Cookbook of the Month - Sept 2022 Voting

Bear in mind, Lawson is British and primarily writing for a British audience. Forced rhubarb is common here. It’s big business in the north of England (mainly in Yorkshire which is the county next to mine). It’s rhubarb grown entirely in the dark so tender stalks are available early in the year.


Now I have to see this book! The other has a long hold list so I vote for Nigella, though I don’t eat anchovies or banana peels.

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A couple of months ago I requested that my library purchase I Dream of Dinner because it was showing potential as a COTM. I received it two days ago, and it’s much more than I expected. The concept isn’t new (minimal ingredients for maximum flavor), but I think some of her approaches and methods are. There’s a lot of room to expand or improve recipes just because you have the time and ingredients to tweak something – basically it’s full of ideas to either build off of or make as-is. Last night, for example, a recipe for cauliflower with harissa and cream caught my eye. I had cream to use up and plenty of everything else. I tweaked a bit and got a great dish that the family loved but I never would have come up with otherwise.
Anyway … that’s me making the case for the one book that I have in my possession.
About that cauliflower: it’s at least the second time I’ve bought cauliflower to make the turmeric-pickled version from Flavors of the Sun but got distracted by another idea.


Yeah, I DREAM OF DINNER is a super exciting book. I’d love to cook from it together. I am a Nigella fan, but we’ve done several of her books, which isn’t to say we can’t do another one, but I’m just not as excited about it currently.

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I also put I Dream of Dinner on my iPad when it looked likely to become COTM. I haven’t made anything yet, but I agree that there are a a lot of good ideas in there.

In addition to many of the dishes Saregama has bookmarked in ‘Cook, Eat, Repeat’, here are a few I’m considering:

  • Anchovy Elixir, which is a versatile sauce, dip, or dressing
  • Pasta with Clams and Bottarga
  • Burnt Onion and Eggplant Dip
  • Short Rib Stew
  • Oxtail Bourguignon
  • Blood Sausage Meatballs
  • Chicken with Garlic Cream Sauce
  • One-Pan Chicken with Apricot Harissa and Sweet Potatoes
  • Brown Butter Colcannon
  • Butternut with Beet, Chili and Ginger Sauce
  • Rice Pudding Cake
  • Pomegranate-Poached Quinces
  • Green Mean, Dirty Martini

I tried to look up her book sales (without success), but I think it’s safe to say she’s a global food celebrity.


Definitely. Her books are popular in the US. Which is why my library has multiple copies of this one.

I haven’t watched many of Nigella’s shows, to tell the truth. I have BritBox, so I currently have access to Nigellissima, and I thought it was OK. For whatever reason, I’m not as annoyed by her as some people are, but don’t get me started on Rachel Ray. :roll_eyes:

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This banana peel curry in ‘Cook, Eat, Repeat’ is totally gratuitous. I’ve read the comments on NYT. I’m not even tempted.

I’ll have been wrong in my assessment then. Thanks for the info. From the recipe names listed by RainyRamone, I can see several in American English so obviously sufficiently popular to produce a different edition. Must have been a slip by her editor, letting the “forced rhubarb” through to an audience which presumably may not be able to get it. Better to have just written “rhubarb” although outdoor rhubarb is coarser and not as sweet as the forced variety.


Me, too. I turn on the oven, fix myself a cocktail, stick the dish in the oven, then run out of the kitchen with my drink.

Correct; the rhubarb we buy at the supermarket, here in the States, is probably forced, and we simply refer to it as ‘rhubarb’. Living in California, there are a few types I can grow in my home garden. I used to be good about forcing the stems, but I usually just let it go. And I agree, the shorter, unforced stems are perfectly usable, but less tender.

For either book, there are likely a good number of recipes available online — search by exact recipe name is usually a good bet.

Yes, all Nigella’s books have been published with US editions, going back to How to Eat. A few years ago, when At My Table came out here and she did an American book tour, I went to a signing event at a local cookbook store to get a copy for a friend, and the place was packed to capacity. I’d say she has a pretty solid presence here.


I’ve been really off my cooking game recently, but I Dream of Dinner seems like the kind of book that would be fun to cook out of, so I’ve put it on hold at my library.


Can someone who has a copy of I Dream Of Dinner tell me if the Caramelized Black Pepper Trout is essentially Vietnamese Caramel Fish — and if it’s described as such?

As I’m going through the EYB recipe index, I to see a lot of “punchy” international ingredients applied, so I’m just a bit curious as to whether there’s cultural attribution.

The author has nearly non-existent headnotes for the recipes, so there is no description. The recipe is quite a bit like Vietnamese fish in caramel sauce except that it contains vinegar, and it does not contain fish sauce. So similar, but not identical. There is note following the recipe that reads as follows:

More caramel: Like nuóc màu, agrodolce, or gastrique, this sauce simmers sugar with salt (or soy sauce) and acid (vinegar) long enough to turn syrupy like caramel. Swap the elements in a number of ways.
Winter squash + brown sugar + apple cider vinegar
Bratwurst + honey + mustard + chicken stock
Chicken thighs + maple syrup + rice vinegar + turmeric


I don’t profess love for anchovies on their own, but (thankfully) I ate and loved bagna cauda before I knew what it was!

This was oddly appealing to me as well.

I’m also going through the recipe list of I Dream Of Dinner on the Amazon preview – was too hard to parse on EYB.

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Made my first recipe from the Slagle book last night. It’s the corn & feta salad with steak. Very delicious and easy. Here’s a bad photo.

There’s something about the recipes in this book—people who come over keep picking it up and saying it looks appealing. I wonder if it has to do with how concise the recipes are.

Tonight I’m making the oven quesadillas.