cover image Cooking with Love: 
Comfort Food That Hugs You

Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You

Carla Hall with Genevieve Ko. Simon & Schuster, $30 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4516-6219

Currently the cohost of ABC’s The Chew and owner of Alchemy, an artisan cookie company, Hall, a Nashville native, tackles her first cookbook. Hall describes herself as “a simple southern girl who loves to cook and who cooks to love.” As she confirms in her intro: “The only way you can make transformative food is to cook it from the heart.” With 125 recipes incorporating flavors from all over the world, most still are inspired by Hall’s American South, where she grew up eating traditional Southern food at her “Granny’s” table. The book is separated into chapters of basics such as side dishes, vegetarian dishes, meat, poultry, and dessert enhanced by Hall’s personal stories of cooking with friends and family. Down-home deviled eggs with smoky bacon, Backyard BBQ salad made with chicken and Southern fried catfish are examples of straightforward, classic dishes. Recipes with international flair include curried beef dumplings, Persian marinated lamb roast with cucumber-yogurt sauce on grilled pita, and ginger chicken stir-fry. Tips labeled “Catering Like Carla” (Hall catered for decades) give readers extra ideas and instructions, such as having guests assemble their own tortillas by setting up a buffet line for her Cuban pork loin with marinated red onions and queso blanco. What the book lacks in continuity it more than makes up for in diversity of recipes. (Nov.)