, "Angelica Kitchen". Ate at the restaurant in NYC recently and want to explore the food more, especially the bread recipes, soup recipes, and spread recipes.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: poptart

                                                                        I hadn't heard of Scandilicious, but will be checking to see if my library has it now!

                                                                      2. After reading this review of a new book "One Pan, Two Plates" I decided to order it: http://www.thekitchn.com/one-pan-two-...

                                                                        It sounds like it has some good recipes and I'm a huge fan of skillet meals that only cook one or two servings, especially on weeknights... so many of them make at least 4 servings, and often more, which is just too much for when I'm on my own during the week. Also it was just under $14 on Amazon, new, so I can fit it into my budget this month :)

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                          I finally received the book. Amazon sent me a phone case instead of the book so it took them awhile to correct my order. I haven't cooked from it yet, but I did just go through it and so far I'm pretty impressed. My only complaint just upon reading is that the serving sizes, especially for the pasta dishes, are quite large.... 10oz of pasta for 2 people? But I'm really looking forward to a number of the dishes... it covers a few different ethnicities and there's a great index in the back that sorts by season and a few other categories. Also all of the times for the recipes are listed as under an hour, and none require more than a dozen or so ingredients, most of which are pantry staples.

                                                                        2. Well, I finally caved and ordered Fuchsia Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook.

                                                                          Also picked up Mennonite Foods and Folkways from South Russia by Norma Jost Voth, but after seeing the raptured delight with with my mother paged through it, I gave the book over to her. Which is alright, 'cause I already have a recipe for water soup! ;)

                                                                          Looking forward to seeing what Anya von Bremzen's new book, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, is like, but that isn't due out until the fall....

                                                                          22 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                            About time on the Fuchsia...
                                                                            I like von Bremzen a lot.

                                                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                              I'm curious, too. I have Please to the Table and wonder if it's a new and updated version of that.

                                                                              Speaking of new and updated, I really want Tess Mallos' newly printed Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook. Even though I have the original.

                                                                              1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                For those of you that do have the RCC book, what are some of your top picks? I don't know where to start; everything looks so good!

                                                                                1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                  Off the top of my head:

                                                                                  Coriander (cilantro) salad - one of my favorites but it's not listed in the index. I think it's in the appetizer section

                                                                                  Beef with cumin - I use one t whole cumin and 1 t crushed. Also, I always have salted chiles in the fridge and use that instead of fresh. Lamb also works well in place of beef. Lastly, this also tastes great with a handful of cilantro thrown in at the end.

                                                                                  Shrimp with yellow chives

                                                                                  Fisherman's shrimp (there are two great shrimp dishes. I don't know what the names are but I think these are it).

                                                                                  Ma Po tofu - different then the LOP and EGOR ones. But still great.

                                                                                  Fried noodles with chicken, mushrooms and vegetables - no clue what the name is but I often change the mushrooms and add vegetables.

                                                                                  Steamed eggs - different then the one in EGOR but just as delicious. Great comfort food.

                                                                                  1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                    I second the beef with cumin and steamed eggs.


                                                                                  2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                    Here are are a few of my favorites:
                                                                                    Home-Style Bean Curd, Pg. 186 - 187
                                                                                    Peng's Home-Style Bean Curd, Variation Version, Pg.. 184
                                                                                    HandTorn Cabbage with Vinegar, Pg. 217
                                                                                    Chicken with Ginger, Variation for drier version, Pg. 137
                                                                                    Bok Choy with Chestnuts (Bean Sprouts), Pg. 228

                                                                                    I've cooked a few others from RCC but these stand out right now...

                                                                                    ETA: During the Dunlop COTM month back then I cooked only from Land of Plenty and a few on-line RCC recipes. Since I've only had RCC for a few months, I have a long way to go. But I try to reach for the book every week or so.

                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                      Your list also reminded me of a cabbage favorite.

                                                                                      Stir fried cabbage with salted chiles. I'm sure it's near pg. 217.

                                                                                    2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                      Spicy Coriander Salad (p. 59)
                                                                                      Beef with Cumin (p. 102)
                                                                                      Fragrant and Hot Tiger Prawns (p. 175)
                                                                                      Fisherman's Shrimp with Chinese Chives (p. 177)
                                                                                      Stir-fried Peppers with Black Beans and Garlic (p. 201)
                                                                                      Fried Cucumber with Purple Perilla (p. 206)

                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                        What a wealth of information you all are! Thank you kindly! I may have to dig in this weekend.....

                                                                                      2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                        Lots of good suggestions, a few that haven't been mentioned..

                                                                                        Aromatic Broth
                                                                                        Aromatic Pigs' Ear Salad
                                                                                        Farmhouse Stir Fried Pork w/ Green peppers
                                                                                        yueyang bbq lamb chops
                                                                                        changde claybowl chicken
                                                                                        steamed fish with chopped chillies
                                                                                        claypot bean curd
                                                                                        steamed aubergines (various versions)
                                                                                        taro and watercress soup
                                                                                        noodles with fresh prawns and baby greens

                                                                                        1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                          We've really liked the Beef with Cumin, Qing Qing's Back in the Pot Pork, and the Farmhouse Pork with Green Pepper. I believe the recipe for Stir Fried Beef with Cilantro is in here, which is great. Didn't care too much for the Ma Po Do Fu in this book; love the one in LOP. Peng's Homestyle Bean Curd and Fisherman's Shrimp were also just OK to us.

                                                                                          1. re: emily

                                                                                            Haha, so really, any recipe at all that I select will be a winner!

                                                                                            Thank you!

                                                                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                              well, fwiw, imho stay away from the zucchini w/ salted egg yolk, and chairman mao's red braised pork belly, but otherwise flip to a page and your safe.

                                                                                              1. re: qianning

                                                                                                Noted and done! Now hmm, where to start....

                                                                                                1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                  Make the pork belly dish with shoulder, it's delicious and very simple. What, no 5-flower meat for our qianning?

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    You kidding, I'm a huge fan of pork fat. But oddly enough it is one of the few times where FD's take on a dish is not one I like.....I've got better recipes than that.....and deep down when it comes to 5 flower meat I figure why not go for the gusto and make a real pull all the stops dong po rou?

                                                                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                                                                      'Pork fat'.....I see there's no beating around the bush using flowery euphemisms for you! +1 (or is it 'recommend'?)

                                                                                                      As for me, I think I'll stick with the suggested shoulder. My mother has instilled in me a fear of chewy, crunchy fat pieces and sinews that she calls 'gnurpels' that I can't seem to get over.

                                                                                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                        you've been ruined! but seriously, i look at pork fat as chinese butter.....

                                                                                                        1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                          There really isn't any gristle in pork belly. "Five-flower" refers to the layers (meat and fat) in the cut. I like it in some preps, and Dongpo rou is one of them.

                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                            Have you ever made the Dongbo rou recipe from "Chinese Gastronomy"?

                                                                                        2. Just pre-ordered Ottolenghi: The Cookbook through Amazon for 19.98! It's due out in September.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: meatn3

                                                                                            You're going to love it! But, can you wait that long?

                                                                                            I'm waiting for these to arrive:

                                                                                            Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition
                                                                                            Barbara Lynch, et al I couldn't resist all the rave reviews

                                                                                            The Foods and Wines of Spain
                                                                                            Penelope Casas, Oscar Ocho. I have her La Cocina de Mama and want to cook from Foods and Wines too...

                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                              The wait will be tough! My birthday is in Sept. so I'm looking at it as my gift to myself. It's so far away that perhaps I'll forget about it and then have a wonderful surprise!

                                                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                That's really good strategy, Meatn3... I do that "gift to self" thing regularly.

                                                                                          2. It is possible I didn't buy a single cookbook either this month

                                                                                            1. Oops, I guess it is March...I don't know why I posted this in the Feb thread! So, here it is again. Sorry

                                                                                              I just ordered "MR. WILKINSON'S VEGETABLES: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Garden"

                                                                                              British-born Matt Wilkinson, chef and restaurateur in Australia

                                                                                              Wilkinson, Matt; Hardcover; $16.36 on amazon

                                                                                              I heard about it through Tasting Table. I am always looking for new ways to cook vegetables. It is listed in a-z fashion similar to Alice Waters vegetable cookbook. It is not vegetarian, but focuses on seasonal vegetables. I'll report back on this one.

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                                So, I haven't cooked from Mr Wilkinson's yet. It is a good read though. NIce pictures and nicely put together with fiber board cover and nice thick paper.

                                                                                                I also bought Deborah Madison's newly released "Vegetable Literacy". It is a lovely book, all the way around! It is by plant families (ie: cabbage family, nightshade family) and also covers some grains. The recipes are mostly (if not all) vegetarian. Although, she does mention this or that being a good side to meat mains and does list chicken stock as a substitute ingredient. She delves into food history and personal stories with each family chapter. Add in great photography and it is a must buy!

                                                                                                If I wasn't so enamored with Madison's book, I might spend more time with Mr Wilkinson's. But, for now it's all Madison for me!

                                                                                                1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                                  I just got Vegetable Literacy, too! Isn't it lovely? Deborah Madison is a trusted guide in this kitchen already. Looking forward to sitting down with it in the next week.

                                                                                                  The dangerous lure of COTM! Went on Amazon just to check out used prices of the books up for April, and the little parade of 'You might like' covers was led by the fetching alliums of Veg Literacy. It had only been out for a few days at that point.

                                                                                                  Nothing like a few days of heavy snow, sleet, and 35mph winds to generate cookbook sales! If I could get outside, and didn't have piles of torn branches to deal with when I did, I'd be safe from the siren calls of the pretty pictures.

                                                                                                  1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                    I'm already in love with this book. I know it will become my go to cookbook for veggies.

                                                                                                    Being from AZ, my CSA is in full swing. With this mornings delivery I immediately put a stock pot on to make the fennel broth. I'm going to make the saffron tomato fennel braise with it this weekend.

                                                                                                    And, yes, Amazon snagged me with the "you might like", too! I must admit, it's not the first time. :-)

                                                                                              2. I caught several great 50% off thrift store sales this month. One place was moving. The other just has different sales each day, usually wacky ones like if you sing Zippety Do-Dah you'll get all musical items for half price.

                                                                                                Two books on cooking game:
                                                                                                *How to Cook His Goose (and other wild game) by Green & Black

                                                                                                A little dated and the range of recipes makes it feel a bit like a community cookbook. Looks to have some gems though.

                                                                                                *The L.L.Bean Game & Fish Cookbook - Cameron & Jones

                                                                                                Absolutely excellent book with gorgeous illustrations and lots of primers regarding the finer aspects of techniques and tips. IMO this is the best game cookbook around. I'm not a hunter but there are plenty of recipes for accessible things such as quail, many varieties of fish, rabbit, etc. that an adventurous cook will make good use of it.

                                                                                                *Italy The Beautiful Cookbook.- Lorenza De Medici
                                                                                                *The Italian Cookbook compiled by the Italian Academy of Cookery
                                                                                                *The Turkey Cookbook - Rick Rogers
                                                                                                *Pat Hutt & The Magical Clay Pot *Microwave Cooking in Clay*

                                                                                                An odd little spiral bound book. Almost seems as though it was printed to promote some sort of seasoning blend called "Micro Shake" which came in many varieties...A brief search didn't turn up much except the author had a regional TV show.

                                                                                                *Summertime Food - Miriam Ungerer

                                                                                                I find Miriam Ungerer to be really solid and refreshing. Her style is free from ego and feels like a conversation with a good friend who loves food as much as you do. I'm eager to try her Lemon Tea Cake recipe soon.

                                                                                                *New Almond Cookery - Michelle Schmidt
                                                                                                *Pickles, Relishes and Chutneys - Gail Duff

                                                                                                Recipes are organized by season. Most photos are coffee table-ish but a few are helpful regarding technique. I like that there are so many recipes that are unusual such as leek and pine nut pickle and a melon pickle with mustard.

                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                  I love Miriam Ungerer, You should get her "Good Cheap Food" too, sustenance for a grad student household in the 1970's :)

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    "Good Cheap Food" is where I first "met" her! Still useful and relevant - especially in today's economy.

                                                                                                    I think a used copy is a handy gift for any cook just starting out.

                                                                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                      Same for me and I think the same thing!

                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                        Made the black beans and rice last night...I love her recipe writing style.

                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                          I made the Lemon Tea Cake last week. I love lemon and prefer my sweets to be less sweet so this was a match made in heaven.

                                                                                                          It is one of the easiest cakes to make - completely mixed in the food processor. It produces an 8" square modest looking explosion of citrus flavor. What the cake lacks in visual appeal it makes up for in keeping power and homey deliciousness.

                                                                                                          My results were a somewhat dense cake but I may have over processed. I am not a frequent baker...but this little gem is going to be a frequent visitor in my kitchen!

                                                                                                          1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                            Mixed in the food processor? Not from Good Cheap Food, right?
                                                                                                            Making the cassoulet from it tomorrow -- cooked a small goose last week and want somewhere to plant it.

                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                Yes - mixed in the food processor! So nice to skip all the bowl washing. This was from Summertime Food. She indicated this was a recipe supplied with Cuisinart FP back in the day. The "glaze" is mixed separately. It soaked in completely, as instructed, so no visible sign of glaze.

                                                                                                  2. "Meringue" and "Vintage Cakes"

                                                                                                    1. I finally gave in to the lure of Modernist Cuisine at Home (I own Modernist Cuisine, and wasn't going to get it due to perceived overlap, but the blog postings that the MC crew have been making have convinced me that it's worth the price), and to Duguid's Burma.

                                                                                                      I'm also trying to resist a number of other books, including Charles Phan's 'Vietnamese Home Cooking'

                                                                                                      1. Jim Lahey's "My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method"

                                                                                                        1. A recent visit to London inspired these purchases:

                                                                                                          ANGELA HARTNETT'S CUCINA: I saw this Michelin starred chef being interviewed on a tv programme during my stay and I was immediately charmed by her unfussy style and passion for food. This book is a compilation of 3 generations of Italian recipes from her families kitchens. The conversational style of her headnotes make you feel as though you're having a chat w her in your kitchen. So happy w this book.

                                                                                                          POLPO - A VENETIAN COOKBOOK OF SORTS by Russell Norman. Polpo is a wonderful little Venetian bar in Soho that serves up incredibly tasty food and wine. I was so disappointed that the cookbook was out of print during my visit but recently got word some copies were now available. I snatched on up immediately. This book is a gem. I want to make everything. mr bc & I were salivating as we looked through it.

                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                            A friend was recently raving about Polpo - must take a look.

                                                                                                            My recent purchases:

                                                                                                            The Prashad Cookbook - vegetarian Indian food
                                                                                                            Sheekey Fish Book - it was going cheap from The Book People and BC raved about it!
                                                                                                            Alice Medrich's Cookie book with the ridiculously long title - TKMaxx had a shop-soiled copy for only £3 so seemed rude not to
                                                                                                            Sarah Raven's Food for Family and Friends - another cheap purchase from TKMaxx. Arranged seasonally and lots of enticing recipes
                                                                                                            Gordon Ramsay's Cookery Course - this was also going cheap at a discount book store and Mr GG is learning to cook so this was a gift for him. He's already made one dish (under supervision!) which was relatively simple and very good
                                                                                                            Annie Bell's Baking Bible - another bargain

                                                                                                            That seems a lot now I've written it down. Really trying to cut back this year but it's obviously not working very well!

                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                              What a great selection gg and I'll take full blame for Sheekey but I'll bet you'll love it. I'm still reading through it. Everything looks amazing. I've been eyeing that Prashad book so if you have a chance once you've had some time w it, let us know what you think. I see it's "Indexing Now" on EYB.

                                                                                                              Polpo is heavenly! ,,,,but don't let that sway you!!

                                                                                                              Oh, and congrats on the public service you conducted by rescuing that poor copy of AM's Cookie book...such a selfless act if I do say so myself!!

                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                Roxlet swears by the ginger cookie recipe in that book. Medrich is fun.

                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                  Oh I'll have to try those bt, I LOVE ginger cookies!

                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                    I've been looking at that cookie recipe but have not made it yet because it is complicated: it uses THREE different forms of ginger - powder, fresh and candied - and I always forget to get the candied one!

                                                                                                                    Speaking of cookies, I made savourie ones the other day with bits of fig jam stuffed in the middle - so simple, so yummy :)

                                                                                                                    1. re: herby

                                                                                                                      Now you're making me want to make this more herby!! I happen to have all three on hand at the moment. I picked up some amazing candied ginger from King Arthur's Flour (online) - I'm salivating thinking of these!!

                                                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                                                        I usually skip the fresh ginger and make it only with the powder and the chips. My husband claimed it was the best cookie he ever had.

                                                                                                                      2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                        Is this medrich's ginger cookie from chewy ooey, gooey cookie book (or some such name?) if so, that ginger cookie is amazing and my favorite. It is so full of gingery goodness.

                                                                                                                        1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                          Yes, it is from Chewy, Gooey Beetlebug.

                                                                                                                          Breadcrumbs, do let us know how the cookie turns out with that special candied ginger. I was going to get some from Bulk Barn and thought that would be awersome :)

                                                                                                                          1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                            You guys are killin' me w all this ginger talk!!!

                                                                                                                  2. I was in the mood to treat myself, so off to Amazon I was to get the following:
                                                                                                                    "Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques"
                                                                                                                    Shauna Sever, Leigh Beisch (I love vanilla anything, this looks like fun
                                                                                                                    "Sweet Paris: A love affair with Parisian chocolate, pastries and desserts", Michael Paul (looks like an Australian food blogger, beaucoup gorgeous pics of one of my favourite cities and very nice recipes
                                                                                                                    and a MASSIVE TOME that is to die for, for the serious baker: "Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry", Christophe Felder -- have a look at this on Amazon, a gazillion photos...about the size of the Gourmet green and yellow books and too dang heavy to read in bed, but un vrai régal, mes chéris...

                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                        And a half. Seems to be a compilation of his books in French (which I would rather have had, the translation is so-so).

                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                          I bought the Felder book too. It really is too heavy. But I haven't spent any serious time with it yet so can't comment on any other aspects of it so far.

                                                                                                                      2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                        Pure Vanilla was good.. got it from the library, narrowly avoided buying it!

                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                          I bought Pure Vanilla too but have not done much with it yet. It keeps glaring at me. I'll get to it, hopefully soon.

                                                                                                                        2. I bought Savannah Style ( the junior league of Savannah GA cookbook)

                                                                                                                          1. I've just ordered The Soul of a New Cuisine by Marcus Samuelson, having been inspired by the discussion on the April COTM voting thread. Even if the book doesn't will I think G & I will have some interesting and varied meals.

                                                                                                                            1. I ordered Ad Hoc at Home (I hope it wins COTM!), How to Cook Everything, and pre-ordered Alex Guarnaschelli's Old School Comfort Food this morning.

                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                Received my AHOH and am looking forward to trying it in April, COTM or not.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                  Now I'm really drumming my fingers waiting for my copy! And looking forward to your contributions to the COTM thread.

                                                                                                                                  How is the weight/size of the book to you? Does it lie flat when open on a table? Can you comfortably read it in your lap? I did gulp hard when I saw (after ordering) that it weighs five pounds.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                    Definitely lies flat when open. You know my opinion on the rest. :)


                                                                                                                                    1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                      It is definitely larger than "regular" cookbooks and won't fit on my shelf. I don't see an issue with cooking from it and that is coming from someone with very limited kitchen counter space.

                                                                                                                                      I didn't get an opportunity to sit down and read it before I left. (in Vegas for the week) I did flip through quickly, though, and added the ingredients for the fried chicken and split pea soup to my shopping list for when I get back.

                                                                                                                                2. I just made an impulse buy of "Discovery Of A Continent - Foods, Flavors, And Inspirations From Africa"... I blame COTM, but it was a great bargain that I couldn't overlook since it came to a grand total of $7 all in.

                                                                                                                                  Even if it differs from Soul of a new cuisine, I've always been intrigued by African food since they have such a tasty spice palate.

                                                                                                                                  1. New purchases:
                                                                                                                                    From a Polish Country House Kitchen: 90 Recipes for the Ultimate Comfort Food
                                                                                                                                    Hand-Crafted Candy Bars: From-Scratch, All-Natural, Gloriously Grown-Up Confections
                                                                                                                                    Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                        No, just another Amazon order...

                                                                                                                                    1. I suddenly and without warning found myself in the parking lot of a thrift store today. My car became possessed and I couldn't keep it away. Nor could I convince my feet to stray from their determined path into said store. You can imagine my surprise when I ended up staring at many shelves of cookbooks!

                                                                                                                                      As a result of this unplanned journey, I wound up with a basket full of new reading material to salivate over, including

                                                                                                                                      Bill's Sydney Food- Bill Granger

                                                                                                                                      and a whole lotta Time-Life Foods of the World cookbooks, both the hardcover and the spiral bound! I mean, I couldn't pass these gems up!

                                                                                                                                      Latin American Cooking
                                                                                                                                      Cooking of Japan
                                                                                                                                      Middle Eastern Cooking
                                                                                                                                      Pacific & Southeast Asian
                                                                                                                                      American Cooking:Southern Style
                                                                                                                                      Cooking of India

                                                                                                                                      and just the spirals:
                                                                                                                                      American Cooking:Creole and Acadian
                                                                                                                                      Caribbean Islands
                                                                                                                                      African Cooking

                                                                                                                                      There were more spirals available but I really needed to rein myself in. I'll probably end up back there tomorrow....

                                                                                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                        Very lucky on the Time-Life books!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                          That's exactly what I said to my husband and his incredulous raised eyebrows. I told him they were collector's items and I wouldn't come across the likes of them anytime soon! I'd be a fool to pass them up. Hah...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                            If your husband is so upset about it, he needs to talk to your car. Clearly not your fault.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                              Quite so, LulusMom. They are treasures.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                          What a great haul! Days like that are what make thrifting so addictive!

                                                                                                                                          The Time Life spirals are not the easiest to find. So many people got rid of the hardbacks but kept the spirals when the downsized at retirement. Once in a blue moon I find them together in the box/sleeve they arrived in.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                            I kept all the spirals and foolishly left some of the hardbacks behind in moves. Need to find again.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                              I never owned or even read Time-Life cookbooks. What is so special about them? What am I missing? Are they not dated by now and could be successfully replaced by newer books?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                The recipes in the Foods of the World series have held up very well. For those of us of a certain age they were an entry to a whole 'nother world. My Mom subscribed and we would have a family focus on a particular country or region each month. We would all look through the book to learn about the area and think of recipes. We would make library trips to check out books and music. It was a really fun big deal for the whole family!

                                                                                                                                                Time-Life hired really top notch people to contribute and edit. For example, Richard Olney was the guiding force behing the Good Cook series. That series remains very solid and relevant and serves as an excellent primer for numerous techniques. Some recipes aren't what we might make regularly but there are plenty which are useful.

                                                                                                                                                You may find the following interesting:


                                                                                                                                                1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                  Meatn3, thank you for your thoughtful response and great links!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                    Your mom may have been the first COTM'er! " My Mom subscribed and we would have a family focus on a particular country or region each month. "


                                                                                                                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                      I have my original set of books and spirals.
                                                                                                                                                      They were my first cookbooks along with Woman's Day series.

                                                                                                                                                      They remind me of my marriage and good times with my husband(may he rest in peace)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                        I've never seen any of the Foods of the World series but I have collected most of the "Good Cook" series and I love those books even though I have a huge cookbook collection.

                                                                                                                                                        meatn3 - what wonderful memories from your childhood - your mom sounds like an amazing woman. :)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                          Is there any interest in a T-L Good Cook thread? I think it would be interesting to see what recipes people have made and hear your thoughts.

                                                                                                                                                  2. 2013 James Beard Awards Finalists

                                                                                                                                                    Cookbooks: General Cooking
                                                                                                                                                    · Canal House Cooks Every Day, Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer, Andrews McMeel Publishing
                                                                                                                                                    · Modernist Cuisine at Home, Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet, The Cooking Lab
                                                                                                                                                    · What Katie Ate, Katie Quinn Davies, Viking Studio

                                                                                                                                                    Cookbooks: International
                                                                                                                                                    · Burma, Naomi Duguid, Artisan
                                                                                                                                                    · Gran Cocina Latina, Maricel E. Presilla, W.W. Norton & Company
                                                                                                                                                    · Jerusalem: A Cookbook, Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, Ten Speed Press

                                                                                                                                                    Cookbooks: Reference and Scholarship
                                                                                                                                                    · 101 Classic Cookbooks, Marvin J. Taylor and Clark Wolf, Rizzoli New York
                                                                                                                                                    · The Art of Fermentation, Sandor Ellix Katz, Chelsea Green Publishing
                                                                                                                                                    · The Cookbook Library, Anne Willan with Mark Cherniavsky and Kyri Claflin, University of California Press

                                                                                                                                                    Cookbooks: Baking and Dessert
                                                                                                                                                    · Bouchon Baking, Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel, Artisan
                                                                                                                                                    · The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook, Tom Douglas and Shelley Lance, William Morrow
                                                                                                                                                    · Flour Water Salt Yeast, Ken Forkish, Ten Speed Press

                                                                                                                                                    Cookbooks: Professional Point of View
                                                                                                                                                    · Come In, We're Closed, Christine Carroll and Jody Eddy, Running Press
                                                                                                                                                    · Fundamental Techniques of Classic Italian Cuisine, The International Culinary Center, Cesare Casella, and Stephanie Lyness, Abrams
                                                                                                                                                    · Toqué!, Normand Laprise, les éditions du passage

                                                                                                                                                    Cookbooks: Focus on Health
                                                                                                                                                    · Cooking Light: The New Way to Cook Light, Scott Mowbray and Ann Taylor Pittman, Oxmoor House
                                                                                                                                                    · The Sprouted Kitchen, Sara Forte, Ten Speed Press
                                                                                                                                                    · True Food, Sam Fox and Andrew Weil with Michael Stebner, Little, Brown and Company

                                                                                                                                                    Cookbooks: Single Subject
                                                                                                                                                    · Afield, Jesse Griffiths, Welcome Books
                                                                                                                                                    · Modern Sauces, Martha Holmberg, Chronicle Books
                                                                                                                                                    · Ripe, Nigel Slater, Ten Speed Press

                                                                                                                                                    Cookbooks: Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian
                                                                                                                                                    · Foraged Flavor, Tama Matsuoka Wong with Eddy Leroux, Clarkson Potter Publishers
                                                                                                                                                    · Herbivoracious, Michael Natkin, The Harvard Common Press
                                                                                                                                                    · Roots, Diane Morgan, Chronicle Books

                                                                                                                                                    Cookbooks: Writing and Literature
                                                                                                                                                    · The American Way of Eating, Tracie McMillan, Scribner
                                                                                                                                                    · The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat, Thomas McNamee, Free Press
                                                                                                                                                    · Yes, Chef, Marcus Samuelsson, Random House

                                                                                                                                                    Cookbooks: Photography
                                                                                                                                                    · Bouchon Bakery, Deborah Jones, Artisan
                                                                                                                                                    · Toqué!, Dominique Malaterre, les éditions du passage
                                                                                                                                                    · What Katie Ate, Katie Quinn Davies, Viking Studio

                                                                                                                                                    The winner of Cookbook of the Year Award and the Cookbook Hall of Fame inductee will be announced on May 3, 2012

                                                                                                                                                    45 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                      I have Herbivoracious and have been inspired to make exactly zero from it. Would love to be proven wrong (since it is sitting here taking up space).

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                        I totally agree; it's being donated to the local cooking school library ASAP.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                          Glad to hear I'm not alone on Herbivoracious. The reviews on Amazon were so glowing that I bought it sight unseen. And then I went through it thinking "no, not interested ..."

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                          Japanese Farm Food is one of the most beautiful, inspiring, and insightful cookbooks I own. Sadly, Japanese food isn't "sexy" right now, so it gets passed over.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                            I have Japanese Farm Food too but have not cooked from it either. Thank you for reminding me about it! And since the current COTM looks like will be Ad Hoc at Home, I might as well pull the Japanese Farm off the shelf and get inspired as I will not be cooking with the COTM crowd. For the second month is a row for different reasons, oh well...

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                              I will be happy to explore JFF with you next month, if you wish. We can start our own thread.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                Pikawica, good idea to start "Cooking from Japanese Farm Cookbook" thread. As Qianning and Gio pointed, there is a Japanese cooking thread going on. I looked at it and find that it is pretty jammed with different books. I think since many of us have the book and are interested in cooking from it, an independent thread will be better. What are your thoughts?

                                                                                                                                                                I looked through the book closely and though have not marked anything to try yet, there are many simple recipes requiring few easy to find ingredients. There are two interesting tables in the back - one for fish and another for veggies - cross referenced to suitable cooking methods.

                                                                                                                                                                I have a couple of pounds of Japanese eggplant in the fridge and will start with those. She has a few recipes - I'd like to try steamed but do not have a steamer. Maybe I'll use a stainer inserted into a pot over boiling water.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                Herby if you do cook from Japanese Farm Food next month would you be willing to post some of your experiences on the companion thread for Japanese month that Big Sal started? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8312...

                                                                                                                                                                I for one would be really interested in hearing about how Japanese Farm Food works out in a "real" kitchen!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                      ' Welcome! The odd thing with that error link is that both URLs are the Same...

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                        Ever since the changes to the Chow web site I've had lots of problems....I guess because I use firefox as my browser....I've tried the recommended fixes, but no to no avail; which is a long winded way of saying I'm not too surprised, and thanks again for the fix.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                          Actually, qianning's link is missing the last two numerals from the thread number, which is why it didn't work (they look the same as you see them because of the ellipsis, but Gio's link has the full number, 831292).

                                                                                                                                                                          I do know that because of the way URLs are elided in CH posts, it doesn't work to copy and paste from post to post, because that just copies the characters in the post, not the rest of the text of the link that's not shown.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                            ooops....sounds like user error on my part....

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, it took some trial and error (error, really) for me to figure out how that (doesn't) work.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                    Count me in with those who'd love to see you start a thread & for you and others to share your recipe experiences from this book. I became quite intrigued by this cookbook and put my name down for it at the library and it's taking SO long for my turn to arrive!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                    There's a thread on it somewhere -- have you posted on it? I've been very curious about this book (seems like the kind of book i like) but haven't taken the plunge as there's been so little conversation about it.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                      I also own Japanese Farm Food - the recipes are solid - they're tasty, hearty and quite lovely. If I had had a chance to look through it before I purchased though, I probably wouldn't buy it again.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LiamF

                                                                                                                                                                        why not?

                                                                                                                                                                        ooops, i see the answer is down thread....

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                        I stayed at the home of someone who had lived in Japan for a number of years and bought her “Japanese Farm Food” as a thank you gift. She told me she’s cooked extensively from it and that the recipes represent the best of what she remembers of her time there.

                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                        This has been my experience, too. Very disappointing, because I have cut back on cookbook purchases of late. I hate to feel I've wasted one.

                                                                                                                                                                      4. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                        I have four books from this list and aside from Jerusaem have not cooked from the other three at all - how sad :(

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                          Jerusalem and Burma are the only ones I have from the list, and have not cooked from Burma... yet. The only other book I'm interested in is Gran Cucina.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                            I have Gran Cucina and really hope that it will be COTM soon - May COTM would be great. I also have Roots and Canal House. Both look great but have not cooked anything from either one yet.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                            At last, I am not going on a buying spree when the list comes out! Unfortunately that's because I already have a good number of them. I have
                                                                                                                                                                            Modernist Cuisine at Home - haven't made anything yet, but I haven't had it very long and have been on the road a lot.
                                                                                                                                                                            What Katie Ate - purchased more for the photography than the food, haven't cooked anything.
                                                                                                                                                                            Burma - still waiting to get into this, but haven't gotten to it yet.
                                                                                                                                                                            Gran Cocina Latina - just made a couple things, not even a dent in this huge tome.
                                                                                                                                                                            Jerusalem - definitely some winners in here. The falafel and the zhoug are worth the price of the book.
                                                                                                                                                                            Afield - an interesting book, and the couple recipes I have made have been excellent.
                                                                                                                                                                            Ripe - Nigel Slater... if you like him (and I do), you'll like this.
                                                                                                                                                                            Herbivoricious - haven't gotten into it yet
                                                                                                                                                                            Roots - Only tried a couple things so far, results OK, but I have high expectations for this book.

                                                                                                                                                                            I think the only other books that I am interested in are Modern Sauces and The Art of Fermentation.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                              Curious to know what you've tried out of Gran Cocina Latina, and your opinions!
                                                                                                                                                                              I've made a handful of items and have been extremely pleased with everything thus far...

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                                Well, I'm curious to know what you made! I've made a shrimp ceviche, which I loved, and a black bean soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Ooh, I've had my eye of the ceviches, but haven't attempted any yet. Some winners that come to mind would be the Aji de Gallina, & a very unusual yet fabulous Venezualan chicken pie, and stir-fried beef with peppers & potatoes (lomito saltado). There are plenty more that are on the 'to try' list and I am looking forward to delving into more.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                I'm curious about your copy of 'What Katie Ate'. There's quite a few corrections for the book already, and I'm trying to work out which (if any) edition I pick up.

                                                                                                                                                                                That being said - Modernist at Home is really, really good, as is Burma. I also want Gran Cochina, but need more shelf space...

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                              I guess my cook : own ratio is quite good then! But then I only have two from the list, Jerusalem and Art of Fermentation, but I have cooked from both!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                Meatn3, I took Art of Fermentation out of the library and have been reading it with great interest. Tried making idli from the book; the dough fermented nicely but the resulting idlies are hard and flat (again!) - guess I am finally going to give up trying. I do not think it is the book's fault but rather my inability to succeed for whatever reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                What did you make out of the book and how did it turn out?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                  I had to Google for Idlies. I'd never heard the word before. According to Wiki... they help one lose weight? Need those...

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                    I do not know about weight loss, Gio :) Idlies are made from the same ferment (rice and lentils) as dosa - both South Indian specialties. Idli is steamed in a special pot that I have but was never able to make yummy fluffy balls - maybe time to part with the pot.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                    I bought the book at a presentation Katz did last summer. Which meant I was in the midst of figs season...so I didn't get to do much else and the book has fallen off my radar.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I did make a pepper in mustard oil. Like much in this book the information is more of a general discussion rather than an actual recipe. But it was enough to go on. This stuff just keeps getting better. I use it as a condiment and plan on making quite a bit more of it this summer. I'll probably up the heat factor too. I initially went with mostly mild peppers since I had no idea what to expect.


                                                                                                                                                                                    Have you checked out the Wild Fermentation website? It can be rather quiet there but there are some really knowledgeable folks who may be able to help with troubleshooting. I am finding that workshops have been very helpful for me with my ferments. Just being able to see and have someone more experienced help troubleshoot has upped my ratio of successes.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I've also found that each book on fermentation provides another little clue. I have perhaps 6-8 books on the subject and together they can sometimes fill in the blanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                      So how much does the new Katz book add to your knowledge? Like you, I have several on the subject, including Katz's previous book, "Wild Fermentation". The only reason I've held off on this one was that I wasn't sure how much additional info there would be. What's your take on this?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                        He has done a tremendous amount of research and travel since Wild Fermentation was published. That book opened a lot of doors for him and put him in touch with a wider world of fermenters.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The book looks at the subject with much more depth. There is more history, cultural context and science in Art of F. There is discussion on a wider variety of ferments from a world view - not all food related. Ex: fermented urine for fertilizer applications. There is also a nice chapter regarding considerations for commercial applications.

                                                                                                                                                                                        It's not the book to turn to when you just want a specific recipe - there is little of that. But it is the book to settle down with when you want inspiration or to dig deeper in to any aspect of fermentation.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                          Sounds fascinating. I would appreciate all that context, perhaps more than recipes, which I have in abundance already.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                  I was surprised by the absence of Japanese Farm Food. Though I haven't cooked from it yet, it really is a captivating book with lots of appealing recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Of course I wish my favourite book of 2012 had been recognized. The Farm by Ian Knauer is fabulous. Knauer used to write for Gourmet. His thoughtful style, carefully developed recipes and focus on seasonal, local ingredients all add to the appeal. I've made several recipes from the book and all exceeded my expectations. In case anyone is interested in the author, the book or his wonderful blog, here's a link to his website: http://ianknauer.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                  I do have all the International books nominated but like others here, I've only cooked from Ottolenghi's but the other two hold high appeal. I continue to hold out hope for a Latin American or Caribbean COTM.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I also have the Dahlia Bakery book which is wonderful. I've made one or two things from that one and have no regrets about the purchase. There are sweet and savoury recipes in the book.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Two books from the list above that are currently on my Amazon Wishlist are Roots and the Bouchon Bakery book. I became interested in the Keller book after reading the Piglet review during the Tournament of Cookbooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                    What have you made from the Dahlia Bakery book? I have it, but haven't baked from it yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll chime in: the chocolate pecan sandwich cookies are delicious, though I had 2 problems with the recipe. Cookies need to be baked longer than called for and the brown butter needs to cool before prepping the frosting (recipe did not specify that with the end result being a greasy frosting).

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't remember roxlet, I think one was a cookie. I'm backlogged in recording things in EYB. I'll pull the book on the weekend and let you know.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                        I suspect it was left off because of the tone of the book - it's been a while since I read it, so I'm going from memory, but I remember a lot of organic/slow food/local produce advocacy to the point where it felt like a manifesto...but that didn't play into the actual recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Compare to say, Modernist Cuisine or Alice Waters' books. The advocacy in those books actually makes sense - without it, the food and recipes wouldn't make as much sense or be as special.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LiamF

                                                                                                                                                                                          Liam, I assume you are referring to Japanese Farm Food being a book of advocacy? I haven't read all the way through it...just the earlier pages. I,loved the author's writing style.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The Farm by Ian Knauer is definitely not a book of advocacy.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                            Whoops, sorry - yes, Japanese Farm Food.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I thought the writing style was good, but the book as a whole towards the narrative side of the narrative:recipe balance to the detriment of the book.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                        Roots is the only one that I don't have that looks interesting. Amazon's preview shows the list of recipes in the book. Lots of international selections.

                                                                                                                                                                                      4. For some reason this winter, I have become seriously obsessed with fish and have been eye-ing "Fish Without a Doubt" by Rick Moonen. I know it was Cookbook of the Month a while back and I think I'd love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                          fidhkybnva I'd highly recommend it. I wasn't a CH member when FWAD was originally a COTM but was delighted when we recently had a re-visit. Beyond having great recipes that work, the book is full of terrific techniques, tips and ideas that really changed the way I think about cooking and eating fish. I have a lot of cookbooks but this would be in my top 10. If you like fish, your instincts are right on point, you'll love this book.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh wow, I should definitely pick it up then. Yea, I'm at the point now that I just stand in front of the fish counter and they tell me to let them know when I'm ready since I have to ponder so long - I know I want fish, just don't know what kind at that moment and what to do with it so I think I'd loved this book.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                            Go for it! It is one of my favorite cookbooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                              I absolutely recommend FWAD too! It's one of my very faves.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Here's the link to the reporting threads:


                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                At the end of last year there was a thread about the recipes from COTM that were worth repeating. It inspired me to take a look at the recipes from Fish Without a Doubt, a book I've cooked from as much as any other on my shelves, to which I'd given either three or four out of four stars. I posted my list here:


                                                                                                                                                                                                I think it's a great, great book. As Breadcrumbs implies, there are techniques for cooking fish that have changed my approach. Very much for the better.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I haven't bought anything new but i've been cooking out of For Cod and Country by Barton Seaver. It's pretty good, i've only had a few disasters in the kitchen lol. It's been good in giving me some combos for new dishes to try since i've cut poultry out of my diet. It's also very informative on sustainability in the ocean so now i've been more aware of what fish i'm purchasing and where it's from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Vietnamese Street Food by Lister and Pohl just arrived a few minutes ago. I'm ready to sit down for a read. I has been out for awhile but was not available in the US until thhis week. Bought Nathalie Dupree's and Cynthia Graubert's encyclopedic Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking. I helped with proof reading that book last summer. Paula Wolfort's Moroccan Cooking, last year's. Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice. Charles Phan's Vietnamese Home Cooking. Grace Young's Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge. What is on my horizon? Probably more Middle Eastern books. I am in overload on Asian and will be testing recipes for Andrea Nguyen's forth coming book on Bahn MI. Oh and Jerusalem. We are having a dinner Sat. PM based on it and also from Ana Sortum's Spice. DH has been baking out to the Bouchon Bakery book. I've made the oatmeal cookies from it. They were quite fine. Took them to work and they disappeared quickly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The testing for A. Nguyens book should be great fun! If you need a second opinion feel free to overnight the goodies to me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I just received Diana Henry's book on preserving - Salt Sugar Smoke. It's terrific and I'm going to make creme de mure tomorrow (it won't be ready to drink until Christmas, but hey!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am really feeling the love for Diana Henry at the moment. Might have to get her summer cooking book too, just in case we get a summer in the UK after last year's miserable effort.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here's hoping! At the moment, we'd be pleased with a little spring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well quite. Definitely still winter here!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love Diana Henry's approach to food and oscillate between being happy with the books I have and wanting her other books to add to my collection. Which is her summer cooking book?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: limoen

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's actually Med/middle Eastern but for some reason I was thinking of it as a companion volume to Roast Figs Sugar Snow. It's called Crazy Water Pickled Lemons. Do you have it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                            What is the Middle Eastern book called? LulusDad is in the UK today (coming home tomorrow - yay!) and maybe I can convince him to run to the bookstore ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's called Crazy Water Pickled Lemons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              LulusDad should have looked me up - or was he in Scotland?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                He's in Oxford, and spent some time in Coventry. No time in London or he would have!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                thanks for the name - will see what I can find out and maybe drop a 10 lb. hint.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Coventry. Poor him! There's a reason you get sent there for a punishment, or so the saying goes. And can I apologise personally for the terrible weather...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    He wasn't impressed with Coventry, lets just put it that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Weather isn't so great here either, surprisingly enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                              No I don't. It's one I keep looking at, picking up, putting down...I might buy a decently-priced used copy one of these days. Space on my bookshelf is a bit tight at the moment...I do love her simple, flavour-maximising style. It's a bit like the Smitten Kitchen approach to food, but I think my taste is closer to Diana Henry's than Deb Perelman's...!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've started a "Cooking from Diana Henry's Books" thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/895953

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I can't wait to here more about what people make from Salt Sugar Smoke (along with the rest of her book)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Has anyone seen Sun Bread and Sticky Toffee: Date Desserts from Everywhere? I've enjoyed a few date desserts and am curious to know more, but there's not much info available on this book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. These have been out for a while now but probably the king arthur flour baker's companion cook book, the pie and pastry bible, the bread bible. I've been lusting after those for a while. I just can't bring myself to drop 40 a piece on those though. So i guess i'll be lusting for a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nikathemadbaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Keep an eye out at T.J. Maxx, etc. if you have them in your area. You'd be surprised at the titles which pop up there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    awesome! thank you, i've actually never been to a tj maxx here but i'll definitely check it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nikathemadbaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Their selection is limited but you can find some good books!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Home Goods is one of their sister stores and is worth checking out too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      With the economy I think a lot more people are liquidating unused items. I've been finding a larger selection of recent cookbooks at used book stores, usually in perfect condition. The ghosts of Christmas past...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Happy hunting!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I work part time for TJMAXX here in Texas. At my store near San Antonio we have quite a few cookbooks.There was one about Spam I almost bought mainly for the old advertisements in it of Spam products. We also get in other types of books as well;but mainly for some reason it's cookbooks now.None of the ones we have in stock interest me so will just wait and see what we get in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sr44

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I do. It's just i don't currently have a bank account and just prefer to use cash. Plus i've only used amazon once for a cd a while ago and it took forever. Plus i hate waiting for it to come in the mail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I blame the still-freezing, windy, and wet weather (that groundhog in Pennsylvania was just plain wrong this year) for my recent burst of cookbook buying, but don't think I'll regret any of the three:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ad Hoc at Home - because I nominated, voted, and advocated for it as COTM). My used copy is not here yet, but I've spent enough time with its online emanations to be sure I'm going to enjoy reading it. Handling it? Probably not so much. I'll let the worktable hold it for me, and take my other new books upstairs for bedside reading.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison. This was an Amz impulse buy, but I was confident of being pleased because her Veg. Cooking for Everyone is one of my most reliable and favorite books. There are indeed a lot of recipes that will be useful as veg's and herbs come into season, but if someone were looking for a definitive vegetable reference, my choice would still be Marian Morash's Victory Garden Cookbook. Most of the lovely photos in Veg Literacy are of the food, not the vegetables, and the lack of pics of the more unusual veg is a real strike against promoting this big, beautiful volume as any kind of reference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Finally, Herbal Kitchen by Jerry Traunfeld. His Herbfarm Cookbook is another favorite here, and via Eat Your Books I've noted quite a few recipes I know I'll try from Herbal Kitchen. But there is one disappointment, and it's a big one: the food photos, much more numerous than in Herbfarm, are ALL larger-than-life shots. This is way-too-close effect is most unappetizing. It's almost tragic; the color is beautiful, and you can tell that the images would have been gorgeous at a normal scale. And there are so many of them that they're not easy to avoid or overlook. Will train my eyes to stay on the text...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have Herbal Kitchen but I have to admit I don't make much from it. The fettuccini fines herbes, the hanger steak, and the lasagna are like the only 3 things I make and I've had the book for 5 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Guessing that you, like me, have no ice cream machine, otherwise those ices would be hard to resist. I grow and have access to a lot of fresh herbs, and the pictures of the dessert ices are among the most alluring in the book. Must. not. buy. single-tasking. appliance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Having pork shoulder, Bosc pears, and a thyme plant in the house, I'm going to try the braise in Herbal Kitchen. I was going to use the pork for carnitas, but the snow has put a damper on my willingness to go out for avocados and cilantro.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Update: The SO pronounced the pork braised with pears and thyme "the best thing ever" ! It really is simplicity itself:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cut a couple of pounds of pork shoulder into rectangular-ish pieces and brown well, deglaze the pan first with a sliced onion and minced garlic, then with a cup each of wine and chicken broth. Add two Bosc pears cut into half-inch dice. Nestle the pork pieces back in the pan, tuck in a little bundle of bay leaf, substantial sprig of thyme, and a half a vanilla bean, cover and braise for two hours. (Traunfeld calls for stovetop simmer, but I went with a 300F oven, which gives reliable results, is less nerve-wracking, and frees up the stovetop for other cooking.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              After braising the pork is taken out and put aside, the herbs removed, and you add some chopped fresh thyme leaves and boil down the pears and braising liquid until the sauce coats a spoon. (The pears hold up to this remarkably well.) Taste for seasoning; add chopped parsley, and a squeeze of lemon if desired, return the pork and coat well with the sauce, and serve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is going into regular use in pear season. A great start for a newly arrived cookbook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'll have to try this next week. I know I'm getting pears in my organic produce box today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A browse through Herbal Kitchen for appealling, really-want-to-try recipes turned up 20 or more! There'd be even more if we were near a coast (seafood).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Recipes (or inspirations) are the point of this book for me, so I'm willing to live with its design failings. Which are many, the most serious being a font used for the ingredient lists that makes fractions unreadably tiny. Hard to forgive making such a crucial function of the book harder to use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's always a plus when a cookbook lists all the recipes somewhere, either in an overall table of contents or chapter toc's. Herbal Kitchen opens each chapter with a list -- but without page numbers! I wrote 'em in myself for the recipes of greatest interest. Grumbling as I went.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Several two-page recipes, thankfully not all, are laid out front to back rather than on facing pages. That's also inexcusable when, as here, it's unnecessary; there are only 90 or so recipes, with close to that many photos, all full page images.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It could be a much better-designed book, but it's a very comfortable, usable size, and it's one that I know I'll cook from repeatedly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You have me inspired to take another look at The Herbal Kitchen this weekend when I get home. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I just bought the entire Time Life Good Cook Series for approx $75 (including shipping). That's less than $3 per book. I'm an experienced cook, but I can't want til they arrive :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If I love them as much as I think I will, the Food of the World series might be next!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TechieTechie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's a super deal. You should get the Foods of the World series too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Haven't bought anything yet. I want a copy of A Thousand Ways to Please a Family by Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles Lecron from the 1920s. It is on Google Books.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I once had a copy but sold it and some other vintage cookbooks as I wasn't making anything out of them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I also want a copy of their bookWhen Sue Began to Cook about their character Bettina's daughter Sue.The books are written like a novel each chapter telling a story.Then it lists the menu that they ate and has the recipes.Their first bookA Thousand Ways to Please A Husband was first printed in 1917 and later reprinted in the 1930s. I have both copies. The 1930s copy has additional recipes and some of the menus have changed a bitbut each chapter reads almost the same with some changes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HollyDolly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My grandmother learned to cook with a thousand ways to please a husband.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I just received a copy of Medieval Cuisine 0f the Islamic World-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A Concise History with 174 Recipes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                by Lilia Zaouali

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                a few ill of kitchenware,tableware
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                glossary of arabic terms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                index of recipes-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                there 30 recipes r given modern equivalents.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Please report on your impressions/experiences once you have had a chance to spend some time with it. Sounds really interesting!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. With all this talk about Donna Hay, I bought The New Cook for <$4 on abebooks.com. Looking forward to reading it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Just letting everyone know I've set up a "Cooking From Donna Hay's Cookbooks & Magazines" thread. There's been some interest in this brewing up thread and I'm really excited!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Here's the link...I'd love it if you joined me!!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for pointing that out cstout, you're absolutely right. I have no idea what happened to it as it was working previously and others have linked to the thread from here. There seem to have been some weird bugs on CH recently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here you go:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Well, I re-bought "Jerusalem". It really didn't appeal to me much the first time but everyone seemed to love it during COTM...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, "Roots" and pre-ordered "Man'oushe: Inside the Street Corner Lebanese Bakery".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Modernist Cuisine, to slowly peruse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I just ordered "The Gaza Kitchen" by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          El-Haddad and Schmitt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i didn't see recipes b4 purchasing-bought after reading interview with Ottolenghi,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I hope I will enjoy it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the recipes and project are interesting

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think you'll enjoy The Gaza Kitchen a lot, jpr; I got it about a month ago and have made several well-received dishes. It arrived the same week we got our annual (half) lamb share.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's giving my spice collection a workout, which is good; last summer and fall I ordered a bunch of things to be ready for all the Indian cooking I was going to be doing, but haven't in fact done. Gaza was an important location on the ancient spice trade route, and the cuisine's more heavily seasoned than, say, Lebanese cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just located the interview with Ottolenghi in Bon Appetit: what a nice and unexpected boost: http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandfor...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Claudia Roden's also given her imprimatur via blurb. The authors (or at least Laila El-Haddad, @gazamom on Twitter) will be doing some events in London in early May, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If anyone reading this is in or near Washington DC, tonight Laila and Maggie are speaking, demo-ing dishes from Gaza Kitchen, and offering tastes at Busboys & Poets: Thurs 3/28 from 6:30-8:00pm: http://www.busboysandpoets.com/events...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Interesting ~ thanks for posting the BA interview. I might have to pick up a copy of The Gaza Kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ETA: here is a quick link to part 2 of the interview:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you for the link to the Bon Appetit article. What an interesting read! I went ahead and ordered the book this morning. Looks fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Same here. Article read, book ordered. Looks too interesting to pass up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I too managed not to buy any new cookbooks this month! I have, however, had a steady stream of library cookbooks coming into my home and am cooking my way through them diligently so I can evaluate them for possible future purchase. I've decided to adopt a very sensible rule that others here have mentioned of trying at least three recipes from the library copy of a book before I buy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yesterday after several months' wait I finally picked up Prashad: Indian Vegetarian Cooking from the library, and I'm quite excited about this one. The introduction is a beautiful homage to the author's grandmother who taught her how to cook and to use the freshest possible ingredients. If I like the recipes I will probably visit the restaurant while I'm in the area this summer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For the Prashad, Indian Cooking, I've made two out of the three weekend menus from the meal planning page, and all to rave reviews. A lot of the mains are fairly easy to do too. It's a really really lovely book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ooh, good to hear! Which meals did you cook?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've written up one of them here

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also made the aubergine and (Indian) broad bean curry, soothing yellow lentil rice, aubergine and potato curry with spiced yoghurt soup. The last three is the midweek meal number 2.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Okay I'm bad! I still haven't received 2 of the 3 cookbooks that I ordered a couple of weeks ago (How To Cook Everything and Alex Guarnaschelli's Old School Comfort Food) and I haven't had a chance to read or use the other one, Ad Hoc at Home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That didn't stop me from ordering 3 more this morning, though! I got Fish Without A Doubt (after reading so many raves about it here) used for $13 and Mesa Mexicana (used $0.01) and Too Hot Tamales (used $2) thanks to a couple of delicious meals at Border Grill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Used to go to a steakhouse at Madison Sq Garden when Ms. Guarnaschelli was chef there. Very enjoyable. You know her mom is or was one of the best cookbook editors ever, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes I did know that. I saw her compete with Alex on some family competition on FN against Anne Burrell/her sister, Robert Irvine/his wife, and Geoffrey Zakarian/his wife. She was so cute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Awaiting the latest additions to my stuffed to the gills book shelves to arrive:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pure Simple Cooking: Effortless Meals Every Day by Diana Henry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Mediterranean Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The first because of all the hoo haw about it and the second because I simply wanted it... And I'm feeling that I'll be wanting her Italian Slow Cooker too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I received this morning a very heavy package-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Okra and tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    brussels sprouts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    coca-cola ribsare 3 recipes I am going to try this weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The only drawback to this cookbook is the weight of the book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      jpr will you let us now how this all turns out...it sounds wonderful! I've been eyeing this book. It seems to have rec'd positive reviews on Amazon however I'd love to hear from someone who's actually used it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just looked at The Art of Southern Cooking at the bookstore last night ~ SOLD! Lots of recipes I want to try after just a quick flip through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I have a plea for all you lovely cookbook aficionados out there to assist me in my quest to find a good sandwich book....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I pulled Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book out from the library and am enamored with it, salivating as I thumb through the pages. It will probably make its way onto my bookshelf one day, but I am looking for something with more of a global feel, not just food between bread slices but pita, lavash, etc. I guess I'd like to find a book that includes worldwide classics like the banh mi, shawarma and pan con pavo, tortas...does such a glorious book exist?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Just got Duguid's Burma yesterday. I am finding some things in it interesting and a lot of the recipes remind me of Thai dishes. I was a bit surprised, but since they share a border I should not have been.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lot of Indian influence, too, for the same reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              FWIW, a lot of the recipes are Thai (at least a third of the recipe names are given in Thai too, to give you an idea of the proportion), which for some of us was a bit of a disappointment once we delved into the book in depth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There are some good dishes "real" Burmese dishes in there, and we've had a few good meals from Duguid's recipes, but at least in this household this book is has already moved down the list of books to look at when cooking a Burmese meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well that's a bit disappointing, Q. I haven't had a chance to really look deeply into the book yet, but it is a pretty book... (Right now it's sitting on top of Jerusalem which is sitting on top of the Chinese book tops till I get the time to shift... er I mean reorganize... the bursting book shelves.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You know the book hasn't "grown" on me, but at the same time it is not a total dud, I'm probably being too harsh in the post above. And since Mr. QN does a lot of the Burmese cooking in this household, and he was totally turned off of the by the Thai/Burmese confusion in the book, I'm probably overly influenced by that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There definitely are some good recipes in there--the salads are nice, I'm fond of the Mandalay carrot salad, which was a new dish for us, and also we liked the version of aromatic Shan chicken and the pork with mustard greens and tohu. It's worth checking out as a book, but not quite a home run imho.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The curse of the Duguid...I'm not crazy about any of her books, this was a more exciting possibility than a reality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am glad to hear you say it, BT, because I am not enthralled with Duguid either. I have her Seduction of Rice and love the idea of the book, the way it is laid out, the pictures but cooked maybe 2-3 dishes, none too memorable. It just does not inspired me to cook from it... Glad I didn't buy Burma - still on a waiting list at the library.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have a deep-seated anti-her/their books prejudice, I find them more than a bit on the twee side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Speaking as an outsider and a complete newcomer to Burmese cuisine, I've got to say that I've enjoyed many of the dishes that I've made. not knowing anything different, of course. The salads have all been wonderful--agreed about the carrot salad in particular-and some of the chicken dishes have been repeated around here as well as some of the cooked veg sides (esp. items with tua nao-which I am in love with!). Still others on The List.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's too bad. I've heard the same elsewhere and it makes me hesitant to cook from this book if the results aren't all that great. Burmese is not a cuisine I'm all that familiar with and I don't want to be disappointed by lackluster recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When the Complete Asian Cookbook was COTM we cooked a few Burmese recipes that we liked v much. I has hoping for more of the same... Oh well, I'll check out the book with an eye to the recipes Qianning mentioned and see what I can come up with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hmmm, thanks for telling us. That is definitely going to influence me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Has anyone purchased the Chinese Takeout Cookbook by Diana Kuan? I see it's featured in Serious Eats "Cook the Book" series at the moment and seems to be getting positive recipe reviews...


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Yesterday, I purchased Kitchen Diaries (Nigel) from the local bookstore. While I was there, I had a chance to thumb through Practical Paleo and Meatless (M. Stewart). I'm really excited about both books and will order both this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      FYI - I know it seems old that I'm getting a paleo cookbook (meat centered) and a vegetarian based book. I am not vegan but desparately need to incorporate more plant-based meals into my diet. I was interested in the PP book as the author of shares a ton of nutritional information and 30-day meal calendars based on various health conditions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chinese Takeout CB may be added to my wish list :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cityhopper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm not a vegetarian cityhopper but I was flipping through Martha's Meatless book the other day and I thought it looked great. I may just need to add that one to my Wishlist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hopefully someone will weigh in on that Takeout book...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I recall someone asking me to report back when I cooked something from the Two Greedy Italians Cookbook but I can’t find the thread so I’m posting this here as I imagine it was in one of these cookbook purchases threads…hopefully whoever asked will see it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If this dish is representative of the quality of the book then I’d say we have a winner on our hands! Here’s what I made:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PATATE ARRAGANATE – SLICED ROASTED POTATOES WITH TOMATO, OREGANO AND BASIL – p. 147

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is my new favourite potato casserole and I can only imagine how amazing it will be in the summer with garden fresh vegetables and basil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Prep was especially simple as I used my mandoline for all the slicing. Potatoes and red onions are sliced thinly then layered in a casserole that’s been coated w evoo. Layered in this order are: potatoes, dried oregano, salt and pepper, fresh basil leaves, onions, halved cherry tomatoes, a drizzle of oil. Layers are then repeated. I ended up w 3 layers of each. This bakes for 45 mins in a 360F/180°C oven. The aromas are intoxicating. I could have made a meal of this dish without any accompaniments. It really was delicious and different. The potatoes were crispy (I think mine were sliced thinner than in the book and I'd do this again as we loved the texture) and the caramelized tomatoes and onions were outstanding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This was the first dish I’ve made from the book but rest assured, I’ll be spending more time w it now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I found the recipe online if anyone here is now tempted to give this a try:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        28 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's the Antonio Carluccio and Genarro Contaldo book, isn't it... I've been thinking about that book for a long time now. BTW: the roasted potato casserole is almost an iconic Mediterranean, or really southern European, dish. I think every country in the area has its own version... I love it and it's wonderful in Summer as you say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes Gio, that's right. I purchased the book when they started airing the tv programme here. Carluccio and Contaldo are terrific together, the show captivated us and had us laughing at their antics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To your point, Genarro says the aromas of this dish transport him right back to the Mediterranean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm having a look through the book over breakfast...I'll let you know what I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ok, reporting back. I went through the book page by page. I really liked the info about Italy, origins of dishes, courses, festivals etc. I could see this being a great first Italian cook book for someone but it also holds appeal for someone say, with a lot of Italian cookbooks...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Without a doubt there are dishes in here that someone who knows Italian cuisine likely doesn't need a recipe for. That said, there are some other gems that I haven't seen in other books as well. Some of the recipes I flagged:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Zuppa Di Carciofi Con Gnocci di Pollo - Artichoke Soup w Chicken Dumplings

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Paccheri Ripieni Con Salsa D'Asparagi - Filled Pasta Tubes with Asparagus Sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pizza e Menesta - Braised Greens w Polenta Cake (this looks incredible...not a pizza as we know it at all)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Gnocchi Alla Romana - Semolina Dumplings Roman Style (as the book says: "completely different to other gnocchi")

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lasagnetta Con Pane Carasau - Sardinian Bread Lasagna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Il Dentice di Gennaro - Gennaro's Sea Bream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pollo Con Carciofini, Cipolle, Patate e Rosmarino - Chicken w Artichokes, Onions, Potatoes & Rosemary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Salsicce Fatte A Mano Con Salsa Pepolata - Hand-made Skinless Sausages with Pepper Sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lonza Al Miele e Zenzero - Pork Filet w Honey and Ginger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Finocchi Gratinati - Fennel Gratin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Melanzane Ripiene Al Forno - Baked Stuffed Aubergines

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's quite a formadible list BC. From it I can see the following recipes making their way to my dinner table:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                >Il Dentice di Gennaro - Gennaro's Sea Bream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                >Pollo Con Carciofini, Cipolle, Patate e Rosmarino - Chicken w Artichokes, Onions, Potatoes & Rosemary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                >Salsicce Fatte A Mano Con Salsa Pepolata - Hand-made Skinless Sausages with Pepper Sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                >Finocchi Gratinati - Fennel Gratin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The only Carluccio cookbook I have is "Antonio Carluccio's Italia: The Recipes and Customs of the Regions" and I haven't cooked one thing from it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Many more appeal Gio, these were just immediate standouts. I bet if you saw the photo of the Pizza e Menesta you'd be tempted to make that too!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ...love today's avatar btw!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks. I'm successfully wasting this entire day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Looky what I found:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I must say, Gio, that you are successfully cracking me up today....so waste away!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And now I'm eating an apple. Yes, I have no bananas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was on that path as well but managed to drag myself down to the basement and cleaned up/organized the freezers and pantry shelves. I'd hoped to clean out the vegetable garden but it's just too darned cold out there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now mr bc wants to have a game of Scopa...he has a cold but I have no excuse!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, that's the photo from the book! Looks delicious doesn't it?!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gennaro Cotaldo's first cookbook Passione is a favourite of mine. He had a restaurant of the same name in London which is now sadly closed. Had one of the best meals of my life there. He's also good mates with Jamie Oliver - and in June I'll be staying in an agriturismo in the Italian Marches where they both filmed! Can't wait.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ahh, so that is where I recognize the name--he was mentioned quite frequently in JO's earlier books, if I recall. This had been bugging me all morning!(Of course I could have googled that info but there are so many other things abounding on the good ole' web that I plumb forgot!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oooohhhh..... color me jealous. You lucky duck you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I know! Doesn't it look amazing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just ordered a used copy of this book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have been making, for many, many years, a French recipe for a very similar potato dish, with just basil as the only herb, and done on the stovetop in a heavy skillet as opposed to the oven. I only make it when I have good tomatoes and basil from the garden. It's one I like to pull out for entertaining, as everyone loves it, it's easy, and it holds well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh great, I'll have someone to cook w Mel!! Funny you say that about the dish holding well because the book says to serve immediately and I didn't. I actually cooked it prior to my lamb and left it on the counter then just re-heated it while the lamb rested. It was perfect. I can imagine it would be tasty at room temp...if you ever managed to salvage some leftovers!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, it's shipping from the UK, so it will be a few weeks before I have the book in hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm convinced that "serve immediately" is one of those phrases that gets stuck in a recipe without a lot of thought as to whether it is really true or not. I use my own judgement. The version I make has seen many a lunchbox a day or two after being made, and it is just fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Two Greedy Italians is here! I've just skimmed through, and WOW! This is going to be a good one for me. I want to make everything in it! The vegetables especially look good. Here are some (besides what's on BC's list) that are catching my eye:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Involtini di Zucchini (Roasted Courgette Rolls), looks perfect for summer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Panzanella Agli Ortaggi in Agrodolce (Sweet and Sour Bread Salad), very different from usual, with mixed vegetables cooked with vinegar in place of tomatoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Uova di Quaglie Ripiene (Stuffed Quail's Eggs), would undoubtedly be good with hen's eggs too

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ndundari con Salsa di Pomodoro e Basilico (Ricotta Dumplings with Tomato and Basil Sauce)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Zucchini alla Parmigiana (Courgette and Cheese Bake)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Polpette di Melanzane (Aubergine Dumplings)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Merluzzo in Crosta (Cod with an Olive and Sun-Dried Tomato Crust)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Scottiglia con Polenta alla Spianatora (Mixed Meat Stew with Polenta)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Osso Bucco in Bianco (Braised Veal Shanks)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Coniglio con Olive, Timo e Marinata di Agrumi (Citrus-Marinated Rabbit with Black Olives and Thyme)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Zucca con le Briciole (Pumpkin Chips with Tangy Breadcrumbs)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Insalata di Zucchini con Menta and Rucola (Courgette Salad with Fresh Mint and Rocket)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Salame di Fichi, Albicocche e Nocciole (Fig, Dried Apricot, and Hazelnut Salami)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mel.. did you order from the UK? I'm caving slowly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Last night We made a riff on his "Chicken with artichokes, onions, potatoes and rosemary", that I mentioned upthread, from Diana Henry's Pure Simple Cooking and it was v good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, I did. In this case from the US Amazon, but from a UK seller.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I saw your post about the chicken. The recipe in the book is similar, but with artichokes added and minus the balsamic vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think you need to cave and we need to set up a cooking thread for this book, or maybe for the authors. I have Contaldo's Passione as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have Passione and really like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Me too, but this new book has an even higher ratio of recipes I want to make. I've been wondering how these would go over on the COTM nomination thread. Not sure how available they are in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hah.. I guess I don't need much of a push. I was almost there when I asked. OK. I'm in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Since there’s been discussion about Gennaro’s books above, I thought I’d share a report on a yummy dish from one of his other books in case folks have it or, are interested:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BRUSCHETTA CON POMODORINI E MOZZARELLA – Gennaro’s Italian Home Cooking – p. 164

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Delicious twist on an old favourite antipasti. Actually I’d intended to make my standard bruschetta recipe when mr bc piped up that he’d seen a recipe in this book that he’d be interested in trying. Well imagine my excitement…mr bc rarely looks at cookbooks beyond what I’ve tabbed for him to check out so I definitely wanted to encourage his efforts!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The twist here is that the sliced bufala (in my case) mozzarella is sliced and placed atop toasted bread then topped w roasted tomatoes. The toasts are then drizzled w evoo and dusted w dried oregano, S&P before placing into the oven for the cheese to melt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What emerges are flavour-packed little toasts. The juicy sweet-tart roasted cherry tomatoes work perfectly with the creaminess of the melty cheese and it only took moments for these to disappear from everyone’s plates. I really liked the use of dried oregano at this time of year when basil isn’t locally available – nor does fresh basil fare well in the oven so this too was a nice change of pace.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A pleasant surprise and a dish we’ll definitely have again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I stumbled across this thread when I was searching to see what others' experiences had been with TGI. Although I've had the book for a while, I made my first recipe from it last night: Tagliatelle al Vino Bianco con Fungi. It was excellent. Support for the book as COTM seems to have waned after some early enthusiasm for it. From the few reports I've come across from those who have cooked from the book, that discussion ought be revived. Anyone else cooked from it lately?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I haven't Joan but am just now catching up on my reading here and you've inspired me to pull it off the shelf again. I have some time off in the week ahead and will have a look through this for ideas. I'm so looking forward to spending more time in the kitchen after such a long stretch of business travel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I cooked from it early on (as in when I first got it) but it got shunted to the back of the shelf. I'd be thrilled to have a reason to hunt it down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Is it time for a new thread? I see this one is marked old but I can't find the most recent one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I really don't need any more, and it's been so hard to restrain myself. I really want "Bouchon"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I bought Suzanne Goin's AOC Cookbook yesterday. There is a lot of very tempting recipes. Beautiful book with a very thorough glossary of cheeses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We got Nigel Slater's Eat. The little book of fast food. It seems like this is a book everyone should have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pok Pok. It was a gift, but despite the reviews I'm pretty uninterested. I really prefer Vietnamese food. I imagine I'll be able to find a couple of things to make.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't know if you're aware of it, but there's a cooking from thread going on the A.O.C. cookbook: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9274... Come join us when you've tried something from the book.