Secrets of the Red Lantern Cookbook GIVEAWAY!

March 10, 2009


I love this cookbook. And now you can too! Yep, that is right folks the wonderful publishers of the book (Andrews McNeel) have given me one of these beauties to give away to a lucky winner.

This really is a fantastic book. Great stories, fabulous food, and pretty darn great food photography too. There is a huge range of food too – some pretty incredible looking soups, rice and noodle dishes, plenty of stuff with seafood, course some meat, and veg. Covers everything, and does it really well. I have been cooking from this book through the week for a little while now – there is some great fast dishes in here – like the beef noodle salad I just posted.

This has been an amazing introduction to authentic Vietnamese food, and I have only just begun to scratch the surface of this book – you are certainly going to see some more recipes on this blog from the book.

So what do you have to do to win it? Well, it is simple, just bung me $20, just leave a comment to this post. But here is the thing…. I am on the lookout for new cookbooks, so in the comment tell me either your favorite cookbook of all time, or something you cook from a lot – especially through the week for fast food.

The lucky winner will get picked at random. I will use a random number generator to generate a random comment #. That person gets the book!

All that I ask is that when you post a comment, please leave a valid email. Don’t worry, the email won’t show on this blog, but it is the only way I can get back in contact with you if you win.

I will announce the winner on Friday this week (27th)!

Good luck everyone!!

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  • Nurit - 1 family. friendly. food. March 10, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Ohhhhhhhh, pick me! Pick me! Meeeeeeeee!
    A cookbook I use a lot and absolutely love by one of my favorite chefs, Wolfgang Puck (love his food, love his restaurants) is “Wolfgang Puck Makes it Easy”.
    Now when I think about it, I actually wrote a review for it a while ago, with a partial list of recipes I cooked from it, here:

  • Z March 10, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    This cookbook would be a lovely addition to my dwarf stash… no seriously – I only have like 3 cookbooks.
    “For only 35 cents a day…” <–Actually for only one number pick on Friday you could save an endangered cookbook collection! :)

  • Kate March 10, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    O my odds look good so far! One of my favorite cookbooks right now is Artichoke to Za’atar: Modern Middle Eastern Food, by Greg Malouf. There are some really duh recipes in there (like hummus), but there are also some interesting ones. I like his recipe for falafel (or tamaya, as I know it) which calls for both chick peas and fava beans.

  • Audrey March 10, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    I have had my eye on the Red Lantern cookbook for ages now. I love the food at their restaurant. Ok so here is the one I would recommend to you – I know this is an oldie but there is nothing out of this Gary Rhodes cookbook that doesn’t taste great. It’s fantastic for those dishes you want to cook up for yourself during the week.

  • maggie (p&c) March 10, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    That looks great.

    One of the cookbooks I cook from most is the Brunch cookbook by Marc Meyer (from Five Points Restaurant.) Fabulous.

    Another is Giuliano Hazan’s Classic Pasta Cookbook, which may be out of print, but is worth tracking down used.

  • Camille March 10, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Well, I’m sold! I’ve cooked a lot of weeknight meals out of Mollie Katzen’s Vegetable Heaven, but if I have to pick an all-time favorite, it might just be Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook, as much for the prose as the recipes.

  • Joe Randazzo March 10, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Hello friend! You know, since your post I’ve been kind of obsessed with this book. I made the salad and it’s really good. This book quickly jumped onto my Amazon wishlist.

    There is this wonderful book called “Vatch’s Thai Street Food” that I purchased a couple years back. I’ve made quite a few things from this and haven’t been disappointed. I made a chicken curry from the book quite a few times over the winter as it always seems to cure what ails.

    I’m also a HUGE fan of big bowls of soup and fresh bread. The guy that did the cookbook from The Hopvine has some very interesting and tasty recipes in his book. I’ve made the Mushroom soup and the Potato Leek Soup.

    Hope you guys are well. I purchased Molly’s book last night and cant stop thinking of the fun dinner party. Must do that again soon. Or else!


  • Lang March 10, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    I’ll bite. Something tells me you’ve already got Nigel Slater in the stacks, so I’ll go with my new favorite: Suzanne Goin’s Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table. It’s not fast food, but you’ll dig the recipes and the photos, not to mention the set menus for entertaining. A beautiful book.

  • ts March 10, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    I could use this cookbook. Right now, we (make that my SO) is cooking his way through “Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine” – learning all about Indian food. This would be a nice change of pace!

  • katie March 10, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Oooh, I’ve been lusting over this one for a while now. Not the most exciting cookbook choice, but it being winter and all, I’ve been using the Cooks Illustrated New Best Recipes cookbook a lot – my husband always wants “traditional” food in the winter and I’ve yet to make a CI recipe that didn’t turn out well.

  • mattwright March 10, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Lang: I have yet to get a Slater book actually, they are on my want list, but somehow I always bump them, and never know why. The Sunday Suppers book is on there too!

  • mattwright March 10, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Kate: A middle eastern book would be good actually, thanks for the tip.
    Aud: sorry, not much of a fan of Rhodes, but it could be a personality thing
    Maggie: I will take a look, I do like some brunch..
    Camille: That is another one for my list actually. My style of cooking, and I enjoy Bourdain
    Joe: Thai street food? I am there! No more meat parties for a while, I will let you know when we do another though!
    ts: Love Indian food, gonna have to look at that
    katie: Cooks Illustrated is always interesting, but yeah, a bit dry :D

  • Rachael March 10, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    This looks like a wonderful cookbook! I am living in Japan right now and I’m sure a lot of the recipes in this book would be great given the ingredients that are available here in Tokyo. Anyway, my favorite cookbook of all time is Bouchon by Thomas Keller. The book provides a variety of recipes at various difficulty levels. All of them are absolutely fabulous. My two favorites from this book are the French Onion Soup and the Croque Madame. No matter where you live, it is a little taste of Paris.

  • Rasa Malaysia March 10, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    I want I want this cookbook. Need to learn more about Vietnamese food. ;)

  • Rohan March 10, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    This looks glorious!

    Two of my favourites for the great combination of anecdote, history and recipes are:

    The Georgian Feast, by Darra Goldstein, (UC Berkeley Press), is a treasure chest of information and gorgeous recipes from a part of the Caucasus famous for its deliciously spiced food–excellent recipes that make wonderful and unusual use of a wide variety of herbs, spices and nuts. My favourites are the roast beet puree with walnuts, fresh herbs and spices, and the mindblowing sauce of fresh herbs and walnut oil. Like a pesto you’ve only ever dreamed of–ethereally light and fragrant and perfect for summer; with tarragon, basil, parsley, dill, and cilantro. And that’s not even getting into the dozens of amazing recipes for grilled meats, handmade pastries and hearty Georgian soups. A must-read for anyone who’s interested in authentic Georgian cuisine.

    My Bombay Kitchen, Niloufer Ichaporia King (also UC-B Press). I haven’t had a chance to really get into this yet, but I was immediately drawn to Niloufer’s wonderful little tales, interspersed throughout, and her handy kitchen hints and tidbits. I’ve gone through the book already and have earmarked up a storm and can’t wait to get cracking. The book sheds light on a culinary tradition that many, even in India, are woefully unaware of and the recipes (and the book itself–I confess my shallowness) are really just lovely.

  • Lorna March 11, 2009 at 12:00 am

    My favorite cookbook has already been mentioned (Suzanne Goin’s Sunday Suppers) so I’ll mention my second favorite, though it is a dessert book–Pierre Herme’s Chocolate Desserts.

  • redmenace March 11, 2009 at 3:22 am

    Me! Me! Me! Vietnamese food is my all time favorite. I just bought some tamarind today!

    I really love Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. That’s one of my bibles along with The New Basics. Then, of course, there’s Mario Batali and I can’t say enough about him!!!!

  • Chris March 11, 2009 at 4:04 am

    I’m always on the lookout for new cookbooks; a recent favorite has been Veganomicon… I’m not vegetarian, let alone vegan, and yet everything we’ve made from this book has been fantastic.

  • Y March 11, 2009 at 5:34 am

    Well, I already have that book, but I just wanted to say that my current favourite is a book on Balinese cooking that I picked up while on holiday : Bali Unveiled, by Heinz von Holzen.

  • ALLY in WA March 11, 2009 at 7:03 am

    This looks like an interesting book. Thanks for offering this in a giveaway.

  • nina March 11, 2009 at 7:13 am

    I doubt that any of my cookbooks will interest you as they are all in my own language, Afrikaans. I do like Rick Stein’s books though!

  • Alex March 11, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I’m with Camille on this one – Tony Bourdain’s Les Halles cookbook has inspired me more than any other. I think I blame him for wanting to become a food writer as well as a foodie.

  • brienene March 11, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Matt! That book looks awesome – I love Vietnamese food but have only taken the smallest, most tentative little baby steps toward actually cooking it myself. When I lived in NYC I was lucky enough to sample all kinds of delicious Vietnamese food with a quick hop, skip and a jump – but having moved away, the options are currently a bit more limited. All the more reason to head to the kitchen. One of my all time favorite go-to cookbooks is Patricia Wells’ “At Home in Provence” – it’s not flashy or glamorous, but the recipes are amazing and there is quite an array of them, from olive oil fougasse to soups (pistou, bouillabaise, and an artichoke & truffle soup) to beef and veal daubes to lovely almond cherry tarts and honey ice cream. There are even some pantry recipes and one for making homemade orange liqeuor. Cheers!

  • Michael Schoonmaker March 11, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    A new cookbook? Awesome. My current love: Cook’s Illustrated “The Best Recipe”.

  • Silvius March 11, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    I’m seeing this book everywhere on foodblogs and I’m really hooked into being able to read it. I really don’t know anything about Vietnamese food except about fresh spring rolls and spring rolls…

    I agree with those who have said it about Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles cookbook- I don’t own it, but I’ve read parts of it and it is just brilliant. Really I recommend just about any book by him- his writing style is amazing, clear, and rather poetic actually.

    The real book I suggest is Serve the People: a Stir-Fried Journey Through China by Jen Lin Liu. Her writing is incredibly strong and flows well into her recipes, the recipes are well put and even though there aren’t pictures her writing is good enough that you can imagine it. I haven’t finished reading it, but I know I won’t be disappointed in it.

    For wanting something to cook things fast during the week I recommend Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food (Yet again- or anything by him). His books are filled with pictures and great recipes that I find are just inspiring. I also love his choices of recipes and ingredients.

  • brittany March 11, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    You know you’re moving up in the blogging world when people are handing over products to give away. And I can say I knew you when…. : P

    I cook from the Dean and Deluca cookbook (and yes, I’m ashamed to admit a lot of my weeknight stand by recipes are from cooks illustrated), but for the most part, I just buy them for inspiraion and the pretty pictures.

    Have you picked up Molly’s book yet? I keep hearing that it’s amazing.

  • matt wright March 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Rachel: LOVE TK books, Bouchon is my favorite of the bunch – but that really is my kind of food over that of French Laundry
    Rohan: Both sound interesting, I love Indian food, but only have one decent cookbook for that genre.
    Lorna: I think I am going to have to get the Sunday Suppers book
    Red: I have yet to own anything by Batali – good choice!
    Chris: I have heard good things about that one actually
    Y: OK, there is a cuisine I have never tried. Awesome!
    Nina: yeah, books in other languages make it tough! especially cookbooks
    Alex: this book has more votes than any other!
    Bri: Not flashy or glamorous is a very good thing for a cookbook in my mind
    Michael: Thats another vote for CI !!
    Silvius: Yeah, it is getting a lot of blog time, but there is a reason for that, it is a really compelling cookbook, and a very interesting read.
    Britt: Nothing to be ashamed of! I have yet to get my mits on Molly’s book, I really need to. I have so much to read right now though

  • Judy March 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    I am loving Daniel Boulud’s Braise right now. I have been using it for meal’s during the week. I can make them ahead and now when they will be done and can go about my business in between!

    I have wanted to get my hand on the Red Lantern since I saw it at Jaden’s house!

  • Shannon March 11, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I love cookbooks! I have a hand-me-down cookbook from my great grandmother with all handwritten recipes inside of it.

    Lately, I have been playing around with making Orange Chicken and rice – we have been eating about once a week, but something I would love to learn HOW to make is a Runza. I know in the Midwest there is a restaurant who makes them, but when I was a little kid living in Iowa a neighbor made them for us all the time. YUM.

  • Janna March 11, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Ohhh, yes! The majority of my cooking these days has been inspired from bon appetit recipes.

    I like the blog lay-out. Very streamlined and user-friendly.

  • koji motomori March 12, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Wow! The competition for this cookbook seems fierce, how are you going to pick the winner among us?

  • lisaiscooking March 12, 2009 at 12:06 am

    Well, I couldn’t resist the possibility of obtaining another book. One of my favorite books for quick, simple things is Donna Hay Flavors. Another favorite which I think can do no wrong is On Top of Spaghetti by Killeen and Germon.

  • brilynn March 12, 2009 at 3:22 am

    Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours… I suppose it’s a ‘baking’ book as opposed to a ‘cook’ book, but it’s still my favourite.

  • evey March 12, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Now that I’ve managed to handle chopsticks, I’m sooo ready to start cooking Vietnamese food. So the Red Lantern Cookbook would come in quite handy.

    At the moment, my favourite cookbook is delicious days by Nicole Stich, a Munich-based blogger ( I love that it doesn’t have a real theme, it is a wild mixture of recipes and personal stories, and of course absolutely gorgeous pictures.

  • Allison Day March 12, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Hmmm… the cookbook I use the most? Well, two of them unfortunately aren’t publicly available – my dad put together a cookbook of my maternal grandmother’s recipes, which I use quite a bit, and I also have a cookbook from a Buddhist temple near my great aunt which is full of recipes from it’s mostly Japanese members. And of course, I get a lot of my recipes from food blogs or other internet resources.

    As for a cookbook that you could actually buy that I use a lot… for back-to-basic type recipes, I use the Betty Crocker’s Cookbook very often.

    I also really love the cookbook, “Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art” by Shizuo Tsuji. It has a really comprehensive explanation of Japanese ingredients, cooking styles, and traditional recipes. It’s very useful if you want to learn more about Japanese cooking.

  • Alejandro March 12, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Aside from a fascination with cured meats and sourdoughs, there are a few different kinds of books I like to hit up on a weekly basis:

    Anything from Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid:
    – Mangoes and Curry Leaves
    – Flat Breads and Flavors
    – The Seduction of Rice

    Also, for good winter fare you can’t deny Fergus Henderson (I’m sure you have these though)

    For interesting but sometimes over indulgent reading there is John Thorne’s “Outlaw Cook”

    and not to sound trite but Alice Water’s most recent book “The Art of Simple Food” is always a humbling resource.

    ….there is always more but I wont take up any more room. I do have to say though, that Beef Noodle salad looked really good.

  • Jeff B March 12, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    I can’t say enough about David Rosengarten’s books. My wife and I like to try new things all the time and we’ll always look to see what his recipe is like before doing additional research. His recipes always come out great, and seem as though they have been thoroughly research and tested.

    this book is a great one for those odd cravings like greek diner food or a carolina style bbq pork sandwich:

  • Tim S March 12, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    My favorite cookbook is a baking one called “Puff”
    God bless u all!

  • ChefDJen March 12, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    I have been wanting to try more Vietnamese food lately so this would be a lovely addition to my cookbook collection.

  • Susan March 13, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Love the new look of your blog. My current favorite cookbook is one called English Traditional Recipes by Annette Yates. I am inspired everytime I open it to try something new and explore my English roots.

  • Ana March 13, 2009 at 2:54 am

    Oh…. I hope your random number generator picks my number!

    I have been thinking of one cookbook that I would like to recommend, but it turns out that I don’t just have one I like in particular over the others. And lately I find myself using more ideas from sites like your rather than my cookbooks.

  • Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener March 13, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Well I see a lot of good cookbooks already mentioned. Just let me add two:

    – A Mediterranean Feast, by Clifford Wright (same last name as you – got to look into it!). I like it because it’s so much more than a compendium of recipes (which is really what many cookbooks are). It’s also a culinary history book telling us about the evolution of Mediterraneans cuisines (French, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Morocco… all the regions lining the Mediterranean basin) over 1000 years, and how historical events affected them: plagues, wars, discovery of the Americas, the birth and rise of city-states, the Crusades, the Spanish inquisitions. There are maps, pictures of paintings, geography, ecology… and yes there are recipes too!. It is simply fascinating

    – a series rather: the Beautiful Cookbook series published by Collins are beautifully illustrated, well-written recipes and gives you a good flavor of the region or county it focuses on as well as some ideas of how the cooking came together with a brief weaving of geography and main ingredient overview. I have many of them and they are handy easy-to-use go-to books

  • Sofie March 18, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Great vietnamese cook book! The cover is beautiful…