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February 2014 Cookbook of the Month Nominations

BigSal Jan 7, 2014 04:24 PM

Fellow hounds, it is once again time to submit your nominations for the February 2014 Cookbook of the Month (COTM). Please use this thread to discuss the books you would like to cook from in February. 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 Tuesday, January 14th. At that time the books with the most nominations will advance to the voting round.

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 follow Gran Cocina Latina? Let the nominations begin!

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  1. herby RE: BigSal Jan 7, 2014 05:55 PM

    Just spotted the thread and as always amazed how quickly months fly by...

    I would like to nominate TURKEY by Leanne Kitchen. I made a few dishes from the book, all tasty and easy to make, and have many marked. Really need a community of cooks to do this book justice. For those with dietary preferences, the book has no pork and only two beef recipes but many chicken and fish and wonderful vegetables. Dessert section is short and not too exciting but maybe there are some treasures there to be discovered. It is hard cover with many pictures and therefore heavy but not a very large book with just over 100 recipes and manageable. Have a look at the recipes - it is indexed on EYB - and hopefully many of you would find it interesting to cook from for a month.

    1. greedygirl RE: BigSal Jan 9, 2014 10:59 AM

      Do people know this thread is here? Might be worth putting a link in last month's thread so it pops up on profiles.

      1 Reply
      1. re: greedygirl
        BigSal RE: greedygirl Jan 9, 2014 04:40 PM

        Will do.

      2. s
        smtucker RE: BigSal Jan 9, 2014 11:10 AM

        Totally missed this! I have a few thoughts, but need to narrow down my list.

        1. Gio RE: BigSal Jan 9, 2014 12:42 PM

          What does the Old Farmer's Almanac have to say about February? Does that influence what we cook? For the Boston MA area looks like it will be a month of rain, snow, sun, and cold. That sure does narrow it down.

          We've been making large batches of soup lately and having it several days during the week. Soups, roasted root vegetables, winter greens, and a few roasts. By the time January is over I'll be ready for something different.

          Bill's Everyday Asian? The Hakka Cookbook? Irene Kuo's The Key to Chinese Cooking? Or something European?

          1. w
            Westminstress RE: BigSal Jan 9, 2014 02:14 PM

            I'm just going to go ahead and nominate the same books I nominated last month, in hopes that one of them catches fire!

            VEGETABLE LITERACY, Deborah Madison. I bought this book during the summer and I like it a lot. It has appeared on many "best of 2013" lists. 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 winter, 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. For Christmas, I made the Cardamom Cake from this book, and it was really good! The prices on this one are pretty reasonable if you buy it used.

            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. This book is available in paperback format for about $6.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Westminstress
              Savour RE: Westminstress Jan 9, 2014 04:46 PM

              I second VEGETABLE LITERACY.

              1. re: Westminstress
                pagesinthesun RE: Westminstress Jan 9, 2014 05:20 PM

                I was going to sit out because I haven't been able to join in this month (yet). But, I would love to cook from one of my favorite books of last year. VEGETABLE LITERACY I always have CSA veg to use and this has been a go to book for me!

                1. re: pagesinthesun
                  stockholm28 RE: pagesinthesun Jan 10, 2014 08:29 PM

                  VEGETABLE LITERACY

                2. re: Westminstress
                  GretchenS RE: Westminstress Jan 12, 2014 11:54 AM

                  VEGETABLE LITERACY, I got it for Christmas last year and need some inspiration to get cooking from it.

                  1. re: Westminstress
                    geekmom RE: Westminstress Jan 13, 2014 08:29 AM

                    I can get behind VEGETABLE LITERACY.

                    1. re: Westminstress
                      Westminstress RE: Westminstress Jan 13, 2014 09:35 AM

                      Very excited that others are interested in Vegetable Literacy! I wanted to add that, like some others here, I am not a huge fan of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, though I do own it and use it sometimes. I think VL is a better and more interesting book than VCFE.

                      1. re: Westminstress
                        loratliff RE: Westminstress Jan 14, 2014 06:00 PM

                        I've been dying to buy Vegetable Literacy, but procrastinating, so this might be just the thing to get me cooking from it.

                    2. s
                      Siegal RE: BigSal Jan 9, 2014 02:50 PM

                      I nominate BALABOOSTA by Einat Admony.
                      It is a beautiful book with pictures almost every page.

                      She has three restaurants in NY - when I used to live in NY I went to Taim and ate a falafel in the freezing cold on a bench outside the window.

                      The book is organized by "occasion" instead of course. There is a childrens section, a diet section, a quick section, a romantic section, etc.
                      I actually really like this type of organization. It's different.

                      I made a few things from this book - mostly good so far (I think the one bad dish was my fault as I substituted a lot)

                      The book tends towards the middle eastern (Israeli, Yemenite, Iranian) but a nice amount of recipes are less ethnic also - so it's a good mix.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Siegal
                        Siegal RE: Siegal Jan 12, 2014 11:49 AM

                        My nomination is getting no love :(
                        I can maybe get behind asian dumplings. Are a lot of recipes available online?

                        1. re: Siegal
                          meatn3 RE: Siegal Jan 12, 2014 12:18 PM

                          Here are some links (a few look like they may not be from the books):

                          Nguyen Tofu:

                          Nguyen Dumplings:

                          1. re: Siegal
                            Gio RE: Siegal Jan 12, 2014 12:29 PM

                            I actually took a long look at both her blog site and the Amazon site for the book. I like what I read very much. Quite a variety of recipes, from the familiar to the not so..




                            1. re: Siegal
                              Gio RE: Siegal Jan 12, 2014 12:36 PM

                              And... here's Andrea Nguyen's Blog:


                              Recipes are there.

                              1. re: Gio
                                Siegal RE: Gio Jan 12, 2014 02:13 PM


                          2. meatn3 RE: BigSal Jan 9, 2014 04:58 PM

                            How about ASIAN DUMPLINGS by Andrea Nguyen?

                            It seemed like there was some recent discussion of wanting to do this for Feb.

                            48 Replies
                            1. re: meatn3
                              herby RE: meatn3 Jan 9, 2014 05:08 PM

                              I second ASIAN DUMPLINGS

                              1. re: herby
                                JoanN RE: herby Jan 9, 2014 05:26 PM

                                I may have been one of those who suggested ASIAN DUMPLINGS for February and am happy to third it.

                                1. re: JoanN
                                  LulusMom RE: JoanN Jan 10, 2014 03:26 AM

                                  I could get behind ASIAN DUMPLINGS. I'll also suggest the HAKKA COOKBOOK.

                                  1. re: LulusMom
                                    emily RE: LulusMom Jan 10, 2014 06:19 AM

                                    I'll second HAKKA.

                                  2. re: JoanN
                                    delys77 RE: JoanN Jan 10, 2014 10:55 AM

                                    I second both ASIAN DUMPLINGS AND THE HAKKA COOKBOOK. I am super excited about Asian Dumplings, my only challenge is that I worry a whole month of dumpliings will be too much. That said it is still good for a nomination as I have had for months but haven't gotten around to cooking from it yet.

                                    1. re: delys77
                                      LulusMom RE: delys77 Jan 10, 2014 11:13 AM

                                      Yes, definitely see your point. I can see dumplings maybe once a week, max, in our house.

                                      1. re: LulusMom
                                        herby RE: LulusMom Jan 10, 2014 11:22 AM

                                        If I make four recipes from a book during COTM month I am happy :)

                                        1. re: LulusMom
                                          Gio RE: LulusMom Jan 10, 2014 11:23 AM

                                          ...perhaps combined with her tofu book???

                                          1. re: Gio
                                            meatn3 RE: Gio Jan 10, 2014 11:42 AM

                                            That's a great idea! That would open up a nice variety of recipes.

                                            1. re: Gio
                                              LulusMom RE: Gio Jan 10, 2014 12:06 PM

                                              I'm liking this idea ...

                                              1. re: Gio
                                                delys77 RE: Gio Jan 10, 2014 01:58 PM

                                                Excellent idea.

                                                I don't have it, has anyone heard good things about it.

                                                1. re: delys77
                                                  Gio RE: delys77 Jan 10, 2014 02:03 PM

                                                  (I'm so bad.) I have the book but have hardly looked at it. Too dang many cookbooks. I would, though, if it becomes a COTM.

                                                  1. re: Gio
                                                    LulusMom RE: Gio Jan 10, 2014 03:50 PM

                                                    "too many dang cookbooks" - surely not ; )

                                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                                      Gio RE: LulusMom Jan 10, 2014 03:52 PM

                                                      Until the next one comes along that I simply Have To Have.

                                                      1. re: Gio
                                                        LulusMom RE: Gio Jan 10, 2014 04:14 PM

                                                        "I do not understand this at all" (said, not looking anyone in the eye).

                                                        1. re: LulusMom
                                                          Gio RE: LulusMom Jan 10, 2014 05:20 PM

                                                          HA. HA.

                                                    2. re: Gio
                                                      JoanN RE: Gio Jan 10, 2014 05:10 PM

                                                      I wouldn't need much arm twisting to buy another Nguyen, but I'm curious about the balance of the book. If you get a chance, Gio, I'd really love to know about how much of the book is making tofu vs. recipes using tofu. Much as I enjoy eating it (something I never would have believed I could have written pre-COTM), I'm not at all sure I'm enough of a purist to become interested in making my own.

                                                      1. re: JoanN
                                                        Gio RE: JoanN Jan 10, 2014 05:20 PM

                                                        Joan, at this point, I'm not too keen on making tofu from scratch myself, but there are many recipes employing tofu that would make buying the book worth while. At least I think so.


                                                        1. re: Gio
                                                          JoanN RE: Gio Jan 11, 2014 06:11 AM

                                                          Thanks, Gio. Didn't even occur to me to take a look in EYB. (Anyway, so much more fun chatting with you. <3)

                                                      2. re: Gio
                                                        BigSal RE: Gio Jan 11, 2014 08:28 AM

                                                        I purchased Asian Tofu more for making tofu as I have many Japanese, Chinese and Korean cookbooks. Even so, I’ve found that it is nice to have a book full of different tofu recipes. One would not need to make tofu in order to enjoy the book.

                                                        Thus far, I have made the silken tofu, block tofu, yuba (tofu skin) and tofu pudding with each one being very successful. Prior to this book, I have made block tofu before, but with inconsistent results. Now, I have a no-fail recipe. Nguyen’s recipe writing and attention to detail really help make every recipe a success.

                                                        I have also tried the Japanese Chilled tofu (Hiya Yakko), Tofu Skin Sashimi (Yuba Sashimi), Savory Tofu Pudding (Dou Hua), Ma Po Dou Fu, and Chilled Tofu with Spicy Sauce (Yangnyum Dubu). The Savory Tofu Pudding (Dou Hua) and Korean Chilled Tofu with Spicy Sauce (Yangnyum Dubu) were the biggest hits- the ones that my husband (Mr. Meat and Potatoes and sometimes Mr. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich) would eat again. The ma po dou fu was good, but won’t replace my favorite version from Dunlop. Yuba sashimi was a delicious treat for me- my husband didn’t care for it. The Hiya Yakko was a pretty traditional recipe (one you could find in most any Japanese cookbook), but eating this with freshly made tofu makes it special.

                                                        I really like the variety of tofu recipes and am eager to try more. It’d be a good complement to Asian Dumplings.

                                                        1. re: BigSal
                                                          Gio RE: BigSal Jan 11, 2014 09:45 AM

                                                          Big Sal! That's a wonderful assortment of recipes you've made. Very Impressive indeed. We enjoy tofu and have made many dishes from all Dunlop's books and others so I'd be satisfied with any recipes from Asian Tofu. I'll simply use the store-bought variety, should the Nguyen books win.

                                                          1. re: BigSal
                                                            herby RE: BigSal Jan 11, 2014 09:58 AM

                                                            BigSal, which Dunlop book has your favourite Ma Po Dou Fu recipe? I tried one from Kylie Kwong "My China" with chicken thighs instead of pork and it was good but not spectacular. I have a recipe from EGOR marked to try. It does not have any meat which I think I'd like better.

                                                            I have ASIAN TOFU and would love to cook from it especially if combined with ASIAN DUMPLINGS.

                                                            1. re: herby
                                                              BigSal RE: herby Jan 11, 2014 10:22 AM

                                                              My favorite is the one from Land of Plenty, although I do use less oil (1T for a serving) and potato starch instead of cornstarch.

                                                              Making it with Sichuan Chili Bean Paste (Pixian Douban jiang) has also improved my results significantly.

                                                              I eat this pretty regularly as a quick meal, so much so that I have have ground beef separated into 1.5 oz packets in the freezer.The other ingredients are always on hand for me.

                                                              I have been curious to try the Kwong version, but I have been reluctant to do so since it does not have chili bean paste, which I think adds so much depth of flavor.

                                                              I also like the version from EGOR and make it for a change of pace. I have taken to adding a bit more broth to make it less dry. It is pretty similar to Land of Plenty, but uses ginger and garlic and is meatless.

                                                              1. re: BigSal
                                                                MelMM RE: BigSal Jan 11, 2014 12:31 PM

                                                                Kwong's version of Ma Po tofu is my favorite. I like it better than Dunlop's. True, no chile bean paste, but to me, with the homemade chile paste, it has a brighter, cleaner flavor. I have a number of Kwong's books, and for whatever reason, she does not use chile bean paste in her cooking. I have no idea what her reasons are, but I do love her recipes.

                                                                For others who are not familiar with the recipe, I'll add that the chicken thighs were herby's variation. The recipe in the book calls for pork, and that is how I make it.

                                                                1. re: MelMM
                                                                  BigSal RE: MelMM Jan 11, 2014 01:09 PM

                                                                  Thanks for your input. I'm curious to see the difference. I may have to try Kwong's version soon.

                                                                  1. re: MelMM
                                                                    herby RE: MelMM Jan 11, 2014 02:14 PM

                                                                    @MelMM: thank for your review! Wonder if chicken made a difference (I do not eat pork). I also do not remember making chile paste. Just now pulled the book down and still do not remember. Maybe I forgot to make the paste?! That would do it :)

                                                                    @BigSal: If you make Kwong's recipe, please post your thoughts.

                                                                    1. re: MelMM
                                                                      JoanN RE: MelMM Jan 11, 2014 03:14 PM

                                                                      Just made the Ma Po Dou Fu from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook earlier this week and it reignited the internal argument over which Dunlop version I prefer. But I think it's the RCC over LOP. EGoR doesn't do it for me; I like that little bit of meat in there. But now I want to try Kwong's. Is this it? or close enough?


                                                                      1. re: JoanN
                                                                        MelMM RE: JoanN Jan 11, 2014 05:48 PM

                                                                        Yes, that's it.

                                                                        1. re: MelMM
                                                                          JoanN RE: MelMM Jan 18, 2014 05:00 PM

                                                                          Made the Kwong version tonight and loved it. Better than RCC? Maybe. Soupier. And as you say, because of the homemade chile paste, a cleaner flavor. Definitely going into rotation. Thanks so much for pointing this one out.

                                                                          1. re: JoanN
                                                                            MelMM RE: JoanN Jan 19, 2014 08:45 AM

                                                                            Glad you enjoyed it!

                                                                            1. re: MelMM
                                                                              Gio RE: MelMM Jan 19, 2014 09:33 AM

                                                                              Mel, the recipe is calling for a " large Red chilli" exactly which chili is meant?

                                                                              1. re: Gio
                                                                                MelMM RE: Gio Jan 19, 2014 10:07 AM

                                                                                I don't know for sure. In the book, she says she uses "long red chillies". I would guess something like a cayenne, or one of the Indian varieties. I've used a number of different things, but all similar to a cayenne. Oh, I think I've used Fresnos once or twice as well. It all works.

                                                                                1. re: Gio
                                                                                  JoanN RE: Gio Jan 19, 2014 10:09 AM

                                                                                  I assumed she was calling for a red banana chili as opposed, for instance, to the much hotter small red bird chilis I get in C-town. Anyway, that's what I used.

                                                                                  1. re: JoanN
                                                                                    Gio RE: JoanN Jan 19, 2014 10:40 AM

                                                                                    Thanks Mell and Joan. I posted a new recipe from Fuschia Dunlop on FB a while ago. In the intro she says that arbols are a close substitution for the facing heaven chilis in the recipe, Firecracker Chicken. But, arbols are small. I have Kuo's The Key to Chinese Cooking so I can see if she says anything about chilis there.

                                                                                    1. re: Gio
                                                                                      Gio RE: Gio Jan 19, 2014 11:11 AM

                                                                                      OK... so in the cookbook I cited above/Kuo, she says that the chilis she uses in That book are 2 inches long; can be found in Chinese, Italian, or Greek markets; and are very hot so a few go a long way. That doesn't read "large red chili" to me. LOL The search goes on.

                                                                                      1. re: Gio
                                                                                        MelMM RE: Gio Jan 19, 2014 11:44 AM

                                                                                        Well, Kwong is in Australia, so that complicates it a bit more. I really don't think it matters that much. You can use your judgement depending upon what's available and how much heat you like. I'm pretty sure I increased the amount (whatever the "amount" really is), because I like my food hot.

                                                                                        1. re: MelMM
                                                                                          LulusMom RE: MelMM Jan 19, 2014 01:59 PM

                                                                                          I agree so much with "I really don't think it matters that much." When it comes to chilies pick your heat and go with what you can find that fits it. Of course, I'm not a cookbook author so I could be talking out of my bu/tt.

                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                            MelMM RE: LulusMom Jan 19, 2014 02:24 PM

                                                                                            Well, you are a cook, and you are definitely not talking out of your butt. If the chiles you have are a little too mild, use more, or use more seeds. If they are hotter, use less, or seed them more carefully. There are some cases where the chile involved has a very unique flavor, where it matters. Habaneros, for example, have an earthy and citrusy flavor not found in other chiles. But for the most part, you have a lot of leeway. Naomi Duguid said as much in the Burma book, and Kwong also says, "it's really up to you and your taste buds".

                                                                                            1. re: MelMM
                                                                                              LulusMom RE: MelMM Jan 19, 2014 04:47 PM

                                                                                              Thank you Mel. There are so many times when the particular chilies called for are not available to me, and I just go with what I know I like. I don't feel like I'm missing out much on flavor, although I may well be missing out on authenticity.

                                                                                        2. re: Gio
                                                                                          MelMM RE: Gio Jan 19, 2014 01:17 PM

                                                                                          BTW, just to make sure we are all on the same page, Kwong is calling for fresh chiles in her recipe, not dried.

                                                          2. re: delys77
                                                            Caitlin McGrath RE: delys77 Jan 11, 2014 06:07 PM

                                                            I can see ASIAN DUMPLINGS and ASIAN TOFU being a fun pair. I *don't* see myself attempting to make tofu from scratch (especially if I'm doing dumplings, and especially especially if I'm attempting dumpling skins the same month), but I'm sure I can get behind cooking with tofu.

                                                            I agree that a month of all dumplings, all the time would be a bit OTT (and thoroughly unrealistic for me), but I do like the idea of making and enjoying a few types and also stocking the freezer with more for later.

                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                              GretchenS RE: Caitlin McGrath Jan 12, 2014 11:58 AM

                                                              Love the combo of ASIAN DUMPLINGS and ASIAN TOFU

                                                        2. re: herby
                                                          c oliver RE: herby Jan 20, 2014 10:02 AM

                                                          I'd love Asian Dumplings also and wouldn't mind tossing in Asian Tofu. We're going to be in NYC for about two weeks in Feb. so could have fun shopping.

                                                        3. re: meatn3
                                                          Allegra_K RE: meatn3 Jan 9, 2014 06:11 PM

                                                          Funny, I was just coming over here to nominate ASIAN DUMPLINGS.

                                                          1. re: Allegra_K
                                                            Allegra_K RE: Allegra_K Jan 12, 2014 07:05 AM

                                                            I'd like to add ASIAN TOFU *alongside* Asian Dumplings, if I may.

                                                          2. re: meatn3
                                                            Candy RE: meatn3 Jan 9, 2014 11:57 PM

                                                            I could go along with Andrea's dumpling book. I was one of the testers for the book. There are some mighty good recipes in it. It is not just Vietnamese but covers a lot of Asia and different techniques.

                                                            1. re: meatn3
                                                              Westminstress RE: meatn3 Jan 13, 2014 09:21 AM

                                                              I don't think I could commit to Asian Dumplings. Too much time commitment. However, I would be interested in exploring the Tofu book. Since I don't think we'd eat tofu more often than once a week, I could probably make 3-4 tofu recipes during the month.

                                                              1. re: Westminstress
                                                                LulusMom RE: Westminstress Jan 13, 2014 01:53 PM

                                                                I'm laughing at this because I made a tofu dish two weeks ago and then another last week and my husband said (in a very exasperated voice) "Tofu *again*???" No problem with pizza or steak every other night, but tofu apparently is beyond the pale.

                                                            2. Gio RE: BigSal Jan 10, 2014 09:07 AM

                                                              THE HAKKA COOKBOOK

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: Gio
                                                                MelMM RE: Gio Jan 10, 2014 03:10 PM

                                                                I'm going to second (or third, or whatever) THE HAKKA COOKBOOK.

                                                                1. re: Gio
                                                                  smtucker RE: Gio Jan 11, 2014 06:07 PM

                                                                  THE HAKKA COOKBOOK

                                                                  This looks marvelous, though a smidgen pricey.

                                                                  1. re: smtucker
                                                                    qianning RE: smtucker Jan 13, 2014 02:53 AM

                                                                    THE HAKKA COOKBOOK. I need an excuse to finally buy it...

                                                                  2. re: Gio
                                                                    Westminstress RE: Gio Jan 13, 2014 09:26 AM

                                                                    The Hakka Cookbook has been on my radar and Amazon wishlist for a long time now. Unfortunately, it's not available at the library and it's a bit expensive. I found a few recipes online and I've been meaning to give them a test drive, but I haven't yet got around to it. I am quite interested in the book though, so I'd probably be willing to bite the bullet and buy it if it wins.

                                                                    1. re: Westminstress
                                                                      LulusMom RE: Westminstress Jan 13, 2014 01:54 PM

                                                                      are you a member of eyb? If so, you could look at the list of recipes. My email is in my profile. Just let me know what sounds most interesting to you and I can paraphrase.

                                                                      1. re: LulusMom
                                                                        Westminstress RE: LulusMom Jan 13, 2014 06:10 PM

                                                                        Thanks, llm. For some reason the paraphrase never does it for me, but I appreciate the offer! I have a few recipes from the book I found online that I could/should try. I just need to get motivated to do it!

                                                                  3. jpr54_1 RE: BigSal Jan 10, 2014 02:56 PM

                                                                    Michael Pollan

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: jpr54_1
                                                                      Berheenia RE: jpr54_1 Jan 14, 2014 08:04 AM

                                                                      I would like to read this book- COOKED - whether it is nominated or not. Not so sure about actually cooking from it.

                                                                    2. Breadcrumbs RE: BigSal Jan 11, 2014 08:35 AM

                                                                      Any interest in cooking from:

                                                                      FOOD 52 COOKBOOKS AND WEBSITE?

                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                        dkennedy RE: Breadcrumbs Jan 11, 2014 09:10 AM

                                                                        I could get behind cooking from FOOD 52 and WEBSITE

                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                          Njchicaa RE: Breadcrumbs Jan 11, 2014 09:14 AM

                                                                          absolutely. That's the only suggestion made thus far that I would be interested in.

                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                            Berheenia RE: Breadcrumbs Jan 11, 2014 10:04 AM

                                                                            It's an interesting site. I will vote for FOOD 52 COOKBOOKS AND WEBSITE although I'm unsure as to how to proceed once I'm in.

                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                              juliejulez RE: Breadcrumbs Jan 11, 2014 11:23 AM

                                                                              I like that idea since I can use the website. FOOD 52 COOKBOOKS AND WEBSITE.

                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                meatn3 RE: Breadcrumbs Jan 11, 2014 11:47 AM

                                                                                Would the powers that be from Chow have issue with cooking from a perceived competitor website?

                                                                                I personally have no issue but I could see Chow not being too keen on it...

                                                                                1. re: meatn3
                                                                                  MelMM RE: meatn3 Jan 11, 2014 12:31 PM

                                                                                  I believe it has happened before. Wasn't the Leite's Culinaria web site a COTM once?

                                                                                2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                  smtucker RE: Breadcrumbs Jan 11, 2014 12:21 PM

                                                                                  I mentally put this site into the same category as Pioneer Woman and Smitten. Not really curated or tested; somewhat similar to "What is for dinner" right here on Chow. Have I missed what sets this site apart from the pack?

                                                                                  1. re: smtucker
                                                                                    MelMM RE: smtucker Jan 11, 2014 05:52 PM

                                                                                    It's not really the same kind of thing. While the recipes are not exactly tested, they are curated. You have many cooks putting recipes on the site. The recipes that win a contest are voted on by users of the site. Which doesn't mean they were tested, but at least looked at by all those eyes. That's really the idea behind the site - using "crowd sourcing" to find recipes and select the most appealing recipes. I haven't made a ton of things from the site, but I have made a few, and I've found some real winners there.

                                                                                    1. re: smtucker
                                                                                      Breadcrumbs RE: smtucker Jan 12, 2014 07:19 AM

                                                                                      Big thanks Mel. I'd add that the recipes in the books are tested and Food 52 does have its own test kitchen. (they're actually hiring an intern for the kitchen right now!). Most of the recipes on the site have reviews from folks who have actually prepared the recipe and some of the recipes on the site have hundreds of reviews. I receive their emails which I always enjoy and the recipes I've tried from the site and the e-book I rec'd have been terrific.

                                                                                      IMHO the site has greater food cred than SK & PW as it was founded by Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs.

                                                                                      ETA: Here's a piece from the Kitchn on their test kitchen:


                                                                                      And another article describing the process for selecting and testing the cookbook recipes:


                                                                                      Their first cookbookwas named one of the 10 best cookbooks of 2011 by NPR and the Washington Post.

                                                                                    2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                      Westminstress RE: Breadcrumbs Jan 13, 2014 09:30 AM

                                                                                      I preferred Food 52 in the old days, when it was more of a home-cook focused website, and not as slick and commercial as it is now. That said, the recipes in the cookbook do reflect those nice old days, and all of them are available online which is a great feature that might enhance participation. For those who are wondering, the recipes in the book have all been tested, and they are also all contest winners. In the past, I've found the contest-winning recipes I've tried to be quite good.

                                                                                    3. Allegra_K RE: BigSal Jan 12, 2014 07:07 AM

                                                                                      ....and what's a COTM nomination thread without at least one attempt at DAVID THOMPSON MONTH.....

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Allegra_K
                                                                                        jpr54_1 RE: Allegra_K Jan 12, 2014 10:35 AM

                                                                                        I like that idea also
                                                                                        DAVID THOMPSON MONTH

                                                                                        1. re: jpr54_1
                                                                                          biondanonima RE: jpr54_1 Jan 13, 2014 08:54 AM

                                                                                          I'll third that, of course - someday, we'll get DAVID THOMPSON MONTH the play it deserves!

                                                                                      2. k
                                                                                        kaymbee RE: BigSal Jan 13, 2014 06:02 PM

                                                                                        It's probably too late to get any traction here, but I would love to see JAPANESE SOUL COOKING as COTM.

                                                                                        21 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: kaymbee
                                                                                          MelMM RE: kaymbee Jan 14, 2014 06:41 AM

                                                                                          I could be into that. I don't have the book, yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll succumb to it in the coming weeks. Have you cooked from it?

                                                                                          1. re: kaymbee
                                                                                            dkennedy RE: kaymbee Jan 14, 2014 06:48 AM

                                                                                            I haven't heard of this book until now. Can you give some details....

                                                                                            1. re: dkennedy
                                                                                              MelMM RE: dkennedy Jan 14, 2014 08:03 AM

                                                                                              There was some discussion of this book back in September in the cookbook-buying thread. It's restaurant-style food. Here links my reports on a couple of meals I made from the book:

                                                                                              1. re: MelMM
                                                                                                dkennedy RE: MelMM Jan 14, 2014 08:47 AM

                                                                                                Thanks MeiMM.

                                                                                                I went to your links but they brought me to Vegan Secret Suppers (which also sound good). I'll skulk around the other thread and see if I can find the discussion on Japanese Soul Cooking.

                                                                                                1. re: dkennedy
                                                                                                  MelMM RE: dkennedy Jan 15, 2014 06:18 AM

                                                                                                  OH, I'm sorry, I got confused about which post of mine you were replying to, and I'd posted elsewhere in this thread about VSS. I haven't bought Japanese Soul Cooking yet, but I have two other books by the authors that I've enjoyed, so it's a matter of time.

                                                                                                2. re: MelMM
                                                                                                  BigSal RE: MelMM Jan 14, 2014 09:16 AM

                                                                                                  The focus of the book is Japanese home cooking/comfort food. So far, I have made the oyakodon (chicken and egg rice bowl), mabo tofu (the Japanese take on mapo doufu) and have gyudon on the menu for tomorrow night.

                                                                                                  1. re: BigSal
                                                                                                    dkennedy RE: BigSal Jan 14, 2014 10:17 AM

                                                                                                    Thanks for putting this one under my radar.

                                                                                                3. re: dkennedy
                                                                                                  kaymbee RE: dkennedy Jan 14, 2014 01:00 PM

                                                                                                  This book filled a void for me. It's all the Japanese things I love and want to make at home - tonkatsu, okonomiyaki, udon, soba, donburi, tempura, Japanese salads and curries. It's japanese home cooking rather than sushi. Everything I've made has been wonderful - I've looked for a book like this for ages and it was exactly what I was looking for.

                                                                                                  1. re: kaymbee
                                                                                                    herby RE: kaymbee Jan 14, 2014 01:05 PM

                                                                                                    Kaymbee, are you familiar with Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton? How would you compare the two?

                                                                                                    1. re: herby
                                                                                                      kaymbee RE: herby Jan 14, 2014 02:16 PM

                                                                                                      I also have Japanese Farm Food, I will do a comparison tonight and post it.

                                                                                                      1. re: kaymbee
                                                                                                        herby RE: kaymbee Jan 14, 2014 02:23 PM

                                                                                                        Thank you!

                                                                                                        1. re: herby
                                                                                                          kaymbee RE: herby Jan 14, 2014 05:15 PM

                                                                                                          So Japanese Farm Food is definitely a more simplistic way of cooking Japanese food than Japanese Soul Cooking. More like the Alice Waters of Japanese flavours - simple recipes and delicious flavour combinations.

                                                                                                          Japanese Soul Cooking is Japanese comfort food. The stuff that isn't as good for you but you crave. I like and use Japanese Farm Food but I will use Japanese Soul Cooking more often.

                                                                                                          1. re: kaymbee
                                                                                                            herby RE: kaymbee Jan 15, 2014 04:54 AM

                                                                                                            Thank you so much, Kaymbee, for sharing your thoughts about these books. Sounds like I need to have a good look at JSF and cook more from JFF :)

                                                                                                4. re: kaymbee
                                                                                                  geekmom RE: kaymbee Jan 14, 2014 01:10 PM

                                                                                                  This sounds great, but isn't in my library just yet - it's still on order. Would love to consider it for March or April, maybe.

                                                                                                  1. re: kaymbee
                                                                                                    delys77 RE: kaymbee Jan 14, 2014 01:45 PM

                                                                                                    Actually, I was just looking at this book the other day. I was at a bookstore and I pulled Ivan Ramen off the shelf, but thought it wasn't really my speed. Right next to it was JAPANESE SOUL COOKING (yes I am nominating it as well) and it looked very interesting. I am just remembering it now that you have mentioned it.

                                                                                                    1. re: kaymbee
                                                                                                      Gio RE: kaymbee Jan 14, 2014 03:24 PM

                                                                                                      I just ordered it! Love their Japanese Hot Pots.

                                                                                                      1. re: Gio
                                                                                                        herby RE: Gio Jan 14, 2014 04:45 PM

                                                                                                        I have Japanese Hot Pots - we should cook from it as COTM one of these months!

                                                                                                        1. re: herby
                                                                                                          smtucker RE: herby Jan 14, 2014 05:16 PM

                                                                                                          I bought it too. Just haven't gotten past the needing a stove in the middle of the dining room table; a room with one outlet, total.

                                                                                                          1. re: smtucker
                                                                                                            Gio RE: smtucker Jan 14, 2014 05:51 PM

                                                                                                            We just served everything from the kitchen. Not the total experience but it did give us the opportunity to taste the dish.

                                                                                                            1. re: smtucker
                                                                                                              MelMM RE: smtucker Jan 15, 2014 07:54 AM

                                                                                                              Iwatani butane burner solves that problem!

                                                                                                            2. re: herby
                                                                                                              Gio RE: herby Jan 14, 2014 05:49 PM

                                                                                                              It was a Companion COTM during "Japanese month."

                                                                                                        2. BigSal RE: BigSal Jan 13, 2014 06:04 PM

                                                                                                          Just a reminder that nominations will close tomorrow at 7 CST . The top two choices will proceed to the voting round. Still anyone's game.

                                                                                                          1. BigSal RE: BigSal Jan 14, 2014 05:03 PM

                                                                                                            Nominations are now closed. Please join us in the voting thread. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/931366

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