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November 2013 Cookbook of the Month Nomination Thread

Although the cooking has just begun with THE NEW PORTUGUESE TABLE AND THE FOOD OF PORTUGAL, we are now taking nominations for the November 2013 Cookbook of the Month (COTM). Please use this thread to discuss the books you would like to cook from in November. Indicate you are nominating a book by writing the title of the book in ALL CAPITALS.

This thread will be open until 7 pm Central Time on Monday, October 14th. At that time the books with the most nominations will advance to the voting thread.

To view the basics of the COTM, and to review all of the previous winners, please visit this link: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

Which book will inspire our cooking next month? I can’t wait to find out. Let the nominations begin!

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  1. MIGHTY SPICE EXPRESS Lots to love in this book.

    26 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca

      My copy of MIGHTY SPICE EXPRESS arrived in the past week, but I haven't had a chance to open it yet (just got back from vacation). Even without looking at it I'd like to second the nomination.

      Also interested in Bill Granger's EVERYDAY ASIAN (hope I have that title right).

      1. re: LulusMom

        I like both MIGHTY SPICE EXPRESS and EVERYDAY ASIAN

        1. re: LulusMom

          I am curious about this book. I seem to remember that a lot of the recipes are "express" because they are only made in quantities for two. When you get a chance to look through it, could you comment on whether the recipes are still "express" if doubled to feed a leftover-loving family of four?

          1. re: Westminstress

            Absolutely. I remember that conversation and that I was a little put off by that too. We need to feed 3 and everyone fights over leftovers, so things that are only quick because they're small don't really cut it as quick. That said, the original book is one of my favorites, and even though many of those recipes are quick, that isn't why I love it. Most of the recipes I've made have been delicious.

            I'll be having a guest in town for most of the next week, but after that should have a chance to sit down and have some fun with the book. I'll let you know then.

            1. re: LulusMom

              I think that info was from me--where he has 3 chapters devoted to recipes cooking for 2 people and then 3 chapters devoted to recipes for cooking for 4 people. I recall one very annoying thing is when he said that a certain dish would be a good party dish and that recipe was for 2 people.

              I can't remember where I posted it. Let me see if I can find it and link it.

              But, yeah, you may have to multiply some of the recipes...

              ~TDQ

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                Aha! Here is that discussion of Mighty Spice Express: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9115...

                Note to self: abbreviating a book title as MSE makes your post hard to search on in the future.

                ~TDQ

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  I love your use of the word crap-tacular. I think I will steal it!

                  1. re: dkennedy

                    Feel free. I was apparently in a bit of a snit the day I wrote that, though I no longer remember why. :)

                    Bottom line was, despite some of the writing, which was a little too breezy (and boozy!) for me, and despite the fact that I may have to double some recipes, everything in the book looked really appealing and delicious.

                    ~TDQ

                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                  While I've certainly had some fantastically good parties for just two, that makes very little sense. Pfffft.

              2. re: Westminstress

                I'd estimate that about 40% of the recipes serve two, the remainder 4. The ones that serve two all look like they could easily be doubled.

                1. re: pikawicca

                  That's what I think, too. It's just that when you look at a recipe that serves two that claims it only takes 20 minutes, you'll just have to tack on a little extra time for chopping and cooking. Not a big deal, I don't think, just something to be aware of.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    pika, have you cooked anything from MSE yet? (I have not, sadly).

                    ~TDQ

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      No. I am, sadly, reduced to cooking for one. It's hard to get motivated, but one of these days I'll get my mojo back.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        I'm very sorry. Some things just take time. Though, hopefully not any of the recipes in Mighty Spice Express. ;-)
                        ~TDQ

              3. re: pikawicca

                If we are going to doing Mighty Spice Express, I would love to see it paired with Mighty Spice, since it never got its day in the sun.

                MIGHTY SPICE paired with
                MIGHTY SPICE EXRESS

                1. re: pikawicca

                  I can definitely get on board the MIGHTY SPICE EXPRESS and am up for cooking from MIGHTY SPICE too.

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      MIGHTY SPICE and MIGHTY SPICE EXPRESS

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    I received Mighty Spice Express and there is not one thing in there that is calling my name :( I liked a lot of recipes in Mighty Spice and had doubts about Express and was right. It is going back to where it came from - Amazon.

                    I finally figured it out. I do not like fake foods; if I want a veg meal I would much rather have a dish that was intended to be veg and not a veg burger, for example. The same applies to foods - there are dishes that are quick to make and this is what I'll make when I am short on time. The "express", "30 minutes", and other such collections of recipes try to make dishes that are inherently more time consuming quickly and for me this doesn't work.

                    1. re: herby

                      Funnily enough, I finally got a chance to finish looking at my copy of MSE in the past few days too. I saw a lot that interested me. Not thrilled with the first half of the book being only enough for 2 people, and not sure why someone would put out a cookbook with that (or if they did, why they wouldn't market it as such). There was, for me, a lot to like in the second half of the book. I really like that these are basically whole meals (sort of like the JO books Meals in Minutes, etc.), that he gives a time, and that they seem like they'd be easier recipes to follow than the way JO has written his similar books. I have yet to try anything from the book yet, so can't verify that these will work well, etc., but given that I like MS so much, I have high hopes. Not sure how this will be in terms of leaving leftovers for us though, which could be a bummer.

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        LLM, I would love to hear how you like the dishes once you start cooking from MSE. You could probably double most of the recipes to have leftovers from the second half of the book and enough for your family from the first half.

                        I got Vietnamese Street Food at the same time and love it :) Have to use up what's in the freezer before cooking new things.

                        1. re: herby

                          I'm thinking I might ask the mods to change the Mighty Spice thread title to include MSE, and then start posting on that thread once I make stuff from the book. I do plan on doubling those things from the first half (the ones that are for 2 people) that I'm interested in, definitely.

                          I *love* Vietnamese food and was really hot on getting that book (or was it Vietnamese Home Cooking - yes, I think it was that one - someone I trust on this board wasn't hot on it at all). I'm trying very hard not to buy books, and have to say that so far I'm not loving cooking from my kindle, but I'll look and see if my library has it.

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            I had Vietnamese Home Cooking for a long time on my Amazon wishlist and glad that I didn't buy it. Vietnamese Street Food by Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl is charming and full of recipes I want to make. It is organized by cooking method that I usually do not care for but here it works. There are chapters like roll, grill/roast, baguettes/salads, etc. I think you might like it too because sometime we do like the same books and foods :) My family loves Vietnamese rolls and there are many appealing ones here. Many include pork which used to stop me but since Andrea Nguen said that ground chicken thighs are good substitute for ground pork I do that and so far liked the results.

                            I am also trying not to buy books - my bookshelves are groaning and I recently added a fourth one to house my craft books and it is almost full! I also find cooking from Kindle awkward and even reading cookbooks on Kindle is quite cumbersome. Technology doesn't always work for me :)

                            1. re: herby

                              You're making this *very* hard to resist herby! Do you have your little red devil outfit on this afternoon?

                              Yeah, the pork thing is definitely an issue for us (at least me and Lulu), but I've also had good luck with subbing ground turkey, or, when it is something like roast pork, just using roast chicken slices (this is how I make my banh mi). My fingers are tickling to go over to amazon. Babysitter will be here in about 40 minutes ... need to try to keep myself in check until then and sleep on this. Maybe ask for it for Christmas? That solves two problems: I am not seen as buying more for my overloaded shelves and I'm able to come up with something for the always asked for list of things I want! Yes yes yes!

                              1. re: LulusMom

                                You came up with perfect solution and Christmas is almost around the corner :) In the mean time see if your library has it. Must say that I find Amazon return policy generous and easy - register return online, print labels, ship for free.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        Too early. I'm still in Portugal.

                        OTOH, I would give MIGHTY SPICE EXPRESS a go.

                      2. re: Gio

                        exactly....i'm just starting to get portugal lined up....

                        1. re: qianning

                          Yup. I am surprised by the lack of vegetables recipes, so searching for some frozen favas. But I guess I should be posting this on the general Portugal thread.

                      3. ALL ABOUT ROASTING by Molly Stevens.

                        Let's give it another try.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: stockholm28

                          Yes! I grabbed this book from the library when grabbing New Portuguese Table. I've been flipping through it and it looks really delicious. So I'd also like to nominate ALL ABOUT ROASTING.

                          1. re: stockholm28

                            If a roasting book is elected perhaps it could be paired with another? Roasting by Barbara Kafka or Falling Off The Bone by Jean Anderson would mesh well. I've really enjoyed months when two similar books are focused on. Plus it opens up the number of people who might have access to a book.

                          2. Suzanne Goin's new cookbook, AOC is coming out on October 29th! I don't know about the rest of you, but that is going to be the focus of my attention for some time.

                            A.O.C. Cookbook

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: dkennedy

                              @dkennedy, if you meant to nominate the AOC Cookbook (which I am also anxiously awaiting), please let me know or edit the book title so it is in all caps. Thank you.

                              1. re: BigSal

                                Yes, I am nominating:

                                AOC COOKBOOK

                            2. I picked up A GIRL AND HER PIG by April Bloomfield a couple months ago and all the recipes I have tried have been perfection.

                              I would love to explore it some more.

                              16 Replies
                              1. re: kaymbee

                                I have this book too. I'd love to hear about some of the recipes you've tried.

                                1. re: BigSal

                                  Oh where do I start!

                                  Let me start by saying that April's recipes are meticulously written. I read the book cover to cover in one go. She had me searching out pequin chiles and salt packed anchovies the next day.

                                  The most frequently made recipe is one of the simplest - her method for a bowl of porridge. I've often made a batch for a lazy Monday night dinner. The mix of old fashioned and steel cut oats is at the same time creamy and hefty and the salt and sugar perfectly balanced. The leftovers reheat beautifully.

                                  The baked eggs with anchovy and cream are a delicious meal with hunks of toast and have been repeated several times. Really delicious combination.

                                  The chopped chicken liver on toast is another quick and simple favourite.

                                  The lentil and chickpea salad was as involved as you can get for a salad. I made it just as directed - April asks that you try her recipes her way first, before you start tinkering, and she's so exact in her instructions that I've done it. And this recipe when I put together the components in her way was so perfectly balanced I realize there is no way to change it so as to make it better. It's delicious served on its own with homemade pita and grilled merguez sausage, as she suggests.

                                  The leftover chickpeas from the recipe, made according to her instructions, were so delicious I ate them with a spoon one night for dinner. I intended to do something else to them but kept going back for just one more bite and before I knew it they were all gone. Really delicious on their own and would make a perfect side dish for almost any meal.

                                  Summer succotash made a delicious side to grilled steak but would be equally delicious as she suggests, just on its own.

                                  Her Bloody Mary is my new standard. It is heavy on fresh horseradish but adds celery leaves and lemon zest to the equation, 2 things I hadn't ever seen before but add something extra.

                                  Soft oatmeal cookies have three types of raisins - Thompson, golden and currants. They're just a touch sweet and stay soft and chewy. Really tasty.

                                  I got this in the summer and my recipe selections so far have reflected my taste for lighter foods in the summer, but there are so many great fall choices in the book too. I haven't even tried any if the mains yet, and none of the soups. There are plenty more veg recipes and salad recipes I would like to try as well.

                                  That was a much longer post than I intended but I just love this book! I have so many cookbooks but this has shot right to the top of my "must have" list.

                                  1. re: kaymbee

                                    I sense your genuine enthusiasm for the book and the descriptions are tantalizing. The lentil and garbanzo salad sounds especially delicious. Thanks for sharing.

                                    1. re: kaymbee

                                      Just wanted to pop in and say thank you to kaymbee and roxlet for sharing their favorites from A Girl and Her Pig. I've only tried the lemon caper dressing and the porridge thus far, but have enjoyed them both. I am planning on making the lentil and chickpea salad this weekend followed by the baked eggs with anchovy and cream, chopped liver on toast and the Bloody Mary soon thereafter.

                                      1. re: BigSal

                                        I hope you enjoy those recipes as much as I have!

                                          1. re: BigSal

                                            Wow, I am really loving this book! We had the gnudi for dinner and they were wonderful and light as clouds. Bloody Mary...very nice and horseradishy. I've made the recipe twice already. The lentil and garbanzo salad was also good, but I am crazy about her simple chickpeas recipe. I've been making garbanzos for many years, but the addition of garlic, olive oil and fresh hot red peppers made them over the top good. I barely had enough left for the lentil and garbanzo salad because I kept sneaking bites of the garbanzo mixture while it cooled.

                                            I am impressed by how flavorful everything has been, but still uncomplicated to make. Looking forward to exploring more from this book.

                                            1. re: BigSal

                                              I need to get more into this book. The recipes so far have really exceeded my expectations - her porridge recipe is excellent, too (but has a bit too much salt for my taste).

                                        1. re: BigSal

                                          Her lemon caper dressing is fabulous. Here's a link to it on Food52 -- they refer to it as a "Genius" recipe, and it is!

                                          http://food52.com/blog/3186-april-blo...

                                          1. re: roxlet

                                            Wow! If I were to have read the recipe by itself, I might have overlooked it, but they way they describe it...must try! Thank you.

                                        2. re: kaymbee

                                          I've enjoyed the recipes I've tried from this book, too!

                                          1. re: kaymbee

                                            I bought A Girl and Her Pig for kindle for $2.99 and read it cover to cover. Not sure if that is still the price but either way It would make a great COTM!

                                            1. re: kaymbee

                                              I'll throw in votes for A GIRL AND HER PIG too, as well as ALL ABOUT ROASTING.

                                              These are two slightly less new books that will hopefully be easier for people to obtain from libraries.

                                              1. re: kaymbee

                                                That's interesting. I took this book out of the library and returned it without having made a single thing. It seemed like a Smoke and Pickles sort of book to me -- everything looked interesting enough but between recipes being too complicated or exacting, taking too much time or being too unhealthy, it just didn't fit into my lifestyle. And it didn't capture my imagination enough to force me to stretch, as some other books have done (Ottolenghi and Suzanne Goin, I am looking at you!). That said, we all have different lifestyles! The fact that it didn't work for me doesn't mean it wouldn't work for you.

                                                1. re: kaymbee

                                                  What a bunch of sirens you all are! I had to "look inside" on Amazon, and this book looks wonderful!