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Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month September 2014

Fellow hounds, it is once again time to submit nominations for the next Cookbook of the Month (COTM). Please use this thread to discuss the books you would like to cook from in September 2014.

Indicate you are nominating a book by writing the title of the book in ALL CAPITALS.

For more information on past selections and how the Cook Book of the Month process works, this link will take you to the very helpful COTM Archive: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

Nominations will close at 8 PM Eastern Time on 14 August 2014.

Meanwhile, enjoy the discussion!

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      1. re: qianning

        Indeed, welcome to the newest coordinator

    1. Hello, hello, Q! Off to a good start I see. Smart to announce that nominations are open on several boards. As for cookbooks, as far as I'm concerned we'll still be getting Summer produce so I'll have to do some deep thinking on this.


        3 Replies
        1. re: Candy

          Also known as Veggiestan in its UK, hardback incarnation.

          1. re: Candy

            I could get behind THE NEW MIDDLE EASTERN VEGETARIAN (aka VEGGIESTAN).

            I have the UK hardbound edition called Veggiestan. I've been wanting to cook from it for quite a while and haven't gotten around to it.

          2. I’d like to nominate “AVEC ERIC,” the book based on Eric Ripert’s PBS Show of the same title.

            The book was published in 2010, so should be available in most libraries (in fact, that was how I first came across it) and is available both used and new quite inexpensively on Amazon. This isn’t restaurant cooking; many (probably most) of the dishes could be considered for week-night meals. There are many recipes that emphasize fresh-from-the-market fruits and vegetables, so it would be a good transition book from late summer to early fall. One of the recipes I tried was the Ratatouille, and it was the best I’ve ever made. Another was Fennel Pollen-Dusted Branzino with White Wine, Tomatoes and Fennel Broth and it was excellent.

            I’ve barely begun to explore the book and am excited about delving further into it. Would love to have you all join me.

            15 Replies
            1. re: JoanN

              I've been in grudging denial that September will happen, so I kind of resent this thread for reminding me!

              Anyway, Avec Eric is indexed on EYB (http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/8...), and from what I see there, it does look to have some interesting and fresh recipes. My library has a copy, so I may need to take a look.

              1. re: JoanN

                This book piqued my interest so much that... you guessed, I ordered it. Thank you JN. And Caitlin.

                1. re: JoanN

                  JoanN, I've been curious about this book for awhile. Are any of the get toasted (toasted oven) recipes in the book? I can't really tell by looking at the TOC or index on Amazon or by looking at EYB.


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    The book is a companion to the TV show, "Avec Eric." If I'm not mistaken, the "Get Toasted" videos on his Web site were begun sometime later. I'm sure some of the recipes could be prepared in a toaster oven, but none that I've come across specifically call for it.

                    1. re: JoanN

                      I don't own a toaster oven, and really don't want to make space for one, so I hope to heck this book isn't all toaster oven recipes.

                      eta: rereading JoanN's response has calmed me down a bit. Phew!

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        No. Not about toaster ovens. Eric was hired by Cuisinart to be their spokesperson and to create recipes and videos to help people learn to cook. I have referred a number of single friends to the video series when they have found someone they wish to feed and impress. All the video recipes work equally well in a real oven and the recipes are all delicious. He cooks with the same products that we do. As fresh as possible, with herbs, etc, not a canned soup to be found!

                        One friend proposed after being served his salmon for two from the series.

                        1. re: smtucker

                          Just bit the bullet and bought a used copy.

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            Two days later my (used!) copy has arrived and is in wonderful condition. Print is a bit small but my quick peek made me happy I'd gone for it. Can't wait to have a sit with it.

                            1. re: LulusMom

                              Having a small dinner party tonight and all dishes but dessert are from "Avec Eric." I've finished two of three so far, just read what you wrote about the print being small, and had to go take a look--even though I've been reading it all day. You're right; it is small. That's what I get for reading the boards instead of working in the kitchen as I should be.

                              1. re: JoanN

                                Not a problem - I'll be over in a few to help (in other words, I wish I was coming to dinner).

                                If I can somehow sneak a glass of wine during Monday's playdate, I'll just sit in the kitchen with the book and hold it as far from my face as possible and have a lovely time.

                                1. re: LulusMom

                                  In my case, as close to my face as possible!

                                    1. re: blue room

                                      Ha! We have opposite problems. My arms aren't long enough to read the directions on my prescription bottles.

                        2. re: JoanN

                          Thanks JoanN and smtucker. Thanks for the info. I have a toaster oven and would actually love to use it more, especially in summer when it's so darn hot and I don't want to heat up the house. Even in winter, though, I'd love to use it for "quick meals"--our oven takes forever to heat up. So if Avec Eric wins, I might cook alongside with the get toasted series.


                    2. SOUL OF A NEW CUISINE by Marcus Samuelsson.
                      Yep, I'm giving this one another go. I've had great success with the few dishes I've made from this book, and I'd love a month to focus on it.

                      1. I am going to nominate YUCATAN by David Sterling. I know its new and its expensive. But I just made something awesome from it so I will nominate it.

                        7 Replies
                          1. re: JoanN

                            I made the Sopa de Lima. I wrote about it on the Aug 2014 cookbook thread. Sorry...don't know how to link

                            1. re: Siegal

                              In order to link to a specific post within a thread, click on the date of that post that appears directly under your handle in the thread.

                              So, in order to link to Joan's post above that looks like this:
                              2 minutes ago

                              What did you make?

                              Click on the "2 minutes ago" and cut and paste the link that pops up.



                              1. re: Siegal

                                Great to know. I'm putting a note in the book. Thanks.

                            2. re: Siegal

                              This book is on my Christmas list...I'll join your nomination in January!

                              1. re: Siegal

                                I've wanted to cook from this book, its on my wish list!

                              2. It just occurred to me, and I'd like to share with you, that September 2014 marks the 8th anniversary of Cookbook of the Month. I'd also like to thank all participants, new ones and those no longer with us, who have made this one of the most enjoyable, friendly, and supportive communities on Chowhound. I've learned so much, I've eaten so well, and I've met so many lovely people, both virtual and otherwise. My gratitude to all.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: JoanN

                                  8 Years! I haven't been participating all that time (4 or 5 years, I think), but I heartily agree it's been a great time. Thanks to all the participants and our volunteer coordinators who do such a wonderful job.

                                  1. re: JoanN

                                    The feeling is definitely mutual, JoanN. Most definitely.

                                    1. re: JoanN

                                      I totally agree, JoanN. I only joined in 2011, but it's been a great ride and I've learned so much from the other 'hounds, who are always supportive and friendly. And the cookbooks have been fantastic.

                                    2. I have a few suggestions to throw into the ring. One is David Tanis -- One Good Dish with an adjunct thread for his other books and online recipes.

                                      The other is Richard Olney. The book I have and would like to explore more is Lulu's Provencal Table -- and I think this would be great for September. I'd also be interested in Simple French Food.

                                      Finally, Italian food is always great this time of year. Edward Giobbi has been thrown around these boards before. I don't have any of his books but they are readily available at the library and in cheap used editions.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                        With four of his cookbooks on my shelf, one going back to 1971, I could very easily get behind Edward Giobbi. That old book, "Italian Family Cooking" is so well used that it's held together with elastics and plastic wrap. I've made some memorable meals from that book. Then came "Eat Right, Eat Well--The Italian Way" which took his family recipes into the world of healthy eating without losing any Italian flavors. In 1992 "Pleasures Of The Good Earth" won the James Beard award for culinary excellence. Unfortunately none of his books are indexed on EYB though I've requested them to be.

                                        1. re: Westminstress

                                          I am into the Richard Olney suggestion. I have Simple French Food but haven't found a good entry into it yet. David Tanis would be great too!

                                        2. David Tanis-ONE GOOD DISH

                                          CELEBRACIONES MEXICANAS
                                          HISTORY,TRADITIONS, AND RECIPES
                                          ANDREA LAWSON GRAY AND ADRIANA ALMAZAN LAHL

                                          1. I'd like to nominate NEW FOOD OF LIFE: ANCIENT PERSIAN AND MODERN IRANIAN COOKING AND CEREMONIES by Najmieh Batmanglij. Please note the title I am using is the first edition of the book. There is a revised 25th anniversary edition that drops the "New" from the title. It seems there has been considerable interest in this book in the past on these boards, and as an avid Iranian home cook I think it's a better place to start than Louisa Shafia's New Persian Kitchen (though I would like to explore this book more at some point).

                                            18 Replies
                                            1. re: pistachio peas

                                              I have the new edition and it's an amazing book. The rice takes 3 hrs and 20 steps but it just transports you to another world. I would love to see people report on this book. So I will nominate (NEW) FOOD OF LIFE too!

                                              1. re: pistachio peas

                                                ditto. I havent had much time to cook in recent months but the one recipe I made from this book (the beautiful original) was wonderful.

                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                  I'm not sure but I think if you want to nominate a book, you have to put the title in all-caps in your post.

                                                  1. re: pistachio peas

                                                    NEW FOOD OF LIFE
                                                    I've been lusting after this book for a long time waiting for the price to drop. Not happening even with used copies and finally tonight I caved in :) I won't be able to cook for the first half of Sep but will catch up during the second half.

                                                    1. re: herby

                                                      I do think it's on the expensive side for COTM. I just bought Persiana which is an accessible British take on Persian food so will stick with that I think. Sally Butcher, mentioned upthread, also has a well-respected book on Iranian food called Persian in Peckham.

                                                    2. re: pistachio peas

                                                      A question for those who have cooked from this book...
                                                      Have you found many recipes that can be done quickly? The few I've made were pretty time-consuming, which is not realistic for me these days with long work-week days and being away from home on weekends. Nothing pops out on EYB that seems particularly practical with time constraints. (I do know that every month can't be "radically simple," just curious about your experiences.)

                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                        This is a great question. I grew up watching my grandmother start her dinner prep at 9am with the washing, drying, and chopping of herbs...But there are a lot of ways to quicken the recipes. A great example is rice...you don't need to make rice with tahdig (crust from bottom of the pot) every night. You can also make kateh, which is much simpler. Of course, the time is greatly reduced if you have a rice cooker. And if you have an Iranian rice cooker (though I realize most don't), it even takes care of the tahdig for you. I think Zojirushi has a bibimbap method that I've heard works for tahdig too.
                                                        Using a food processor helps with chopping herbs for dishes like Ghormeh Sabzi. Honestly, once you get things in the pot for a khoresht, for example, you don't really need to do much tending. I hope this helps.

                                                        New Food of Life is a gorgeous cookbook (though not unflawed) but I still think someone needs to write a new, definitive Iranian cookbook in English that has some strategies like what I mentioned above. Shafia's book, the New Persian Kitchen is lovely but it is quite experimental, and it seems like Persiana is a broader take. I want to be the Ina Garten of Iranian food! Hahaha...in my dreams.

                                                        1. re: pistachio peas

                                                          Hmmmm, New Food of Life sounds interesting if I had a lot of time for cooking. I would read the threads with interest if this book is chosen but would not be able to participate. I wonder about the idea of nominating New Food of Life together with the New Persian Kitchen as a traditional vs. modern Persian month? I ask because NPK is available at the library whereas NFOL is not. And NPK has various simple quick recipes, whereas it sounds like NFOL does not. Doing the two books together may offer interesting comparisons using different methods for similar dishes. (Not sure of this since I haven't seen NFOL).

                                                          1. re: Westminstress

                                                            NFOL is available in the NYC system as "on site; read only" and it's too expensive for a book I'm not convinced I need. So if it is chosen as a single, I'm definitely out as well. But that's okay with me. I have a lot of catching up to do plus some new books I've barely delved into.

                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                              Considering the price of NFOL, another great option is Nesta Ramazani's Persian Cooking: A Table of Exotic Delights.

                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                This is exactly how I'm feeling. I'm not getting to cook much this month and I feel like there are so many things I want to try. And heck, I haven't even totally caught up on RS month. So I'm perfectly happy with letting something I have no intention of buying or cooking from win - and I hope it is enjoyed by everyone. Feeling very mellow about it.

                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                  Unfortunately I'm in this situation as well. Although I do have the interest I just can't cook demanding recipes any more. Especially if it would mean sourcing the ingredients called for. Can't zip around the kingdom as I used to do. If the book wins I'll certainly follow along and perhaps something will catch my eye.

                                                                2. re: Westminstress

                                                                  I think this is a good idea. My only concern (and perhaps I should get over it) with NPK is that while it has wonderful ideas on how to take the flavors of Iranian cuisine and update them in more modern techniques of cooking (and often in the context of lighter fare), when it does present traditional recipes, NPK takes a lot of sloppy, and unnecessary "shortcuts." 1 example: NPK doesn't explain the steps in making saffron rice (chelow). It just kind of gives you this quick 20 min. recipe that I've never really seen anyone do in a Persian kitchen. Another example: in NPK, the recipe for Ash-e Resht-e, a noodle soup traditionally served for Persian New Year, includes fava beans (super strange addition) and says to use linguine. Now, linguine is a fine substitute if you can't find reshteh noodles, but to not even list them as an option seems sloppy to me when they are easily found at Middle Eastern markets, or online at Amazon, Sadaf, and many other places. This doesn't seem hard to do considering how books like, say, Every Grain of Rice, manage to do this. Shafia does include a resources section but for the beginner wanting to make these traditional recipes, shouldn't the actual noodle be listed in the recipe itself? How would one know?

                                                              2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                I have mostly made stews thus far. They have quite a number of ingredients and a longish cooking time but not many prep steps or much technical complexity. They can successfully be made ahead. So my answer is that they can be done relatively quickly in terms of limited prep time, but they are not a la minute. My usual approach is to cook a pot on the weekend, serve over 2 or three meals with some rice and salad. If you are daunted by chopping the quantities of herbs required for some dishes there are dried herbs available in packs for this.

                                                                like pistachio peas, I think the techmiques for rice can be altered or modernized without damage to flavor.

                                                              3. re: pistachio peas

                                                                Oooh...this book sounds like fun. You got my vote!

                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                  Can I just say... I'm so embarrassed. [Eric Ripert] LOL

                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                    Haha Gio
                                                                    pip rip sip dip tip lip nip hip yip zip
                                                                    we know you meant well!

                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                      I don't care what you call him.... he is one of the few men that enjoy watching while he uses a toaster oven. And his food is pretty darn good looking too.

                                                                      edited to add: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCtEs...

                                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                                        This was a great video, smtucker! I haven't seen many chefs use a toaster oven (perhaps I have lived a sheltered life) but this video inspired me to slice up one of my ripe tomatoes and make the dish for lunch tomorrow. Thanks!

                                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                                          Thank you Herby and SMT! He is easy on the eyes isn't he. I guess now I have to run out and get a toaster oven.

                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                            OK, now I'm getting nervous. Is this book seriously all toaster oven recipes? I love Le Bernardin (and have that cookbook) and trust his recipes, but I don't have a toaster oven.

                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                              See my response above. You are safe! No toaster oven required.

                                                                          2. re: smtucker

                                                                            Great video! Love how he pronounces "toaster oven".

                                                                            1. AVEC ERIC. A lot of recipes I'd like to try with my fellow 'hounds.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Goblin

                                                                                Oh, what the heck. I was staying calm, but AVEC ERIC.

                                                                              2. After checking my library's catalog and watching the video of Eric making tomatoes provencal, I'm up for AVEC ERIC.

                                                                                A DAVID TANIS month would also be good. I have ONE GOOD DISH and have lots of recipes from David's NYT column that I want to try.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: tcamp

                                                                                  I will also nominate DAVID TANIS/ONE GOOD DISH.

                                                                                2. Nominations are now CLOSED. Voting thread will be up pronto.

                                                                                  1. Voting thread for September 2014 COTM is now up.


                                                                                    1. Hip Pressure Cooking: Fast, Fresh, and Flavorful by Laura D.A. Pazzaglia (a well established author of blog http://hippressurecooking.com) is a new book available 9/2/14.

                                                                                      I learned about it at: http://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/2...

                                                                                      More information with the ability to pre-order Laura's new 304 page book is at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1250... from her Amazon biography:

                                                                                      "The upcoming "Hip Pressure Cooking" (St. Martin's Press, Fall 2014) is Pazzaglia's first cookbook. In it, she explains how ingredients react under pressure with easy-to-follow recipes with a minimum of prep. The book is filled with tips, techniques and detailed information that has never been shared before- a must-have reference for pressure cookery.

                                                                                      She worked with Adams Media to publish a book project "The Everything Healthy Pressure Cooker" in 2012. In it, she "healthyfies" the publisher's recipes by removing all packets, cans, and pouches and re-configures them to use only whole, fresh ingredients - she also added some reader favorites from her website.

                                                                                      Pazzaglia is a former IT Project Director in San Francisco Bay Area's Silicon Valley that now lives in Italy with her husband and two children. She moved from computer to kitchen technology when her first child was born and was looking for a way to make healthier meals in less time. She has lived in four countries (U.K, Italy, U.S.A, and Austria), speaks three languages (English, Italian and German) and is currently resides in Rome.

                                                                                      Her personal goal is to get everyone who is just cooking, pressure cooking."

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: smaki

                                                                                        Sounds interesting, smaki, thank you for bringing this to our attention. Athough I'm afraid you'll have to come back and nominate this one for October as nominations for September have closed and we've moved on to voting~ http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/985935