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Vote for the March 2014 Cookbook of the Month!

Welcome to the voting thread for the March 2014 Cookbook of the Month. 19 different books received nominations this month. Making a return appearance to the voting round this month is THE HAKKA COOKBOOK by Linda Lau Anusasananan. This book is joined by Barbara Lynch’s STIR which is making its voting round debut. Which of these two very different books will garner the most votes?

Our first nominee is THE HAKKA COOKBOOK: CHINESE SOUL FOOD FROM AROUND THE WORLD by Linda Lau Anusasananan. “Even if you have other Chinese cookbooks, it’s worth getting to know Hakka cuisine, because it’s mostly home style cooking, ideal to try in your own kitchen. In the book Anusasananan traces her roots and shares stories from the people she meets on her journey into her past…There are classic recipes for Fried Pork Hash Wontons, Salt Baked Chicken…and lots of vegetable dishes including Braised Mountain Mushrooms, Pickled Carrots and Radishes and Stir Fried Lettuce and Garlic.

“According to Anusasananan, the Hakka are like the ‘Jews of China,’ nomads who migrated from North-Central China to the South… Their cuisine is the food of the working person, robust and sometimes fatty. They use a lot of salt-preserved ingredients such as preserved vegetables, cured meats and soy sauce. The food is related to Cantonese, but more rustic. Famous Hakka classic dishes include Steamed Pork Belly with Preserved Mustard Greens, Stuffed Tofu, and Salt-Baked Chicken.”http://cookingwithamy.blogspot.com/20...

The second nominee is STIR: MIXING IT UP IN THE ITALIAN TRADITION by Barbara Lynch. “…In Stir, I share my passion and my hard-earned knowledge. And of course, I give you my recipes, which the regulars in my restaurants have been clamoring for over the years. Some are almost embarrassingly easy, like Gorgonzola Fondue, Baked Cheese and Tomatoes, and Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Thyme. Others are a little more involved but oh-so-worth-it, like Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Caraway Gnocchi. There's plenty of weekday cooking, including Green Bean and Seared Shrimp Salad with Spicy Curry Sauce, which I eat all the time, and Lemony Breaded Chicken Cutlets, which my daughter Marchesa loves. Then there are my pastas, which are my very favorite things, such as Chicken Meatball Lasagnettes (a favorite of Julia Child's) and sauces that pair well with both fresh and dried pasta, such as my signature Bolognese (I share my secret ingredient).All of my recipes are written with the home cook in mind and so are full of the details that make a difference. I hope Stir will inspire you. Enjoy! Barbara Lynch” http://tinyurl.com/lsel4os

To view the nomination thread, please click here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/963192

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

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

Voting will close on Wednesday, February 19 at 7 PM Central Time.

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      1. Thanks, BigSal, for a great job with yet another messy nomination session. Such a hard choice this month! While I would like Hakka, I know that many of my fellow COTMers are ready for a departure from Asian. I have both books, and will be happy to cook from whichever wins. I'll have to think about this.

        1. Oh my! Both of my books made it out of nominations. What to do? [I can be bribed with pork belly. :-) ]

          2 Replies
          1. re: smtucker

            I make a mean Dong Bo Rou, so, now where do I send it?

            1. re: qianning

              You can send it to me for safe keeping (tee hee hee)!

          2. Thanks again, Big Sal.

            I had no idea what books would make it to the finals as the nominations were all over the map. I'm torn. My library has neither of these books and I've been trying to limit my purchases. I'm going to have to peruse the recipe list on EYB, but I see Amazon has some inexpensive used copies of Stir so I may default to that ... but I do so love Asian cuisines ...

            1. I think STIR was one of the books I reviewed on the A Cookbook a Week Thread. I will try to provide a link so it is easily accessible. OK, tried to link it but couldn't figure out how. It is about 1/3 the way down this thread:


              Maybe someone more savvy can provide the link.

              I also have HAKKA out from the library right now. I don't think it is my thing, but I am going to give it a good look over before voting later tonight.

              3 Replies
                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                    Wow! Those recipes all sound wonderful.

                1. Oh my! I had no idea Stir was even in the running. Damn business travel! Even though I won't be around much in March, I absolutely promise that if Stir wins, I'll cook at least a couple of recipes (even if I have to make them both in one day!!) I love this book way too much to pass up the opportunity to see it as a COTM.

                  1. Hmmm... I have both books. Have cooked a couple from Hakka but although I nominated Hakka I haven't cooked anything from Stir. It's another COTM dilemma. This has been happening a lot lately. I think I need a time out to indulge in a bit of omphaloskepsis.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Gio

                      I didn't think we had a Greek cookbook in the running! ;-)

                      1. re: smtucker

                        I wouldn't mind a bit of Greek right now, come to think about it.

                      2. re: Gio

                        As you are examining your omphalos, Gio, I am rejoicing that Stir made it to the voting round :) I am in need of simple tomato sauce and was searching for one this evening. I settled on the one from Stir and hopefully will have time to make it tomorrow.

                        1. re: Gio

                          Just reading Breadcrumbs remarks on EYB tells me my memory is nothing but Swiss cheese. It seems I have made one recipe from Stir after all. The rigatoni/sausage/cannellini dish on page 135. I called it perfect and G had 3 helpings.

                        2. Not trying to stir the pot but a quick glance back it looks like Stir had 5 votes. Jane Grigson Month had 2 and Jane Grigson Vegetable Cookbook had 3. Which I guess in my mind I lumped both Grigson categories together as 5 votes and assumed a Grigson Vegetable tied with Stir...

                          Edit: Just went with votes in caps.

                          Really, just posting to gain a better understanding of how the parameters work.

                          Lastly no pun intended with "stir"!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: meatn3

                            Meatn, The nomination thread has never worked that way that I can recall. The only time books have been grouped together was when they were nominated specifically as a group and generally by title, not an author's complete body of work. Been a long time though since I have seen body of work and a specific book that happens to be by the same author nominated in the same month.

                            If I am remembering incorrectly, I am sure someone will clarify. I seem to be having a hard time with English this evening [and it is my ONLY language!]

                            1. re: meatn3

                              Good feedback. I treated Jane Grigson month and Jane Grigson Vegetable Cookbooks as separate categories. I've done this (right or wrong throughout my tenure). I guess I felt that although hounds were voting for the same author, it was not necessarily the same vote (I've always struggled with the nomination of an author vs a book). I certainly don't want anyone to feel that their vote wasn't counted. Feel free to vote for Jane Grigson's book or month and indicate so by including the title in ALL CAPS.

                              ETA: Even using meatn3's counting method, Stir is still ahead by one vote. Unless anyone objects, we'll stick with two choices for the voting thread. Sorry for the confusion.

                              1. re: BigSal

                                Thank you both for giving more details. I didn't feel my vote wasn't counted - I don't get invested to that extent. I understood how I was looking at the count and wanted to understand better how you looked at it.

                                It's all good and if there are on-line recipes (I don't have either of the contenders) I'll try to participate!

                                Just going through the nomination process is always interesting. I learn something new each time and often find a new author or book to bring me in a new culinary direction.

                                Thanks again for all your work on COTM. It's one of the best things happening on CH imho.

                                1. re: meatn3

                                  There are online recipes for both books. Last month I gathered some for Hakka...just in case it won and started checking on Stir since it seems to be the overwhelming favorite so far.

                            2. Great job Big Sal, and thanks very much for facilitating the nominations and the voting.

                              1. Thanks for the fab moderation as always, BigSal.

                                1. I originally posted my vote in a comment, not realizing I was suppose to vote by clicking recommend. I couldn't figure out how to delete my post completely so I just edited it. Sorry!

                                  1. Just a reminder that voting closes tomorrow at 7 Central Time.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: BigSal

                                      I'm excited about next month's front runner! It has been too long since I've spent any time with this book and COTM is the perfect motivator.

                                    2. Was able to order a used copy of Stir for under $5 (shipping included) at Amazon. That made my decision easy...

                                      1. THE HAKKA COOKBOOK: CHINESE SOUL FOOD FROM AROUND THE WORLD

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: malleechick

                                          malleechick, to make your vote count, you need to click Recommend on the first reply in the thread, the one that says Vote here for THE HAKKA COOKBOOK.