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Cooking with Love: Comfort Food that Hugs You

by Carla Hall

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642331,987 (2.5)1
Collects one hundred twenty-five recipes that adapt favorite comfort foods for overall taste enhancement, including spicy carrot ginger soup, chicken pot pie and five-flavor pound cake.

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What I want to know is: Where are the photographs and What makes you believe that because you've attended some fancy cooking school, that you know what is good tasting "comfort" food?

Let's just say: I am so Not impressed, and I wish I could share one of the photos (the author bending over a tray and oh-so-carefully & intently sprinkling whatever-it-is on top of whatever-it-is she is making)!

Recipes, they are not easy to make and they contain many ingredients:

Chocolate Espresso Napoleons: "when I was living in Paris...."
Grilled Cheese Trio: Broccoli Pesto & Cheddar; Sun-dried Tomato Pesto & Mozzarella; and Arugula-Artichoke Pesto & Havarti
Root Vegetable Ragout
Creamy Goat Cheese Grits
Watermelon Gazpacho w/ Cucumber, Jimaca, Sweet Peppers, & Basil
Cod in Papillote w/ Roasted Tomato-artichoke Ragout
Duck Ragu over Butternut Squash Grits

" Comfort Food That Hugs You"? Oh HAIL NO!

In my mind, "Comfort food", is that type of food (usually from fond memories) that makes a person feel good.... This stuff makes me cringe.....
( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Hall is a co-host of ABC's daytime show, The Chew, but I first saw her on Bravo TV's Top Chef. She reminded me of an exotic bird, tall, thin and with her down-home Southern way, I think many people (including her competitors) underestimated her. She was voted Fan Favorite from the Top Chef All-Stars competition in 2011. It was her big heart and the way she "hugged you with her food" that made people fall in love with her.

She grew up in the South and learned how to cook from her beloved granny, and then she went to France to become a model. There she fell in love with a different kind of food, and returned home to train as a professional chef. She now owns Alchemy, a popular and successful catering company in Washington DC.

Hall sprinkles the cookbook with stories from her life: the amazing meals her granny made and taught her and her sister to cook, the difficult boss she worked for in the Bahamas (I wonder if he will read this book and recognize himself), some amusing anecdotes from The Chew and my favorites, some behind-the-scenes of her most famous Top Chef moments.

On the All-Stars edition, one task was to create a birthday lunch for Jimmy Fallon. Hall whooped with joy when she was drew Chicken Pot Pie as her meal; it is one of her specialties, and she shares one of her most famous recipes in this book.

Hall also gives some great tips, like serving deviled eggs on a bed of dried washed black beans on a platter and if you want to sell your house "pop a batch of buttery yeast rolls in the oven" before a showing.

Layering flavors is a key to her cooking, and I found it interesting that she starts a meal by thinking not about the meat she will cook but the vegetables and "then builds from there."
Some recipes I look forward to trying are:

Down Home Deviled Eggs with Smoky Bacon
Creamy Goat Cheese Grits
Creamy Mac & Cheese
Osso Buco
Black Bean Patties with Mango Relish & Tropical Vinaigrette
Creamed Chicken with Broccoli

This is a book for cooks who have some experience in the kitchen; these recipes require some skills and beginners may find it a bit too challenging. But if you enjoy cooking and are looking for some new recipes that will kick up your taste buds, this is a book for you. ( )
  bookchickdi | Dec 8, 2012 |
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Collects one hundred twenty-five recipes that adapt favorite comfort foods for overall taste enhancement, including spicy carrot ginger soup, chicken pot pie and five-flavor pound cake.

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