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September 2013 Cookbook of the Month Voting is Now Open!

Welcome to the voting thread for the September 2013 Cookbook of the Month. All in all, 13 different books received nominations, but in the end, two books had the most. As JoanN mentioned, September marks the seventh anniversary of Cookbook of the Month. Which book will help us kick off the anniversary celebration?

SMOKE AND PICKLES written by Edward Lee was released in May 2013. “ Edward creates recipes--filled with pickling, fermenting, frying, curing, and smoking--that reflect the overlapping flavors and techniques that led this Korean-American boy to feel right at home in the South. Dishes like Chicken-Fried Pork Steak with Ramen Crust and Buttermilk Pepper Gravy; Collards and Kimchi; Braised Beef Kalbi with Soft Grits and Scallions; and Miso-Smothered Chicken all share a place on his table.” http://tinyurl.com/nod22eq

GRAN COCINA LATINA: THE FOOD OF LATIN AMERICA by Maricel E. Presilla and released in October 2012. This book is said to “unif(y) the vast culinary landscape of the Latin world, from Mexico to Argentina and all the Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean…She’s gathered more than 500 recipes for the full range of dishes, from the foundational adobos and sofritos to empanadas and tamales to ceviches and moles to sancocho and desserts such as flan and tres leches cake.” http://tinyurl.com/ln956eq

To view the nomination thread, please click here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/912427

To view the history of COTM and how it works, please visit this link:

Please cast your vote by checking the "recommend" box underneath your chosen title (one vote per hound please).

Voting will close on Thursday, August 22nd, at 7pm Central Standard Time.

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      1. Nicely done BigSal. Now I will sit back and see where this goes! [But not before I check my library shelves.]

        1. Wow BigSal! Great voting post! I love the descriptions and links you've posted. Well done!

          5 Replies
            1. re: BigSal

              Thanks, BigSal! The link with Smoke & Pickles in your OP returns a 404 - Not Found message for me (the Gran Cocina one works fine).

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  That link works here. Are you in the States? Maybe it is location-based?

                  1. re: smtucker

                    It works for me now, yes. I'm in California, which I know some people think is its own weird little planet, but technically...

            2. Great start BigSal! Love your informative OP and that you've selected just two books for us to choose from. Hard choice...

              1. Thanks, BigSal! Should be a fun month. I am totally intrigued by the Korean-Southern fusion. I am going to have to make Collards and kimchi even if Smoke and Pickles doesn't win.

                1. Not voting, because I am terrible about participating and don't see it being much better this month. I do, though, want to mark the thread to sit and watch the action. And cross my fingers for Gran Cocina Latina.

                  1. Just settling down on the couch, for now, and opening a bottle of wine.

                    Great job with the post, BigSal. I would be happy to cook from either book. Really tough decision, how to vote this month.

                    1. I'm keen to see how this goes. Smoke and pickles is on order from the library so I'm waiting to have a good look at that before I vote.

                      1. Not voting because I won't be around much in September - just waiting for the cocktails to arrive!

                        21 Replies
                        1. re: greedygirl

                          I'm here, I'm here! What can I get you?

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            It's not particularly summery here today, in fact it's raining, so something with bourbon in it?

                            1. re: greedygirl

                              Sounds like a vote for Smoke & Pickles to me!

                              1. re: greedygirl

                                happy to oblige. I recently had a nice cocktail that was basically bourbon and fresh peach juice, maybe a little mint. Very tasty. Would that do?

                                1. re: LulusMom

                                  mmm, not gg but that sounds wonderful LlM. I like to be sure I get my fruit in at breakfast so I'll have one of those if you don't mind!!

                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                    Laughing - yes, good to get some fruit in the morning. I'll have one for you in just a second.

                                  2. re: LulusMom

                                    Would that count as one of my five a day? Like the lemon and poppyseed muffin I just ate did?

                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                      Yumm! I'll have one, please, with a little mint :)

                                      1. re: herby

                                        Hand 'em down. Pouring as fast as I can here, want to make everyone happy.

                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                          Doing great, LLM :)

                                          Here you go, BC. But do pass it on to JoanN, she's been waiting for a while and must be super thirsty. Yours and GG's are coming up in a blink.

                                    2. re: greedygirl

                                      I love the idea that raining = bourbon drinks. I almost wish there was rain in the forecast for tonight.

                                      1. re: debbiel

                                        I definitely think certain weather conditions call for certain types of adult beverages. Cold weather is definitely more toward the dark liquors/red wine (although red wine is also good on a stormy summer night). And a chilled lemon/vodka or gin drink seems very summery. Martinis are like little black dresses - good for every occasion.

                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                          Campari and aperol also feel like summer drinks to me. Sparkling wine/champagne is good all year round!

                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                            Agreed on the sparkling, although since breaking my big toe in about 20 places by dropping a full bottle of champagne on it on my birthday last year, I'm considering steel-toed boots for this birthday :)

                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                              Absolutely on the sparkling! There should always be a bottle of something sparkling, other than mineral water, chilled and ready to go.

                                            2. re: LulusMom

                                              Bourbon I can stretch into summer. Gin is absolutely summer only, except for in its lbd mode (love that comparison). Red wine in summer is most often as a tinto de verano. I absolutely love rosé but can't imagine drinking it from October through May.

                                              1. re: debbiel

                                                I'm with you on the rosé! We're almost out but there's probably no point in buying any now until next year. Plus it doesn't really keep well anyway - most of the cases we bought in France back in May needed to be drunk within the year, really.

                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                  I will buy a few more bottles--to get me through labor day. :)

                                              2. re: LulusMom

                                                Ran is in the forecast, but I'm headed off to a "working" lunch. Since the summons specifically mentioned 25-cent martinis, I may be donning my LBD a little earlier than usual.

                                                In the meantime, *am* I prepping (though not for aforementioned meeting)--giving Gran Cocina Latina a really good look-through. And I just finished re-reading Chef Lee's homage to Bourbon, a Baptist preacher, and Sunday dinner, which is a gorgeous piece of writing.

                                      2. I'm here! Finally. Thanks for the great introduction, BigSal. Off to a super start. That peach juice and bourbon sounds exciting. I usually have my peaches with yogurt in the Summer, but what the heck, it's Voting Day.

                                        14 Replies
                                        1. re: Gio

                                          Love the pic Gio!

                                          Big Sal, I echo the accolades of those who have posted ahead of me, fabulous job on the Voting thread...thank-you!

                                          1. re: Gio

                                            peach juice + bourbon = kentucky bellini (kellini)?

                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                              Makerbellini? (I like Makers Mark)

                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                  May I suggest a look at the Google page for the K word.

                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      Oh sweetie, I'm familiar with that. But I'm referencing Knob Creek bourbon here. And peach isn't that innocent either, remember?

                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                        Yoo Hoo, LlM...I'm back for a pre-dinner serving of fruit!! I'm not empty-handed though. I brought some extra glasses...it seems like it's busier than ever on our happy couch!!

                                                        SInce I started the day with peaches, perhaps I'll have grapes tonight. A glass of red would be lovely if you have some!!

                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                          Definitely. A nice bourdeaux, perhaps? A South African or Aussie red? California? We've got it all.

                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                            Oooh, how to choose!!! Let's start out in California...I should have plenty of time to work my way around the world by Thursday at this rate!!

                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                              If you've got it all, then you have a nice Côte Rôtie, right? After all, this is the magic couch/bar. I'd like a generous pour, please.

                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                hic...and let me just add France to my journey!! : )

                                                          2. re: LulusMom

                                                            Knob Creek bourbon. Well that's what I was looking for. The reference to Jim Beam's highfalutin cousin. Or should that be his son. Anyway, I'll stay with Makers Mark thanks.

                                                  1. Been so preoccupied with school starting I missed the whole nomination thread. I have both books so this is a tuffy. Just bought Smoke and Pickles (used $10.00 all in) so I am set either way! Excited because I haven't been cooking out of this month's feature.

                                                    1. Like both choices, went for the underdog only because it is, at least for the moment, the underdog. However things go though September looks to have an interesting book.

                                                      Thanks for the great work Big Sal.

                                                      1. I'm going to refrain from voting this month. I'm still not back in my house! I was unable to participate last month (despite having the cookbook, made me crazy!).

                                                        I do have both of these books and will happily join along if I ever get to move back home into my sparkling new kitchen and my beloved pantry and spices!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                          Yeah, I'm sort of holding off right now too. Oven and stove still not fixed, and somewhat worried about the meat content of S&P, but certainly want to get my hands on the book. Also interested in GC, so either way I'm going to be interested in reading along, even if I can't cook.

                                                        2. It pains me to have to sit this one out because both of these books have been on my wish list for months, but I'm travelling the first three weeks of the month. At least either way, I'll have some good reading and catching up to look forward to when I get back.

                                                          1. Just lining up to see the show...

                                                            1. Bummer, I'd be really interested in doing Gran Cocina Latina but my job has tasked me with getting my real estate license by the end of September, so I won't have much time for trying out new recipes :( I've been licensed in two other states but it's been about 9 years since I've last had to take classes/exams for it it so I have a lot of studying to do!

                                                              But, if it wins I will follow along!

                                                              1. I leafed through Smoke and Pickles today in a gift shop and I have to say, it looks interesting. I'm not voting because I'm unsure about buying/participating for this month, but if Smoke and Pickles wins I'll be tempted for sure!

                                                                1. my library copy of smoke and pickles is in transit! hoping it comes before thursday so i can take a good look before voting ends ...

                                                                  16 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Westminstress

                                                                    Just picked mine up at the library. Unfortunately won't get much chance to look at it over the next few days but what I saw made me happy that I'd taken it from the library instead of buying it. I think what I will like I will like a lot, but most of it is pretty meaty.

                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                      Everyone says that, and I suppose it's true, but the funny thing is, I haven't made a single meat dish from that book. I've made the caraway seen pickles twice now (the second time in a much, much larger batch). Just did the peach pickles last week and they are pretty awesome.

                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                        MelMM, what did you serve the peach pickles with? I'm a pickling newbie, but hoping to dive in with this book.

                                                                        1. re: mebby

                                                                          Um, so far, I've just been eating them out of the jar! But they'd be great alongside cured meats or cheeses.

                                                                      2. re: LulusMom

                                                                        I agree that it's pretty meaty. And I'm a pretty meaty gal. But I just took a look and see that of eleven recipes I've tried so far, four were meat, two were poultry, one was shellfish, and four were "other." It probably isn't a book that needs to be in the permanent collection of those who don't eat meat, but as Mel says, there are enough non-meat recipes so that if the book does win everyone should be able to participate if they choose to.

                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                          You have a narrower definition of meat than I do, as when I say "meat", I include poultry, fish, and shellfish. I think I've just tried about seven recipes, but they are all vegetable-based. I don't say vegetarian, because there is ham in the Southern Stir-Fry, but it's a pretty small amount compared to all the veggies. The pickling recipes in this book are excellent, from what I've seen so far.

                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                            You're right. I was using meat in it's narrowest sense at least partly because I was responding to LulusMom who has said before that she doesn't eat red meat or pork but does eat poultry, fish, and shellfish.

                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                Not meaning to be critical in any way, there. I actually eat many, perhaps most, of my meals vegetarian, although I am not a vegetarian and will also eat any kind of meat. Just not everyday. I just want to point out that even someone who eats very little meat (of any kind), can still find enough recipes in this book to participate in the COTM. Heck, I think the number I've already cooked is enough to match my average number per COTM month, and besides for the ham in the stir-fry, there hasn't been any beef, lamb, poultry, game, or seafood yet. Assuming this book wins, which looks likely, I probably will do some recipes using these meats.

                                                                                1. re: MelMM

                                                                                  I'm sorry, I think I must not have been clear. I'm happy I have the book from the library, I do plan to go through it and make the things that look appealling (and quite a few did). I'm just happy I didn't buy it sight unseen (which I would have done in the old days, before my shelves were overflowing and I'd learned my lesson that what works well for one person might not work well for me with my no pork and very little red meat thing). I do plan on cooking along as much as I can, assuming oven/stove are working and dodging the pork and most of the red meat.

                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                    PS - it is very easy for me to be unclear right now - end of summer and alone with a kid on a very rainy weekend. Brain is starting to rot.

                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                      As a fellow non-eater of red meat (and I do include pork in that; in my own taxonomy, red meat = all mammals), not even a few times a year, yeah, I agree. But there are a ton of appealing recipes, including lots, as I mentioned above, that make use of late-summer produce, so I felt quite comfortable voting for it. I also think that it would be possible to just not use the bacon/ham that are in some (otherwise non-porky) recipes, and that ground turkey would work nicely in both the curry pork pies (if one used a poultry bacon), and piggy burgers in place of ground pork.

                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                        I'd vote for it too if I was sure that I would be able to cook next month. I've made little notes about subbing turkey (ground or bacon) for some of the recipes.

                                                                              2. re: JoanN

                                                                                Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm glad I took it from the library, and I saw things I'm interested in making. But I'm also glad that I didn't buy it sight unseen because there is a lot in there that I'm just not going to make given my food preferences. And I have to say, even I thought one of the lamb dishes looked so good it might be worth trying.

                                                                            1. re: Westminstress

                                                                              Turns out I'm #14 on the waiting list for Smoke and Pickles with the library (hello, 7 months from now), but I believe my mom may be gifting it to me for my birthday -- you can't refuse a gift, right?! My kids really want to make the lamb bacon, as we are all lovers of both lamb and bacon.

                                                                              1. re: mebby

                                                                                There is a braised lamb recipe in there that I, a self-defined non-red meat eater (I allow non-pork items maybe 3-4 times a year) and non-lamb fan, am dying to make. And another lamb dish really caught my eye but Lulu got herself all worked up against it. I bet if I just made it and didn't tell her what it was she'd be fine. She loves meat. I hope your mom gets the book for you.

                                                                            2. Just posting something so I can follow along with the voting while I'm in France. Whatever wins I'm cooking along.

                                                                              1. It is a very close race and either book could win. Voting closes tomorrow at 7pm CST.

                                                                                1. I've looked through Smoke and Pickles. I understand why so many of you like it, but I see very few recipes that would work for me. The Vietnamese Lamb Chops, Collards & Kimchee, maybe a couple of the pickles (peaches and beets look intriguing) but most of the recipes are too complicated, require a grill or many hours of cooking time, or there is no way my kids would eat them. I would prefer this book in a colder month when I could do some of the meaty braises. I'm sure these would go over well at my house, but I'm just not willing to turn on my oven for hours at this time of year. Also, I'm not sure I will even be able to have the book as I have to return it to the library and then go to the end of the waiting list. And, this is just petty, but I get annoyed by things like having a recipe for perfect remoulade that makes 3 cups of remoulade and keeps in the fridge for 5 days. Then each recipe that uses the remoulade only uses 1/4 cup and I can't imagine making more than 1 or 2 recipes that use it within a five day period -- so most of that perfect remoulade is going to be thrown away even if I cut the recipe in half. And the rice bowl recipes, which are mostly the ones that seem more doable to me, all require the remoulade. Sorry to vent! It looks like this book will prevail and if it wins I will still endeavor to cook along and hope to be proven wrong.

                                                                                  As for GCL, it is hard for me to be excited about a gigantic tome of this kind, but the book is huge and readily available from the library so if it wins I'm sure I'll find some nice things to make. I am voting for GCL.

                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                    Actually I completely agree with the remoulade point. It annoys me a lot when I see books doing that.

                                                                                    1. re: lilham

                                                                                      I just scale the recipe down to the amount I need. I made the remoulade to go with the okra tempura, and scaled it down to make about 1/2 cup.

                                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                                        That's hopeful! Did you include all the ingredients? IIRC it's a lot of things in minute quantities once you scale it to a normal amount

                                                                                        1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                          As I recall, the only thing I omitted was the boiled eggs. Not really a good way to scale them down. But it was quite good without them. Also, since they are a fair amount of volume, you don't have to scale the seasonings back that much.

                                                                                    2. re: Westminstress

                                                                                      I already have a few things I hope to make anyway:
                                                                                      Mamey ice cream
                                                                                      Acai sorbet I think it's called
                                                                                      Tres leches
                                                                                      (I'm in a dessert mood)

                                                                                      Not too many Ingrediants and readily available

                                                                                      1. re: Siegal

                                                                                        The tres leches is delicious--but aren't they all... I just made Colombian style green beans cooked in milk the other day and it was so simple and excellent that it is going in the rotation. I have had plenty of successes with this book and a few mediocre results-but no failures yet. I hope that it wins one of these months so that I have more reason to further explore the recipes.
                                                                                        My cousin just married an Ecuadorian and he should be getting his Canadian visa soon--I am tremendously excited to use him as my guinea pig and expert reviewer with all the native dishes in there.

                                                                                      2. re: Westminstress

                                                                                        Do try the peach pickles, if you can get slightly underripe peaches. I made a batch and they are fantastic.

                                                                                        1. re: MelMM

                                                                                          I ran across his "Pickled Jasmine Peaches" on the web while searching for recipes (I was kind of assuming S&P would pull out a win). I'll make a point of trying them based on your recommendation.

                                                                                      3. Voting is now closed. The announcement thread will be up shortly.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                          1. Gak! I missed voting! I was too busy eating...