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July 2014 COTM Announcement: Congratulations Radically Simple

Well the votes are in and we have a winner, Radically Simple: Brilliant Flavors with Breathtaking Ease: 325 Inspiring Recipes by Rozanne Gold. While the New Persian Kitchen put up a fight Radically Simple was the decisive victor. Having been nominated before but never having made it, I am sure many are very excited to cook from Radically Simple.

Please feel free to use the thread to discuss COTM in general or next month's selection.

I'll admit I'm a bit pressed for time so I can't do a thorough search for recipes but I'll post links to her site and blog below. I'm sure more searching will turn up more, I will try and do so shortly.


Till July, happy cooking all.

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  1. To all those who are reading please remember that we need a new COTM Coordinator to step up. I am still ok to facilitate August but we will need someone to take over for September as my 6 months will be up. Please remember that the September coordinator will need to be active in August.

    Anyone interested?

    2 Replies
    1. re: delys77

      I've considered this in the past, although I'm a newbie to COTM.

      Now, I'm in grad school (another year to go). So I will sign up for coordinator this time next year, as I will find myself bored with nothing to do when I graduate!! It will be a good time filler.

      I appreciate all that you and past coordinators have done. These threads will be wonderful resources for a very, very long time. It's history in the making!

      1. re: pagesinthesun

        Good luck with the rest of grad school and thanks very much.

    2. If EYB is any indication, there are few, if any, recipes from this book online. Guess it's a good thing I bought it, although it hasn't arrived yet.

      7 Replies
      1. re: JoanN

        Yeah I checked on EYB and didn't see anything.

        1. re: delys77

          Here are some recipes available online for those who do not have the book (some are adaptations).

          Roasted Asparagus with Bay Leaves and Capers Recipe

          Crisp Potato Cakes

          Moroccan Spiced Salmon

          Chilled Asparagus Tonnato with “Confetti”

          North African Chicken with Tomato Ginger Chutney

          "Thunder and Lightning" Orecchiette with Fried Chickpeas & Black Pepper

          Tortellini with Yogurt, Mint & Smoked Paprika Oil

          An Opinonated Way to Roast Chicken

          Runny Eggs on Creamy Scallion Grits

          Smoked and Fresh Salmon “en Chemise”

          Salmon "Bulgogi" with Bok Choy and Mushrooms

          Cardamom Chicken with Chickpea and Orange Couscous

          Couscous with Dates and Almonds

          Baked Ziti in Bianco with fontina and salami

          Pork chops and apples, Madeira-bay butter sauce

          Sautéed Chicken With Roasted Grapes Adapted from “Radically Simple” by Rozanne Gold

          Pappa al Pomodoro

          Meyer lemon and buttermilk ice cream

          Peas and wasabi soup

          Carrot “nib” orzo

          Crisped chicken with chimichurri and avocado

          Salade Normande

          Poulet au Crème Fraiche

          Almost Confit Chicken

          Velvet Chicken with Warm Asian Vinaigrette

          Chicken Parmigiana

          Crunchy crumbled cod with frozen peas

          Bloody Shrimp Cocktail

          1. re: BigSal

            Wow. That's quite an impressive list. Wonder why EYB didn't manage to pick any of them up?

            1. re: JoanN

              I think EYB says they only link to "official" online recipes, so I think that narrows the field quite a bit. Also, I'm under the impression they only link to recipes that are out there at the point that they index. So, if the book is new but there hasn't been a lot of advance buzz, then there would be few recipes out there. That's my theory anyway.


            2. re: BigSal

              Thank you so much for collating all of these sources. She likes oranges a lot doesn't she?

              I think that I will go the library route to start. I just tried to get all my books onto the allocated shelves and they simply don't fit. As I reviewed the titles, there was not a one that I can imagine moving out of the house. So, time to find more shelves!

              1. re: BigSal

                Here's another (when I saw it in the book after buying it, I recalled having made it from this link years back):

                Sauteed Peppers with Golden Raisins and Arugula

                1. re: BigSal

                  Oh BigSal, thank you so much. I'm sure we all really appreciate this.

            3. As I mentioned on the voting thread, I was reminded when looking at the book today how many really wonderful recipes I've made from this book. And I was also surprised by how many there are that I haven't made but want to (oh, awkward sentence, sorry).

              It might be useful for people to see the "cooking from" thread that has been going on for the last 2 years: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7860...

              1 Reply
              1. Just checked my local library's website and they don't have Radically Simple, but used copies are available for around $5 on Amazon, so I decided to take the plunge. I can always use some inspiration for quick, weeknight recipes!

                1. My library system has 10 copies checked-in and I'll get one of those tomorrow. Sounds like it could also be well-worth the bookshelf space to own.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                    Lucky. I was surprised that mine didn't have it but I have a feeling it's one I'll be happy to own, especially since I got it so cheap. I'm VERY glad I was able to get this month's COTM from the library for a preview, as I wasn't particularly inspired by much of anything in it (although I did enjoy reading the essays).

                  2. My library copy is waiting for me already. I don't mind picking up a cheap copy if I like the book, but I'd like to give it a test drive first.

                    And -- not sure I'm really ready to commit to this -- but I'm at least willing to consider doing the next shift as COTM coordinator.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Westminstress

                      Wow, thanks for considering westminstress. Let me know, you have some time yet to ponder.

                    2. I got my copy from the library Thursday and have had my fingers crossed that it would win. This book makes me want to open a restaurant! So many great recipes although not so many that will fly in our house as there are only two of us, one on a diet and the other one rather picky. I will happily lurk and find something to make.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Berheenia

                        Just received my copy and haven't even finished going through it, but I see what you mean about it not being particularly diet friendly. I've been Post-iting (can we make that a verb?) recipes that I think can make work, but even in the fish recipes she calls for an awful lot of oil.

                        I'm nonetheless pleased that I succumbed to the purchase and will look forward to the day I can peruse it again with fewer restrictions in mind.

                      2. I have never bought a book just for COTM but am thinking I may this time. What's the book like? Lots of photos (I like a photo for ever 3rd recipe at a minimum as my husband likes to browse by picture )? Thanks.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Siegal

                          Yes, lots of pictures. Not one on every page but I'd say it averages about every 3-4 pages. The look inside feature on Amazon may not give a very realistic idea of what the book looks like because it mostly gives the intro (no pics) and then just a few pages of the first chapter. The pictures in the book are in color (not on the look inside feature).

                          1. re: Siegal

                            I feel reluctant to buy a book I had never heard of when there are so many others on my list that I'm holding off buying. But I really want to participate in COTM. I think I will do what I can from the list above and decide if I want to buy the book after.

                            1. re: pistachio peas

                              Never hurts to take a test drive before making a financial commitment. Done it often. And if you do decide you like it, there are plenty of inexpensive copies available. I just got the used copy I ordered that was listed as being in "good" condition. If it hadn't had a piece of scrap paper tucked into it, I would have thought it was new. $1.25. At prices like that, I worry more about the shelf space than the expenditure.

                              1. re: JoanN

                                I was just telling LulusDad that this book had finally gotten COTM status (picture close to snoring, but not quite). He has enjoyed many meals from this book and i reminded him of a few of them. But we discussed how, at this point, I'm more likely to try a book out at the library than to buy it (which i did the first year or two of my participation in COTM). If the book works for me, i buy it - fair is fair.

                              2. re: pistachio peas

                                Never hurts to check and see if your local library, or inter-library loan, has it available. My local reference librarian knows me by name, not least of all due to COTM. Just put in my "order" for Radically Simple at the library today.

                                1. re: pistachio peas

                                  See if you can find it at your library.

                              3. voting this month wasn't on my radar, but this looks great. I just reserved it from the library and I'm sure I'll get it soon. Thanks!

                                1. I ordered my copy! This will be my first COTM - I had intended to join in long ago, but things came up and I couldn't, in spite of having bought the book (in that case, it was "Homesick Texan"). Promise to do better this time. I really like the recipes I've seen reviewed here so far.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: auburnselkie

                                    Welcome to you, auburnselkie. This is a fun group and we learn so much from each other that we can apply to our day to day cooking lives. Hope you enjoy the experience.

                                    1. re: auburnselkie

                                      Welcome aboard auburnselkie, I'm sure you'll get a lot out of this great group.

                                      1. re: auburnselkie

                                        Like auburnselkie, this will be my 1st participation in COTM, altho' I've been a poster for a long time. Just ordered the book from the library. Looking for some new ideas!

                                      2. Yay! I've been absent (from this site) for quite some time (trying to bake professionally -- as if!!) and am pleased as punch to see Radically Simple is COTM and that it's on my bookcase! I have yet to touch this book so am pleased 'hounds are on it!
                                        Great to see COTM is going strong after several years! (how long *has* it been?? I remember when it started.)

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: NYchowcook

                                          Believe it or not, COTM started in September 2006, so we're just a few months shy of eight years! Pretty amazing.

                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                            I wish I'd been on the bandwagon from the beginning. Then again, forget about the past: I wish I participated more RIGHT NOW.

                                            8 years is awesome, actually!


                                        2. I just picked up my copy from the library yesterday. Only had a brief chance to flip through it, but even at a quick glance I noticed many appealing recipes. Looking forward to July!

                                          1. I just got my used copy in the mail - aside from the dust jacket looking a little rough around the edges, it looks like new. Can't beat that for $4. I'm looking forward to exploring in July!

                                            1. Hello all. I'm on the fence about purchasing Radically Simple as I feel there are already many books in my relatively small collection that get very little attention. That said, what my collection is missing are some books with relatively quick and simple dishes. I understand from the write up that the authors approach is to get the most out of simple but interesting combinations of flavours, but that the recipes themselves aren't necessarily quick.

                                              Does anyone who has the book have an opinion on how weeknight friendly the book is.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: delys77

                                                I'd say the great majority of recipes are weeknight friendly (with the caveat that I'm a non-red meat eater so haven't explored that chapter). Indeed, a number of the chapters are ordered in terms of how long the recipes take, e.g., 10-minute and 20-minute soups, pastas, salads, or vegetable sides. The fish and poultry dishes I've cooked are very weeknight-friendly, as well.

                                                1. re: delys77

                                                  I'd have to agree with Caitlin (and I'm another who doesn't eat red meat - or at least not more than 3-4 times a year at most)). Some of the fish/chicken dishes are a bit more involved than one might think given the simplicity, but at the same time any involved time seems to me to make a huge difference in flavor. But mostly, yeah, weeknight worthy. Maybe look at some of the links and see how you feel about them?

                                                  1. re: delys77

                                                    I'm having company this weekend for my kid's graduation and just flipped through looking for something easy and quick to make after the ceremony. What I love about the book is that it does a lot of things I'm already doing, but just adds an unusual touch, or spice, that makes it a little more special. I'm going to be doing the butterflied leg of lamb and a side of the steamed carrots and onions.

                                                    1. re: delys77

                                                      I agree as well - I've read through most of the book now and noted a LOT of recipes that are quick and easy - I'd say at least a third of them. I would imagine it would be no problem at all to put together a meal with two or three of these dishes in under 30 minutes.

                                                    2. I've had this book for a few years, and have made ten or so dishes from it, though I haven't cooked from it lately, with results ranging from serviceable to excellent, with one exception. I think I've posted about everything on the cooking-from thread, but thought it might be worth a quick rundown, and maybe other hounds who've used the book can chime with their picks/pans

                                                      Bad news first, as in avoid:

                                                      --Spaghetti with Aged Gouda & Frozen Olive Oil: Simultaneously marred by harsh raw garlic flavor and incredibly bland.
                                                      --Swordfish with Sardine Bolognese: I haven't made, but on the existing thread, LulusMom said, "suffice it to say that it is probably the worst thing I've ever cooked. I really love this book, but this dish is absolutely dreadful."

                                                      Repeatable (a couple of which I have done):

                                                      --Tomatoes with Za'atar Pesto
                                                      --Linguine with Pesto Rosso
                                                      --Warm Sesame Noodles with Ginger & Snow Peas (but used different vegetables)
                                                      --Korean-Style Salmon "Bulgogi," Bok Choy and Shiitakes
                                                      --Chicken Thighs with Rosemary & Two Paprikas
                                                      --Sauteed Chicken with Roasted Grapes and Grape Demi-Glace (actually haven't made since I've had the book, but made several times prior from Healthy 1-2-3; recommend adding a bit of vinegar to the pan sauce for balance)
                                                      --Blasted Green Beans & Cherry Tomatoes
                                                      --Sauteed Peppers with Golden Raisins & Arugula
                                                      --Sheet-Pan Spinach

                                                      Not offensive, not worth repeating:

                                                      --Fusilli with Braised (really sauteed) Escarole, Garlic & Ricotta Salata

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                        Great list Caitlin. I'd add the pasta with radishes (somehow more than you'd think, given the ingredients list) and the salade Normande - just a simple salad but wonderful.

                                                        And seriously, that Swordfish with Sardine Bolognese was dreadful.

                                                      2. The breakfasts chapter that opens the book has me excited to vary my morning routine. I'll be shopping Monday for the peach and pear nectars to mix with OJ or pineapple juice. And I've "sticky noted" the peanut butter granola bruschetta recipe as well as a scone recipe and a rhubarb compote over coconut-walnut-yogurt that will probably become weeknight dessert.

                                                        The one-hour zucchini, mozzarella and sun dried tomato tart looks like a great breakfast-for-dinner candidate (with leftovers, if any, for breakfast).