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January 2014 Cookbook of the Month Nominations Thread

It’s hard to believe, but here I am posting about the January 2014 Cookbook of the Month (COTM) nominations. We are just beginning with All About Roasting, but the time has come again to submit your nominations for the Cookbook of the Month. Please use this thread to discuss the books you would like to cook from in January. Indicate you are nominating a book by writing the title of the book in ALL CAPITALS.
This thread will be open until 10 am Central Time on Saturday, December 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...

How will we ring in the New Year? Will this be the month we cook Thai Food? Asian Dumplings? Latin American? Or will Bill Granger finally have his turn? Let the nominations begin!

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    1. re: emily

      I would love to do Gran Cocina Latina. I have had this one for quite awhile and I need some incentive to dive into it!

      1. re: emily

        If Thai Food doesn't make the cut again, I'd love to cast this one as the alternate.

          1. re: emily

            I think it's a grand time for GRAN COCINA LATINA . I know there are a lot of us out there that have this book (I bought it in anticipation of winning some months back). The ingredients are easily available and inexpensive in my neck of the woods. So, it has my nomination.

            1. re: pagesinthesun

              Yes. I concur. GRAN COCINA LATINA. I have already made 10-15 recipes from this and can comment on them now.

            2. re: emily

              I'm also interested in Gran Cocina Latina. Based on some recent take-out experiences, I think my kids would really enjoy this kind of food. Not nominating yet because I would like to know from those that have the book: are there weeknight-friendly meals in here? I would hate to support a book that it turns out I can't cook from because I just don't have the time. That is my hesitation with Thai Food by the way. I LOVE Thai Food, would love to cook it at home, but I don't have time for all the chopping, prep, etc. to make my own curry pastes and whatnot.

              1. re: Westminstress

                Westminstress, I have Gran Cocina and cooked from it somewhat though not a lot. I'll have a look at it this evening with the view towards weeknight dishes and will do the same with Modern Thai. Will report either later tonight or tomorrow.

                1. re: herby

                  Thanks. Q, would you be able to do the same for Classic Thai Cuisine? I took a quick look at EYB and based on ingredients lists only, a lot of the recipes seem pretty involved.

                  1. re: Westminstress

                    I do not have Classic Thai, in fact I do not have any of David Thompson books. Just checked Modern Thai on EYB and not only it is not indexed, there are very few people that have it - no point in posting about it here. I could check Japanese Farm Food - would you be interested in cooking from it if it has some weeknight doable dishes?

                    1. re: Westminstress

                      Honestly, for weeknight Thai meals I like "The Taste of Thailand" by Vatcharin Bhumichitr. However it's not indexed. I don't have the book with me but I'll take a look at recipes I've cooked if you'd like.

                      I've had "Classic Thai Cuisine" a couple for a of weeks but have yet to actually spend time looking through it.

                      1. re: Westminstress

                        About half and half, I'd say. Curries and appetizers tend toward the complex; salads, steamed dishes, grilled dishes tend to be easy, stir-fried somewhere in the middle.

                        1. re: qianning

                          Thanks a lot. Have you had a chance to look at the new Pok Pok book yet?

                      2. re: herby

                        erm, while you're looking at that herby, would you mind checking to see just how meat-heavy it is? I'm fine with poultry and seafood/fish, but if the book is very heavy on meat I wouldn't get much out of it. Doesn't mean that I don't think it should be COTM, just probably a month I'd end up sitting out. Sorry to pester you.

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          No problem at all. From what I remember lots of pork dishes - noticed right away because I do not eat pork. Keep in mind that it is a huge book - 900 pages or so - even if it is meat-heavy (I am sure it is) there will be lots of veg and seafood dishes. Anyway, I'll report once I look at it carefully. Lots of non-meat things in Japanese farm Food, just saying :)

                          1. re: herby

                            Thanks herby - I had a feeling it could be pretty pork heavy. And that is the one meat I really do not ever eat. But, as you say, it is a really big book so I'm sure there must be some things that I would like to cook. Maybe it is indexed on EYB - I should check that.

                            I really love Japanese food, but for some reason don't have much interest in cooking it. Lulu is very excited by the idea of making sushi, but aside from that for whatever reason I just can't get myself worked up. Sorry!

                            1. re: LulusMom

                              That's OK, you and many others :) It intimidates me but when I overcome my feelings the results are usually very tasty and light and healthy. I am going to go through my books and select 4-6 to cook through for the next few months; otherwise between the COTM and DOTM and cooking from other books thread and so on, my books will remain unused and this is not acceptable.

                              GCL is indexed and many recipes are reviewed by Alegra. I remember she was very excited about this book. There may even be a 'cooking from' thread. I just had a pick at EYB and there are 535 recipes!

                              1. re: herby

                                Wow, that is a LOT of recipes. I'll have to give it a look.

                                I'm with you - sometimes i feel like I just need to stop and look at a new book and make myself cook 2 or 3 things from it in a month, just so I have some idea what I've gotten myself. That feeling is helping me not buy new books! I still have so many recipes in books I already own that I haven't tried yet. In fact tonight is a Jamie Oliver recipe from one of the Naked Chef books.

                                1. re: herby

                                  herby, I would enjoy hearing about your experiences with Japanese Farm Food. You could share them on the Japanese month companion thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/831292 or just create a Cooking from thread if you are so inclined.

                                  So far, I have made the namero, zucchini coins, potato salad, smashed cucumber pickles, miso with asari clams, sui gyoza, buri chazuke, natto fried rice, negima, teriyaki chicken and curry rice. I guess technically I can say that I've also made tamago kake gohan (raw egg on hot rice), just because we've eaten that since we were kids.

                                  The stand outs for us have been the namero (but I prefer the Cooking with Dog version), curry rice (we tweaked it by adding a little honey and grated apple), potato salad and buri chazuke. We were not crazy about the chicken teriyaki (not fans of the marinading method), we prefer glazing . Would love to hear what you've made.

                                  1. re: BigSal

                                    Thank you for sharing BigSal! I keep reading the book and looking at beautiful pictures but have not cooked anything yet. I really like the sound of chicken recipes, especially tori no kara age and chikin mito boru; teriyaki looks good too - very simple marinade. Was is not too flavourful for you? I looked up potato salad and curry rice; both are very appealing. Pickles, on the other hand, are not appealing at all most likely because it is extremely cold outside. Might make salmon rice balls tomorrow - broiled salmon last night, have nori and cooking rice is not a big deal.

                                    When you make egg on hot rice do you use organic eggs or farm or?

                                    Once I cook a dish or two I'll start the thread - would you join me?

                                    1. re: herby

                                      The marinade sauce permeates the meat and like the gingery bite. I'd caution you not too marinade too long or it may tastte too salty. I prefer Shizuo Tsuji's recipe. The taste of the chicken is remains and is complimented by the glaze- just a personal preference nothing inherently wrong with Farm Foods recipe.

                                      Growing up we just made it with regular supermarket eggs, now I use eggs from the farmer's market when available or organic eggs.

                                      I'd be glad to join you in a thread. I am itching to try the deep fried ginger chicken, mushroom rice and carrot kinpira. Curious to see what her versions tastes like.

                          2. re: herby

                            I looked through GCL as best I could considering the size of the book and available time.

                            I am sure there are weeknight recipes there but they didn't jump out at me. Many recipes have long list of ingredients and from my previous experience require stocking up at a good Latino market. Those who think that empanadas and tamales are weeknight friendly will not agree with me.

                            There are many salads but they are almost meals in themselves though there are a few lighter salads there too. Many recipes use potatoes and corn. I find Latin cuisine in general rather heavy and for me it is more of an occasional food than everyday kind. I made fava bean, corn and fresh cheese salad a few months ago and it was very tasty but took me awhile to make and it was really a meal. I must say that Andean corn and Alfonso olives were very tasty and different from the usual kind of corn and olives.

                            The book starts with flavours and condiments, and is nicely divided in into sections on: roots/starches; rice; empanadas, cebiches, fish/seafood; poultry; meat and other. Pork in its many incarnation is in many dishes, i.e. beans. Very similar in this way to Spanish/Portuguese food. However, many seafood and poultry dishes do not involve pork and in some maybe it could just be omitted. That said, I would rather make a dish as written and choose a cuisine where I do not have to worry about subbing pork.

                            The book is very well researched and written; I really like her voice and 900 pages do not scare me terribly but I find that this is not my favourite type of food and I can't get excited about it, really. Why did I buy the book, you ask, and I do not have a good answer; in fact has been wondering myself.

                            Hope this is useful.

                            1. re: herby

                              Thanks herby - that is very useful information.

                                1. re: herby

                                  I kind of agree with you, herby. Not my favourite cuisine either and I struggle to find a lot of the ingredients in London.

                            1. Hard not to notice the months flying by when you are involved with COTM. Just can't believe that it is time to start the nominations again!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: smtucker

                                The sight of "2014" in the title of the thread is rather alarming, isn't it?!

                              2. CARMINE'S COOKBOOK

                                I love Italian-American food all the time but especially in the winter when it is so warm and comforting.

                                1. DAVID THOMPSON MONTH--Including Thai Food, Thai Street Food, and Classic Thai Cuisine

                                  2 Replies
                                    1. re: stockholm28

                                      I third DAVID THOMPSON MONTH, although I am going to be on vacation for a good chunk of January and may not be able to cook as much as I would like. I've been hoping for this one for ages, though, so I'll take any opportunity!

                                  1. Latin American? Bill Granger? Thai Food? Asian Dumplings? Let me think about this group a bit. Thanks Big Sal.

                                    12 Replies
                                    1. re: Gio

                                      BILL GRANGER'S EVERYDAY ASIAN. I have been panting after this one for months. Feel like there is something else I've been wanting ...

                                        1. re: Gio

                                          Fairly often recently, Gio, I must admit. Good call.

                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                            In my little pea brain I think that with Fuschia Dunlop and Grace Young, the Japanese books, plus Charmaine Solomon's massive work in our turmeric stained hands why would we want to cook Bill Granger's take on Asian food? Of course, the same has been said about Thompson's books too.

                                            I would think that Granger's other books might be interesting, or at least an "authentic" book like "Gran Cocina Latina." It seems to me that Cocina would be more in keeping with the desire to learn about other cuisines. My only worry about that book is its weight and heft. 4.6 pounds worth if Amazon is correct. Now to some of you little chickadees that's as light as a feather, but to my arthritic bones it's a ton.

                                            I just don't know yet which book or indeed what, I want to cook in January. Heck, I don't know what I want to cook tomorrow. Tonight's taken care of and tomorrow has to be chicken sausages but other than That - Big Shrugs all around.

                                            1. re: Gio

                                              I would think the part of me that would want to cook from "Everyday Asian" is the EVERYDAY part. I like Dunlop and the others, but i know I can grab what I need for Bill's food, get what i need at the supermarket, and have dinner on the table in a jiff.

                                              My vote: "EVERYDAY ASIAN"

                                              1. re: Westy

                                                I have been thinking a lot about January and how I want to cook that month: somehow, Asian food is very appealing to me at this time (flavors and freshness) and quick is also appealing. So I nominate BILL GRANGER'S EVERYDAY ASIAN

                                              2. re: Gio

                                                Bill Granger's Asian is really about Asian food in Australia. If you have been to Australia, or watched Australia masterchef, you would understand the influence of Asian cooking on Australian food. I'm Kiwi and my family is from Hong Kong. I would say NZ Asian food is not the same as what you get in Hong Kong.

                                                It is like British curry and tex-mex. Different from the food it is inspired from, and different enough to warrant a look at.

                                                1. re: lilham

                                                  That's Great, Lilham. Thank you very much for describing the difference. I'm kinda sorta leaning in that direction anyway, and this a super incentive.

                                                  1. re: lilham

                                                    Lilham, that is a very interesting comment. Thank you.

                                                    I don't really know enough about the subtleties--I am just influenced by the good reviews and the "everyday" part!

                                                2. re: LulusMom

                                                  This one is not available in the library, so I'm not yet ready to commit. I did find a few recipes online though, so I'll try to test one or two out and see if we like them.

                                                  1. re: Westminstress

                                                    If you would be willing to post links to your found sources, I would be most appreciative.

                                                    Don't know why I have been so uninspired recently, but there it is!

                                              3. Love the idea of Thai food for January and recently have fallen in love with MODERN THAI FOOD by Martin Boetz. Really appealing, doable recipes with ingredients that are not too hard to find. After renewing it twice at the library I order my own copy and it is on its way to me.

                                                JAPANESE FARM FOOD by Nancy Singleton Hachisu has been sitting on my shelf for a long time now; I need a company CHers to get going on it :)

                                                1. This is the quietest nominations ever! Where is everyone? Baking cookies? :)

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: herby

                                                    I was thinking the same thing - seems remarkably quiet.

                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                      I, for one, am doing my best to remain in active denial about how soon 2014 approaches. In other words, don't want to think about January yet.

                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                        Well I'm actually looking forward to January because it will mean this crazy month is over. Here December is almost half-over, and I've done zero holiday prep. Since getting back from our Thanksgiving trip, about all I've managed to cook is a pot of blackbean soup.... And my brother arrives Monday for a two-week stay. Yikes.
                                                        So I'm content to let you all decide what I'll be cooking in January. And whether I need to add a cookbook to my holiday wish list.

                                                  2. JOY OF COOKING - This classic cookbook is my favorite reference regarding ingredients and general cooking guidelines, but still under-utilized in my home for recipes. I plan to make soup often in January and JOC has 30 pages of soup recipes - often 4 recipes per page.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                      The problem with JofC is that there are so many editions and revisions (see a good list of them here: http://www.cookbookjj.com/college/joy... ) that it would be impossible for us all to be cooking off the same page (literally). And there are many who have older editions but no interest whatsoever in the newer ones, and vice versa. Not only are the recipes in the various books substantially different, even the organization of the books have changed, which would make setting up the reporting threads very problematic.

                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                        JoanN - I envision reporting done by food-group, page numbers not required in the setup, from any of the cookbooks (Reporters list what edition/page they used). Easy enough for someone to find a referenced recipe from any edition. Did I miss an older discussion here on COTM re: this?

                                                        1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                          I don't recall it having been discussed in any detail, although the problem of the various editions has been mentioned once or twice. And you do know there's a thread of favorites from the book ( http://www.cookbookjj.com/college/joy... ) on an adjunct thread, although it hasn't been very active.

                                                          As far as finding a referenced recipe from any edition, each edition has different recipes. The newer editions, especially, have been rewritten extensively, so recipes in one book may well not be in another.

                                                    2. While GCL and Thai Food/David Thompson month both seem worthy COTM contenders, I'm reluctant to support either of them because I doubt that I will have time to do them justice. That said, if either of these books ultimately wins, I would do my best to cook along.

                                                      I want to throw out a few more nominations for books that I really could commit to cooking from on a regular basis. Maybe one of these will catch on as an alternate?

                                                      VEGETABLE LITERACY, Deborah Madison. I bought this book during the summer and I like it a lot. The book is organized according to vegetable families, which is interesting in and of itself. There are chapters on beans and grains in addition to umbellifers (carrots, parsley etc.), nightshades, crucifers, greens, goosefoots and more. Each chapter contains information about the vegetable family and the individual vegetables featured, with a few recipes that range from very simple to a bit more complex. There are so many interesting and delicious-sounding ways to cook vegetables in here! For example, the section on chickpeas includes not only uses for the familiar dried bean, but recipes using chickpea flour and green chickpeas (which are now readily available frozen). It may sound strange to do a vegetable-focused book in January, but I cook vegetables every night of the year (every night that I cook, anyway), and I'm always looking for new ways to cook them. There are not too many main courses in the book, but there are many soups and hearty salad-type dishes that could be mains if rounded out with something else, bread and cheese, for example. Several dishes could be combined tapas-style to make a meal. Or the recipes could be served as sides to accompany the protein of your choice. There are also fun desserts and beverages scattered among the sections.

                                                      MY BOMBAY KITCHEN, Niloufer Ichaporia King. This is a really nice book that explores Parsi cooking. I've made a few things but would love to try more. I would describe the general approach as Indian mixed with Persian and a healthy dose of California thrown in for good measure. It won a James Beard Award in 2008.

                                                      AN EVERLASTING MEAL, Tamar Adler. This is a great book to cook out of for folks who are experiencing recipe fatigue and want to go back to basics for a while. Though it contains recipes, the primary focus of the book is on learning to cook without recipes, using what you have as a primary inspiration. It is very well written, and I have learned a lot from this book, but I'm sure there is much more to be gained from this little gem. If this book were COTM, I would envision discussions that would review specific recipes, but also the general approaches explored in the different chapters.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                                        You know that there is an adjunct thread for An Everlasting Meal? I love this book.

                                                        1. re: herby

                                                          Oh yes, I am probably the most frequent contributor to that thread. And I am fine with the adjunct thread, but sometimes it is fun when a book gets "elevated" to COTM -- more people play along and the more, the merrier.

                                                          1. re: Westminstress

                                                            Definitely more fun when COTM community is cooking from the book!

                                                        2. re: Westminstress

                                                          I to love An Everlasting Meal. I'll have to look for the thread. I find myself taking what would appear to be scraps home from restaurants to see how I can purpose it.

                                                        3. Been debating. Would really like to see "Asian Dumplings" make it one of these days, but January (not least because I'll be having Latin American guests for 10 days) would be a great month for me to delve into my otherwise untouched GRAN CUCINA LATINA.

                                                          1. I'll throw my (considerable) weight behind EVERYDAY ASIAN as well. I find that I crave Asian flavours in January, after the excesses of the Christmas period!

                                                            1. Shuffle on over friends, I'm hoping I'm not forgotten and that there's still room for me on the nomination couch!!!

                                                              I'm back in town and hankering to get back to the kitchen!! So far the stars seem to be aligned and it looks as though I won't have any business travel in January so I'm excited to jump into the fray.

                                                              Though there are lots of great options below I found myself most drawn to a book I don't yet own...Bill's Simply Asian. I just returned from Asia and I like the idea that these dishes seem to be "Asia-inspired". I know it may be hard to believe but I just ordered it from Abes!!

                                                              Cheers to all of you my friends, happy to be home for the holidays with you. LLM, do you have any special cocktails in store for us.....

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                I think something Asian inspired might spur on the BG vote. Maybe some of those Kentucky Mules with the ginger syrup? Or ... oh, I love these ... sakitinis? Garnished with cucumber slices?

                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                  Oh yes, sakitinis! But wait, we are just about to move to the voting couch.

                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                    Oh my! How to decide!!! Let's start with the Kentucky Mule...sounds amazing!!

                                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                                        Actually having one RIGHT NOW (not the name of a book up for nomination). And it is so good.

                                                                2. Nominating for January already! Looks like I'm getting in under the wire. I have been staying out of the nomination/voting threads since I never seem to have as much time to cook as I would like. I have some time off in January so hopefully there will be more time to devote to COTM.

                                                                  Somehow Gran Cocina Latina did not do it for me when I got it from the library when it has been discussed previously. And I think Dave Thompson and Thai is probably just too involved for my limited time availability.

                                                                  Therefore the two books that appeal to me and my family would be:
                                                                  BILL's EVERYDAY ASIAN and

                                                                  Thanks BigSal!

                                                                  1. BILL'S EVERYDAY ASIAN

                                                                    1. Nominations are now closed. Please join us in the voting thread. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/927781