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October 2013 Cookbook of the Month Voting is Now Open!

Welcome to the voting thread for the October 2013 Cookbook of the Month. This month 18 books received nominations, many of them highlighting a particular country’s or region’s cuisine. Portuguese food broke away from the pack with the most nominations, leaving a three-way tie for second place. Which book will earn the most votes and reign in October?

The first nominee includes a pair of books, THE FOOD OF PORTUGAL and THE NEW PORTUGUESE TABLE. Jean Anderson’s THE FOOD OF PORTUGAL was originally released in 1986. These recipes are said to “…depend on simple ingredients, often in unusual combinations (‘pork and clams may sound like a new low in surf 'n' turf dinners, but it is in fact a Portuguese classic’), subtly seasoned with olive oil, bay, tomatoes, garlic and the spices of the East introduced to Portugal by explorer Vasco da Gama at the turn of the 16th century. Meat, fish and chicken, often marinated, and soups are emphasized…” http://tinyurl.com/kp8wulg THE NEW PORTUGUESE TABLE: EXCITING FLAVORS FROM EUROPE’S WESTERN COAST from 2009 by David Leite “…takes you on a culinary journey into the soul of this fascinating nation and looks at its 11 surprisingly different historical regions, as well as the island of Madeira and the Azores. This book also showcases Portugal's pantry of go-to ingredients, such as smoked sausages, peppers, cilantro, seafood, olive oil, garlic, beans, tomatoes, and bay leaves—all beloved by Americans and now combined in innovative ways…(including) the beloved classics he remembers from cooking at his grandmother’s side, such as Slowly Simmered White Beans and Sausage, as well as modern dishes defining the country today, like Olive Oil–Poached Fresh Cod with Roasted Tomato Sauce.” http://tinyurl.com/kdgrnf6

THAI FOOD by David Thompson was originally released in 2002. “THAI FOOD (is) the most comprehensive account of this ancient and exotic cuisine ever published in English.” “It uses robustly flavored ingredients--garlic, shrimp paste, chilies, lemongrass--and yet when they are melded during cooking they arrive at a sophisticated and often subtle elegance… (H)is book presents hundreds of recipes that celebrate the Thai meal while exploring its historical and cultural context. Readers will delight in the wide selection of authentic dishes like Duck and Spring Onion Soup, Grilled Beef Salad, and Green Chicken Curry with Baby Corn, and relish Thompson's vast appreciation of his subject.” http://tinyurl.com/mr7lkov

Published in 2013, THE NEW PERSIAN KITCHEN BY Louisa Shafia ”…explores her Iranian heritage by reimagining classic Persian recipes from a fresh, vegetable-focused perspective. These vibrant recipes demystify Persian ingredients like rose petals, dried limes, tamarind, and sumac, while offering surprising preparations for familiar foods such as beets, carrots, mint, and yogurt for the busy, health-conscious cook. The nearly eighty recipes—such as Turmeric Chicken with Sumac and Lime, Pomegranate Soup, and ice cream sandwiches made with Saffron Frozen Yogurt and Cardamom Pizzelles—range from starters to stews to sweets, and employ streamlined kitchen techniques and smart preparation tips.” http://tinyurl.com/l7lvqyd

Bucking the trend of a cookbook about a country's cuisine, this book is about technique. Published in 2011, ALL ABOUT ROASTING: A NEW APPROACH TO A CLASSIC ART by Molly Stevens “feature(s) the full range of dishes from beef, lamb, pork, and poultry to seafood and vegetables. Showstoppers include porchetta ingeniously made with a loin of pork, a roast goose with potato-sage stuffing, and a one-hour beef rib roast-dishes we've dreamed of making, and that Molly makes possible with her precise and encouraging instructions. Other recipes such as a Sunday supper roast chicken, herb-roasted shrimp, and blasted broccoli make this an indispensable book for home cooks and chefs.” http://tinyurl.com/oe4u2jr

To view the nomination thread, please click here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/916065

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 Saturday, September 21st at 7pm Central Daylight Time.

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  1. Vote here for THE NEW PERSIAN KITCHEN by Louisa Shafia

    1. Vote here for THAI FOOD by David Thompson


            1. re: smtucker

              Thanks to everyone for the support. I was a little trepidatious about taking on the coordinator role.

                1. re: BigSal

                  You're doing great! Thanks for taking it on!


                  1. re: BigSal

                    I just came back to read the current results and re-read Big Sal's response to our endorsment of her inaugural voting post. Has the word "trepidatious" ever appeard on Chowhound? I think not. Another first.

                    1. re: Gio

                      Can't say how many times it's been used overall, but I'm afraid our (needlessly trepidatious) leader is not the first: the site's less-than-stellar search engine returns 33 threads wherein it is used, going back to 2002.


                2. Oh my. I am crossing my fingers that I can participate in October. I would love to cook from any of these! (Tho this non-voter's fingers are crossed for The New Persian Kitchen)

                  1. Many thanks BigSal for taking time to describe the books we are to vote on in detail! It helps a lot to decide what kind of dishes appeal for October and in general.

                    1. Boy BigSal, those notes you included are really helpful-- actually, they make me want to run out and purchase all four books! -- If not VOTE for all four of them! (just kidding!)

                      Anyway, thanks for all your work in presenting these detailed descriptions. It will help me make a much more informed decision on what I want to cook out of in October!

                      1. Just going to take a seat and watch.

                        1. Fantastic job, Big Sal! I'll just hang around to watch how it all turns out.

                          1. Taking my seat on the couch. It's a football Sunday, so I've brought chili and beer. Help yourselves!

                            Great selection of books this month. I'd be happy with any of them.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: MelMM

                              Thanks Mel, I'll have some of both!

                            2. You really ARE good at this BigSal. Thanks for all your hard work.

                              Tough choice this month. I own none of the books, and my library only has All About Roasting. May need to try to stop by a book store and see if I can take a look at some of these.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: greeneggsnham

                                I do not own any of the books either. Luckily my library has them and just put a hold on both Portuguese books and All About Roasting.

                              2. Voted earlier but forgot to mark my spot so I am doing so now.

                                1. Super summary Big Sal.

                                  With so many options I'm going to have to really think about this one.

                                  1. Just chiming in on the accolades here; stellar job BigSal!
                                    And pulling up a chair to watch the action.

                                    1. I am hoping to have time to cook this month, now that I am home and slowly getting settled in to the school year. I think I missed the whole nomination process! I voted for David Leite's book, as I had it from the library once and thought it was gorgeous, though I don't think I got around to making anything from it.

                                      1. I'm on the road again with no business voting but I'm popping in for one of LlM's amazing cocktails and a quick peek at the action unfolding.

                                        1. I'm feeling sorry for The New Persian Kitchen. I would cast a vote for it, but I'm just not good about participating in COTM. I am a lurker. As a lurker I will not vote. But...come on y'all! :)

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: debbiel

                                            No one will begrudge you a pity vote, lurker or no. :)


                                            1. re: debbiel

                                              I think there are four really good choices this month. I'd love to cook Persian food sometime, but right now my library doesn't yet have "The New Persian Kitchen". It just came out in April, so I'm hoping it will be available in a future month... and I'm also hoping that the 3 runner-ups get nominated in a future month.

                                            2. Frankly, they all sound good. Roasting and both Portugal books are in my library so I favor those. I'd love to do the Persian one in the future, once the library catches up.

                                              1. I’m almost disappointed, now, that I’ll be either out of the country or out of commission nearly the entire month of October. I’ve had both the Jean Anderson and the Molly Stevens books since they were first published and have cooked little from either. Won’t have much down time, but I’ll continue to linger in the doorway and try to follow along knowing it’s going to be a great month whatever the decision.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                  It won't be the same, of course, but at least you can take comfort in knowing that you can always post to the threads even after the month has passed. And we will certainly miss your participation in October. Both the Anderson and Stevens books will have staying power, I'm sure, after the month is over and well into winter. I tried to find a copy of the Anderson book at the used bookstore yesterday and was a little surprised they didn't have one.

                                                  Maybe Thai Food or the Persian book will pull ahead at the last minute. :)


                                                2. I like both New Persian Cooking and All /About Roastimg-
                                                  I voted for All About Roasting but may changed my vote

                                                  1. I voted for Roasting but any of these look good to me - I especially hope the Portuguese books come up in another month if they don't win October. PS - Thank you for organizing, BigSal!

                                                    12 Replies
                                                    1. re: Aravisea

                                                      I am the opposite - would love to cook from Portuguese books in October and later, in the winter months cook from the Roasting. But what happens happens and all nominated books this month are great. I am scared of David Thompson though :))

                                                      1. re: herby

                                                        I'd be very happy cooking from either! Almost had to flip a coin to pick one. Since both appear to be frontrunners I went ahead and requested all three books from the library. :)

                                                        1. re: herby

                                                          Totally scared of Thompson. Plus, it's Street Food that I own.

                                                          Nevertheless, the scariest books often make the best COTMs because we're all learning together!


                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                            I'm totally scared of Thai Food too. I've owned it for years and I don't think I've cooked from it. I think I need a COTM to give me a kick in the butt.

                                                            1. re: lilham

                                                              That would actually be a very good book to cook from in November. An antidote to Thanksgiving overindulgence and all.

                                                              1. re: herby

                                                                I agree. I also think that if Thai Food ever wins, we should make it a David Thompson month so that Thai Street Food is included, since so many people seem to own it.

                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                  Though I'd always be happy to see a David Thompson Thai month anytime, I think the best month would be January. We'll all be tired of stuffing ourselves silly with holiday food, and lighter fare with bright, clean flavors might be a welcome change.

                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                    Okay, I've marked it in my calendar. David Thompson month for January!

                                                              2. re: lilham

                                                                I'm intimidated by it too and I realize that my fear is totally irrational. I tried my first recipe last night and I'm still here to tell the tale. :) I'd be on board for Thai Food/Thai Street Food as a COTM any month.

                                                              3. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                I would love to do Thai Food one day. I'm just not quite ready for it yet. Maybe next year!

                                                                1. re: Westminstress

                                                                  Sounds like a New Year's resolution to me, Westminstress! ;)

                                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                  I just wish Thompson would win already so I would be forced to buy the book. And by the book I mean Street Food, not Thai Food. I don't cook enough Thai to justify buying both and Street Food is much more my style.

                                                            2. Just marking my place. All of these selections sound pretty good!

                                                              1. I keep coming back to check the votes in this thread to see which book is winning. So far, it appears BigSal is winning, with 15 votes to the next highest vote-getter, AAR with 13 votes.



                                                                1. I haven't voted (yet) because I still do not have an intact kitchen after my ongoing remodel. Yesterday brought counter tops and today a sink with running water in the kitchen! Hoping for appliance installation tomorrow and then I'm in business!! It's been a long summer and I'm worried I've lost my cooking mojo.
                                                                  Although I know which book I'll vote for, for now I'll watch from the couch, but may be able to get my vote in by tomorrow evening and participate in October!! Whoot Whoot!

                                                                  1. Close voting this month..... Too close to order any books.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: smtucker

                                                                      I just bought The Food of Portugal for $3.75 in anticipation. I already own All About Roasting. Looking forward to it either way.

                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                        I had requested both the Portuguese books and AAR from the library, but your post made me check out Amazon and wow, FOP really is available for that cheap! Might just grab a copy....

                                                                      2. re: smtucker

                                                                        You think? I went ahead and put a book or two on hold at the library yesterday for late Sept, hope I guessed right, although it wouldn't be the first time that I had to change an hold request.

                                                                        1. re: qianning

                                                                          :-) Guess my life needs a bit of drama!

                                                                      3. I'm home from my epic family holiday, and Smoke & Pickles was waiting for me at the library -- a clear signal for me to jump right back in to COTM. I'm very excited by the choices you all came up with this month! I voted for Portuguese cooking since I know almost nothing about this cuisine & my library has both books on the shelf. :-)

                                                                        22 Replies
                                                                        1. re: geekmom

                                                                          Welcome home Geekmom, hope you had a great trip.

                                                                          1. re: delys77

                                                                            Thanks delys, it was pretty awesome and we had cream teas almost every day :-) How was your summer - hope the wedding & honeymoon were everything you were hoping for.

                                                                            1. re: geekmom

                                                                              Cream teas, not familiar, where did you go?

                                                                              France was amazing and the wedding was beautiful, thanks so much for asking.

                                                                              Attaching a quick photo if everyone will permit the self indulgence. I'm the one with no hair, ha ha.

                                                                              1. re: delys77

                                                                                Stunning photo delys...a beautiful moment in an enchanting setting. Congratulations once again!

                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                  Thanks Breadcrumbs!

                                                                                  There are a few of the similar shot with smiles, but I really liked this more pensive shot. The drama in the sky adds to the effect. It was a great day.

                                                                                  1. re: delys77

                                                                                    Sounds like a perfect celebration! Best wishes for many happy, healthy, loving years together filled with joy and good eating!

                                                                                2. re: delys77

                                                                                  That is absolutely beautiful!
                                                                                  Very best wishes to you both!

                                                                                    1. re: smtucker

                                                                                      Thanks so much all, very kind of you to say.

                                                                                    2. re: delys77

                                                                                      Absolutely lovely and romantic. Congratulations and best wishes - and many happy meals together.

                                                                                      1. re: delys77

                                                                                        Cream tea = a big strong pot of tea served next to a large scone with clotted cream (or sometimes whipped cream) and jam. Delicious!

                                                                                        That is a beautiful photo - is it at VanDusen? You both look great :-) Congratulations!

                                                                                        1. re: delys77

                                                                                          Oh and you asked where we went - we spent 2 1/2 weeks in Yorkshire visiting my family, four days in Edinburgh, four days in London and two in Bath. We made some great memories for our kids and they both had a fabulous time.

                                                                                          1. re: geekmom

                                                                                            Was one of your teas at Betty's in York??

                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                              Yep! We had the full afternoon tea experience there as it was my daughter's 18th birthday. She also tried the Betty's location in Northallerton with my aunt, and said it was much less crowded. We hoped to hit the Harrogate Betty's, too, but ran out of time. :-)

                                                                                            2. re: geekmom

                                                                                              Sounds scrumptious thanks Geekmom. That photo was taken near the rose garden at Stanley Park.

                                                                                            3. re: delys77

                                                                                              Exactly the kind of OT photo that's most appreciated. Thank you for sharing. Just visited Stanley Park for the first time about a year ago. What a spectacular location for a wedding. May you have many happy years together.

                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                Thanks Joan, glad you were able to enjoy Stanley Park while were here last.

                                                                                              2. re: delys77

                                                                                                I absolutely Love the photograph, Delys! (I'm just able to see it now after some sort of glitch prevented me last night.) What a lovely place that rose garden is. Congratulations! I wish both of you many many years of happiness and happy cooking.

                                                                                                1. re: delys77

                                                                                                  Congrats. What a fantastic photo! Thank you for sharing.


                                                                                                  1. re: delys77

                                                                                                    Many happy days and awesome meals for the two of you - congratulations! I used to live in Vancouver... love Stanley Park... beautiful spot for the wedding picture and the sky conspired to make it even more special, just for you :)

                                                                                                    1. re: herby

                                                                                                      Thanks guys, and yes the sky was quite dramatic and luckily there was no rain.

                                                                                            4. I'm loving that emtucker's "Oh my BigSal!" post is currently tied for #1 post on this thread (with The Food of Portugal).

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                That is just not allowed to happen - Sally has to remain No. ONE :))

                                                                                              2. Less than 24 hours left. Voting closes tomorrow at 7 pm Central Daylight Time.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                  Exciting! My finger is hovering over "buy now" buttons!

                                                                                                2. I have both contenders out of the library and do not think renewing will be an issue. If Portuguese food wins I have to buy a cataplana :)

                                                                                                  1. I guess I'm off the hook this month. I was going to pick up All About Roasting if it won.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                      My comment is still tied in first place. ;-0

                                                                                                    2. Voting is now closed. See October's COTM here. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/917692

                                                                                                      1. The nomination thread for November is now open. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/919575