Hall takes comfort food around world

Co-host of “The Chew” and fan favorite on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef All-Stars” Carla Hall releases a cookbook of favorites in “Carla’s Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes From Around the World.”

Featuring stories of her travels around the world and where she picked up different recipes, this international cookbook features flavors from the South, Africa, Germany, Morocco, India, Greece, Carribbean and more. There’s a lot of variety and a variety in heat/spicy levels.

The cookbook is divided into Soups & Salads, Vegetables, Pickles & Preserves, Grains & Starches, Seafood, Chicken, Meat, Vegetarian Entrees and Desserts.

Soups & Salads is further divided into Tomato Soups like Tomato-Corn Chowder and Creamy Soups like Caraway Bacon Potato Soup. The salads are technically slaws like Cucumber-Carrot Slaw with Crunchy Noodles.

Vegetables is further divided into Peas with Mushy Minty Peas, Spinach with Palak Paneer: Creamy Spiced Spinach with Fried Cheese, Eggplan with Hot and Sour Eggplant Stir-fry, Corn with Baked Corn Pudding, Green Beans with Cooked-to-Death-Delicious Green Beens with Potatoes, Cauliflower with Broiled Cauliflower Steaks with Olive Relish and Butternut Squash with Roasted Garlic and Chile Butternut Squash.

Pickles and preserves offer recipes like Roasted Plum Tomato Jam and Tangy Chow Chow Pickles.

Grains and starches have recipes for Creamy Cheese Grits, Chitrana Peanut-Coconut Rice and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes.

Seafood includes stews like Cod and Potato Chowder and Salmon recipes like Dijon Tarragon Salmon.

Chicken recipes include Skillet Stews like Chicken with Milk Gravy, Soups like Chicken Pasta Soup, Lemongrass-Ginger Fried Chicken, and Chicken and Rice dishes like Arroz con Pollo.

Meat recipes include a section on burgers, Baked Casseroles like Shepherd’s Pie, Roasteds like Leg of Lamb with Fennel, Short Rib recipes like Caramlized Onion Short Ribs, Rice and Beans recipes with Spiced Chickpeas and Lamb with Basmati Rice.

Vegetarian recipes run the gamut of Black Bean Picadillo, Curried Potato Samosas and Mossaka.

Desserts include pastries like Rustic Bacon-Apple Pie, cookies like Salted Peanut Shortbread and Chocolate Chai Sandwich Cookies and Corn Desserts like Quince Corn Cake.

I made Chicken in Dijon Cream, a French dish made up of chicken in a delicious cream, broth and Dijon and herbs sauce. It is great, warming comfort food that came together pretty easily – the chicken browns up, then the onions, and then is later simmered shortly in the sauce. I served the dish over rice and it was delicious. My oldest really liked it and my youngest did eat a piece of chicken, but she didn’t really want to. I later told her the dish had Dijon mustard in it and she said that’s why it tasted bad.

Picky people aside, two out of three liked it, and it was a quick fix!

“Carla’s Comfort Foods” is published by Atria Books. It is $29.99.


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