Cookbook of the Month Reports and Discussion: Pre-March 2022 Titles

Let’s use this thread to report on our experiences making, or ask questions about, recipes from COTMs prior to March 2022. COTMs from March 2022 on will live here on Hungry Onion, and any reports from those books can be added to their threads. Even if you didn’t take part on Chowhound, please share your experiences cooking from any of these books or websites if you’re so inclined.

For reference, here is the COTM list.

To report on a recipe, please put the title of the book or site and the recipe name in ALL CAPS for clarity, and include page numbers or website links if available. For ease in keeping track of reports, if someone has previously reported on a specific recipe, please reply to that post so that all discussion of the recipe is linked.


Thanks, but can’t see the list due to permission issue.

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Sorry about that, and not sure how it happened. It should be accessible now.

It’s working now, thanks!


Great resource, Caitlin - thank you for all the hard work preserving and organizing these COTM threads!


Thank you so much, Caitlin, for putting this together. I have a few things to post from this past weekend.


I’ve been searching for a good version of the black & white cookies I remember from my childhood forever. These are tasty cookies, but still not quite right - the texture isn’t quite soft enough and the frosting doesn’t taste right. (The chocolate side in particular needs to just be frosting, rather than the high-quality ganache that this is - SO Ina!) Still, I enjoyed every last one of these. They were very yummy, and honestly, not nearly as hard as you’d think to make.

I added some lemon zest to half of the batter and preferred the lemon-y ones, so I’d do that again. (Also, the less fresh they were, the more like NYC deli black & whites they tasted, which cracked me up.)


MADE IN INDIA, Meera Sodha (May 2016 COTM)

I missed this COTM the first time around and I was really impressed by the meal I made last Sunday, which included 3 different recipes from the book. First, the chicken tikka which was delicious and very easy. I followed the recipe pretty closely (though I didn’t bother with a mortar and pestle - just prepped the ginger and garlic as I usually do) and I decreased the pepper due to making it for a toddler. The only change I’d make in the future is to stop the cooking a bit early next time and run the chicken under the broiler to get some more charring on the pieces. I served it with the chaat salad, mint chutney, and rice.

I made this sauce light on the chili (cooking for a toddler) and a bit light on the mint (my cousin doesn’t like it), so it came out looser than I think it was supposed to. Still, we all really liked it and thought it tasted great with the chicken tikka. And the toddler really enjoyed eating the mint leaves while she helped me make it!

This is a really interesting and complex salad. I followed a review on EYB’s lead and replaced the pomegranate seeds with cubed mango and my niece was obsessed. It was a delicious counterpoint for the chicken tikka.


Great to see your reports, and I want to get back to cooking from this book. @hirsheys, just a reminder to also put book names in all caps, so they’re easy to pick out as we scroll through a thread likely to have dozens of sources. Thanks!

Will do!


Very tasty. Saute sliced red onion until translucent (I’d do more than half an onion next time); then add minced garlic, orange zest, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant. Next add 2 pints of cherry/grape tomatoes and orange juice and cover, cooking until tomatoes begin to burst (this took longer than the 4 minutes the recipe suggests). Reduce heat to medium, and smash any still whole tomatoes with a spoon (I used a potato masher - worked a charm). Add not-quite-al dente pasta to the sauce, and let simmer with it for a few minutes. Take off heat, add chopped olives (I used kalamata) and torn fresh basil. Serve with cheese. This is just a bit more fancy than similar pastas that I make. Lulu requested capers be added next time, and that sounds like it would work well. I’d up the onion, as mentioned above, and as always more chilies. I didn’t get a lot of orange flavor but it was enough for me.


GREENS W/ CHILIES, OLIVE OIL, EGGS, FETA, and SEEDS (Simple, Diana Henry, p. 21)

I’ve been eying this recipe since the book came out, but knowing that LLD (LulusDad) does not like meals on toast (“too hard to eat”) I’ve held off. But … he loves eggs, spinach, chili, garlic, and bread (feta not so much - so I offered a different cheese but he said he’d brave it). And this turned out to be a Huge hit with everyone. I didn’t use the kale called for, only baby spinach, with lots of garlic and red chili flakes and some lemon juice (4 8 oz bags, which of course cooked down to a small amount). Once this was cooked I fried eggs. The recipe calls for poached, but DH herself says that she goes the easier route and fries the eggs. Toast is topped with spinach, then the egg, then feta, then pumpkin seeds. This is delicious and easy, and would be perfect for a solo dinner or a homey brunch. If you don’t like feta, I think any tangy/punchy cheese would work. Everyone asked that we have this again. The last minute-ness of this means no time for a photo.


I thought these were rather cake like!

Agreed, though in my experience black and white cookies often are more like cakes than cookies. (I actually thought the texture seemed more like the ones I remembered from New York when they got a little stale!)

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The online version differs only from the book in calling for regular lasagne noodles (the book calls for no-boil) and how the ingredient list is laid out (it’s divided in the book).

I made a few swaps and changes along the way. I used fresh pasta sheets (purchased from a local purveyor), I made the sauce ahead of time, then made the béchamel and assembled and did the initial baking of the lasagne a day before serving, and reheated and browned the top to serve. I also made some ingredient changes/additions. Instead of 2 pounds of shiitakes in the sauce, I used a pound of cremini, a little over half a pound of shiitakes, and a big handful of dried porcini rehydrated with the sun-dried tomatoes, since I had them (shiitakes were going for $10/pound). I added about a cup of the soaking liquid to the pot and let it bubble along with rest before adding the tomatoes and letting it all cook down further. I skipped the carrot in the béchamel and used two large shallots instead, and in assembling, I added a layer of caramelized onions in the middle.

This made a big, hearty lasagne and four of us ate less than half of it for Christmas dinner, but I anticipated its producing plenty of leftovers for low-effort meals. As far as the sauce went, the spinach and tomatoes kind of disappeared, leaving the mushrooms in the forefront, but the whole was really flavorful and umami-rich. The entire thing was delicious, if a bit sloppy on the plate. But then, my use of fresh pasta absorbed less sauce than no-boil noodles would.