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May 1, 2013 10:29 AM

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? May 2013 Edition [old]

Buttertart, who is currently pretty much sidelined by a new and very time-consuming job, asked me to put up her usual thread.

Spring fever made me do it -- I just succumbed to Joanne Chang's Flour as well as Two Greedy Italians. Although I have been following Weight Watchers and curtailing both my baking and my consumption of pasta, a girl can dream, can't she?

What books are singing their siren song to you, causing your remaining New Year's resolution-fueled willpower to crumble?

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  1. OK I confess: My latest are:

    Two Greedy Italians by Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo
    I've considered buying this cookbook for most of this year and before. I finally succumbed. And, as an aside I bought the book from an Amazon re-seller. It was listed as being in "good" condition. It's in absolutely pristine condition. Not a mark or scuff anywhere!

    Trattoria by Patricia Wells, and
    Simply French: Patricia Wells Presents the Cuisine of Joel Robuchon.
    I have her Bistro Cooking and love it so when I found a few recipes on the net from her other books at ridiculously low prices I pounced.

    Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons: Enchanting Dishes from the Middle East, Mediterranean and North Africa by Diana Henry. This is my kind of region. I have two other books of hers and after reading recipe reports by CH COTM regulars it somehow found itself in My Basket...

    18 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      We love The Bistro Book too, but I've never been as smitten with her Trattoria book. I'd love to hear your impressions and what you enjoy making from it. Maybe it deserves another look.

      1. re: roxlet

        Will do roxlet, when it arrives.

        1. re: roxlet

          The Tri color peppers with pasta and her tomato basil pesto are my two favorites from Trattoria.

          1. re: roxlet

            I own the Bistro Book but took Trattoria out of the library when it was COTM and loved it. One thing I remember being totally crazy about was a salad (? - appetizer?) of cubed cheese and walnuts. So much better than it sounds.

          2. re: Gio

            TGI and Trattoria are 2 of my favorites along with Family Matters that I Posted in the April thread.

            1. re: Gio

              Oooh! Oooh! I ADORE "Simply French." Not home so I can't check specifics, but I've made a number of recipes from that book, a few multiple times, and have never been disappointed. Robuchon was one of the greatest, and Wells makes him accessible. Some recipes can be fussy, but they're well worth it. I think you're going to love it.

              1. re: JoanN

                I guess you really like Simply French, Joan. Actually, I bought the book after reading your enthusiastic praise for it on another thread. Now I'm Really looking forward to its arrival...

                1. re: Gio

                  I'd forgotten that thread and had to go look it up. Happy to see that at least I'm consistent. On occasion.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    Simply French arrived yesterday but I have yet to really go through it in any depth. I'll do that later today. Joan, I'm interested to know what you particularly like in this book. When you have the time would you list a few recipes for me? A note on EYB says that DKennedy's go-to Chicken recipe is in the book, so that's good to know. TIA

                    1. re: Gio

                      I agree with dkennedy about the roast chicken. It’s excellent. I have a note in the book to rub the baking dish with butter to keep the skin from sticking. The Confit of Fresh Chestnuts, Walnuts, Fennel, and Onions is extraordinary. I make it with the bottled French chestnuts. Glazed Spring Vegetables is superb, and very elegant if you can find the whole baby vegetables. The Provencal Roast Tomatoes couldn't be simpler and couldn't be better when fresh tomatoes are in season. And the Smoked Salmon Rolls with Fresh Salmon “Caviar” are also comparatively easy, can be done mostly ahead of time, and also make for an elegant presentation.

                      And now that I’m flipping through the book, which I haven’t done in a long time, I see so many more recipes I want to try. Definitely time to revisit this book.

                      1. re: JoanN

                        Uh oh. The fresh chestnuts thing has got you-know-who's name all over it.

                        1. re: JoanN

                          Many thanks, Joan. All the recipes you've referenced sound delightful. Can't wait to really get into this book and start cooking.

                2. re: Gio

                  I think Trattoria may have been a COTM Gio...I seem to think I may have bought it for that reason. I know you'll love TGIs ...a wonderful book.

                  1. re: Gio

                    I believe it was based on a certain person with a 3 letter name and a red avatar raving about Two Greedy Italians that got me to have my husband bring me a copy home from the UK...

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      Hahahaha... gee, I wonder who that could be...

                      BTW: I have the Orecchetti with broccoli and anchovies earmarked for the first recipe I'll cook. But first I have to use up all the Chinese cabbage, beansprouts and other perishable Asian stuff.

                      1. re: Gio

                        Mmm, that sounds good. I make a cauliflower version that is one of my husband's favorite meals.

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          Yes.... this is really nothing I've never made before but I want to see how they treat the ingredients.

                    2. re: Gio

                      Oh no. I've opened up the Amazon page for Crazy Water...

                      I am weak.

                    3. I really want Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction but can't in good conscience order it right now. I bought like 8 cookbooks last month! (Fish Without A Doubt, Mesa Mexicana, Too Hot Tamales, Old School Comfort Food, Frontera, Mexican Everyday, Pati's Mexican Table, and How to Cook Everything)

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Njchicaa

                        Ooh, I'd love to hear what you think of Pati's Mexican Table! I was hoping my library would carry it, but so far no luck. I may just have to cave...

                        1. re: Allegra_K

                          I'm half way through reading it (is it weird that I read through cookbooks like regular books) and I can say that more of her dishes look like things I want to make than what I saw in Mexican Everyday

                          1. re: Njchicaa

                            Hah, I thought I was the only one who read cookbooks like gripping novels until I started frequenting Chow and found I wasn't alone!

                      2. I just purchased Family Matters.....Favorite Staff Meals. It is another winner from the Union Square Family where they share their favorite staff meals. I have almost every page marked!!!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: angelsmom

                          I have this book marked for my birthday - you really like it?

                        2. I've pre-ordered Kevin West's "Saving the Seasons."

                          1. What's a cookbook? Anybody want to hire me away from the trenches? I clean up good and am fun to be around ;-)

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: buttertart

                              You'll have to download a few to read in those free moments to and from the salt mines!

                              1. re: buttertart

                                bt is this a change of employer too or just roles? Sorry life is getting in the way of fun...I HATE when that happens. Let's hope things ease up soon and you're back at the breakfast bar w a cookbook and cuppa!