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Mar 8, 2013 06:01 AM

Cookbook of the Month April 2013: The Nomination Thread

So - April. We have a saying in England that it roars in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Whichever, it's time to think about what you want to be cooking this Spring, even though March has barely begun!

Please note that all nominations should be in CAPS. For more on how Cookbook of the Month works or to see an archive of books we’ve already cooked from this link can give you lots of information:

The deadline for nominations is 0800 GMT on Friday 15th March, or late on Thursday 14th March for North Americans.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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  1. In like a lion out like a lamb is what we in the US say about March. "April showers bring May flowers..."

    Where Does the time go? Wonder what new and exciting things we'll be cooking in April. That's why I'm replying to this thread...

    6 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      Same here - easy to loose a thread in the mass of discussions.

      What are we going to cook in April? Hoping for something light and fresh.

      1. re: Gio

        Well, now you and gg have me craving lamb Gio!! ; )

        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          Well, as I type we are in the middle of probably the worst snow storm of the season. Rain, sleet, and heavy, heavy snow. About 8 inches of the stuff has fallen since yesterday afternoon on top of about 4 inches of old snow. And it's still going strong. All my shrubs are Splat on the ground. So, yes, I too am awaiting Spring and warmer weather even if it does rain.

          Lamb is our usual Easter meal and I personally Love it. But April does have it's seasonal vegetables too... Pea shoots and fava greens, sorrel, some lettuces, fiddlehead ferns, sweet onions, watercress... and beans, chicory and chives, early strawberries and late season leeks. To name just a few...

          1. re: Gio

            Maybe you're right Gio and I'm confusing the two months! Definitely no sign of Spring here either - freezing temperatures and possibly snow forecast for the weekend. Snow definitely not unheard of in April either!

            April is also traditionally when we get "the hungry gap". Winter produce finished, and Spring produce yet to appear.

            1. re: greedygirl

              It is pretty chilly here, but the daffodils are popping their heads out to say hello.

          2. Living in a region where each season is distinctly different, I can honestly say that no change of season is met with greater anticipation than the passage of winter into spring. Thanks to another flurry-fest late yesterday, we have a dusting of snow on the ground and there are no signs of anything new and green in my gardens as yet.

            While I won't be cooking with garden-fresh ingredients in April, I will be in the mood for lighter, brighter meals. I'll have to hit the bookshelf this weekend to see what inspires.

            Thanks gg!! Yay spring!!

            1. OK, I'll bite. (No pun intended). I cooked the buttermilk fried chicken recipe from Ad Hoc at Home last weekend and WOW. The crispy, ever so slightly spicy batter. The incredible moist lemony chicken! Our result was not 100% perfect but I was truly amazed that something that tasted like THAT came out of my kitchen.

              I wonder how people would feel about a Thomas Keller month -- lots of folks have Bouchon Bakery, and, like me, may need a little nudge to start baking from it. So here is my vote for THOMAS KELLER month.

              It'll be interesting to see where this discussion goes!

              17 Replies
              1. re: geekmom

                I wouldn't mind this. Ad Hoc At Home seems to be readily available in my library system, and I wouldn't mind dusting off my copy of Bouchon (the only one of his books I actually own).

                1. re: geekmom

                  Here's a link to about 21 on-online recipes from Ad Hoc At Home... (The grid pics link to recipes as well)... plus other TK recipes.


                  ETA: I don't have the book but apparently there is no Table of Contents however the author of the post has included one.

                  1. re: Gio

                    You have to click on the pictures individually to see the 21 recipes, I think, unless I'm missing something.
                    That recipe for the buttermilk fried chicken looks outstanding, (even though I'm not sure I want my fried chicken "lemony".)
                    A Thomas Keller month would include the French Laundry, Ad Hoc, and the bakery book? ( + the sous vide book if you've got the equipment !) I don't see how we could go wrong with a Thomas Keller month. However, I still want a tryout for (1) a street food book, (2) the Smitten Kitchen book, and (3) a Jewish food book. "The Mile End Cookbook" looks great--
                    I don't want to do Burma so soon after Chinese, scarce ingredients being my reason I think.
                    I'd also be quite happy to cook from an online site. Some are adamantly against this, but we might be missing a true treasure/bargain -- there is SO much out there.

                    1. re: blue room

                      BR, if you follow the list of recipes down after the grid of pictures the Table of Contents is listed along with some other on-line recipes...

                      1. re: blue room

                        I know I'm not supposed to buy more books. But somehow the Smitten Kitchen book ended up on my iPad. Along with Diana Henry's Cook Simple.

                        1. re: lilham

                          Weird, that kind of thing happens to me ALL THE TIME. What's up with that? ;-)

                          1. re: geekmom


                            I have a glitch in my Amazon Kindle app that is constantly downloading cookbooks, chef bios and novels...that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Oh I love the idea of a "street food" selection.

                        2. re: blue room

                          BR, that's a fair comment re: lemony fried chicken. It's kind of hard to describe well - the lemon flavour is there in the meat, but it doesn't overpower or dominate at all; you are definitely eating a very flavourful fried chicken. The lemon is in the brine along with plenty of other flavours which all sort of elevate the meat to something really special on its own (often I find the meat in fried chicken is basically just a batter delivery system rather than something delicious in its own right, if that makes sense.) But if you hate the flavour of lemon, you would likely want to leave that out of the brine!

                          1. re: geekmom

                            I would really enjoy a fried chicken that IS more than a 'batter delivery system:)

                            1. re: gingershelley

                              In that case, I hope you'll give TK's recipe a shot & let me know how it goes. :-)

                      2. re: geekmom

                        I'll second THOMAS KELLER MONTH or AD HOC AT HOME, either one!

                        1. re: biondanonima

                          A Thomas Keller month is appealing, but also a little intimidating to me. For those who have Ad Hoc at Home, how involved are the recipes? Anything for the weeknight? or is everything a weekend project?

                          1. re: greeneggsnham

                            While there are quite a few weekend project type of meals in here, I've just had a look through & there are a decent number of meals you could do on a weeknight. Some of the meat and fish dishes are quite fast; others rely on leftovers from a previous meal (like a beef stroganoff made from leftover braised ribs). You can also speed up some of the recipes - for instance, he suggests buying three different cuts of beef and grinding them yourself in the hamburger recipe (!) but you could just use pre-ground beef.

                            1. re: geekmom

                              Thanks, geekmom! These days I find that sometimes even on weekends there is no time for a big cooking project. I like the idea of built in recipes for leftovers-- that's a big plus.

                              Grinding 3 different cuts of meat for hamburgers?!? Never gonna happen around here....

                        2. re: geekmom

                          I could go for that too! I had the Ad Hoc at Home book from the library a few years ago and remember some grits extravaganza that was absolutely delicious. I've just returned Bouchon Bakery to the library and am anxious to make the crepe cake. So, enough blathering...
                          AD HOC AT HOME
                          BOUCHON BAKERY

                          1. I had a quick look through my bookshelves and these two books called out my name: A YEAR IN MY KITCHEN by Skye Gyngell and STIR by Barbara Lynch. These are not new books and according to EYB over 200 people own each.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: herby

                              I was looking at A Year in My Kitchen too on EYB. When I get a chance I'll take it down from my shelf and have a closer look at the recipes. That could be a possible COTM for me.

                              1. re: herby

                                I have Skye Gyngell's My Favourite Ingredients and How I Cook. I don't really wish to own A Year in My Kitchen, but I would love to cook from her other books. May I (humbly) suggest SKYE GYNGELL MONTH? She only has three books so it's manageable

                                1. re: limoen

                                  I've never heard of this author. Can you tell us a little more about her books?

                                  1. re: geekmom

                                    She's Australian but she trained in France and has spent the past few years as the chef of Petersham Nurseries cafe (she has recently left) in Surrey. Her focus is on beautiful ingredients, clean flavours and simplicity that brings out the natural flavours of the food. And I just read that she used to be the food editor for Vogue...

                                    1. re: geekmom

                                      I only have her A Year in my Kitchen and it is small (regular size book) and well illustrated. It is divided into four seasons and has two "toolbox" chapters - one general and the second one devoted to desserts. Recipes are seasonal and heavy on produce. The book was named the Guilds of Food Writers Cookery Book of the Year and Best Food Book at Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards.

                                      Hope this is helpful. I would love to explore the book together with other CHers :)

                                      1. re: herby

                                        Sounds nice! I like the emphasis on seasonality & I have a thing for acquiring cookbooks by Aussie chefs, so I'm definitely interested now.

                                        1. re: herby

                                          Thanks for the critique and info Herby; good information

                                    2. re: herby

                                      I like the STIR recommendation.

                                    3. I'm not a cookbook guru so I don't have any specific title to suggest, but I would appreciate any cookbook that isn't ethnic cuisine, except maybe Mexican (although I think that lends itself more to warmer weather). That's mainly why I'm not participating in the current month's book, even though I enjoy reading the threads. I just don't have access to the right markets to get the ingredients. I like the Thomas Keller idea a lot.