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Cookbook of the Month May 2013: The Nomination Thread

Spring is finally in the air, thank goodness, after what seems to have been the longest winter ever in England. But as the saying goes in my native Yorkshire, "ne'er cast a clout 'til May's out!".

With May comes the first of the new veg - most importantly for me, asparagus! Although I'm told that it will be late this year, because of the incessant cold weather. :-(

Anyhow, it's time to turn our attention to the next book(s) we want to cook from. 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: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

The deadline for nominations is 0800 GMT on Monday 15th April, which is late on Sunday 14th for those of you in North America.

As always, I look forward to a lively debate!

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  1. I'll start things off with THAI FOOD, David Thompson. Several of us have been trying to get this book nominated for ages...hopefully May is our month!

    1 Reply
    1. re: biondanonima

      They don't have this at either of the public libraries I have access to. I'm going to put in an inter-library loan request and see if they can track down a copy of this for me, and maybe the stars will align and I'll actually have it in hand when it's finally COTM...

    2. I will second THAI FOOD.

      Another idea I have been toying with is a month of sandwiches-like Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book and/or Tom Colicchio's 'Wichcraft. And if there are any round-the-world type sandwich books out there, something like that might be fun...

      1. marking so I can find this again.

        1. Another one for THAI FOOD
          I've got my Thai exchange student from a few years ago and her culinary student friend coming to stay with me--they'll be excellent critics.

          1. THE SOUL OF A NEW CUISINE by Marcus Samuelsson
            Yup... bringing this one back for a second (or is it third) outing. My first choice.

            I really like the idea of 'wichcraft: Craft a Sandwich into a Meal--And a Meal into a Sandwich by Tom Colicchio. I never was much of a sandwich lover but lately I've been growing ever more fond of certain combinations...
            http://www.amazon.com/wichcraft-Craft...

            4 Replies
            1. re: Gio

              I was really hoping for this to win for April. I have not participated much in COTM, though a bit. I hope it's okay to second a nomination despite that.

              THE SOUL OF A NEW CUISINE

              1. re: debbiel

                Absolutely nominate. The books with the most nominations gets to go to the voting thread!

              2. re: Gio

                I'll support THE SOUL OF A NEW CUISINE - still on the shelf unloved but a month of cooking together will correct this situation no doubt :)

                1. re: Gio

                  I have had 'witchcraft for more than a year and have never cooked from it. I could use the group support LOL.

                2. BURMA or
                  JAPANESE FARM FOOD or
                  THAI FOOD

                  1. Even though I am intimidated by it, I'd like to nominate THAI FOOD please. I know it will be a great learning experience.

                    1. How about MEXICAN EVERYDAY, Rick Bayless. I've also been interested in TRULY MEXICAN and wouldn't even mind combining them.

                      A change of pace, change of flavors, and hopefully doable after work (sorry, but this is a major consideration for me!)

                      I'm not too into sandwich month but could cope with the other suggestions. Though if the book is a complicated one like Thai Food, realistically, I won't be able to participate much.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Westminstress

                        I'm with you Westminstress, plus, May is a very appropriate month for Mexican/Latin food :)

                        1. re: Westminstress

                          TRULY MEXICAN is truly delicious. I second this nomination.

                        2. MEXICAN EVERYDAY
                          GRAN COCINA LATINA

                          23 Replies
                            1. re: Allegra_K

                              I'm interested in GRAN COCINA LATINA.

                            2. re: juliejulez

                              Both of these sound great for May. I'd try MEXICAN EVERYDAY or
                              GRAN COCINA LATINA

                              1. re: BigSal

                                Agreed. Either book would be great. And from a purely selfish point of view, since this is the kind of food I am very comfortable with, both in terms of cooking at eating, it would mean easy participation, even if I have a busy travel schedule.

                                MEXICAN EVERYDAY
                                GRAN COCINA LATINA

                                1. re: MelMM

                                  I have both of these books and would love to cook from either of them, though, realistically, Mexican Everyday is the one I would be most like to be able to cook from.

                                  ~TDQ

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    I feel the same way, TDQ. I have Mexican Everyday and Burma. Have cooked from the first but not the second.

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      I've cooked quite a bit from MEXICAN EVERYDAY and it's a fun one to cook from because it is not rigidly "authentic". RB gives ideas for substitutions, variations and even slow cooker versions. The chapter on salads has some cool ideas for salads using Mexican ingredients that satisfy the American palate for salads.

                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                        This book has been on my Amazon wishlist for awhile. Mexican cuisine is one "ethnic" cuisine I can easily get ingredients for as there are a couple mexican supermarkets n the closest town. Plus any book that has a good selection of "quick" meals wins points with me.

                                        I also like the idea of it because there are used copies available on Amazon for under $9 :)

                                    2. re: MelMM

                                      GRAN COCINA LATINA is such a tour de force on it's own, I think it should have a month all of it's own. I mean...900+ pages :-)...wow, so many recipes only 31 days!

                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                        I cannot source many of the ingredients, even online.

                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                          For which cookbook? I can see that finding ingedients for Gran Cocina Latina could be a challenge in some areas, but Mexican ones are fairly easy to source. If a Mexican cookbook wins and you have difficulty with ingedients let me know and I'll share some of the sources I know about.

                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                            I would also struggle a lot, being from the UK where Latin American cuisine is much less prevalent.

                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                              I'd be willing to help as much as I could. There are quite a few latin markets around here.

                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                That's really kind. As it happens I'm away for ten days anyway in May, in France, where I doubt I'll find anything Latin American!

                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                  I'll be in France in May too! Spending 10 days. Where will you be?

                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                      Six day hike along the Alsatian wine route and then 3 days Paris. Wrong side of the country. Have a great time. I'm hoping this trip I don't come down with pneumonia or something else horrible.

                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                        That sounds amazing. Maybe I could meet you for lunch in Paris!

                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                    actually, in Paris you can find some Latin American stores, according to David Leibovitz.... a fresh tortilla store opened up recently even! :)

                                                    Not that I would want to eat that while I was visiting France. Lucky you!

                                              2. re: pikawicca

                                                what ingredients r u having difficulty finding

                                        2. re: juliejulez

                                          I would love to cook from GRAN COCINA LATINA. It has been sitting on the shelf, looking very intimidating but exciting at the same time. I picked it up not once but have not cooked a thing. My dinner club is planning Peruvian dinner in early June and if we cook from GCL in May it will be so much easier for me to choose and cook a dish for that dinner.

                                        3. wow, I'm just now getting my ducks in a row for cooking from Keller....can't believe nominations have already come around again, and can't resist keeping track of the conversation, it is always a highlight of the month....

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: qianning

                                            My ducks have been in a row but I seem to have lost my ammunition. (Started off with 2 recipes and have listed several on-line recipes but my interest fizzled out early on)

                                            1. re: Gio

                                              big grin here....know how you feel. i've got 4 "entree" like recipes tagged, if i make two, it'll be an accomplishment, hoping the rainy cold weather we have coming for the rest of the week will put me in the mood for some serious kitchen time. that and the fact that i went and bought ingredients for that silly chicken and sausage and pepper dish.....

                                              1. re: qianning

                                                (Good luck w the chicken dish. I loved reading the account of the blogger who jumped through all the hoops to make it but complained ll the way. Kicking and screaming as it were.)

                                                More on topic, in May I going to need some strong incentive to cook from whichever book is elected. I'm past the time of enjoying terribly instructional and fiddly recipes. I've already done that. I want good food! Fun to cook food! Delicious food! Not a recipe I have to wrestle with.

                                                1. re: Gio

                                                  Everyday Mexican will fill that niche

                                            2. re: qianning

                                              Me too! I was going to make my first TK recipe last night but then life got in the way. Hoping to start tonight...,

                                            3. THE SOUL OF A NEW CUISINE by Marcus Samuelsson

                                              SMITTEN KITCHEN COOKBOOK & BLOG

                                              And an oldie, but not one I saw in the list of previous COTM's, RIVER CAFE COOKBOOK by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Musie

                                                What a great idea... the River Cafe Cookbook! Lots of very inexpensive used copies available online, too, and they have several other books which could be a good adjunct thread.

                                                1. re: geekmom

                                                  Two of their books, Italian Easy and Italian Two Easy, are previous COTMs: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/717845

                                                1. I'll be around for about 2/3 of the month so will get in a fair amount of cooking, if not a ton. I could get behind MEXICAN EVERYDAY.

                                                  1. My husband is pining for me to get back to mexican cooking after a couple of months of chinese!
                                                    MEXICAN EVERYDAY

                                                      1. I can't believe it is already time to start thinking about May! The past few months participating has proved hard for me, even though I own the books. I am not sure May will be any different, but I like all the ideas that have been tossed around.

                                                        I own and have cooked from The Soul of A New Cuisine and think it would make an excellent choice. The recipes are fairly approachable but you really get to delve into something that feels very exotic.

                                                        A Rick Bayless month also sounds fantastic. I only have Mexican Kitchen on my shelves but it is soundly written and the few recipes I have made came out perfectly.

                                                        I don't own any David Thompson books but I have checked them out from the library before and they are really fun reads. I've made the candied pork recipe and the green papaya salad recipe (both from Thai Street Food) and both were wonderful.

                                                        I also own Gran Cocina Latina and have scarcely glanced at it since I bought it. If it gets selected, I am sure I will learn a lot but I have to admit I won't be voting for it.

                                                        At this moment in time, I seem to be opting for easier meals. Every time I have attempted a recipe this month from Thomas Keller's books, I've ended up abandoning it. Too many steps. Brining is especially off putting for me. As an act of rebellion, I am cooking out of my Nordstrom's Cookbooks this week. I will post my results in the Cookbook Challenge thread when I finish up. Things like smores, grilled shrimp, poblano chicken, sun dried tomato salad.

                                                        1. SOUL OF A NEW CUISINE
                                                          I'm really ready to visit a new continent.

                                                            1. MEXICAN EVERYDAY
                                                              OR
                                                              GRAND CUCINA LATINA
                                                              OR
                                                              RICK BAYLESS MONTH

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                Grand Cucina Latina won award in general category from
                                                                International Association of Culinary Professionals

                                                                1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                  I just ordered a inexpensive copy of

                                                                  TWO GREEDY ITALIANS IN ITALY

                                                                  1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                    That may not be the same greedy italian book we are talking about below, although it is by the same authors. I'm seeing on Amazon, Two Greedy Italians, and Two Greedy Italians Eat Italy. The latter is arranged by region, and looking through it has different recipes. I bet is a good book, even if not the same one.

                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                      I am sure I will enjoy it anyway.

                                                                2. I'm going to toss out the idea of TWO GREEDY ITALIANS, by Antonio Carluccio and Genaro Contaldo, with adjunct threads for other books by the authors. I just got this book, and it has been very rare to see a book with so many recipes I would like to make.

                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                  1. re: MelMM

                                                                    TWO GREEDY ITALIANS by Antonio Carluccio and Genaro Contaldo.
                                                                    You didn't waste any time. LOL

                                                                    I just ordered the book but the shipping advice states it may arrive sometime between 2 May and 22 May. There are on-line recipes, though.

                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                      Latin American food is a bit of a non-starter for me, so I'll chime in with TWO GREEDY ITALIANS as well.

                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                        Gio, where are you finding the bulk of the online recipes? EYB has linked only one (not very helpful alas) and I'm totally blocked by BBC Food because I'm not in the UK.

                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                          Good Morning, TDQ. I'm in Massachusetts, so not in the UK either, darnit... here's the BBC list of TGI on-line recipes:

                                                                          http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/sea...

                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                            Terrific, thank you. I don't know why I couldn't figure out how to bring that up!

                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                              Have you eaten your Wheaties this morning?

                                                                      2. re: MelMM

                                                                        Mel, can you please talk about this book and these authors a little more? I'm completely unfamiliar with them. I see it's indexed on EYB and looks like it's reasonably available through Book Depository (free shipping worldwide...)

                                                                        http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/8...

                                                                        ETA: there are tons of reviews for this book (mostly glowing ones) for this book on Amazon UK. I'm kind of embarrassed now that I read the snippets and reviews that I'm so unfamiliar with these authors.

                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                          They've both lived in the UK for many years. Gennaro Contaldo is originally from the Amalfi region and used to run a very good Italian restaurant in Bloomsbury called Passione. He's been a big influence on Jamie Oliver, who calls him his "mentor". Antonio Carluccio has written about Italian food for many years and had several series on the BBC. He had a restaurant in Covent Garden, which has expanded into a national chain,

                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                            Antonio Carluccio was the manager of Terence Conran's Neal Street Restaurant in Covent Garden then after a few years became the owner. Jamie Oliver worked at Neal Street under Carluccio. Jamie gets around... He's had some really great teachers including Grey & Rogers at the River Cafe.

                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                              I think Contaldo worked there as well. Must have been a great restaurant back in the day.

                                                                          2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                            TDQ, check out the posts about this book, starting with this one from Breadcrumbs, on the March cookbook thread:
                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8924...

                                                                            A little further down in the thread, she has a nice list of recipes, and even further down, I have another list, and that should give you a good idea of what's in the book.

                                                                            1. re: MelMM

                                                                              I'm excited - LulusDad got me a copy today and I should have it in my grubby paws by next Thursday.

                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                You cookbook sirens, all of you! That book sounds packed with deliciousness. Please choose this for May so I have my excuse to buy the book...

                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                  Sirens indeed. Two Greedy Italians just found its way into my amazon cart. Don't really feel I can nominate it since I have not yet laid eyes on it, but sounds appealing.

                                                                                  I think MEXICAN EVERY DAY would also be fun. I've had this book from while and have some tried and trues that I cook frequently but haven't yet really delved into the book.

                                                                            2. re: MelMM

                                                                              GG, if it isn't too much trouble, I think I'll change my nomination to TWO GREEDY ITALIANS (from mexican everyday).

                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                Thanks, Mel for tossing out Two Greedy Italians. I just got the book this weekend and already made 3 recipes out of it. Unprecedented for me!

                                                                                The Spring Lamb with Peas was dinner last night and it was really just the perfect meal for a rainy spring night. Delicious, warming, aromatic and simple. We loved it! I am very much looking forward to Mexican in May, but I think this cookbook needs its day in the COTM sun as well.

                                                                                1. GRAN COCINA LATINA
                                                                                  Haven't cooked from it, nor do I own it, but have flipped through it and was mightily intrigued. Many recipes that looked both interesting, not too many crazy ingredients, and an all new region.

                                                                                  1. or THAI FOOD

                                                                                    Love this book, and May is the beginning of lychee season, if I were forced to chose just one recipe from the book it would be Duck Salad with Lychees, and that would make the month worthwhile.

                                                                                    1. TWO GREEDY ITALIANS by Antonio Carluccio and Genaro Contaldo

                                                                                      I've been away so just catching up on this thread but I definitely want to stick my toe in and join in the nominations for this one.

                                                                                      1. Only a few hours left to nominate, folks.

                                                                                        1. Just hoping that should Bayless's Mexican Everyday win, it might be paired with one of his first two--MEXICAN KITCHEN or AUTHENTIC MEXICAN.

                                                                                          And while I need another Italian cookbook about as much as I do more fat on my thighs, I'm sure I'll happily suspend the cookbook moratorium and buy a copy of Two Greedy Italians.

                                                                                          1. TWO GREEDY ITALIANS.....thanks.

                                                                                            1. It's interesting how much the choices change from month to month! Burma seems to have fallen completely off the radar. I'll go with RICK BAYLESS, as I haven't got Mexican Everyday, but I have 3 of his other books. I haven't made anything but the chocoflan from Fiesta at Rick's, but have cooked extensively from the other 2: Authentic Mexican and One Plate at a Time.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: pavlova

                                                                                                Poor Burma. Perhaps at a later date!

                                                                                              2. Thai Food for me. Love almost anything Asian.

                                                                                                1. Not sure if I missed the cut off. I posted my nomination earlier but maybe it didn't go through so here it is again:

                                                                                                  RICK BAYLESS MONTH

                                                                                                  1. Nominations are now closed - back in five with the voting thread.

                                                                                                      1. I always hesitate to do this, because I don't want to detract from COTM, and I also don't want to eliminate it as a future COTM, but I'm wondering if people might be interested in a thread on cooking from Soul of a New Cuisine.

                                                                                                        I don't have either of the books that are in the running, and due to recent life events, I'm in the midst of an absolutely NO cookbook buying commitment.

                                                                                                        So, is anyone interested in a thread for SOANC?

                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                          I am interested, LN, but visiting family in May, taking Mexican cooking course in June, and then it will be BBQ/cottage season. I do not think I can focus on Soul until fall. I will be cooking for the family in May and everyone seem to have special needs - low cal, gluten-free, dairy-free, kid friendly... you get the picture, no? What about Canal House? I have "Everyday" and 2-3 others but have not cooked from them at all. Do you have any? Are you interested?

                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                            I have the book and would very much like some incentive to cook from it. However, I'd really like to give it a chance to become COTM and I'm going to be in and out of town for the next couple of months so won't have as much time for cooking.

                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                              If you put the thread up, I would attempt to participate, but given that the next COTM is one that I own and a cuisine that is extremely familiar and easy for me, and given that I have family business keeping me on the road up to 50% of the time, my participation would be minimal, at least at first. Over a period of months, I would be able to contribute more substantially, but in the short term, not so much. I do tend to look at these alternative "cooking from" threads as lower priority, but longer term things. Something to contribute to as time allows, which might be a much longer window than a COTM.

                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                Well, perhaps now is not the best time. I, too, still hope it can become a COTM; it's so different from much of what we've done. And even though I can't get this month's book from the library, I have plenty of catching up to do on prior COTMs, and now, plenty of time to do it!

                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                  The Soul of a New Cuisine would make a really different COTM! I have the book and would love to see that. There's still next month, LN. As for the Bayless book there are many recipes of his on-line so if you get the urge you'd have plenty from which to choose.

                                                                                                              2. Has the nomination thread for June gone up yet? I can't seem to find it and I've spaced and missed the last two nomination threads until after the voting thread went up. Just don't want to miss it again!

                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                  I believe gg is in France and will put it up as soon as she gets back - start looking maybe tomorrow or Monday.