About the Author
Chef Carla Hall is co-host of ABC’s “The Chew” and owner of Alchemy by Carla Hall, an artisan cookie company that specializes in creating sweet and savory “petite bites of love.” Hall’s approach to cooking blends her classic French training and Southern upbringing for twists on traditional favorites. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Hall received a degree in Accounting from Howard University, but traveling through Europe awakened her passion for food, and inspired a new career path. Hall attended L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, where she completed her culinary training, and went on to work as a Sous Chef at the Henley Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. She also served as Executive Chef at both The State Plaza Hotel and The Washington Club and has taught classes at CulinAerie and her alma mater L’Academie de Cuisine. Hall lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband Matthew Lyons and stepson Noah.
Hall burst onto the national scene as a competitor on season five of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” where she won over audiences with her fun catchphrase “Hootie Hoo” and her philosophy to always cook with love. She was named Fan Favorite of the 2011 “Top Chef All-Stars” season.
Having grown up in Nashville, Tennessee, Hall loves Southern food and the rich traditions and recipes that her grandmother passed down to her. She is now taking that love of Southern comfort food and serving it up in her first cookbook, titled COOKING WITH LOVE: Comfort Food That Hugs You (Free Press Hardcover). It features 125 all-new and original recipes that revolutionize typical comfort food by incorporating ingredients that bring classic all-time favorite dishes to new levels of flavor and fun.
Here are a few side dishes I tried from the book.
I made Carla’s Smashed Herbed Potatoes on page 97. Wow! This was loaded with flavor and very easy to make. Cooking the baby potatoes in chicken stock and adding the fresh herbs at the end, really makes this a special side dish.
I’m a big fan of roasted veggies, so I tried Carla’s Roasted Baby Carrots on page 101. Umm! The carrots were tender and sweet. Another easy dish to throw together!
Here’s a little glimpse of some of the recipes from the book.
Down-Home Deviled Eggs with Smoky Bacon
Herb Focaccia with Ricotta and Olives
Arugula and Shaved Fennel Salad with Goat Cheese Croutons and Champagne Vinaigrette
Hoppin’ John Salad
The Saints’ Gumbo with Andouille Sausage, Chicken, and Crayfish
Tomato-Sweet Potto Bisque
Turkey Sausage and Cornbread Dressing
Sautéed Collard Greens with Brussel Sprout Leaves and Gremolata
Rustic Mushroom Tart
Creamy Mac and Cheese
Beer-Braised Pulled Barbecued Brisket
Chicken Pot Pie (Click HERE for the recipe!)
Super Fast Fried Chicken
Fish and Shellfish
Southern Fried Catfish
Granny’s Five-Flavor Pound Cake
Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
Cooking with Love is a beautiful cookbook. There is a heavy influence of southern recipes, mixed with some “more sophisticated” dishes. I love reading Carla’s notes about each recipe. She shares tips about the recipe along with some personal stories. I’m looking forward to trying many more recipes from this cookbook!
Cooking with Love is available at Amazon.com.
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*I received a copy of Cooking with Love for the purpose of this review/giveaway. The comments in this post are 100% my own.